Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Hell is a Very Rainy Place...

...and full of unseen sharp objects that cause flat tires! Today we had six, yes SIX, flat tires. How is that possible you ask? Well, we are still trying to figure it out. We found very small, sharp rocks each time we changed a flat. And not only did we have the flats, they all happened in what is the WORST thunderstorm I have ever biked in. The lightning seemed like it was right on top of us at times!

Have you ever tried to repair a puncture in the rain? Well, don't even bother. It is impossible. Just as we were trying to figure out our options along came a motor home (often the nemesis of bikers due to their large size, big mirrors, and sometimes inattentive drivers). Alison flagged the driver, they pulled over, and I ran up to them hoping I could just sit inside and get a dry place to patch the tube. The people were from Quebec, spoke little English, but when I showed them the tube they understood. The inner tube gods must have been smiling on us as they had a spare tube just the size we needed!

We got that tire back on (flat number five), and headed down the road in the driving rain and howling wind, just to have another on Alison's bike go flat. We saw a town about a mile ahead. Sonia and I rode there hoping, again, for a dry place to patch the tube. Alison and Gus pushed the bike to town and met us. Again, the tube gods smiled as the rain stopped, the sun came out, we found a small mini-mart to buy a couple of cold Cokes, and I was able to patch the tube. The rest of the ride was a breeze with good tires, a tailwind, and a lot of down-hill.

The quote of the day inspired the title of this post. Sonia said, "Hell must be a very rainy place"!

Today we are in Wolf Point, Montana. Just two more days and we hit state number four, North Dakota.



wombat064 said...

Hi Guys, Phil from Australia again. I have been following your progress and you should be very proud of what you guys are achieving.

Suggest next time you replce tyres use "Scwable marathon plus Hs348".

Anyhow keep peddaling, eyes on the road backs to the breeze


Anonymous said...

Hello Alison, Dan, et. al,
It is good to hear that you are surviving the earth, wind, rain, etc.
After a wonderful graduation weekend for Matt, we are just back from a few fantastic days houseboating on Lake Powell. My quadriceps got a good workout on Saturday when we climbed up "Hole in the Rock" there - at least 1000 ft vertical. Nothing like you are doing every day but I could feel just a bit of your pain!!

Stay safe and know that you are thought of often and missed greatly.


Dr. Chicken lips said...

...sounds like another Montanan tourist trick to me. Are you sure they aren't putting all those sharp rocks there to keep away pesky cross-country bikers? Gus and Sonia are amazing. By flat tire #5, Hannah would have jumped into that RV and had us pick her up in Quebec!

One of our chickens got mauled by a raccoon. Have you ever tried to force feed a chicken blackberry yogurt when it has only half a top beak? Pretty weird.
Rob interviewed for the job yesterday. If all goes as planned, we'll have next summer to travel! Oh, and we've decided to sell the Westfalia Vanagon. Looks like it's all tandem bike touring from here!

Take it easy.


Anonymous said...

You say sharp little stones along the highway,I think of the indians siting along thoes early trails chiping out their arrow points.We never traveled as far north in Montana as your going.My thoughts of Montana are Indian lands-old forts-Chief Joseph's flee for Canada-Custers Battlefield,not canyon country for traps but rolling grassland above the Little Big horn River and night stars so many stars.Happy Trails Bob & Joyce

Peter & Carla said...

Alison and Dan,
We're continuing to follow your trip as we make our own. We're currently in Camden, NJ, headed for Washington today. From my own experiences hiking long distance, I know the frustration of those rainy days with no place to go. We hope for less flat tires in the days ahead. :)

Peter & Carla

Anonymous said...

Dear Superhuman relatives:

We love reading about your adventures and we think about you everyday! Hope the weather stays "clement" (big word-it means pleasant, by the way..tee hee hee) for the rest of your travels. All of us are high and dry on our Muscatine bluff, but I'm sure our downtown area smells worse than you! In three weeks, M, M, and J will be going to Kosovo (YAY I get a quiet CLEAN house for 2.5 weeks!) We'll send you the blogspot address once they start traveling. Take care and we love you all!!!

M,M,D,and J

Anonymous said...

We don't always get a chance to write, but we always love to read about your adventures. You are forever in our thoughts. Love Chandra and family.