Tuesday, June 26. We went to see a movie yesterday. Twice.

The first time we were running a little late and didn’t really know the correct route. Mac glanced at his smart phone to make sure we were going the right way. I heard the crash and when I looked in my mirror he was standing in the middle of the street without a bike. The bike had been planted squarely into the bumper of a parked pick-up truck on the side of the road. Mac was OK. The forks on the Salsa-donated bicycle were toast.

We rigged Mac’s front rack onto my rear rack with bungee cords and I towed the wounded steed two miles to the Great Northern Bicycle Company, a fantastic shop in downtown Fargo. Mac and Drew walked.

20120626-221855.jpg They saw me limp in and quickly rushed the bike into surgery. By the time I got back to the operating room I saw the mechanic shaking his head In a negative manner. We needed a fork transplant from the Salsa shop in Minneapolis. It was too late to get it Fed-Ex’d but we could get it here by Wednesday. So we ordered a new fork, got a loaner bike, and went to the movies a second time.

The good news is that if we had biked today we would have had a horrible headwind again. We hope to be on the road by 2:00 tomorrow (Wednesday) and the wind is expected to shift and be beneath our wings. We will need a little luck as we want to get to a campground in Fergus Falls, MN, 65 miles from here. Thursday we have to do 110 miles to Saint Cloud, most of it on the Central Lakes Bike Trail (55 miles) and the Lake Wobegon Bike Trail (40 miles). Friday is 75 miles into Minneapolis and the boys have to be there for the start of the organized and fully supported Jett ride that raises funds for muscular dystrophy.

There are worse places to be stranded than Fargo. We went to breakfast with Jen, who works at Great Northern, and is hosting the boys tonight. We went to a coffee shop and blogged. Drew went for a run, I researched our route and kept stopping in the bike shop to see if the fork had magically appeared. I figured that no one would mess with my bike if I had an American Bison guarding it.

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Jen told us about the five universities and colleges in Fargo and Moorhead. She said that when the Red River floods school is cancelled and everyone is expected to help add sandbags to the top of the dike. Jen told us about the bike lanes and how the entire town council that opposed them were voted out of office. I have to admit that I have never seen a bike sign such as this one;

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My companions and I may be parting ways soon after we reach Minneapolis. Before I get maudlin, let me say that I have benefitted greatly from their generosity of spirit (this spirit is pervasive in Montana and North Dakota). I was invited into their homes and shared water with them in the middle of nowhere. They taught me how to camp in a town park, make good coffee in the morning, and how to make a peanut butter, jelly, and Nutilla tortilla. I am especially grateful to have met Mac’s father, Tom, and his mother, Ginny and all of the benefactors that have showered us with accolades and assistance.

Wish us luck because we’re going to Minneapolis and that’s a fact.

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