Bike Tour 2022 – Jeffery City to Lander

Jeffrey City is a sad place but it does have a church that provides shelter to TransAm bicyclist. We had quite the crowd last night.

We had heard about Rob from Philadelphia from two cyclists we met yesterday. Rob was riding eastbound with them when he had three flats and then broke his chain. He walked and glided nine miles back to Lander to a bike shop. I can’t even. He hoped to catch up to the others in a day. Dang.

Ed and Harry as well as Mark and Sue all of whom we met at the church hostel in Saratoga were there.

Joan from Sacramento and Cheryl from Helena, eastbounders, met on the road. They seemed like old friends. They were upbeat and energetic. I think they had a tailwind.

Mark, Corey and I had dinner at the smoke- filled town bar. Haute cuisine it wasn’t.

We went back this morning for breakfast (with Rob) at 7 a. m. The service was slow but the food was terrific.

Breakfast delayed our departure until 8:15. The winds around here pick up in the late morning so the late start doomed us to a very blustery day.

And for the most part it was. There was more stupefying Wyoming scenery. And we met Ed Rodrigues, and eastbound rider who gave us good info on the bike shop and camping in the park in Lander (very noisy).

The highlight of the day was a long 6% downhill in gusty winds. Had the winds been calm we would easily have surpassed 40 mph. I dared to look down at my speedometer only once. It said 37. Dang.

Some time later we hit a long section of repaving. Unlike the other day, the milling was agreeable with our thin-ish tires and only lasted a short bit before we were treated to many miles of fresh pavement. (Ed said it was “ like buddah”.)

We took a break for lunch out of our panniers about 15 miles from Landers. I was feeling anxious because I thought it was much later in the day.

I wanted to get to the bike shop in Lander before it closed. As it turned out it was only a little after noon. Maybe I should reset my bike computer to Mountain time. After a few more miles my new found punctuality was augmented by a refreshing tailwind.

At the bike shop, Gannett Peak Sports, Ed greeted me with a calm reassurance that they’d fix my bike in short order. While I was waiting, he offered me an ice cream sandwich or a beer. (I took the ice cream.) This is a courtesy they give to all TransAm customers.

Thomas went to work on my bike. He replaced my chain and cassette (the cluster of gears on the back wheel). He cleaned my filthy freewheel hub body (to which the cassette is attached), adjusted my brakes, and straightened a tooth on my middle chainring. He also replaced some worn parts on my pump. He walked me through everything he was doing to make sure that I agreed with his assessments and repairs. He could not have been more reassuring.

Customer service at Gannett Peak Sports is pretty terrific. The price for repairs is quite a bit lower than DC area bike shops, a pleasant aspect of good bike shops in lower cost areas. And Gannett Peak Sports looks to me like a very good bike shop.

After the bike shop I rode to the motel that Corey and Mark had found for our shelter. (We had planned on camping in the town park but it was booked for an event and closed to camping.)

We had pizza for dinner and ice cream cones for dessert.

Tomorrow promises to be really hard. Seventy miles, uphill, into a headwind. Dang.

Miles today: 61 Tour miles: 1,747

Corey and Joan are gaga for Guatemalan coffee
Cheryl, Joan, and Rob
Riding through wide open spaces
The big descent. Zoom in and you’ll see a truck waaay down yonder and the road winding off into the distance
Ed Rodrigues (sp?) from Seattle heading east
Thomas, the mechanic, working on The Mule
Joan with her java
Rob: three flats and a broken chain. No problem!