Bicycling 4,174 Miles Across the United States

July 7th – Williston to Minot, ND Post and Pictures

Bike Challenge – Riding the Shoulder. This is an example of a road shoulder I must navigate. In this photograph I must keep within a 6 inch strip of smooth payment with rumple strips cut into the pavement on one side and a fall off of the road into the dirt on the other. Sometimes the navigable section narrows to 4 inches – sometimes widens to 18 inches. This can be very difficult to maneuver since you must also avoid broken glass, stones, holes, roadkill, and other debris in this narrow section – my neck aches from the stress. However, in some sections the shoulder biking path expands to 6 feet which is wonderful and allows me to look up and take in the sights. At least in North Dakota the pavement is smooth – In Montana it was often cracked, broken, uneven, and/or non-existent.

July 7th Statistics –Williston to Minot, ND:

  • Today’s Biking Distance – 122.9 miles
  • Today’s Average Speed – 15.4 mph
  • Today Ascent – 2,827 feet
  • Today Descent – 3,010 feet
  • Today’s Ending Elevation – 1,418 feet
  • Total Trip Biking Days – 16
  • Total Trip Biking Distance – 1,405.5 miles
  • Total Trip Average Biking Distance/Day – 78.1 miles
  • Total Trip Ascent – 49,399 feet

The longest ride of my cross-country tour (and life) has been conquered – 123 miles!  Time on the bike saddle today (7.9 hours) was actually a little less than yesterday because of riding faster – I arrived in Minot a little after 5 pm.  I think I had enough energy and sunlight left (but maybe not enough tolerance for my neck pain) to ride another 50 miles – a great feeling.  Jim, Doug and I, again, were the only bikers to ride the entire day’s distance – Diane and Dale never thought any of us would actually ride the entire 123 miles in one day.  The sky, humidity, and temperature were perfect.  While I had a headwind in the morning (4-10 mph), I had a tailwind by the afternoon (4-10 mph).  Additionally, while not perfect, North Dakota roads were much more biker friendly that Montana’s roads from yesterday. Unfortunately, haze diminished the longer views for the first time on the trip.

Dinner at Applebee’s in Minot was great (it was the 4th highest rated restaurant in Minot according to Trip Advisor) – but I suspect that after 123 miles any food would have tasted great, particularly with the Samuel Adams Summer Ale I ordered.  Unfortunately, I am not going to see much of Minot (downtown is about 3 miles away from our Comfort Inn) on Sunday as I must do laundry, put new tires and tubes on my bike, replace a pedal, clean and oil my gears and chain, clean my bike, and purchase some supplies.

Mile 26 – Route 2 on way to Minot, ND. For the first time on the trip haze is appearing in the sky muting the colors of the scenery.

Mile 26: View looking back to Williston, ND from same point as last photograph.

Mile 29: Temporary housing available for workers in Williston 30 miles away. These types of bunkers appeared along side of the Route 2 for 80 miles.

Mile 29: The other side of the road from the last photo showing temporary housing for Williston workers. At breakfast in Williston the waitress told us she was moving away from Williston that evening because she cannot find affordable housing for her and her children after a month’s search.

Mile 34: Oil rig along side of Route 2 between Williston and Ray, ND. You could smell the oil in the air as you passed by numerous oil rigs.

Mile 52: View east on Route 2 approaching Ross, ND. Note: Wide shoulder for biking, but numerous stones and debris which must be avoided.

Mile 62: Another example of an oil platform on the side of Route 2 between Williston and Minot, ND. Note: Another oil platform in the distance.

Mile 71: View looking West on Route 2 near Stanley, ND. Note: Truck is typical of the hundreds that pass every day near Williston, ND.

Mile 86: Scenery changed as I approached Minot with more and more field of green and yellow green (rapeseed/canola).

9 responses

  1. Nancy

    So interesting to see how quickly and dramatically the scene changed from MT to ND! Who knew they had oil in ND! I assumed it was Fracking for gas like we have here in PA. Sorry about your neck pain, seeing your road conditions, I now understand why. Your trip operators should include a free massage along with dinner at Applebees!

    July 8, 2012 at 5:48 pm

  2. annette baesel

    Jerry says “hi”. I just read him your blog. North Dakota looks greener than I would have expected, how nice. we’re still amazed at your journey and glad that things are going so well (but get rid of that pain in the neck!). I talked to peg and I guess she’s going to meet up with you in Ohio when you get there…what a hoot! Wish I could be there too.

    Here’s to smoother shoulders in your near future.

    July 8, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    • Steve

      Annette, good to hear from you. Give my best to Jerry. Looking forward to seeing Peg – it will be a hoot just as you say. Steve

      July 9, 2012 at 9:28 am

    • Steve

      My best to you and Jerry. Look forward to seeing both of you in person when I return.

      July 15, 2012 at 9:33 pm

  3. Michael Cohen

    Steve, we are religiously reading your posts and enjoying your adventures! Congrats on the last two days of marathon riding. You are becoming a real iron man!
    Teddi and Michael

    July 8, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    • Steve

      Teddi and Mike, thanks for the encouragement. I think I am still an aluminum man working on becoming an ironman. Steve

      July 9, 2012 at 9:30 am

  4. Steve,
    Yes you are ironman. I can’t believe the miles you have put in, doing great. Love to read everything you put out here. It is amazing seeing the different places. Take Care, Love Debbie and Paul

    July 9, 2012 at 12:13 pm

  5. Joe Zychowicz

    Steve, I’ve been following your blog daily. As you know I am considering a similar trip next year. You’re my inspiration! Keep truckin’. Silly question: I noticed that you are wearing different cycling shoes (not your yellow ones) in some of your later pics. Any reason why?

    July 10, 2012 at 8:41 am

    • Steve

      Joe, Thanks for the comment. I brought multiple shoes (and multiple everything else) particularly to alternate on raining days so the wet ones could dry out. I haven’t had to wear my yellow shoes yet as I found that taking out the insoles and putting them and my shoes on the heater/air conditioner dries them quickly. I expect to wear my yellow shoes in the next week. I look forward to talking more about your adventure next year when I return. Steve

      July 15, 2012 at 9:31 pm

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