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Thursday, July 28, 2016

Northern Transcon Day 12 - Powell to Sheridan WY

There was a rainstorm last night but skies were clearing as we had another great PAC Tour breakfast in the parking lot in Powell WY.  Everything was moved up an hour due to the long strenuous day ahead.  122 miles with 7300 feet of climbing, and the climbing was largely concentrated in about 25 miles.

Wyoming's Big Horn Mountains are magnificent, a display of the Lord's handiwork.  You don't really think much about that when grinding up a 10% grade for several miles.  The day started out with 32 miles of mostly flat terrain, marred a little by some rough shoulders.  We had a quick rest stop before starting the long climb, which began with a few miles of 2-4% grade, then pitched up to 10% for 10 miles, with a half mile section of 14%.  I had brought two gears lower than I thought I would need, and used both of them.

Weather was excellent, although there were some dark threatening clouds at the top.  The top actually required some more climbing past the rest stop, and then there were about 20 miles of downhill and uphill sections before lunch at 77 miles.  After a 3 mile descent, the climbing began yet again with a 4 mile 7% incline.  All of this work finally paid off with a 12 mile descent.  A jacket was a must, as the temperature really plummeted.

The Big Horn Mountains lived up to their reputation, as this day was by far the toughest we have had.  More challenges lie ahead, but I feel good knowing I completed this day successfully.

Early morning view of the Big Horn Mountains
About 2/3 of the way up.  Tough grade!
The road just kept going, and going, and going ...
Looking down from pull off area at the road we just came up

The sign shows the grade we just climbed
Not done yet - another 6 miles to the summit
At the summit, with a jacket on due to cold temperatures
Lunch trailer was most welcome
Stopped to take this photo on the way down
View from Big Horn Mountains
 A note on bike maintenance during the transcontinental tour - the goal is to keep your chain clean and lubricated, tires at correct pressure, and the bike clean enough to take in your motel room at night.  All of these can be completed in less than 5 minutes using the equipment and procedure Lon demonstrated.  The cleaning supplies are all provided, but it is a rudimentary cleaning, not designed to make your bike look perfect.  A thorough detailed cleaning will have to wait until the tour is over.

Ed cleaning his bike after a long day


  1. Outstanding photos. Somehow I recall some issues with the open ranges there with cattle potentially out on the roads.