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Uphill and Against the Wind - TransAm E-W
By Dave T

Day 65: Virginia City to Dillon - A hang-over of a day

Sunday July 20, 1986, 58 miles (93 km) - Total so far: 3,275 miles (5,271 km)

We (Steve, Stew and I) woke up late, 8am after only a few hours sleep. We went out to breakfast with Jenny, Sue and Lil to the local place. Of course the girls knew everyone in the café and they wouldn't take our money. We sat around the café until 9:45 am because we weren't much interested in riding any distance.

Most of the girls went to University of Montana in Missoula and were on summer break. They knew some friends in Missoula that were renting a big house for summer semester and said they'd call ahead and tell them we were coming. Cool, I guess we are hooked-up in Missoula and some of the girls planned on driving up to hang out with us.

Well we had a good time in Virginia City, we made some new friends, got a hook-up in Missoula.... but it was time to roll. Steve, Stewart and I slowly rolled out of V.C., all with hangovers and shaky legs. We had a slight headwind so we rode in a pace line initially, but being sandwiched between two hung over Texans made me nervous. Exactly 14 miles out of town on a steep grade Stewart and I both broke spokes at EXACTLY the same time. I heard a big loud BING and then Stew said ahhhhh, guess what? I said ditto.

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Stewart making way... Slowly making way...

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Steve from Texas, I mean Flash, because he was only slightly faster than Stewart....

We couldn't believe our luck, 2 broken spokes, 2 different bikes, exact same moment. I got my freewheel off and spoke changed before Stewart had his rear wheel off his bike. Stewart had trouble with his freewheel and we couldn't budge it, even with my wrench. We were at the end of somebody's driveway and right at that moment the owner drove up and asked if we needed any tools. I asked if they had a big vice, he did, so we walked our junk up the driveway to the garage. I took over the operation from the two amateur Texans because they didn't understand how I was going to use the vice. I used the wheel for leverage by putting the cog tool in the vice, clamping the wheel on the cog tool with the skewer and turning the wheel counter-clockwise (old bike shop trick). Bingo the freewheel was loose and I quickly got everything back in working order. We finally departed after 2 hours of goofing around with Stewart's bike.

We finally reached Dillon at 4:30pm and headed right for the Mexican place to eat. I guess riding with 2 guys from Texas means eating a lot of Mexican food. After getting the much need food and water we setup camp in the KOA for $3.50 each. We also camped with the BC group and the US West BC group. We all sat around the evening telling stories of the road.

It was a pretty good day, even with a hangover and the broken spokes.

[Author's Note:] - I can remember this day like it was 20 minutes ago. I can still picture us 3 guys on the side of the road laughing and joking trying to get that freewheel off Stewart's wheel.


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