Bicycling 4,174 Miles Across the United States

July 1st – Shelby to Havre, MT

What I Saw From Mile 0 to Mile 100 Today

July 1st Statistics – Shelby to Havre, MT:

  • Today’s Biking Distance – 105.5 miles
  • Today’s Average Speed – 16.9 mph
  • Today Ascent – 1,507 feet
  • Today Descent – 2,431 feet
  • Today’s Ending Elevation – 2,473 feet
  • Total Trip Biking Days – 13
  • Total Trip Biking Distance – 965.2 miles
  • Total Trip Average Biking Distance/Day – 74.2 miles
  • Total Trip Ascent – 42,031 feet

What a ride – the longest and fastest ride I have ever accomplished, 105.5 miles at 16.9 mph (again thanks to a great tailwind and a net 900 feet elevation drop).  We got an early start with breakfast at 6:30 am and departure before 7:30 am because in addition to the century ride, the weather forecast was for 30% chance of thunderstorms beginning around noon.

If we see lightning nearby during the ride on the prairie, we don’t have much of an alterative to stopping and hunkering down in the grass as we may be the tallest target around.  Fortunately, the storm clouds (but not the overcast) remained behind me for the entire ride and I made good time arriving about 2:30 pm.  My only stop was at 65 miles so I could buy two Red Bulls to serve as my lunch.

Shortly after lunch I had a personal encounter with a deer that jump in front of me – missing a collision by a matter of a few feet.  I thought I left this kind of problem at home in Willistown, PA.  Lots of what I believe are Prairie Dogs crossing the road in front of me but no collisions yet.  At the city of Kremlin, MT (see today’s photos), a gentleman stopped in his Lincoln to tell me that there were rattlesnakes around and to watch out for them – they had killed a dozen this week in town.  Sure enough, while I didn’t see any live ones (I was now paying more attention when I stopped), over the next 20 miles I noticed the remains of 4 rattlesnakes on the road.

Not much traffic (3 cars passed me in the first hour) and wide shoulder (however, rough pavement often made it bumpy).  Other than a sore neck and shoulders, I am feeling pretty good.

For a perspective on the scenery, see the last 5 photos from yesterday – it didn’t change.  I do be posting a few new photos later today.

Tomorrow will be our second rest day as we remain in Harve, MT, before doing some more century rides next week.

2 responses

  1. shelley

    Dear Steve. I am, as Mike put it so well, “vindicated!” – since you and Eugene had laughed at me when I shared I was afraid that a deer could hit me as I rode down Sugartown 🙂 Of course, we sure want you safe from deer, prairie dogs and rattlesnakes!…We are in Avalon and thinking of you, particularly as we biked to Stone Harbor – a very challenging bike ride, wouldn’t you say? Much love from all of us. Shelley

    July 2, 2012 at 10:10 pm

    • Steve

      Shelley and Crew, now that you are fully conditioned by the bicycle ride in Avalon, why don’t you all join me in Minot, ND for the rest of the trip? Now that I am experienced, I can be the lead biker to scare away or run over the deer, prairie dogs, and rattlesnakes. If not I hope you have a great time in Avalon and toast me with a beer. Steve

      July 2, 2012 at 11:45 pm

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