Days 30-31: Bozeman, MT: “Reconnecting Along The Way” June 7-8

Daily Miles; 0 Total Miles: 1689
We planned to have a rest day in Bozeman, MT visiting Abigail, a law school friend of mine (more accurately, Abigail is one of three law school friends that I have). We arrived on Tuesday afternoon, while she was still hard at work, saving Montana’s wilderness and generally making the world better for all of us (she works for Earth Justice’s Bozeman office), so we made ourselves comfortable at her lovely little house (i.e., we showered, had a beer, and buttoned down Talula) until she got home. Abigail made a fantastic dinner–teaching me a new culinary trick of soaking a red onion in cold water to sweeten it. It was such a treat to catch up with an old friend. I keep showing up in Bozeman every year or so to see Abigail, and we hope one day that she’ll come visit us in Madison. She remains one of the most interesting, dedicated, creative people that I know, much less can call a friend.

Wednesday was supposed to be our rest day, where we planned to deal with a mysterious knocking in the back of Talula. We thought that the culprit was our free hub (the part of the back wheel hub that allows the pedals to stop moving as the wheel continues to roll) so we took it in to Bangtail for replacement. During lunch, Mike figured out that we’d miscounted our days until we were to meet up with Matt and Lori in Cooke City. So, we ended up with an extra day in Bozeman. Cool.

On Thursday, with an extra day and a new free hub, Mike thought he’d also tighten the bottom bracket and crank arms, just in case they were also loose and knocking. Unfortunately, in putting everything together, Mike inadvertently crushed the part of the rear left crank arm that fits into the axel bolt. It was a tandem specific part so it was a little different than the other arms he’d dealt with before. Embarrassed, we returned to Bangtail to get their opinion and see if they had a replacement. Their advice: Don’t ride on it, and no, they didn’t have a replacement. So we called Dave at the Bicycle Outfitter, who informed us that they had the part and that he’d red tag it for next day delivery to Bangtail. We’d have the replacement by 10 AM Thursday morning. Brilliant. So, we relaxed and hung out with Abigail, eating at a beautifully old restored hotel that was completely empty.

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We had two great days in Bozeman, reconnecting with a friend and enjoying each other’s company. For me, visiting Abigail confirms that our decision to leave San Francisco and focus on balancing our lives and priorities so that we have more time with each other as well as more time to dedicate to those issues that we care about the most. I hope that in six years time, I too can look around at our lives in Madison, as she does in Bozeman, and see that we are making a difference.

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