CTN TransAm 09
40 days on the road
3750 miles by bicycle
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Chris Nadovich's 2009 Transamerica Bike Tour.

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    Mon, 22 Jun 2009

    McVille, ND

    The accursed southeast wind is gone! Today we rode 130 relatively comfortable miles. We received some good advice for a change and were led to an alternative route that was both a short cut and a beautiful rolling road through pretty lakes, farms, and wetlands.

    On the negative side, virtually none of the towns we passed through had any restaurants; very few had even a small general store. We ate out of our food panniers and snacked at convenience stores. Each of us carried 4 liters of water and we definitely needed it as water stops were few and far between. When we found a convenience store ("Cenex" is the chain here) we typically drank a 32 oz Gatorade or PowerAde as an ante before we began to think about what we really wanted.

    Another negative was a road with 5 miles of fresh sanding and tarring (Fresh, fresh. As in we were riding behind the sand truck for a while). Thank goodness for fenders, but even so our gear is dotted with tar. Even though we're camped in a very nice park here in McVille with plenty of water, not to mention a lake with a beach, I was not able to get fully clean. My legs still have some tar on them.

    [P6220002] But overall it was a wonderful day. Now that we are off Rt 2, the scenery has improved a lot. It's still mostly flat, but there are more trees, lots of lakes, and zillions of birds. In several of the lakes we saw what appear to be some kind of pelican. Can some bird expert look at this photo and tell me what these are? I thought pelicans were salt water birds.

    Speaking of that horrible Rt 2, we met a trio of riders that had left from Boston 6 weeks ago, heading westbound on the Northern Tier route. They were young (mid 20s) and looked to be "challenged" by the experience. Gary and I both shook our heads in worry when we saw one of their bikes had three broken spokes and they didn't seem to have a way to carry adequate water to make it through the high desert they were about to enter. Worst of all, the Norther Tier route sticks to Rt 2 several hundred miles. Ouch. If they make it that far, their reward might very well be a "road closed" sign when they reach Glacier National Park as we read in the paper two weeks ago that there was still 70 feet of snow on the highway there.

    But the three had made it this far -- halfway when they make Rugby in two days -- and that proves something about their character. If anyone is reading this that can drive Rt 2 in about two weeks as these three kids are struggling across Montana, find them, and give them each a cold drink. That would be a good deed.

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    © 2009 C.T. Nadovich