Dancing on the Pedals

For all our friends who follow the Tour de France, you know what I’m talking about and probably have a smile on your face.  For those of you who don’t know who Phil Liggett is you’re probably starting to wonder about Chris and Matt being together so much.  Today was one of those magical days for bike riding.  We had about 7,000 feet to climb, but it was at a nice 4-6% grade where you could get in a great rhythm and “dance on the pedals” all the way to the top.  Before today my #1 day of riding had been when Matt, Ken Mozek, Bryan Hoadley and myself had ridden in France from Bourg d’Oisans to the Col de Lauteret to the Col de Galibier.  Today challenges that day for best day riding ever!  Certainly Wyoming doesn’t have the romance of riding in the French Alps, but the ride up Ten Sleep Canyon to the Powder River Pass at 9,666 feet was breathtaking.  When you add in the fact that it occurred during our bike ride across America, it will be a day Matt and I never forget.

We started our morning at the 2nd street cafe with a great cup of coffee (rivals Peet’s), a fresh-baked coconut cream scone with lemon frosting and breakfast burrito’s.  We enjoyed lingering at the outdoor dining as we watched all the farmers and ranchers head out to work for the day.  We also wanted to transport this cafe back to Danville.  Who knew Ten Sleep would provide us with our best breakfast of the trip so far.

We then went back and told Bob and Marilyn where they needed to go for breakfast and then hit the road at 8:10a.  I can tell you it took us about 20 minutes to get the legs loose and ready to get into the rhythm of the climb.  Of course it was so beautiful that we kept stopping about every 5 minutes for pictures.  Matt and I are both being pretty good about fighting the urge NOT to stop and just keep riding.  We want to make sure we don’t just ride with our heads down and miss all there is to see on our trip.  At one of our picture stops we met a teacher from Alaska who was driving to Pennsylvania to take a cat to her daughter.  As Matt told her she must be setting a record for the longest cat delivery service. 

About 15 miles into our 30 mile climb we came across road construction that you couldn’t possibly ride through.  Being Wyoming the just had Matt and I jump in the back of the pilot truck with our bikes and then they drove us the 2 miles over the road.  It was pretty funny having us in our bike clothes in the back of this pilot truck driving past all this heavy construction equipment leading the other cars up the road.

For a quick photo of one of the giant dump trucks we drove past for my nephew’s Ryan and Landon!

After our shuttle we rode the remaining 13 miles to the summit past a couple of alpine lakes and emerged from the canyon to the rolling hills of the summit.  Luckily for us as we reached the summit we could see a thunderstorm rolling in to where we had just been (our weather bubble continues to protect us).  In fact about an hour after we arrived in Buffalo it rained so hard Bob and Marilyn had to quit their golf game early (tough life being a support driver).  We then enjoyed a wonderful 5 mile downhill followed by 15 miles of rolling hills and then ending with a 10 mile downhill where we could go 35-45 mph without touching our brakes…it was so fun!  We rolled into Buffalo went and showered and then walked next door to a wonderful ice cream store and had great milkshakes.  We then decided to get a little culture and toured the Jim Gatchell Memorial Museum http://www.jimgatchell.com/Jim_Gatchell_Memorial_Museum/Welcome.html and enjoyed the history of the conflict between the settlers, indians and cattle barons.  We finished the day by doing our laundry and then going to the BEST steak dinner any of us had ever had at the Winchester Steakhouse. 

Today was also the 20th day of our trip which meant we’re a third done.  One of the nice things is that we’ve climbed 54,747 feet which means we have completed 46.2% of our planned climbing for the trip!  It was hard to choose the photos for today as there were so many to choose from.

Leaving Ten Sleep.  The Carter Inn is where we spent the night.

Ten Sleep fixer upper…

Summertime fun in Wyoming.  These kids were having so much fun!

Ten Sleep Canyon. Picture taken by the Alaskan Cat Delivery lady.

Now you see why we kept stopping to take pictures.

Matt climbing like a pro…

Chris “dancing on the pedals”…

Always feels so good when you reach the summit.

Powder River Pass in the Bighorn mountains, the highest point on our trip across America!

This should be a fun downhill…

In case you wondered what happened to the hippies who lived in the Haight-Ashbury back in the 60’s (where he told us he had been when we told him we left from San Francisco).  He’s spent the last 11 years living on his bike and riding around America.

Another great post-ride milkshake.  Matt and I will have to find the best milkshake in Danville when we return!

Checking out the museum in Buffalo.

Categories: Uncategorized | 8 Comments

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8 thoughts on “Dancing on the Pedals

  1. What a great great ay. Who knew you would find such great meals along the way….Love all the people you are meeting.

  2. Amy Dittmore

    I can’t imagine you driving to LA let alone across the country to give me a cat!!! That’s hilarious!

  3. Manzar Iqbal

    You guys are my morning read, better than the NY Times any day. With all the food you guys are eating(especially the milkshakes) I would venture to guess that you will be putting on weight during the trip. Did you both do a weigh in before you left?

  4. Donna Levine

    Another group of beatiful, breathtaking , scenic pictures. I want a chance to make you a milkshake that my dad taught me to make…duing the “protein” time of my life!!

  5. john hansen

    love the garmin elevation plot! glad to have skipped that one… good job guys

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