July 14, 2001 - Mike and Marilyn's 2001 TranAmerican Bike Tour

Mike and Marilyn's
2001 TransAm Bike Trip
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July 14, 2001

TRANSAM 2001 > Wyoming

Riverside to Rawlins, Wyoming. (64 mi.) Mile 2692

Crawlin to Rawlins

The riding has become easier as we get stronger each day, and I look forward to pedaling down the road each morning to see what lies ahead. We stopped for breakfast at Lollipops, a cute, trendy cafe in Saratoga, where the portions were so small that Mike looked like Oliver Twist taking his oatmeal bowl up to the counter and asking for more. "Please, sir, could I have some more. I have to ride 60 miles today."

Breakfast portions in Saratoga were too small

We appreciate those who have wished tailwinds for us because it seems to be working. The first half of our route today paralleled the North Platte River, a noted fly fishing destination, and also a historical Outlaw Trail, used by outlaws like Butch Cassidy. We counted over 20 antelope, some close to the road, watching us ride by with their big brown eyes. Even when I tried to keep pedaling nonchalantly, as soon as they heard me try to unzip my handlebar bag to get my camera, they puffed up their white rumps in alarm and demonstrated how fast antelope can run.

Sky blue and sage green: Our route crosses a historic Pioneer Overland Trail near here.

The final miles of our route were along I-80, a very busy Interstate with a wide shoulder. Seven miles of this were under construction, squeezing 4 lanes of divided highway into a dangerous 2-way. We took the recommendation of other cyclists, including Ed from Yorkshire, who advised us to "nip on over" to the part under construction. This made for seven miles of paved bike path.

Avoiding dangerous I-80 traffic by riding in the construction zone.

A rare sighting - Marilyn was seen without her high visibility cycling vest for a short time in the traffic-free construction zone.

The Sinclair oil refinery outside of Rawlins

First thing we did in Rawlins was head to the bike shop to have Mike's rear wheel trued after it was re-spoked, only to find that the bike mechanic had called in ill with Saturday morning "allergies". This is the third time this trip that we have stopped at a bike shop to find the mechanic gone for the day. Maybe this was for the best since the shop did not have a real truing stand. Mike used the bike repair stand to check it himself, and the wheel looks great. Jared, who re-laced the wheel at Great Adventures bike shop in Breckenridge, teaches wheel building and has a lot of experience with the abuse mountain bike wheels and spokes can take. We are optimistic that Mike's spoke problems are solved but will continue to keep an eye on it.

Rawlins has a colorful Wild West past, but we didn't make it to the museum. Instead, we're hanging out in the campground lounge right now, relaxing as this afternoon's thunderstorm rages overhead. Now we'll see if we can upload this journal entry using one of the phone lines on an unoccupied RV site.

This evening's storm front. The objective each afternoon is to get to shelter before the dark part catches us.

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