6/21/20 – Montana, Wyoming
Father’s Day and the longest day of the year started in southeast Montana. The Big Sky was full of clouds – big, thick, fluffy clouds that occasionally let the relentless sun break through, but only for a few moments at a time. What I was lacking in sunshine was made up by a brisk tail wind in the 40 miles to Belle Fourche (pronounced foosh, like swoosh).
As I traveled on the nice wide shoulder of the two lane highway often I would stand up on the pedals and let the wind blow me along. I saw several antelope running alongside me. I clocked one at 24 miles per hour, the maximum speed I achieved. Most of the 40 miles were traveled in Wyoming, the very northeast corner of the state. Judy had dropped me off at the trailhead in Alzada, Montana, the starting point for Sunride 3. She ran ahead in the truck and trailer to await a rendezvous estimated at three hours later. With the tail wind and my active peddling on the bike, using only 20% of my battery capacity, I made it there in two hours.
As I entered the town the dark clouds, which had surrounded me through the day, finally released the rain. I found shelter at the Conoco gas station near the entrance to the restaurant. Restaurant patrons were curious about the bike. I gave a full presentation to a couple of older gentlemen. They were intrigued and motioned a third friend to come over and hear about my solar powered electric bike. One of them said, “What will they think of next?” My answer is lots of things. The sun has all the energy we need for everything we do.
Not wanting to ride in the rain and risk being struck by lightning, we decided to load the bike back onto the rear of the trailer and call it a day. It was a short day but a good day. Sunride will get another chance to show off how far she can go.