Life in Bozeman

As I had thought on Sunday, if I need to be stuck somewhere between Seattle and Minneapolis, Bozeman is a pretty good place. After one night in a hotel, I've ended up staying with friends of my aunts, and they are some of the most gregarious people I've ever met. The car is being repaired, and while tonight was the predicted time for it to be completed, one part (the compressor) didn't arrive. It's in Germany. Fortunately, the mechanic was able to track down an aftermarket one in Billings, MT, but it won't arrive until tonight, so the car won't be ready until sometime tomorrow morning. After that, I'll load it up and hit the road, hopefully making it back to Minnesota by tomorrow night. Here's a list of everything that's been broken and replaced on my car so far on this trip:

Catalytic converter
Headlight bulb
Right fan
Left fan
Other misc. mechanical parts I can't recall
Most of the front panels and grill (to be fixed in Minneapolis)
Rear bumper (when I get to Minneapolis and call the insurance company of the woman in Seattle)

Ouch. This has been expensive. At least insurance is covering the raccoon mishap, but it still would have been cheaper to fly. Not cool at all.

The only redeeming facet of all this is that Bozeman is a great place to ride. Yesterday I rode up Hyalite Canyon, to the south west of town, then back down and across the city to the north east, and up Bridger Canyon, past Bridger Bowl, and to the top of Battleridge Pass. All in all, I put in almost 85 miles on the day. It was super hot, and I made the mistake of riding in the middle of the day, but it was beautiful nonetheless, and was a great way to clear my head and stop worry about everything that's gone wrong lately. This morning I woke up earlier to beat the rising temperatures and rode really hard up Hyalite again, just as the sun was rising over the eastern ridge of the canyon. I made it to the reservoir at the top, relaxed for a few minutes, and headed back down for a shower and some breakfast. The afternoon was taken up by riding around Bozeman, and I ended up at the same coffee shop as on Sunday, sitting on a comfy couch and watching the Tour with a nice guy named Kurt who's spending his summer here after graduating from college in Atlanta. I'm planning on coming back here tomorrow to watch the stage live, and it sounds like I'll be seeing him again then, too. Considering how it's all played out, I can't be that disappointed, Bozeman is a really nice place to be stuck.

The roads south of Bozeman, with the hills on the edge of the Gallatin Valley.

The reservoir at the top of Hyalite Canyon.

They neglected to add "Being Ed" as one of the things that attracts bears.

The descent from the top of Battleridge Pass

Even though it was hot and sunny in Bridger Canyon, there was a very visible storm going on over Bozeman in the Gallatin Valley. Fortunately, I missed it.

It looks like I'll be in Minneapolis tomorrow night, which means I'll be in town for racing on Thursday. I see there's a madison on the schedule, and I'm looking for a partner. Is anyone brave enough to try racing with me after my crashes?! If you're interested, let me know.

See you at the track.