2000 miles in and... we finally encontered some serious problems (So you don't worry, we're both physically fine). Today as we rode out of Rapid City, SD and got ourselves prepared for the much talked about Badlands National Park, Nico was stopped dead in his tracks by a storm grate. Bags flew into the air, Nico performed a flawless frontflip, and the frame of the bike has been... TOTALLED!!! The rider however stood up from the accident with out a scratch (At least no NEW scratches) As apparent in the pictures below, the frame was seriously bent in two places which has completely messed up any riding ability and left us with the only option of finding a new frame. We considered taking the frame to someone who could possibly weld in sections, however traveleing on downhill sections at 45+ would be too nerve racking on a pieced together bike. So, here we are, in a search for a new frame.
Immediately after the accident a nice fellow gave us a ride to the nearest bicycle shop. Here we met a very generous employee named Eli who has been helping us out. There is hope that he may be able to sell us a similar Bianchi frame that will be very compatible with the component set that I am riding with now. If this is the case he has willingly offered to help us put the bike together at his house where he has the tools to do so. We are waiting for his call.
Despite the accident, we have had a good time in rapid city! We just enjoyed some Buffalo burgers and beers at a great local brewer to ease the pain of the wreckage. Many games of rummy later, our spirits are not crushed and we know the trip will continue. We also have friends waiting in Minneapolis. If the bike doesn't work out here, we plan to find a ride to the twin cities and work it out there.
We appologize for such a long post about not very much... it's just that this is all that is on our minds at the moment. Other than this unfortunate happening, we have been doing quite well. We have spent the last 4 or 5 days in the Black Hills National Forest, where we have enjoyed wonderful riding, amazing sights, and very nice people! We've stayed with Billie Jane Hamblin in Belle Fourche, an 83 year old woman with a rich life story and an amazing attitude. Belle Fourche has been determined the geological center of the nation if you factor in alaska and hawaii, and it was cool to stand on the marker. Mt rushmore had some crazy tourist attractions, the town right nearby is Keystone, it is a combination of the boardwalk and pier 39, cotton candy salt water taffy, but also and awesome 2000 ft slide that we went down, on small karts. We came out from the slide with more scrapes and burns than from the last 1950 miles of our trip. Last night we stayed at Jean-Claire's house (billie's daughter) with two other bikers we had previously met in yellowstone, it was quite a coincidence. We are looking forward to getting back on the road, we should have everything worked out soon and will be heading due east.
Here are some pictures: