• Timothy Bruce

Day 15 – A Spoke in the ribs and load of rocks that rolled.

Today did not start well! As I moved my bike out to start the 82mile journey from Missoula to Deer Lodge, I realised that one of my spokes on my rear wheel was broken and another rider in our group had not ridden his bike for a day for the same reason. As this was 7.30am, all the cycle shops in Missoula were closed so it looked like I faced missing a ride unless I could find a replacement spoke and find someone to help me fit it.


This was where being part of this trans-America cycling group made my day. Jonathan Barringer offered me one of his spare spokes and Bill Turner helped me fit it. Neither of Bill or I had done this before but we worked as a team and with the help of a few others and words of encouragement, we worked out how to do it! Hence, some 15 minutes after everyone else had left, except the two sweepers, Bill and I set out for Deer Lodge.

The weather was once again splendid and we also have a tailwind which added speed to everyone. I was so elated to still be cycling I cycled my fastest time for such a long journey and this was despite us encountering a landslide where we had to pick our way through as some rocks were still falling.


I was loving the ride and the scenery continued to be magnificent. At lunch we met up in a park and I was able to speak to two of my kids using a video call through Messenger and share with them the beautiful setting. In the evening we were treated to some

games and mealby a local church


My average speed for the journey was just under 17mph and I arrived in Deer Lodge 5 hours after I had left Missoula.


Boy, was that a fun ride! However, tomorrow was to be a very different experience!!

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