April 7th, Riverton, Wyoming

Hello everyone. I am now in Riverton, Wyoming at my folks place. I rode in here today from Jeffry City.
Did I mention that it was windy? I got a very early start on Wednesday, and was peddling prior to 6 AM, as I left Rawlins. Even so, the wind was howling. As I headed north on US 287, I was blown off of the rode 2 times, but managed to stay on my bike.
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The trick to this is to turn your bike in the direction the wind wants it to go anyway. Once I ended up biking about 50 feet off of the road, but stopped short of the fence.
I was heading north, so the west wind didn’t slow me down as much as it did the previous day, but it was still hard work.
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Maybe some of you know the answer to this. Why should a cross wind be anything but annoying? Why does it **slow you down** so much? A simple vector analysis says it shouldn’t. Just a thought.
The road quality was pretty poor. When the highway dept. repaved it, it stopped short of the shoulder. Fortunately, however, the also ground rumble strips into the side of the road, leaving about a 6 inch strip for cycling. After a while, I got up the nerve to just cycle in the highway, moving over to the side only when a vehicle approached.
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Then, a miracle occured. The wind stopped, except for a slight tailwind. I made incredible time, averaging about 12 mph for a couple of hours. I stopped at Muddy Gap to fill up on supplies, and then turned west to head towards Jeffry City. This took me past a famous landmark called “Split Rock;” a navigation point for early travelers.
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The 22 mile ride to Jeffry City was hard–but only 22 miles hard. I arrived at abouty 6:30 PM, and was all prepared to camp west of the town.
But, then it occured to me: my parents live 53 miles from here. I called them and they agreed to come pick me up, and then bring me back to Jeffry City the next morning. What a deal! I waited out the hour at the Split Rock Cafe and Bar, and sucked down a cold one that I could hear calling me all the way back at Muddy Gap. The bar had a couple of nice folks, and a friendly woman behind the bar. (Thanks for the conversation you guys.)
The next morning, I was back in Jeffry City at about 7:15. I was a bit nervous as the first 20 miles of the ride was due west, into the head winds. However, the day was perfectly calm. After the 20 mile ride, I turned north over Beaver Rim, which offered a stunning view of “Wide Open Wyoming.” It also gives a good view of the Wind River Mountains, where I spent many days as a kid.
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The ride down from Beaver Rim offers a 5 mile stretch of downill that starts off with a 9% grade. When I was younger, I obtained a speed of 55 mph going down this hill! This time, I used breaks to keep it under 35. Age.
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Tomorrow I give two talks: one to a group of about 500 4th and 5th graders, and then to a general audience in the evening. The 4th and 5th graders terrify me. I will let you know how it went!
Scott

9 Responses to “April 7th, Riverton, Wyoming

  • Thanks for the update Scott! Sorry to hear the wind has been so nasty but glad you are moving on. We had some friends visit from Jackson this past Mon, they got most of the way to Denver last Wed before I80 was completely shut shut down. They spent the night in Laramie and were able to move on Thurs morning. Could be worse, I hope there are no more Spring storms in your path! Ride on!!

  • Scott Smith
    2 years ago

    Sounds like good progress today.

    I’m guessing the crosswind wants you to go in a diagonal direction (northeast in your example), but you have to work to stay orthaganol to the wind (north for you).

  • Rich Dixon
    2 years ago

    A mile at a time. A day at a time. A week at a time. And you look back and suddenly you’ve cranked around the world.

  • David Stischer
    2 years ago

    Looks like a good finish to the first week. Good job. Enjoy the weekend.

  • Paul Gilpatrick
    2 years ago

    Great pictures Scott. They bring back memories. Sorry about the road, I had nothing to do with it. Enjoy our hometown. It’s a good thing you missed the dumping of snow they received a week ago! I hope you are passed the worst of the wind.

  • Doug Richards
    2 years ago

    Scott, Don’t feel like you have to ride on the shoulder if it’s covered with weather heaves and not maintained. If the shoulders are bumpy and the roads are empty, ride on the road! Best done if you have a mirror to keep an eye on approaching traffic. As always, safety first…!

  • Dave Bell
    1 year ago

    Scott, it was great seeing you along the road on April 6 about 8 miles east of Jeffrey City. Craig B. provided me this link to track your amazing trip. You have ridden so far since early April. I have a great picture of you which I took that cold and windy day–but the site will not allow me to paste it in here. I wish you well and safe journeys.

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