Today we rode 106 miles from Casper to Lusk, with 2,500 feet of climbing. Even though yesterday was a rest day, at breakfast people seemed anxious. The thought of the prior day’s ride hung in the air: 118 miles into a dehydrating headwind. Was today going to be a repeat (which was the forecast), and/or might thunder storms be added to the mix?
As can happen out here, days that are supposed to be bad turn out great (and vice versa). Today we were on the lucky side of that. Clouds covered the sky, and the temperature barely exceeded 75. Even better, for the first 65 miles we had a partial tailwind, so the spinning was easy. At mile 65 I was tracking nearly 19mph for the ride. The last 40 miles were a bit more challenging, but I still finished a century in about 5 1/2 hours, and the whole ride in 6. That is about 2 hours less than two days ago, and it isn’t just the extra time that hurts, nearly every minute on Thursday was tough. 8 hours of pain versus 6 hours of fun. No comparison.
Lots of fun things happened in Lusk: First, there is an annual parade that goes with a fair/rodeo called “Legends of Rawhide.” It may not be politically correct, because the folks dressed like Indians I think were not actual Native American. In any event, covered wagons, faux Indians on horses and classic cars from the 70s (a perfect segue from oxen pulling a wagon) formed a short parade that lasted about ten minutes. Secondly, while I was walking toward the downtown to view the parade a young girl (late 20s?) carrying a toddler said “I like your T-shirt.” She knew exactly what it meant and pointed to her husband and said “Jeff’s younger brother is gay, and we are cool with that”. She continued: “This little boy (pointing to her son) is going to be raised the right way” (meaning to be tolerant)…Plus lunch at a drive in Bar-b-que (drive in, not drive thru, meaning car parking spots each had separate speakers to order food. Classic 1950s or so? Best chili cheese hot dog, fries and chocolate shake (I rode 106 miles) I have had on this trip. I love Lusk!