Malta to Havre 91 Miles

7/16/19    

We started our day by eating breakfast at the same restaurant where we ate dinner last night.  There were some local people eating there also and they were interested in what we were doing.   A lot of the team stopped at various places in Malta for breakfast since we were making a long 91 mile ride.

The morning ride to the first rest stop was uneventful with a great tail wind on Highway 2 so the 18 miles just flew by.

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After 12 more miles on Highway 2 we were routed on an alternate route which parallels the Milk River.  This route was somewhat rough but it was enjoyable with no traffic except for the rural mail delivery person.  We saw him a couple of times on this alternate route.  At the end of the alternate route the mail delivery person explained the existence of this route.  He told us it was put in place years earlier when they were repairing highway 2 and it never got taken out.  It wasn’t a big deal but it added about 4 miles to the days ride.

When we got  back on highway 2 the tailwind turned into a side wind to a slight head wind.  Nothing very difficult but it slowed our progress.

At rest stop 2 we had lunch at a small diner. It was nice to get out of the wind for a little while.  During  the next leg we all rode our own rides so we got pretty spread out.  I got to rest stop 3 before the others only to find that the MS rest stop at a Exxon Truckstop had shutdown so we were on our own which was not a big deal in that we normally bought our refreshments whenever possible.

There were three of us Julia, Ed and I rode the last leg together because the road was narrow and the traffic was heavy.  This gave us added visibility and protection from the heavy traffic.

There was one major event for me on this last leg.  I completed 10,000 mile riding for BiketheUSforMS.  Ed calculated where this point was and he stopped us for a photo opt.

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This 10,000 miles is made up of TransAm Route 3875 miles, Southern Tier 3070 miles and the Northern Tier 3145 miles to date.  It was very nice of Ed to calculate this point so we could capture the moment.

We made it to Havre tired but glad we had completed this long day successfully.

Glasgow to Malta 71 Miles

7/15/19    

We started our day by taking our laundry back to the church and putting everything back in the trailer.  A place for everything and everything in its place.  Even if it means forcing into the cubby.

We stopped at our first McDonalds is a long time.  It was close to the church and right on route.  A number of our team had the same idea.

As we were leaving Glasgow we spotted a number of dinosaur sculptures on the hills along the route.

We had a treat at our first rest stop in Hinsdale. Sweet Memories welcomed us to some homemade sweets.  Normally they are not open on Monday’s but since we were coming thru town they made an exception.  What made it even more special is the owner of the establishment was out of town and she left you two young employees to run everything.  It was very nice.

Later that morning we had a long climb and I got ahead of Ed so I stopped to check out a survey witness post.  As you can see someone else took exception to the sign.  As it turned out one of the reasons I was ahead to Ed was that he had a flat on his back tire this time.  Some of our riders came along and told me of Ed’s problem.  I went back about ½ mile and Ed was about finished.

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We stopped early for rest stop #2 at Saco.  We had heard we needed to check out Pipi’s Diner so we did.  We enjoyed a meal and took in some of the sites at the same time.

But the real excitement was about to come.  Ed and his second flat of the day on his back tire.  What made this tire change unusual was the road didn’t have a shoulder so he was forced to go down into a bar ditch to change the flat.  Then it went from bad to worse.  We were attacked by mosquitos and not by just a few but hundreds and maybe a thousand.  Ed had brought insect repellant and try to spray Ed down but he was immediately cover with them.  On one part of his back I estimated there were 30 to 40 biting him at one time not to mention his legs and arm and right thru his clothes.  I have never seen anything like it.  I got bit also but I could swat and brush them off as well as put on repellant.  Ed had to focus on getting the flat fixed.

We got to the church we were to stay for the night. We went down to the Conoco truck stop for a shower and dinner before trying to sleep with all the mosquitos bites.

Wolf Point to Glasgow 55 Miles

7/14/19    

Short day, late start.

We had breakfast at a local hotel which a team rider suggested because I think he spent the night there.  It was good and a lot of locals seemed to make it their regular place.

We took our time getting around today since we knew we were schedule to stay at the Calvary Baptist Church and their service began at 11:00 a.m. and we knew we would not be able to setup until after 1:00 p.m.

Our only rest stop was literally in the middle of nowhere.

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This is because we didn’t go through any towns because we only got near one town and it wasn’t anywhere near the right mileage.

Even with the late start we were in Glasgow before 1:00 p.m. so we went to Dairy Queen for lunch before going to the church.

When we got to the church we finally gave ourselves a treat, Ed and I checked into a hotel.  We didn’t sleep very well last night after that long ride and because of the storm so we had discussed the hotel angle and we took it.

We had laundry to do and the hotel had a laundry room, restaurant attached plus soft beds and great showers.  How could we go wrong.

A number of other team members had the same idea.

No we will not get used to it.    

Glendive to Wolf Point 101 Miles

7/13/19   

We got up early because of the long ride ahead of us.  We were on the road around 6:00 a.m. but stopped for breakfast at a truck stop that was on route.  They served up a hearty breakfast which is just what we needed for this ride.  4 of us stopped together.

A gentleman at the café offer to pay for our breakfast since his sister has MS and he wanted to thank us for what we were doing.  We suggested he just give us a donation to the MS cause.  After he paid for his own breakfast he went to the ATM and returned with $100.  We were taken back since this was more than double of what the breakfast would have cost.

Once on the road the grind began.  We had 3 rest stops today which were spaced between 26 to 39 miles.  This is one of those days when you ride from rest stop to rest stop and just think it is just another training run and not considering the total distance, for the most part.

This was hard after rest stop 2 because there were highway signs that told us Wolf Point was 53 miles away and at the start of this highway we were starting at mile marker zero.  So every mile marker you knew exactly how many more miles you had left.

Our last rest stop was in the very small town Vida.  The temperature was rising and the road had a lot of rolling hills.  Up on hill going to smaller gears and spinning to the top then to high gears to take advantage of gravity.

The small store was painted purple and they did not have much food to choose from but they did have the one thing I needed the most and that was dill pickles. I bought a jar and drank all the dill pickle juice and about a half dozen dill pickle slices.

The owner also told us the local church was open for us so we could us the restroom.  This was an added surprise.

After leaving Vida we had 28 miles left.  It was a long 28 miles but everyone made it to Wolf Point.

Wolf Point is in a Indian Reservation so we were told not to leave our bikes unattended.  That meant after getting to the  Church of Christ we walk everywhere we went so our bikes were secure in the back yard.  The picture makes it look like the church is leaning but that is just bad camera work on my part.

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Wolf Point was having a rodeo tonight.  A lot of the team went but came back early because a strong rain storm hit the city.  A lot of the team got wet but it sure help cool down the church so sleeping was better.

Medora to Glendive 65 Miles

7/12/19   

We started our day with breakfast at the Cowboy Café.  It had a lot of the local charm and good food to boot. (a little cowboy humor, ok very little)

One of the most memorable things about this ride was a good bit of it was on Intestate 94.  We were dreading this since we had to ride on it yesterday and the shoulder, in which we had to ride, had a thin layer of sand on all of it.  Sand and bikes don’t mix well, but today we were fortunate because this shoulder was paved with no sand, great!

We were on and off I-90 and I personally preferred it when we were on side roads.  These roads had very little traffic.  One of the bad things about the side roads were the climbing grades were steeper than on I-94.

The scenery was also better on the side roads.  Here is a picture of a cross on top of one the hills we skirted.

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Here is a shot of a field of yellow plants.  I’m not sure what is was.

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But one of the good things about being on I-94 was the state crossing.  We were able to get a great picture of the Montana border crossing.  The first one is of me alone, but the second one is a prize picture of 7 of the 9 riders that I am riding with this year and  I rode with in 2017 when we did the TransAm crossing of MS.

Today I had one of those things happen that I don’t like to happen BUT I had a flat tire.   This leak was very easy to find. I hit a staple that went completely through my back tire.  

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It was stuck in the tire and when I removed it I was concerned that the two holes may be too large, pinch my tube and cause another flat.  So to protect against that I put a folded up dollar bill inside by tire to cover the holes.

Before we arrived at Glendive we received a message that there wasn’t any services at the Dawson Community College, where we are going to spend the night.  So they suggested we stop and get something to eat before going to the school.

Since we arrived around 1:00 p.m., we stopped at the first restaurant we came to.   Our stay was extended to over 3 hours because it stated to rain shortly after we stopped for lunch.

I kept watching it rain and I didn’t want to go back out once we made it to the school so I bought and extra cheese burger and fries to take with me.  I can’t tell you how happy that made me since we had a steep climb up to the school.  It had stopped raining and the weather turn out great but the climb was a climb.

Hebron to Medora 75 Miles

7/11/19  

Today we lost one of our riding buddies, Rich Dehle-Koch.  He rode with us for 10 days but is leaving today to go to his daughter’s “Entrance into Professional Service”. His wife drove all night to Hebron to pick him up.   We had a lot in common other than just bike riding. He loves the outdoors and is also an Eagle Scout.

Ed and I  waited in Hebron until the café opened at 8:00 a.m. so we could have some time with Rich and his wife.  This put us way behind the rest of the riders but it was worth it.

There was also another milestone for Ed today.  Ed completed 10,000 miles for MS.  He got to this total before me because he did part of the Atlantic Coast ride this year and I didn’t.

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I will achieve last in this ride.

We rode hard and were able to catch up with a couple of the riders but that was because they love to stop and take a lot of pictures.

Their was another milestone for this us on this ride.  Today the temperature exceeded 90 degrees.  The highest I say was 93.  The interesting thing about this was even though it was hot the humidity was extremely low so the wind actually cooled our bodies.

Tonight we are camping in the Medora campsite.  We are also going to the Medora Musical which was right across the road from our campground but at the top of hill.  We lucked out when a local in a pickup offered to give us a ride to the top of the hill.

Before the musical we had a great steak dinner.

The musical was as been presented since the 1950s and the outdoor drama is dedicated to Theodore Roosevelt and is surrounded by  the Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  If you are ever in the neighborhood I strongly suggest attending.  Here are just a few of the picture I took.

Bismarck  to Hebron 72 Miles

7/10/19  

We started the day with breakfast at 6:30 a.m.  We were glad to get an early start because we had an 18 mph side/head wind.  We rode on a bike path for about 10 miles which took us over the Missouri River and got us out of Bismarck.

After the trail we started climbing which along with the head/side wind we had to work fairly hard.

A little after leaving the trail, Ed had his 6th flat on his front tire.  He got it fixed in quick order and we were back on the road.

Just shortly after we arrived at the first rest stop in New Salem.

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The route leader received a call that one of the other riders had some major bike problems.  The rider was new to the Northern Tier today so the route leader had to take off before we had much chance to rest.  No big deal when a rider may be in trouble.

Our next rest stop was 23 miles down the road and at this one we were able to get a large Po’boy sandwich and Gatorade.

This only left 18 more miles to the finish point in Hebron, ND.  Here we are staying in the Hebron Community Center.  It has a large open gym area where we can all sleep inside but a few opted to camp out.

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We made the owner of one café happy since a number of us went to her café on what would have been a quiet night.