We got up at Buffalo Bill State park and quickly recognized that our strong headwind had reversed directions and was now blowing strong in the direction we would be traveling so we packed camp quickly and hit the road. It’s amazing how much difference in a day of riding the wind can make. This morning we were averaging over 20mph, even when going uphill, we couldn’t break 20 yesterday going downhill. We got to Cody and stopped at a Burger King for breakfast. We don’t always eat the best food and we pay the price for it at times, but man do we eat.
When we were hanging out at the BK lounge, Ryan was texting with a guy we had met briefly in Missoula at Adventure Cycling, Rory Macleod
Is touring around the circumference of the 48 states, much like Wyatt Welters adventure, just minus the longboard and plus a really, really nice bike. When we first met Rory we were convinced he had never actually ridden his bike, it was out of the box clean, not just his bike, but his paniers as well. Even his tires looked spotless. I was already down one functioning panier at this point from my crash and probably hadn’t cleaned my bike since California. Rory had real bike shoes, a bike jersey, both spotless, and didn’t look nearly as homeless as we were starting too. Sure, maybe some bike tourist take care of themselves, but we were going with the more likely situation that this was just his first day.
Rory was headed up to do a loop through Montana before heading down to Yellowstone and then east, but much of where he wanted to go was similar to our route so we spent some time with a gentleman at ACA figuring out the best path, a combination of their own routes and us figuring it out as we went along.
So when we met Rory is Cody and his bike was just as spotless, along with having met a previously bike tourer on our way in to Yellowstone who had claimed to have ridden with him for a few days and that he did clean his bike every night, we started to believe that he in fact was legitimate.
So we met up in Cody and headed out east. Worland was on our Radar as a good destination, but unlike Rory who has planned most of his days and destinations out, we just sort of go with it. I stayed at Burger King for a little while longer to finish some work and told the boys I would catch them in the next town. When I got there, everyone was stopped to get some food at grocery store, I went in and got some supplies and when I came out I heard Rory mention that he had gone to Colgate…no shit.
I immediately saw the look on Erik and Ryan’s faces upon hearing this, knowing Rory and I would probably chat about all things Colgate for the next year, so they took off a head of us and I got to for the first time, start to get to know Rory Macleod.
We talked about the past, present and future, why we left home and work to go on our respective trips, what it meant to us and the charities we were involved in. You can check out Rory’s here - http://roryrides.com/fundraiser/ on his website. It’s a great organization and one I could see myself also getting involved in. His blog is there too and he is much better about keeping it up to date than I am. We did talk about Colgate, but in no way did it dominate the conversation. But being such a small school, it was a cool coincidence, although it does not surprise me to find another Colgate alumni tackling a large bike tour.
While this would be our first day together, and without giving too much away, it would not be our last. You’ll see over the coming post how much time we ended up spending together. I do however, have no issue letting you in on the fact that meeting Rory has been a highlight of the trip and I couldn’t be happier to have gained what I consider a great friend.
Oh yeah, we made it to Worland in 5 hours and 30 minutes, maintaining a 20mph pace, even with stopping through towns, etc. It was a fast cruising day and were hoping for more like it to come. The landscape has leveled out but it’s still breath taking. Rory had a family friend he was staying with for the night, so we parted ways and agreed, if it worked out, to meet up with him again in the morning.
Miss you Muppet,