Monday, September 17, 2012

Across the first border and into Montana!


I have now completed my 5th day and approximately 500km of cycling. My average travelling speed is around 17km/hr, with a max speed so far of 55.3km/hr (on a hill obviously!!).... I ache in muscles I didn't even know I had; I am completely and utterly exhausted and I LOVE it.
 I crossed the border into Montana at about 9:30AM Saturday the 15th and by around 4:30PM on Sunday I have made it into Great Falls!
In my 5 days of travels so far I have sustained one minor injury, one minor bike injury, and a variety of laughable experiences... here are a few examples.

some funny things that have happened along the way:
  1. boarder security officer: " so you are biking to Nicaragua. Do you plan to go through Mexico or are you going to try to go around it?You should probably think about going around it". You work the border.... you would think you would know that the United States only borders TWO countries. I am on a bicycle; is this a serious question??
  2. Decided to sit beside my bike while stopped to prevent it from blowing over.Great idea Steph.... HOWEVER... you will not prevent it from blowing over, you will just get grease all over your back from the chains and when it DOES blow over; you will be stuck underneath of it and the approximate 110lb of gear it is carrying at the side of the interstate!... NICE ONE!
  3. Got the cops called on me.    In CANADA, when people are worried about you when you are resting at the side of the road... they stop and ask if you are ok. In my experience so far. In the STATES.... they keep going and call 911. It has happened twice now in the 2 days I have been in the US...really?
Tomorrow Monday the 17th will be a day (or at least a half day) of rest to get some logistical stuff done. (get and American phone number, buy some groceries, hopefully talk to the local media...all that fun stuff.Because, up until now all I have done is eat, bike, sleep, repeat.)
 If you are interested in learning about my trip in a bit more detail continue reading:

If anyone is interested... I am not a fan of Lethbridge!
After injuring myself on the way into town and needing stop for the day, I woke up bright and early and was on the road before the sun at about 6:50AM... HOWEVER, not 10 min into the ride (for some unknown reason) the mudflap on my front tire went all wonky and bent out of shape. Causing me me to stop, get out my multi-tool and do some roadside fixing. With everything all fixed and back to normal (or as close as I could get it) it ended up being around 7:30 before I got going again.
 The day went well. Even with my swollen ankle and many long gradual inclines I ended up making it around 90km into Milkriver. Where I treated myself to a burger, tried my best to get in touch with my mum (which I failed at...sorry mum) and settled down for the night in a golf course campsite (free of charge) right next to the highway, ready for an early start.

It has started to get a little harder for me to get up in the morning as my body tires slightly (Monday's rest will do me good). So both of the next two days I ended up with a bit of a later start than I had initially intended. It didn't hold me back however, in these two days I made the most distance as of yet; going 125km on Saturday (from Milk River, Alberta, Can. to Conrad, Montana, US where I camped for the night) and on Sunday riding about 110km from Conrad to Great Falls.
I have enjoyed Montana so far, though it has had many rolling hills. When challenged with an incline I am almost always rewarded with a nice downhill stretch. Whereas with my experience in  Alberta I seemed to do nice slow incline forever without ever being rewarded with a decline!!... If your mother ever told you what goes up must come down.  you can tell her... this is wrong. In Alberta this is not true.
From here on in I might not be making as much ground with each day, as after Great Falls come the mountains. I hope the hills of the last few days have prepared me well.

It may be a little while before I can update again as I am entering an area where i am not sure of the availability of internet access. But I will do my best to update as soon as and whenever possible.

Wish me Luck! And don't forget to keep spreading the word!!... I want donations to increase as I bank km/miles! NOT decrease because it is yesterdays news!!

Here is another link to the fundraising page:

Thanks again guys for all the support!!! Will update as soon as humanly possible!!

-Steph :-)
sunset in milkriver


1 comment:

  1. Hi Steph! This is Sarah--I was on the island in June/July 2011 and worked the bar at Tranquilo. Probably don't remember me, but that's fine ;-) Anyways, I don't know if/how/when you'll be passing through Colorado, but I live in Fort Collins and can offer a place to stay. If FC isn't on the route, I have friends and family all throughout the state who would offer up a clean bed and a warm meal! Let me know if you're interested. Email me at (that's the email address I use for the non-profit I work for...don't ask). Take care and have fun!