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Day 50: Butte, MT July 6, 2007

Posted by jonpierson in Uncategorized.

Hello from Butte!

 Got a few care packages this week.  Thank you Liz, Rob and “cdr-head” from my friends at Terrapin.  Lots of food, photos, and music for the road!  Yay!

So, worry not, but I did take a spill this week.  I was going down the steepest downhill so far, and my rear brakes weren’t locked in tight enough.  Basically I rounded a corner way too fast and wrecked, got thrown about 12 feet from the bike and destroyed my front tire.  It was tacoed.  I was able to McGyver the wheel to rideable condition and then went about 200 miles on a wheel that most would have considered complete trash.  I consider myself an “acrobatic faller” so most of the damage occurred to the bike, mainly the front wheel.  Luckily my buddy Ryan witnessed the whole thing and waited patiently while I got things fixed.  This delay caused both me and Ryan to fall behind the group about half a day.  No big deal.  We caught up to them this morning.  Not to mention I now have a new front wheel and a not so sore set of shoulderblades!

I got a lot done today here in Butte, and have been trying hard to get more recent photos onto the blog, but this computer isn’t having it.  So a text update will just have to do. 

I am 420 miles from the border of Canada, and it’s only another 220 from there to my endpoint of Banff, Alberta!  At 50 miles a day I’m looking at another 2 weeks.  I can certainly handle it.  I have scaled my weight down tremendously.  I switched to a lightweight “dentaured alcohol” stove.  Just cooked some Annes mac and cheese this afternoon and it worked perfectly.  I’ll just have to dial in the amount of fuel to pour in so I don’t waste much cooking.  I have sent home all the extra weight ie; books, unnecessary clothing, even my tent (I now use a tarp/bivy.)  I weighed everything at the bike shop today.  I’m sitting at about 30 lbs for the bike, and 40 lbs worth of gear and food.  Thats very reasonable.  It’s a lot better than most of my companions who carry excessive items.  I am enjoying the opportunity to live as simply as possible.  I basically have my bike gear and my camp gear and that’s it.  No extra luxuries.  I will enjoy those when I return home.  My main concern is that I bike well, sleep well and enjoy every mile.  And so far, I am.  I was hard after the fall, but I am resting here in Butte and will be back at it tomorrow.

In other Great Divide news, my buddy Josh Elder www.joshuaelder.com just got RABIES!  He was attacked by a rabid raccoon near the steepest climb of the entire trip!  Very random.  He is now on a crazy schedule of shots and carries napkins everywhere to keep his foaming mouth at bay.  His buddy Ryan may or may not cut his trip short due to lack of funds.  Michael, Lee, and David have pressed onward and I will hopefully catch them in the next few days.  Trying to catch other riders out here is no fun.  It’s also not a lot of fun riding at others pace, especially if they want to ride faster.  It take alot away from the ride.  So I ride at my pace, and I suppose that’s why I enjoy going solo.  I would like to avoid it, but I may have to do a few more solo days on the trail this week.  I hope not. 

So, thats it for now.  Thanks for keeping up with the blog.  Stay in touch and please feel free to leave comments!



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