150 miles, 2 states & 2 time zones

Trip Start May 06, 2012
1
17
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Trip End Jun 26, 2012


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Flag of United States  , North Dakota
Wednesday, May 23, 2012

I had done some research the night before which had shown that the next couple of days would bring 20mph westerly winds. Unfortunately, my route was only heading west for 50m and then turning due south for about 150m. So I decided to go off route and boy am I glad I did because it resulted in a couple of major mileage days. 

I set off and was flying along at well over 20mph and so though I hadn't definetely decided on heading on from Wolf Point which was 50m away, to Williston, another 100m on, when I arrived  2hrs and 20m later I realised I had no choice but to keep going. However, I thought I should have some sustenance, so I devoured some breakfast, unfortunately, it wasn't breakfast. Given that I had set off a little later from Glasgow because it had been raining and the forecast had suggested blue skies would appear from 8 onwards, meant that I arrived at 11.05, mins past the breakfast cut off. This was gutting, because of my usual order of bacon, hash browns and eggs, I had to have chicken nuggets and onion rings! Not the breakfast of champions! However, it meant I didn't linger and so was back on the road again in short order. 

Though the main feat was the 150m I covered, the thing that stood out today was the road conditions. At one stage I had had about a 10m stretch of freshly laid tarmac, which was smooth and fast and which was a lovely change from the constant cobblestone like roads I have been on recently. Unfortunately, my section of freshly laid tarmac had a price, and that price was a 14m section of road that had no tarmac at all, just dirt and gravel! A nightmare esepecially given the road was much smaller and the passing of cars and lorries was not a fun experience. However, it passed quick enough and I arrived in Williston at what had been 5ish, but which was now 6ish. This was because having crossed into North Dakota, for the first time in my life, I had also crossed into Central time from Mountain Time so had gained another hour. 

I felt amazing. 150m in a day and though the countryside had turned from flat to hilly 2/3rds of the way through the day, the hills were a breeze, literally, as the wind simply pushed me over them. I arrived and didn't even feel that tired after nearly 7-8hrs on the bike. This was because for most of the day I had been in my biggest gear but even that wasn't a difficult gear to peddle. 

The only downside is that the roads are becoming increasingly unfriendly and I don't mean in terms of the road quality. There has been a mad Oil boom in North Dakota due to the fracking process which has opened up the region for major exploitation. All the major oil companies are here and Williston is now in industrial mayhem. I was told that that town of c10,000 people a few years ago is over 50,000 people now. They used to have one motel they now have 9! It is fascinating to see such huge expansion in such short periods of time, and it explained what I had seen on the road into town - a mass of never ending trucks with heavy machinery. It made for a bit of a grim cycle given I was constantly being passed by massive trucks. Unfortunately, I had been told the road to Minot, which is where I cycle tomorrow is even worse.

I settled into my motel and had a pizza and was in bed and ready for the day ahead the next day. I had decided not to eat at the nearby service station, pictured below, as thought it wasn't quite my cup of tea. 
 
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