We hit the road again this morning after a solid day off in Bismarck. A nice paved bike path kept us off the busy streets until we got out of town. Once outside of Bismarck, it didn’t take long to lose all signs of the bustling capital city. We are back in small-town North Dakota and our maps tell us that services will be few and far from here until Fargo.
The terrain today was more of the same rolling hills we’ve had for much of North Dakota. We passed by corn fields and cow pastures and enjoyed the mild temperatures. After a few days last week in the upper 90s, a cloudy 70 degrees felt great. We arrived in Napoleon at around 3:30 this afternoon after biking 73 miles with a decent headwind.
My grandmother sent me an email the other day with some questions that she wants me to answer in the blog.
“I’d like to hear what you three do in a typical evening. Do you have to search for a park to sleep in or do you know exactly where you will go? Do you eat at restaurants? Sit with locals for meals? Do you stay up talking with other riders at campgrounds?”
The beautiful thing about the bike trip is that there isn’t really a ‘typical evening,’ but I’ll describe what we did today once we got to Napoleon to give you all a general idea.
The first thing we did was go to the local grocery store to stock up on food for the next few days since we’ll be in pretty remote territory.
Next, we had to find a place to stay tonight. Our maps said that camping is allowed in the town park here. We asked the owner of the grocery store about the park and she pointed us in the right direction. When we got to the park, we unpacked our stuff and took a little time to unwind from the day. I did some stretching (my legs are real sore from battling the headwinds today), and Wes switched his front and back tires (the back tire wears down more easily, so moving it to the front helps it last longer).
The town park has a shower (this is not always the case), so we rinsed off and then I washed my bike clothes in the sink and hung them up to dry. We still had some time to kill before dinner so we hung out at the park for a bit.
Around 6pm we walked over to The White Maid family restaurant. We did not sit with any locals tonight, but it’s not uncommon for people to approach us when we’re at a restaurant and ask about our trip. I have been cooking most of my meals myself (this is partly to save money, and partly because I love cooking), but I usually join Evan and Wes for dinner and then make mine afterward.
Back at camp, I read (A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson), journaled, and wrote this blog post. We’ll probably play cards soon (hearts is our go-to game, but if anyone has any recommendations for 3-player card games, they would be much appreciated). There aren’t any other cyclists staying with us tonight, but on nights that there are, we share stories about the trip so far and discuss our plans for the road ahead. Bed time is usually pretty early, around 9 or 9:30, and we could probably fall asleep much earlier if the sun didn’t stay out for so long.
Thanks for the questions Nana! If anyone else has questions or suggestions for the blog, feel free to email them to us at BikeLoud2019@gmail.com.