I woke about 5:00 am as there was a crash of rain against the tent but by the time the alarm went 20 minutes later the rain had stopped.
I was determined to get out early as the forecast was not very good. So by 6:55 I was down the road. However I didn’t get very far before the head winds hit and by the time I was at the 12 mile mark I was grinding as hard as I could at 8 -10 mph. The big pelaton caught me at about the 18 mile mark. By now I am pretty close to spent and doing 6-8 mph. I don’t generally ride with a big group but the head winds were so strong there was no other way but to join them. It was a pretty disorganized group but at the first water stop at 21.2 miles Barry suggested a two line clockwise rotating pace line. In this group the left lane which is the leeward side rides a little faster than the right line which is the windward side. When the first rider in the left lane passes the right lane he cuts over. The tail rider in the right lane joins the left lane. This worked really well and we were able to work together and ride at 9-10 mph. There must have been 20 riders in the group. Even doing this it was tremendously hard work and it took us 2.5 hours to to make picnic at 43.4 miles. Not only was it hard work but it was nerve wracking being in such a large group and only a few inches apart.
Picnic was up on this big hill where a land slide had created a big lake. The wind was howling across the overlook and it didn’t take long before I was frozen. This is despite the fact that lunch was a delicious hot chilli and hot chocolate. So I jumped on the bike and with only 30 miles to go was on my way.
The road turned east and the head wind in the other valley so it was much easier going. We had done 90% of the climbing for the day but when we came to the smallest hill I was so spent that I had to grind up it. I was with Ken C and had just remarked that it was only 6 miles to camp when I got a puncture. After fixing my flat we cruised into West Yellowstone where we treated ourselves the quart bottles of chocolate milk.
Not much for pictures as the day was gray and overcast so even though the country side was spectacular I kept the camera in the case. Plus when you are in a tight group there is no room for fooling with a camera.
West Yellowstone is a neat tourist trap kind of a town and we are in a beautiful camp ground just on the edge of town. Plus we are headed into town for a great supper at one of the local dinning rooms which Greg (tour leader) has arranged. Perfect I am famished.
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