Monday we rode from Livingston, Montana south along the Yellowstone River to Gardiner, WY. Scenery was spectacular, but a little hazy from smoke. Traffic for the first one third of the day was busy, really had to pay attention, with little shoulder. Head wind all day for 52 miles with a 1 to 2% incline all day as well which does not sound like much but added together made it a challenge.
Team did really well. Tom, Dave Cutler, and Mike Blum out in front by 4 or 5 miles, everyone strong, Phil moving up and down the road in the RV doing an excellent job of support, keeping spirits up, telling good stories along the way. Kevin is the quiet rock (well not so quiet!) who handle the 47′ front to back van and trailer like a pro. Oh I forgot! He IS a pro. Kevin and I walked down to the Yellowstone River after the ride for a swim in the Yellowstone which was beautiful and a cool end to a hot day.
Yesterday we ended up changing our plan in a major way. When we got up and went out at 6:30 am the smoke was so heavy that we could smell it and could hardly see the mountains through the haze. Plus, the wind was expected to blow all day again from the south but instead of 14 – 18 as on Monday, at 20 -25 gusting to 30. Mostly because of the smoke we cut the ride from 66 miles and headed in the van and the SUV through Yellowstone and on to the Grand Tetons after a relaxed breakfast at a local place.
Mike, Tom, Rob Short, and Dave Cutler got out at 36 miles from Jackson and rode in. The rest of us met John Burchett and his brother in law Bill Fausone and our good friend Mike Roemer at the 28 mile mark and rode the rest of the way – mostly along an excellent wide bike trail from Jenny Lake to the hotel in Jackson. Could hardly see the Tetons but the air quality was good enough to be safe. The wind from Jenny Lake to Jackson was as predicted from the south at 20 – 25 gusting to 30…a challenge but once again everyone did well flying along in the bright Andean Health jerseys designed by our good friend and core member of the AHCT Mark Betourne. Huge huckleberry milkshakes for the team down near the square took away all of the heat and wind!!
Dinner last evening at John Burchett’s sisters and Bill Fausone’s just outside of town. Beautiful place and great company. Huge thanks to Mary and Bill and John!
So getting ready to shortly head south for 65 miles. Will check the smoke and see…Southerly wind again all day, but only 6 – 8 mph so that will be a relief.
Everyone doing really well. This is an amazing group of cyclists and good folks – everyone paying close attention to Covid precautions. Everyone healthy and riding fast and with great fun!