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Tour Route

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Day 18, Buffalo to Gillette

Today was the interstate day, after a breakfast at the same restaurant in downtown Buffalo we headed out. We took our time. It was going to be a fast day on the interstate to Gillette, about 71 miles. Take a look at the photos, one is all the bikes in front of the restaurant before breakfast followed by the bikes that remained as we were leaving. With 71 flat miles in front of us and all day to do it, why rush?

Within a couple of miles from the start, we were on the interstate heading almost directly East, with a tail wind mostly woooo-hoooo.

Riding the interstate has it's good points and bad points. The best part of riding the interstate is the wide, well maintained shoulder. We've been riding on some pretty chopped up roads on this trip and the shoulder was smooth and wide enough for riders to ride side by side. We were also lucky that the traffic was very light. Of the traffic that was on the interstate, many of the drivers took the left hand lane staying a lane away from us. All in all a very nice arrangement. The issue with the interstate is the remains of blown out truck tires. While driving I don't normally notice it, but when truck tires blow the chucks of rubber and the steel belts get swept on to the shoulder. The steel belts consist of tiny, almost invisible wires that quickly puncture our thin bike tires. The tires remains are called "road snakes". Before replacing the tubes, sometimes it takes a while to locate the tiny wire and remove it from the tire before we can get going again. As we were riding, the warning of "snakes" was shouted often today.

Jim got caught by one of these snakes this morning. As the tire was being repaired, we had time to take photos of a oil well that was being drilled near by, right off the interstate.

Lunch was off the interstate and as we passed under the overpass, I spotted bird nests attached to the bottom of the overpass. They were made of dried mud. I wonder how they make the nests. On either side of the overpass, the birds were making low passing dives, perhaps catching insects.

As I said earlier, we had a nice tail wind most of the day and the climbs were pretty gentle most of the day so we made really good time getting in by 2PM. I did not get away cleanly from the snakes. About 4 miles from the end of the ride, I noticed that my front tire was getting kinda soft and pretty soon I needed to stop. With the end only a couple of miles to go, I pumped it up again and proceeded on. Fortunately the leak was slow and I make it to the end before needing to pump it up again.

After setting up our tents and showering we had enough time to shop for a new computer at Walmart. Philippe had decided that to keep his blog up to date that he needed his own computer and not rely on library computers. Being the resident computer geek, I was happy to lend any advice that I could give him. The four of us, Jim, Lauri, Philippe and me cycled to the Walmart and select a note book computer.

Over a nearby bar, we powered up the computer and configured it. After dinner Philippe and me headed to a Starbucks to get on-line and download some additional programs and to practice how to access the wireless access points. On the way back to the school, we stopped at Walmart one more time to pick up a wireless mouse and computer cover for the new netbook. You should check out Philippes blog (, I enjoy reading his insights.

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