July 4: Rest day, Glasgow, Montana - The Great North American Sticky Bun Hunt - CycleBlaze

July 4: Rest day, Glasgow, Montana

Romantic Glasgow, as seen from the camp site.
Heart 0 Comment 0

RANDY SET OFF today a couple of hours after we woke up. He has a tailwind and just 80km to Wolf Point, the journey we made so ponderously yesterday, and saw no point in rushing. Two lads riding to the Transplant Games in Minnesota, because the younger has had a kidney transplant, were away before dawn. Recovery from the operation isn't yet total and pace and effort are correspondingly limited.

It is July 4, America's national holiday. The supermarket down the road is open nevertheless, although hardly anybody was in there, and a bright young lad with a smile like a sliced melon asked what the British do all day. "Do you kind of sit round and mope?" He seemed put out to hear that July 4 in Britain has all the significance of April 18, say, or October 9. In other words, none at all.

Amazing how a day off changes things
Heart 1 Comment 0

I half-offended some other Americans today by confessing I had never heard of Lewis and Clarke (and I still can't decide if there's a final E or not) until I began looking into riding across America. It is funny how events so large in one country's history can be unknown in another. July 4 and independence is a colossal point in American history, the birth of a nation, but in British history it is little more than a few lines. Most people have heard of the Boston Tea Party, but only because it has a funny name. American independence is bigger in French than in British history. Not only did Napoleon sell off more than Britain ever owned, clearing his foreign debts and, as he said, creating a navy which would equal Britain's, but the war for American independence was led by Lafayette and the bullets and gunpowder used were French. Added to which victory came when the French bottled up the British in Chesapeake Bay. So, in Britain, American independence and its anniversary pass unnoticed, I'm afraid.

There's no parade here - we'd hoped there would be one - but there will be fireworks tonight. I doubt we shall go or even stay up to see them from the hillside on which we are camped. Fireworks are fireworks anywhere but parades are unique. Sadly, Glasgow got it the wrong way round. Annoying because 20 miles down the road, a village of three streets is having a super parade, we are told. We just don't have the energy to ride on down there.

A lot of the RVs have already left this morning. Our neighbours, from Missouri, sympathised over the headwind. "That's really been blowing," the man said. He was

Glasgow's dinky bike shop.
Heart 0 Comment 0

squat, balding, around 65, with dark glasses, blue shirt and an expressionless face. "Normally we get about 11 miles to the gallon but going into the wind, we were down to seven or eight."

His wife, slim, more lively, with blond hair and neat jeans, drives the van on interstates. "With the wind behind us, we got up to 17 miles a gallon, which is unheard of for us," she said.

Our neighbour on the other side, a chatterbox of the best sort except that we thought he'd never go, said his RV had a 100-gallon fuel tank. The bottles on our bike hold a litre and a half between them!

Rate this entry's writing Heart 0
Comment on this entry Comment 0