Pollock to Bismarck- A strategic high mile day - Undaunted Porridge - CycleBlaze

June 22, 2018

Pollock to Bismarck- A strategic high mile day

Lewis and Clark point the way
Heart 5 Comment 0
Jen has another idea....
Heart 5 Comment 0

When we left Pollock at 7am our intention was to ride about 37 miles to the Beaver Creek Recreation Area. The forecast was for gentle tailwinds, and we anticipated an easy day.

More pasture art outside of Pollock
Heart 4 Comment 0

We sailed through the remaining miles of South Dakota with minimal effort and into state number six, North Dakota. Before long, we encountered a new breed of livestock, the American Bison. Many people call these wooly-necked creatures buffalo, but true buffalo are native to Africa and Asia. And the horns on a buffalo look like Marlo Thomas' hair in That Girl. Remember: buffalo - Marlo Thomas hair; bison - Peg Bundy hair.

Like the old Johnny Horton song said, North! To Dakota, you go north the rush is on! Oh, wait...
Heart 6 Comment 0
Heart 4 Comment 0
Peg Bundy- Bison hair
Heart 5 Comment 1
Dee Fortehahahahaha!
Reply to this comment
2 years ago
That Girl- Buffalo hair
Heart 6 Comment 3
Bruce LellmanI'm so glad I know this distinction now. Thank you. I'll never forget.
Reply to this comment
2 years ago
Dee Fortethis is so funny - and a great way to remember!
Reply to this comment
2 years ago
Ron SuchanekTo Bruce LellmanJen likes to educate the public.
Reply to this comment
2 years ago

Anyhow, on we rode through the gently rolling hills of North Dakota on route 1804. Gay was in the lead (as usual - he is a rockstar endurance athlete!), and before long I saw him talking with 2 touring cyclists on a tandem. Dale and Susan from Kearney, NE were heading east on the Lewis & Clark route and we all stopped to chat for 20 minutes or so. It was great to run into other cyclists and I was so happy to finally meet another woman out riding the Lewis & Clark route.

Dale and Susan from Kearney, Nebraska
Heart 5 Comment 0

They shared some very helpful information about the road ahead, and let us know that the convenience store we were expecting at Beaver Creek was closed for remodeling. We could probably get by with the food we had, but this put a little hitch in our provision planning. We agreed that we would stop for lunch at the campground and evaluate our options.

This was our original intended campsite
Heart 1 Comment 0

With building tailwinds, a lack of available foodstuffs, and rain in the forecast we decided that our best bet was to continue riding to Bismarck. It would be a long and arduous 82-mile day, but we would be closer to hotel bail-out options in the case of extended rains, and the forecasted high for the day was a tolerable 85 degrees. Plus, we would have a tailwind assist that I estimated would boost our average speed up to 15mph.

What I missed in this calculation is the 10-mile section near the end where our direction of travel would change from north to mostly west. With winds from the south, this meant riding rolling hills with building crosswinds - right when our energy levels most needed any help the winds could provide.

After our lunch at Beaver Creek, we took one last break for 2nd lunch at Glencoe Presbyterian Church. The final 25 miles to General Sibley Campground outside of Bismarck were pretty tough, and our total travel time for the day ended up being 11 hours. We were ready for pizza; lots of pizza!

We found a spot to pitch our tents near the 1 power outlet so that we could take turns maintaining a minimum charge on our various devices. And we ordered 3 pizzas from AB Pizza, a medium pepperoni each for Ron and Gay and and a small veggie for me. We had no problem devouring every last crumb, and by 9:30 were ready to crash.

We knew that since it was a Friday night at an urban-area campground there would probably be a fair amount of drunken nonsense. But the park's quiet hours began at 10pm and we figured we were tired enough to sleep through anything. 

What we did not know was that Bismarck was hosting the largest softball tournament in the country, and 500 softball teams converged on the city the same day we rode in. The most drunken rowdy buffoonish of the lot was sharing our camp space. These people were loud enough to wake the most profoundly-affected narcoleptic. And apparently the park security guy was off duty. Needless to say, we didn't sleep much.

