110.46 mi / 7:56:24 time / 13.9 mph avg. / 33.0 mph max. / 3587 ft. climbing
Staying at Alamo Motel, Sheridan
Last night’s motel was the most expensive so far (over $100, I think!), so at least it was good that they had the most extensive breakfast too. Waffles, hard-boiled eggs, English muffins, plus all the other usual stuff, and I sampled it all!
I got a pretty early start, and hopped right back on I-90 headed west. This time it’s truly the only option between Gillette and Buffalo; the occasional exits are sometimes simply right turns off the Interstate onto gravel roads. Once I cleared out of town, the traffic lightened up, and it was really nice riding.
I was making really good time, until about 65 miles into the ride, I noticed my bike suddenly felt like it had a rear suspension, which means the back tire was going down. This time it was an actual puncture, by a sharp piece of stiff wire. I noticed a couple of others stuck in the tire that hadn’t caused punctures, and pulled them out. Even with that delay, I still covered the 70 miles to Buffalo by around 1pm.
I first spotted the Bighorn Mountain range just a few miles into the ride, when they were still probably 80 miles away. That means they’re some real mountains. So for most of the day they were looming out there, constantly taunting me with their “you want a piece of me? you want some of this? well then come and get it!” That is, until I finally got close enough for them to see the slight glimmer of insanity in my eyes, at which point their bravado evaporated, and they attempted to flee to the west. Unfortunately for them, being mountains, they’re rather stuck in place. So I imagine they’ll be at the same spot tomorrow, waiting for me to begin my assault.
Heading north to Sheridan wasn’t nearly as easy as the first part of the trip, mostly because there was a light but direct headwind. But then about 20 miles in, I noticed that the spring on my rear brake wasn’t latched right, so the brake had probably been rubbing the whole way from Buffalo. D’oh. Don’t know how much that actually slowed me down though. But the reason I noticed was because the rear tire was going down again! It was another piece of wire, and it seemed like a new one, but maybe it was just one I’d missed the first time? So that was a bit discouraging; I’m wondering if I just rode through one nasty pile of wire, or if my tires have suddenly become wire-attractors.
I’m again at a motel, for the usual reason: there just isn’t any good camping nearby. I’m back to the cheap ($45) independent though, and since my room has a microwave and a fridge (not to mention a bathroom that could be inside someone’s 1970s house) I bought groceries for an in-room dinner. This might be my last motel for a while though, as the camping should be pretty good from here on out.