100 Tatanka

“Hi! Can I jump in the back of your truck?” I asked as the man rolled down his window. I was about 30 miles into my scheduled 100 mile ride, out of water and 2 miles from the first scheduled stop when I ran into the “Big Herd” of buffalo.
“Yes! Jump in!” I threw my bike in his box and then jumped in behind it. A few minutes later he stuck his head out, “do you want to sit up here?” “Sure, do you have room?” So I jumped out and then hopped up into the front seat. I was greeted by a man and wife and their niece and two puppies on vacation from Missouri. My mom thought this was funny as the lady who found me on the side of the road when I got a brain injury was also from Missouri.

I had started the morning, like I start all big ride days, putzing around. I finally rolled out around 11 (I know, I know…) and wanting to get some miles in took the back road into Custer State Park, I also thought this route would have me avoid any of the herds thinking they would be up higher since the temps were over

100 degrees. I was getting off of Wildlife loop road and heading towards Blue Bell (maybe 2 miles) where I could refuel (I had just run out of water), I looked to my right and saw the ‘Big Herd’ to the right and looked ahead and saw a line of cars stopped. I thought they were all stopped to take pictures (uh, tourists) when I took the right and realized that the herd was on both sides of the road and buffalo were zigzagging back and forth over the road. I wouldn’t be able to turn around and ride 30 miles back without water given how hot it was so my only choice was to negotiate around these guys (this herd is a little aggressive, already having one goring for the year). I edged a bit forward keeping close to one car, there is no way I’m going to make it through this without getting gored, I saw the headlines, “Higher-up at Wind Cave National Park has his niece gored by Buffalo, clearly not teaching her anything….” I would never survive another family dinner if that happened. I looked ahead and saw a truck with a tandem in back, seeing they were still about 30 feet back from the hustle and bustle that was taking place ahead I made my move. Thankfully they took me in. We made it through without too much trouble. They then dropped me off at Blue Bell where I could get more water and snacks and continue on my way.

Top of Mt. Coolidge

I did continue but cut it short at 80 miles instead of 100, my computer read out 106 average temp for the day and my stomach started to fight back after about 50 miles with some fatigue setting in. I’ll blame it on the heat, but it was a good ride to have after the Tatanka 100- did the same amount of mileage in half the time.

2/3 of people in this picture are legal scholars (hint the one in the middle is not….)

I also finished working and for those of who don’t know I ended up working at my parent’s law office. Which I really tried to avoid coming into the summer, because I didn’t want them to realize I
had NO idea what I was doing!  I had a different internship to begin with but once that fell through at the last minute this was the only thing open. I’m actually so thankful that I was able to be in my parents’s firm. I ended up spending most days with my dad and had a really inside look into the legal profession, which is certainly filled with hilarity, and not a lot of dull moments. I also realized just how lucky I was to be able to have my dad as a mentor in a potential career, and to see him in that capacity as I’m sure most people aren’t that lucky.

I’m headed to CO now to hangout until Leadville (I have wedding festivities down there the next 3 weekends). I’m looking forward to is, although this has been the first summer I’ve spent in the Black Hills since getting into mountain biking it has been better than I thought. I am hoping for less snake sightings in CO!

106 degrees=straight to DQ!

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