DAY 47   JULY 13   108.7 MILES

To bicycle or not to bicycle; that is the question.
                                                    Adaptation of Shakespeare

Today may not have been the most difficult but it was very close.  We knew that the distance would exceed the projected number because last night's camp was 4 miles inside of a state park and tonight's is past the town of Wolf Point.  What we did not know was the type of terrain over which we would be riding nor the wind direction and intensity.  

The alarm was set to awaken an hour earlier than usual to have a good start on the ride.  The sun had barely risen and the gigantic moon was still bright as I pedaled out of the campground at 6:30 AM.  The air was still and the terrain relatively flat.  I thought "The easy terrain is the reason they scheduled 103 miles for the day."  Wrong!  Soon, the hills grew taller and longer.  The wind increased considerably at approximately the same time.  It blew from the northeast but, unfortunately, our course was more northerly today.  

We had anticipated a long, difficult day and we were not disappointed.  It was a good workout but one ride that we are glad is in the past.  The distance between one end of Montana and the other is approximately 750 miles and, at times, it felt as if we were doing the entire distance today.  Tomorrow will be a much shorter day and that certainly will be welcome.      

Incidentally, there may have been hills and headwinds but at least there was not heat and humidity.  It is surprising that afternoon temperatures have rarely exceeded the mid 70's to low 80's.  And tonight in the campground, everyone is wearing jackets and sweatshirts, very unusual anywhere in the US in mid-July.   

Tip:  The formula for the number of calories burned while cycling is:  12 calories per minute for a 150 pound person at 15 mph.  For each 15 pounds above or below 150, add or subtract 1.2 calories per minute.