Good thing we had a mostly-awesome ride and found a pizza place that would deliver to our campground!!

Impressive scenery in North Dakota
Heart 8 Comment 1
Dee Forteso pretty!
Reply to this comment
2 years ago
These are commonly called buffalo, but they are bison. Either way, they are delicious.
Heart 5 Comment 2
Li LaMore bovine. Are there buffalo burgers at any of your stops? Stay safe
Reply to this comment
2 years ago
Ron SuchanekTo Li LaWe haven't had any buffalo burgers yet but I expect we'll start seeing some pretty soon.
Reply to this comment
2 years ago
We stopped at this cool old Presbyterian church about 25 miles of Bismark for a snack, butt and water break.
Heart 4 Comment 0
The plan was to ride from Pollock, right side of the top map, to Beaver Creek, center of the second.
Heart 1 Comment 0
We ended up in Bismarck, so we completed 3 1/2 maps in one day. A new Grumby record.
Heart 1 Comment 0

I have to say that even though the ride was tough, we are all proud to have done 82 miles on fully loaded bikes. Although it might not seem like it some days, we are definitely getting stronger. 

Statistics:.                           

  • 81.9 miles
  • 5119 elevation gain
  • Average moving speed 11.1
Pizza delivery at the campground!!
Heart 2 Comment 0

Today's ride: 82 miles (132 km)
Total: 884 miles (1,423 km)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 10
Comment on this entry Comment 15
Scott AndersonBismarck! Six states!! 82!!!

How is Jen’s injury healing?
Reply to this comment
2 years ago
Ron SuchanekTo Scott AndersonYeah it seems crazy that we are in Bismark, 882 miles so far. Frankly,I am lookng forward getting into the mountains, especially after seeing the views you have been experiencing. Climbs and all.

The wound is good. She had it checked in Pierren by a doctor who gave it a thorough 45 second evaluation. It's healed but will leave a nasty scar.
Reply to this comment
2 years ago
Bruce LellmanTo Ron SuchanekBut scars are cool. They are evidence of a life well-lived and experienced. Unfortunately I never scar so everyone thinks I have had a boring life.
Reply to this comment
2 years ago
Ron SuchanekTo Bruce LellmanYour scar-free complexion belies a life filled with intrigue and adventure. You're like Batman.
Reply to this comment
2 years ago
Mas KenahcusType your comment here
Reply to this comment
2 years ago
Mas KenahcusTo Mas KenahcusI enjoy reading the posts by the both of you. I can't decide who's better at this point....keep them coming.

Btw, what you eat should always be mentioned with pics if possible!! Have safe travels
Reply to this comment
2 years ago
Ron SuchanekTo Mas KenahcusThanks for reading and the comment, Cuz.
We have been debating the food picture thing but will follow your suggestion.
Reply to this comment
2 years ago
Suzanne GibsonI just discovered your journal - and I'm hooked!
Great pics and journaling, thanks for taking the time to keep your readers happy!
Suzanne
Reply to this comment
2 years ago
Jen GrumbyTo Suzanne GibsonThanks for taking time to read! We appreciate your support.
Reply to this comment
2 years ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Mas KenahcusAgreement from the Grampies on the post pics of food thing. One of the most important topics in the life of a touring cyclist is "what's to eat and when do we get to eat it?".
Reply to this comment
2 years ago
Rachael AndersonYou guys rock!
Reply to this comment
2 years ago
Ron SuchanekTo Steve Miller/GrampiesTrue. We've both been food obsessed since we started
Reply to this comment
2 years ago
Ron SuchanekTo Rachael AndersonThanks! You guys have been rocking the climbs over there!
Reply to this comment
2 years ago
Judy & Sharon Thieme-RahnWay to go achieving an 82 mile ride! Next stop a century ride :-) - Sharon & JuJu(Mom)
Reply to this comment
1 year ago
Ron SuchanekTo Judy & Sharon Thieme-RahnBite your tongue!
Reply to this comment
1 year ago