2011 Ride

Night Rider

Day 26: Needed a big ride day today to make Lincoln, NE in time for Saturday’s rally and I got one: 80 miles in 8 hours. Required riding in the dark for 2 1/2 hours, but luckily the rural road I was on was almost deserted. Almost no shoulder on the road, but the terrain was flat enough to see the headlights of the semis in my rear view mirrors before they got close, giving me plenty of time to roll off the side of the road until they passed. I don’t like riding on roads at night, but had little choice today. Apart from the occasional car and truck, the moonlit sky actually made for a peaceful, pleasant ride. When I finally rolled into the town of Newport exhausted and cold, my hopes for a warm motel room and maybe a cold beer at a local bar were dashed. The town was so small it didn’t even have a restaurant. So I rolled down the road to a closed gas station and pitched my tent (where I’m writing this) in the horse pasture behind it. Gonna be a cold night.

The day began with a long interview with the Winner Advocate in the office of the Winner Area Chamber of Commerce, where the Executive Director, Amy Moe, was kind enough to offer to let me recharge the battery for my electric-assist motor while I got lunch down the street. Passed two still-intact drive-in theaters during my ride today. Happy to see this great American pastime still very much alive in rural South Dakota. Was excited to cross the Nebraska border this afternoon, where I got a call from a local landowner wanting to meet with me to discuss TransCanada/Keystone XL. I’m expecting lots of similar meetings in this key battleground state, so stay tuned…

Once in Nebraska, crossed over the beautiful Kaya Paha River and the Niobrara National Scenic River, both of which would be threatened by toxic spills from Keystone XL. We simply cannot allow our rivers to become sacrifice zones for greedy transnational corporations. Encountered many predatory members of the winged nation today. Was kept company on my ride by numerous hawks, an eagle and even a beautiful falcon that playfully swooped down ahead of the trike before shooting back up into the sky.

Was very happy to open my emails tonight and learn the State Department’s Inspector General has agreed to review the Department’s handling of the fatally compromised Keystone XL review process: http://tinyurl.com/6wyfdm7. Whether they’ll do a thorough job remains to be seen.


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