Newsletter - 2018 Archive

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NE Broken Bow Permanent
Permanent Brevet #185 - 214 km
Event date: October 1, 2018
by Gary Baker

With our Sept. permanent behind us we wanted to do our OCT ride as early in the month as possible and doing it in 'flat' Nebraska was very appealing. With both print and digital maps at hand we looked for a suitable stretch of highway between 200 - 220km in length. You would think this would have been easy in such a big open state, but believe me it was not.

As we rode through WA, ID, MO, WY and now NE we had learned that information on our maps and other information sites was often VERY wrong. Here are a few examples. We are credit card touring motel to motel, restaurant to restaurant. Open any of the hotel booking sites and when you ask for accommodation information for a particular town it will give you listings sometimes for 60-100km. away with not a single identified motel in the town named. Actually it's understandable when that town on the map is nothing more than a post at the side of the road with a name on it and perhaps a few abandoned houses and stores. On the ground we would often ride through half a dozen of these ghost towns covering 60, 80, 100+ km between any services at all let alone there being a cafe or motel. And then there was map (in)accuracy. Distance numbers, print and digital, often differed substantially from one another and with highway distance signage. All three often differed from the real distance. As one cafe patron said to me when you are blasting across NE at 75mph what's 5 or 10 miles. Well on a bike in the pouring rain, with a screaming headwind and it's getting dark it matters a whole lot! I won't even get into weather forecasts...gurrrr!

Surprisingly, all the necessary factors gelled with promising weather where we would be Oct 1. We would start our permanent in the small town of Hyannis finishing in Broken Bow, a larger town with some real character it turned out. The only concern was we could not identify a single town along the route with any services. No big deal as we had become accustomed to carrying a full day's complement of food and water. It did turn out there was a convenience store at a intersection approximately at the half way point where I saw a 'cowgirl' climb down from her lifted Dodge Ram truck wearing cowboy boots and spurs. That's one way to get all the horses under the hood to give it all they have got.

It was an early start, well not that early ( 7:15ish). The weather forecast called for early morning temps in the 3-5C range with a daytime high in the 15C range and overcast skies. It was not to be. We woke up to thick ground fog that persisted most of the morning and a temperature that felt sub zero. We had on all our wet and cold gear that the fog went straight through. Within short order we were cold and soaked to the bone. The terrain was not that flat, it was gently rolling. Not really all that gentle; as the elevation gain added up surprisingly quickly. As for the landscape it was mostly range land or corn fields, not that we could actual see anything in the morning as the fog limited the visibility to not much past the shoulder of the road. A real consideration was cars and the literal steady stream of semis hauling grain and silage coming up behind us at speed. We couldn't see them in our mirrors or could them see us at a safe distance. Thankfully the fog lifted and it turned into a reasonably pleasant day with the bonus of favourable tailwinds.

Clock time for this ride ( according to our Garmins) was approx. 11:30hrs., but wait. We had crossed from the Mountain Time Zone into the Central Time Zone so the actual elapsed ride time was cool is that. It has been pointed out by our hard working volunteer Permanent managers ( Eric F. and Bob Keon...Thanks guys) the NE-Broken Bow Permanent identified as P - 185 is the first BC permanent to have done so, crossed into a different time zone.

It was a fun day, riding in new territory, and keeping my P- 12 goal intact. Talking about new territory here is a question for you. We have now ridden through 8 states. Which state would you suspect likely has the absolutely flattish land ( over huge distances) and in other areas again over huge distances the most vertical/km?

See you Nov. 11 on the LM Eleventh Hour 200.

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October 19, 2018