Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 18 - Riverton to Casper, WY

Today: 120 miles, 2862 feet of climb
Cumulative: 1364 miles, 55314 feet of climb

My morning view today

Today we had a very long ride to Casper. The 120 miles we covered from Riverton is the farthest I have ever ridden in one day and will probably always be so, since I can’t imagine a good reason for riding more than that in a day. Because of the mileage, we did not stop very often for pictures. It was a day to get on the bike and keep on riding until we were done. Even doing that, we were over seven hours in the saddle with a total elapsed time of eight and a half hours including stops and one flat tire (Dave’s).

Jeff, then Mark, then Dave in our pace line

My afternoon view

Team Gelding rode together again, though Mark K hung back after 20 miles nursing a minor injury. With the exception of the very small town of Shosoni at mile 20, there was nothing but high desert scrub (sage, I think) for the entire distance. Looking in front of us, all we could see was the road disappearing over the horizon, miles ahead. The route again was simple to follow. Go east on US26 for 118 miles and get on a bike path for the final two miles to the hotel. The first 20 miles were primarily flat. Then we had 45 miles uphill at a slight 1% grade. Finally, we had about 55 miles downhill at a slight 1% grade. The wind was negligible. It was cold at the start, around 50 degrees, but it warmed up by the second SAG stop at mile 62.

We did see deer and antelope during the day. Also, our first billboard for Wall Drugs. We'll be in Wall, SD on the 13th.

Our first Wall Drug billboard

At mile 77 we stopped to see Hell’s Half Acre. This is a spot where the Indians stampeded buffalo off a cliff, killing them for food.

Hell's Half Acre

It has been a long and tiring day, so the pictures and notes are short today. Tomorrow is a rest day. Yippee. So a good night sleep with no alarm clock is in order. Two new riders will join us tomorrow and one rider (Bob) leaves us tonight since we are at the end of our second “section”.

The bike path in Casper

A note about my Garmin Edge 705. At the beginning of this trip I updated the software on the device. Big mistake. Since then I’ve had problems with it shutting off, sometimes several times each day during the ride. So the mileage on the device is less than we’ve ridden because I have to power it back on, losing the mileage while the device was off.

Today’s route:

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