5 Rockstars and a Spacious Malibu - Undaunted Porridge - CycleBlaze

July 1, 2018 to July 3, 2018

5 Rockstars and a Spacious Malibu

Wibaux- to Lewistown- in style!

Pat and Deputy Sheriff Julie to the rescue
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Ron mentioned yesterday that Wibaux's Deputy Sherrif, Julie, offered to give us a ride to Glendive on Sunday, July 1. We checked the forecast for Sunday and saw that winds were coming from the west and building to 20mph by noon. We have come to accept single-digit headwinds as part of daily life, but once they climb above 10mph they start to mess with our desire to be optimistic. They also make it impossible to make any reasonable forward progress.

I called Julie and enthusiastically accepted her very generous offer. She and her husband Pat stopped at our hotel at 9am to load our bikes and gear in their truck and whisk us away to Glendive on their way to church. We enjoyed visiting with them and Julie even shared a few of her tasty Chia Squeeze snacks. 

If we had ridden our bikes the 30 miles to Glendive today it would have taken us 5-6 hours with the headwinds. In Pat and Julie's truck it took 30 minutes. Wibaux Rockstars, they are!!

In Glendive we stayed at the Yellowstone River Inn, as Gay had warned us that the camping options were not excellent. The room was spacious and clean and the rate including tax was $59.85. We try to keep our daily expense under $100, and this made it do-able for July 1st.

We dedicated most of our day in Glendive to strategizing. We had heard a few warnings about the road ahead and wanted to see what we could do to stay safe. Susan and Dale, who we met on our way to Bismarck, told us to only consider the 66-mile ride from Circle to Jordan if we had tailwinds. The hills were brutal and there was nothing between the 2 towns except for one rest area. Gay is a few days ahead of us now and said it was the most difficult ride he'd ever done. (Remember - he is a seasoned endurance athlete.) To start off the ride, his only lodging option in Circle was camping and he spent a harrowing night with thunderstorms and tornado warnings. He said the 2 partial walls on the picnic shelter were what saved his tent from being ripped to shreds. 

Needless to say, none of this sounded like our idea of retirement bliss, so we had to look at alternatives. In our first 36 days on the road we had to seek shelter from night time storms 5 times. We do not have any interest in riding in a large desolate area where there are no shelters when the next storm hits.

The options we came up with:
1. Rent a Uhaul truck in Glendive and drive it to Lewistown (fail - Glendive Uhaul is closed for the week of 7/4)
2. Ron contacted his former co-worker, Carrie, who used to work in Glendive to see if anyone she knows could drive us in the direction of Miles City, where the Uhaul office is open.
3. Ride an alternate route to Miles City paralleling I-94 and stop rent a Uhaul there to get back to our route in Lewistown.

So what happened? Carrie's friend Eva, a respiratory therapist in Glendive, offered us a ride to Miles City, but we found out that the Uhaul office there only has trailers. That wouldn't work, so Ron came up with option 4. He called Eva and asked if she would be willing to drive us to Jordan. And she said yes! Eva and Carrie are yet two more awesome human beings on our growing list of Rockstars!

Eva used her day off get us past the tough parts of eastern Montana.
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Paula LentowichYou really have encountered some of the nicest people!
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1 year ago
Ron SuchanekTo Paula LentowichYes it's been great!
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1 year ago

While we were in Eva's comfortable truck on the way to Jordan, our fears about the Circle-Jordan stretch were confirmed. Giant steep rolling hills on a narrow road with no shoulder. For 66 miles. It was much more enjoyable to spend a couple of hours chatting with Eva, and we arrived in Jordan with a happy sigh of relief.

Gay arrived in Jordan about an hour later in a Chevrolet Malibu to shlep us to Lewistown! We had talked to him yesterday and he was taking some days off in Lewistown, and offered to rent a car, so Ron told him to go ahead and we'd pay for it. We drove the 129 miles to Lewiston, checked into the Trails End Motel and went to dinner at Harry's Diner. I had halibut, which was overpriced at $10, and they each had the all you can eat jambalya. The temperature dropped to 40 degrees and it rained and hailed. What the hell??? But we were warm inside our rooms. 

One sad note, we had another tire casualty. This time my rear tire was punctured by Jen's chainring during transport. Lucky we had the spare. So you know what this means, another tire scavenger hunt!!!!! 

It takes a village to move the Grumbys and our bicycles across challenging terrain! There are many touring cyclists, like Gay, who just put their heads down and ride. What's important for anyone riding their bicycle over large distances is to work with their individual risk tolerance and physical limitations. It's a tremendous learning experience and we are very grateful to everyone who has helped us stay comfortable and safe. 

Another freak tire casualty.
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Ron SuchanekTo Paula LentowichYeah shit!!!!!
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1 year ago
We took the wheels off of the bikes and wedged them in the Malibu.
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We took Gay to lunch on Jordan. This burger was delicious. And malicious.
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Mountains named after my mom and Jen's mom.
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Judy & Sharon Thieme-RahnSweet. Let me know if you run across a Sharon Peak. I have Miya and Jonathan on that hunt as well. They climbed James Peak today. I'm jealous of both Judith's and James.
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1 year ago
Jen GrumbyTo Judy & Sharon Thieme-RahnI'll let you know!
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1 year ago
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Three Amigos back together again
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Paula LentowichAre you having fun yet?
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1 year ago
Ron SuchanekTo Paula LentowichNo, I think I want to go back to work.
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1 year ago
Rate this entry's writing Heart 7
Comment on this entry Comment 2
Sue PriceI totally agree with your sentiments about finiding your own groove with a tour. We can't all be 100 mile a day riders who will cycle through anything. I love reading about people like this and they inspire me, but I know that I can't emulate them. It takes the pressure off when you make decisions based on what's best for you, not what someone else would have done. So glad you two are finding a way to make this tour awesome!
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2 years ago
Ron SuchanekTo Sue PriceYeah we have settled on 35-50 miles being a happy spot for us, depending on winds, hills, etc. I agree, high milers can inspire but we don't try to match them.
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2 years ago