Friday, July 9, 2010

Day 19 - Casper, WY

Today: 8 miles, 309 feet of climb (unofficial and off route)
Cumulative: No change from Day 18.

Downtown Casper and the North Platte River

I had a relaxing day in Casper. Everyone needed it, having ridden 18 of the last 19 days from the Pacific Ocean.

Ragged Edge Sports and Mountain Sports bike stores

The day started out without an alarm clock. Hurrah. A leisurely continental breakfast at the hotel followed. Jeff and I then mounted our bikes for an eight mile ride to Casper’s two bike shops, Ragged Edge Sports and Mountain Sports. The former was much better and I got two water bottles and a new Armadillo tire for my rear wheel. Jeff picked up a few supplies for other riders.

A clean bike is a happy bike

Once back at the hotel it was time to clean my bike. Thanks to John, who let me use his degreaser and chain lube, my drive train is looking very clean for the next leg to Sioux Falls. Coupled with the new back tire, I’m ready to go again.

Sculpture by Chris Navarro

20% Chance of Flurries

Midday, it was a trip downtown for some Mexican Food and the movie Predators, which was fairly good.

The Rialto and Fox Theaters

When we rode into town yesterday, Casper didn’t appear to be much of a city. But once we had a chance to ride and walk around it for a day, it grows on you. They have a very vibrant downtown, several blocks long and several blocks wide. Every store is open and there doesn’t appear to be the urban sprawl so prevalent in the southeast. There are four nice movie theaters, some historic and dating from the 1920’s, all within a few blocks of each other. The North Platte River runs through town, there is a bike path along the river, and people can go tubing too. There are sculptures throughout town by sculptors such as Chris Navarro.

We met the owner of Ranch Outfitters, a store where they sell cowboy boots and hats galore. There were a dozen customers in the store, all in cowboy hats with large belts on.

And then there was Randy. Have you seen the TV show “Parking Wars” which is shot in Philadelphia? The show is about the people who write parking tickets and boot and tow your car when illegally parked. In Casper, Randy is the whole show. He writes all of the parking tickets, which are $15 each (up recently from $5 each). They have 2 (not a misprint) car boots in Casper. Two. And like Philadelphia, Randy has been called some names (which I won’t print here) by a local attorney who was recently ticketed. He is on the police force, a very interesting guy, and also bikes a few times a week to work. In fact he averages 200 miles per month riding. I don’t know if Randy will show up tomorrow, but we told him to be at the Ramada Inn at 6:00AM to ride with us partway to Lusk. That would be great if he showed up.


Well, it is time to gear up for another eight days of riding. The day off was great, but I’m looking forward to new sights tomorrow as we head east. The alarm clock is again set for 5:00AM. See you tomorrow.

Today’s route:

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