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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Montana Week Part 1

Ahh the much awaitedy story of Monday, sorry it has taken me so long but this week has not been going as planned. But that will be in part two.

So Monday began with me not feeling so well but I began the ride anyway. At mile 6 my front tire was flat, after the tube was changed we continued on. At mile 10 it was flat again. This time we found a rock or something stuck in my tire. With no cell signal a new tire was not to be found. So a fellow rider helped by putting a dollar inside my tire so we could make it to the rest stop. It worked alright but using an emergency pump only provides so much pressure on a weak tire.

The sweeps (riders who ride in the back to make sure everyone gets to our destination) and I continued on. We were hopeful of making it to the rest stop. All the stood between us was Lookout Mountain. It wasn't a bad climb but the downhill was a little scary. The road surface was terrible and my tire was pretty flat. As we continued down the hill, I though we were going to make it with no flats to the stop. However, Heather, my fellow riders back tire blew so loud I heard it 150ft in front of her. Heather's tire had a huge hold in it, her rim was chipped and her tube naturally flat. At this point after changing two previous flats we were confident in our tire changing skills, so we let our van pass, so we could change the tire and make it the last eight miles to our stop. However, after 45 minutes we could not get Heather's tire back on the rim. It was about 12:30, 3+hours from starting and we has made it 17 miles into our 66 mile ride. It was not going well.
At this point, we knew we needed to meet with our group and we couldn't leave each other. We decided we needed to hitch a ride.
Jessica, flagged down Jim, who was pulling a truck behind his truck. He agreed to take us the last eight miles. We were a little apprehesive but we piled into the truck with Jim. After starting to drive he began to slow and pull into the rest stop, to be honest I was nervous, I was worried we wouldn't make it to meet our group.
Jim had to go to the bathroom and turned off the truck leaving the keys in the truck. We decided we probably wouldn't die at this point. Although when he returned to the truck it wouldn't start. I nearly panicked but Jim's friends gave him a jump and after what seemed like an eternity we were on the road again and arrive safetly with our group. After a van ride to the next stop and a new tire for both Heather and I had new tires and we completed the last segment of the ride. We rode 35 miles instead of the 66 we were to ride. The day did not go as planned but we would't have met Jim and his friends or had such a grand adventure! More on the rest of the week later.
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