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MC & Aimee go C2C
By Peter McLaren - (contact)

Day 67: Darby to Missoula

Tuesday August 16, 2011

Darby to Missoula

Darkness hindered our early departure. We ate breakfast in the bunkhouse, then decamped.

Traffic on the road to Stevensville was heavy as traffic diverted from the 93. We picked up the bike path to Lolo.

With the bonk looming we swung into the Harvest Market for sugary stuff. Donuts more specifically. I chose one with a lemon filling with a texture and taste suspiciously like Swarfega (JoJo).

Refueled we sped into Missoula past a shop which sold guns, ammunition and beer making kits. It had a fifteen foot long assault rifle above the door way. It caught my attention.

We rode straight to the Adventure Cycling Association's headquarters downtown. These are the guys who devised and mapped the our TransAm route back in 1976. We ate ice creams from their freezer and drank sodas from their fridge.

We had our Polaroid photo added to the mugshots of travelers. Johnny who stayed the night with us in Jeffrey City had made it too, a couple of days ahead of us. His appearance at the ACA was equally shocking, He looked even more rough after his crossing of Wyoming and Montana. Mike and his buddies had not yet arrived.

There was a picture of a guy from Glenrothes in Fife, maybe ten miles from my home who was riding from Vancouver to Argentina who passed through a day or so before.

Around the offices they have a collection of unrestored touring bikes from the TransAm recce rides and the '76 ride complete with panniers. On the walls they have large format black and white prints of riders with their bikes loaded with gear. Each was etched with the miles we had shared. Greg Siple, their Art Director and one of the ACA's founding fathers appeared with his camera and asked if we'd consent to having our pictures added to this portfolio. We were sped around to the 'studio'. It was the loading bay around the back with a draped sheet. Simple with great contrast. It's fun to think that our TransAm story may be added to the myriad of others who have cranked out the miles across the country.

He asked us to guess the weight of our laden bikes. I guessed 100lbs. It weighed 99. Rich's was thirty ponds less. That is 30 one pound bags of sugar less. Yikes. You've gotta love weight.

We shared some of the stories from those people we had met who had experienced and helped those first TransAm riders, contacts that Greg had never heard of. There are plans to make a documentary film about the ride. We hope these folks can be a part of it.

We bought souvenir jerseys, a new tyre and received my free first year's membership and collected a new water bottle and reflective triangle which I had coveted on Aimee's bike from Yorktown.

We had other errands to attend to before closing time. Unlike Pearl Izumi the Specialized dealer refused to warranty replace my jersey with it's broken zip. That will be the last product I buy from them. The Post Office wouldn't release the package sent to Mike even though Rich produced his ID.

Jeff our couch surfing host was out randomly looking for us on his bike. We weren't hard to miss. We had some Bigga Pizza and Big Dipper ice cream for supper and had a quick foot tour around Missoula. It is a great little college town, surrounded by mountains with a huge river running through it. Folks on inner tubes compete for space on the artificially created rapids with kayakers.

Tomorrow will will cross another state line into Idaho.

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Guns and beer making supplies under one roof.

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ACA HQ in Missoula

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Johnny made it! We last saw him leaving Jeffrey City, Wyoming.

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Rich got to the biro first, that's why his name comes first.


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"MC & Aimee go C2C" Copyright © 2011-2014 By Peter McLaren - (contact). All rights reserved.
Page was created on August 17, 2011 21:27 PDT, last updated on November 1, 2011 15:36 PDT
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