Saturday, July 17, 2010

Badlands National Park

What a weird day it was to day. I think the weirdness started right before breakfast.We have to ride up into Badlands National Park for breakfast, which is a couple of miles up the road. I am going to lock my bike to a bench when I notice that my rear tire has a huge bulge. There is a huge chunk of rubber missing and the cords are bulged though it. I spin the tire around and there are half a dozen other spots where chunks of rubber are gone. This is a brand new Armadillo tire which Jim gave me. It has less the 1500 miles! The bike mechanic's trailer is parked in the parking lot but nobody has a key. Then Chris who is one of the staff digs a used tire out of his bike box which is in a different trailer and saves me.
You are suppose to turn left out of breakfast and ride back the way we came to a different turn off but I follow a bunch of riders right. They pull into the visitors center and I ride on. About 10 miles up the road is Patrick and Chris. OK we are lost. We are out of the park and now it is either ride back to breakfast, ride 20 miles down the freeway to Wall, or ride up to Philip. We elect to ride the freeway to Wall. We miss the park but at least we will get to see Wall Drugs, have lunch at picnic, and get a 60 mile ride in. The freeway is straight and level with a nice wide shoulder. I stop to take a picture of a Wall Drug sign and there are 20-30 horses grazing in the field. So let go with a few big dog barks and the horses all come over to the fence. I start riding and the horses follow me for close to a mile down the freeway until they came to a fence.
Wall Drugs is a pretty weird place all by its self. Wall Drugs was started in 1930 and made its fame by offering free ice water and coffee for $0.05. It still has free ice water which tasted pretty good after a hot ride down the freeway, and the $0.05 coffee wasn't bad either. Today it a huge junk shop selling everything imaginable. I picked up a souvenir patch for may self and one for Chris who saved me earlier. I will give it to him at awards, which is tonight.
There are millions of grass hoppers on the road. Some of them have been hit by vehicles. Some of them are just sitting on the road. As you ride some of them jump up and hit your legs. Once in while one will attach itself to your leg. They feel really weird as they are gripping your leg to stay on in your slip stream. I have been trying to run them over. They make a loud squishy noise. It reminds me of the line from Men In Black, when Will Smith steps on a cockroach and says "Was that your auntie"
On the going home scene, the couple on the tandem have had enough. Her foot is sore. Larry our Shakespearean actor had a near heart attack and went to the hospital. The doctors said "GO HOME, NOW" Mark, who is our oldest rider at 81 and who has done three prior coast to coast rides has a bad hip and is out. He hasn't been riding for the last few days and it is getting worse. The recumbent rider has had enough, and is going home. With the two broken arms who have already left the casualties are now at a total of 7 out of an original 46. There are a couple of other injuries, who have been sagging so there could be more to come. Fortunately my luck has been holding -- Touch Wood.
One more day to the end of week four. WOW!

1 comment:

Don said...

Gee, Do you think a GPS would of been handy to of had that day? Sounds like every day is still a adventure. No boring routine yet.
Ride safe.