If it is summer, then it must be time for a two-wheel adventure. The plan for this year is to ride another section of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. The wheels started turning last December when I convinced two of my riding pals from last year (Jim and Marie) that we ought to ride the newest segment being led by Adventure Cycling Association in Colorado. We signed up and then found out that the ride was going to be led by the former grade school principal of Katherine and Brian, sweet.
Fast forward to August… the ride starts August 19 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado and ends August 28 in Salida. The distance is less than last year’s ride but will mostly be above 9000 feet so we won’t be deprived of a challenge.
The bike and set-up I’ll use will be the same as last year, much to the surprise of my home boss. Like last year, I’ve also elected to ride my motorcycle to the starting line. This year, however, I’m not putting my bicycle on the back, Jim has agreed to transport the bike to and from Colorado, allowing me greater motorcycling options.
Start the fun…
I dropped my bicycle at Jim’s house, loaded up the motorcycle and pointed the front wheel west around 10am.
My bike in slight disassembly.
The loaded motorcycle.
The skies were overcast and sprinkles were in the area but it felt good to be off and heading into a multi -week adventure. The joy of riding a motorcycle is hard to express to anyone who doesn’t have the fever. The exhilaration and the immersion in the environment with sounds and smells which are lost when traveling by car make travel by motorcycle second only to travel by bicycle in shear bliss. The corn fields of southwestern Minnesota are replaced by hay, beets and livestock in South Dakota. The rolled cylinders of hay with their sweet smell contrast with the feedlot smell of the cattle.
I’m cruising two lane roads in place of the super – slab Interstate. The small towns that are missed on the freeway are the highlights. I stopped in Olivia, Corn Capitol, for lunch. My intended destination today was the capitol city of Pierre but, as the journey goes, I diverted to Thompson Falls and, eventually, Chamberlain. The plains of South Dakota gave way to the wide valley of the Missouri River.
I’m camping by the river and making plans to ride through the Badlands and Black Hills tomorrow. The scenery and curves in the road should be several orders of magnitude better tomorrow.
Camp – Day 1
If the folks in the RV site next to me decide to go to bed, I might have a nice night’s rest…