It was further complicated by the fact that we needed to load all the bikes on the RV because there was a mile of gravel that we rode on yesterday that we DID NOT want to repeat. We finally got to the starting point at a little after 8:00 am. Pretty impressive all things considered. We were riding a high for about the 15 miles......then it happened.
Craig mentioned that he heard a little “noise” coming from the back wheel and wanted to pull over and fix it. No problem. About a mile later it persisted, and he wanted to fix it again. No problem. Starting up a hill, Craig pulled over and started walking his bike. Big problem. He took his back wheel off and discovered the hub catastrophically failed and there was no way to fix it. Major problem.Use the spare bike? Nope, Jack needs that until his comes in. Let’s go to a bike shop? Nope, its Sunday and everything is closed. Then Skip got the winning idea. “I’m leaving halfway through today’s ride so just take my bike.” BOOM! Obviously, there are some minor tactical issues like returning Skips bike to Missoula and Craig retrieving his disabled bike from us in Billings. Oh, and we are currently on the side of the road at Canyon Ferry Lake but hey, those are just details. The big picture is we can continue riding!
Sadly, we had to say good-bye to Skip and Betty. Cheryl and I so appreciated them taking the time from their busy schedule this week and joining us. So much fun.
So now the peloton is three (not sure that constitutes a peloton but I don’t care). Jack on the spare, Craig on Skips bike and I’m on my bike. There is no room for error now. The ride ended up being excellent. We were on HWY 284 with some light traffic and some initial hills but at about mile 40 things leveled off and we had what felt like a 20 mph tailwind. I was in shock because whenever there is wind it is ALWAYS a headwind. I think the biking gods felt sorry for us.
I wasn't going to believe it until I'd seen it but YES we have Jack's bike. Now he just needed to put it back together. Jack is a master with bikes so that was no trouble at all, even with Craig and I heckling him from the cheap seats (ie lounge chairs). Well done Jack. Just in time for tomorrows ride in what should be the hardest since the infamous Biggs debacle.
Craig, Jack and I will start together and then Craig will peel off and bike to White Sulphur Springs while Jack and I continue to Martindale.