vrijdag 5 augustus 2011

Friday,  5th of August, 9th day of ROAM.

The last two days were pretty easy with mostly descending. Of course the days before were mostly climbing and they were no short rides either. Apart from the fact that there was simply no time to keep the blog, the Internet is non-existent too. No wifi on the campgrounds and 3G from T-mobile is failing at the moment. I can be called BTW on my USA SIM, when you have my number.
We are now in Billings and Internet is sometimes very good and then all of the sudden it's gone, so I'm writing off-line now and hopefully I get it online.

Anyway, the landscape is just beautiful along creeks and rivers,  mountains and farmland. The fauna is someting else here, deer and moose in the city, rabbits. I nooticed a prairiedog right along the street, looking out it's hole in the ground. I jokingly said to Jim Snyder from RideSouth: "it's Groundhog Day". He immediately understood what I meant. The scenery may change a lot, but our routine is basically the same every day: we break up camp, eat Breakfast that we bought the day before, start riding a long stretch to the coffeestop, where we eat and have our first coffee, we ride on to the lunch-stop and get a copious meal and ride on to the campground and find some restaurant to have another huge meal.  Before or after we set up camp and get a hot shower. I wash my clothes under the shower. I have only one short bikepants and it's mostly time not completely dry in the morning. It simply dries on my body while I ride. The cooling effect is welcome, even in the early morning. 
This all is not to say that I get bored. On the contrary: I feel either exstatatic or immensely tired. Either way I do not get bored, Ugh.
Just before the Kims' Marina (Helena) I was very, very weak. I have a powermeter in my Mango Tour and while I typically output 145Watts on average throughout the day, I had only 50Watts to give on the last short, but steep uphills. The ride had been long, with much climbing to do and I had had not enough electrolytes. Maybe it would not have mattered much, since ALL riders were beat.

Very impressing is the sky of Montana. The clouds are very high and from the passes you can look very far. I'm getting dialed in with the heat. It was not extremely hot this Friday, but nevertheless I could see a huge thunderstorm above our destination (Billings KOA campground).
Big Sky Montana
I took it very easy to give the storm time to pass ;-) and that seemed to work. In fact I took it easy because I know that dealing with a thunderstorm can be exhausting when you need to improvise, find shelter and sit out the storm. Outrunning a storm never works. You just get exhausted and when you need the energy, you're out of it. Most riders made it to the campground in time before the thunderstorm to burst, but David Egglestone got caught in the middle. He was picked up by a SAG vehicle, but before they could reach him, he got pretty cold and tired. He had to deal with hail stones, just like Bram a few days earlier. Bram was brought to the campgorund by a friendly car-park owner. That's something else eh?

When the storm began at the campground I was just setting up my Hennessy hammock. I was just putting on the rainfly when the wind picked up, flapping the unfastened rainfly around, and i I felt some drops. I knew what to do, get the rainfly off , throw it in my Mango, close the Mango and run with my stuff to the nearest sheltering place, which happened to be the Barbeque spot from the campground. After studying the fierce thunder for a while, during which a huge branch was ripped from a tree, I decided to take a shower. When I got out, the sun was already shining again and I could finish setting myself up. No time lost, HA! I treasure every moment of this wonderful trip. This blog is not only for my readers, but not in the last place for myself as a sort of diary. 
Likewise, I started to talk into my camera. Vlogging, so to speak. I talk about what comes to mind, it can be about the environment, a piece of my equipment or anything else concerning ROAM. I hope to be able to upload at least a bit of these Vlogs on my YouTube account (twilwel), but that can only be done on rest days. Sunday will be a rest day and I'll do my best to keep you posted. 

3 opmerkingen:

  1. It is wonderful to hear your account of your journey through Montana. Keep up the good spirits and have a victorious ride!

  2. Harry, that was an excellent read. I look forward to hearing more about adventure.

  3. Thank you for the thoughtful, in depth post of your adventure. Though I am not there in person my thoughts are with you and the other ROAMers, every moment of this monumental event.