Stopped at a Sinclair's on the very edge of town to fill up my water bottles and ran into a really nice couple (Laura and... shoot! I can't believe I forgot) who were curious about my trip.
Seven miles of 20mph headwinds outside of Buffalo, I heard "PING!" and immediately knew I'd busted a spoke. I stopped at a hay bale to regroup, solar charge my phone, call my dad, and pee in almost full view of the (empty) highway. A hair tie fastening the broken spoke to the next one over, I rode back into Buffalo, wincing at every bump and seam in the road. Back at the grocery store, I borrowed a tape measure and measured my spokes so my dad could overnight a replacement and spares for me. Being in a small, friendly Midwestern town, everyone going into the store wanted to know about me and my trip and tried to help with my predicament. One lady told me to go ask Linda inside if she knew of anyone going to "the hills" today (the nearest bike shop was in Spearfish). Soon, everyone going through the checkout was being addressed by name and asked if they knew of anyone going to "the hills". All the nice ladies in the store were fretting over me like little mother hens. And then, who pops out of the store? Laura! And she wants to give me a ride! She runs home to drop off her groceries, and comes back in a bright, shiny white beast of a pickup truck. I loaded up all my things, and off we rode down the nightmare of highway 85. I am so, so, so thankful for her and for that fun ride. I didn't have to battle the horrible shoulders, crazy traffic, and dumb drivers on 85, nor did I have to battle a 15-25 mph headwind on the 79 with nothing but ramshackle chances of convenience stores every 50 miles if I was lucky. Spearfish was beautiful, and I got doorstop service to the bike shop, where Laura waited while I watched my spoke being repaired. Besides, it doesn't count as a ride because it doesn't help my west to east progress. Right? Right.
I was ready to go in no time, and Laura and I parted ways.
Laura, Linda, Mary, everyone else at the store, all the guys who checked their bicycle graveyards for spare spokes, thank you for EVERYTHING. Wow. I cannot believe the people I've met today.
From Spearfish, I rode the 21 miles to Sturgis, all up and down long hills with a nasty headwind. I think I ended up spending about 5 hours on my bike today, despite getting an 80-mile ride in a car.
I ended up at a friend's house in Sturgis. Karen and Tip graciously took me out for an awesome dinner- salad and a Thai chicken wrap with sweet potato waffle fries. Ohhhh boy was it good. Thank you so much! Like I said, I cannot believe the generosity of some people! These folks are running around cleaning their house for guests before leaving tomorrow morning to head out of town while the motorcycle rally is going on, and yet they are hosting me in their cute little rental house!
My heart is so full, and I am so tired. Goodnight.