July 5, 2012
Ever since Adventure Cycling released the new routing through North Dakota earlier this spring, we've been anxiously awaiting feedback from cyclists riding it. This year we are fortunate because we happen to know a few of the cyclists out there and they are reporting back to us. Mac Sullivan (Special Projects Director Ginny Sullivan's 17-year-old son), his best friend Drew Gottman, and two new friends Tyler and Neal, are riding together and have just crossed North Dakota on the Northern Tier route. They gave it mostly glowing reviews.
Mac and Drew are riding cross country to fulfill their senior project requirement for graduation from high school. In addition to the physical accomplishment that will result from the ride, they are also raising money to fight Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and help one affected youth in particular, Cory. Cory lives in Missoula and his family is active in the bicycling community. Mac and Drew are keeping a blog of their journey, A Bike Story 4 Cory as well as maintaining a Facebook page.
Mac is one of the nicest young men I know and I love reading about his experiences on the road. Like traveling cyclists before them, Mac and his group have been the recipients of goodwill at many junctions along the way. What inspired me to write about them this week was the reception they found in Medora, North Dakota.
Ginny recently shared with the staff, "Thought you all might enjoy this photo (below) of the boys in front of Dakota Cyclery -- Mac called last night and they had a wonderful time in Medora where they met Jennifer, and purchased bike tires, had breakfast donated by the coffee shop and received a random donation of $20. Mac called it the best little town he's ever been in."
Yea, Medora and Dakota Cyclery! We have the bike shop listed on both the Northern Tier and Lewis & Clark route maps and it's great to hear about their enthusiasm in helping traveling cyclists. They have also been involved in a campaign to protect the Badlands for recreation, tourism, wildlife, and ranching purposes over the extreme oil development currently being pushed. You can learn more about this at their Change.org petition page.
After leaving Medora, Mac and crew pedaled through Dickinson -- a bit more congested than is pleasant -- and on to taste more of small town North Dakota. They made it to Fargo where they took a couple of rest days before continuing to Minnesota. A highlight not to be missed along this corridor is meeting Salem Sue, the world's largest Holstein cow. You can glimpse her glory in Neal's photo below.
I look forward to reading the rest of Mac's adventures across the country and hope you will follow along, too.
Photos by W. Neal Fisher, more at his blog nealbikestheusa.
Top photo: Somewhere near New Salem, North Dakota.
Middle photo: Installing those new tires purchased at Dakota Cyclery.
Bottom photo: New Salem, North Dakota and Salem Sue.
GEOPOINTS BULLETIN is written by Jennifer 'Jenn' Milyko, an Adventure Cycling cartographer, and appears weekly, highlighting curious facts, figures, and persons from the Adventure Cycling Route Network with tips and hints for personal route creation thrown in for good measure. She also wants to remind you that map corrections and comments are always welcome via the online Map Correction Form.