Do you still have your assistant available? You are going to need him. For this portion of the trail you will need to train a little differently and again aquire a few items prior to training:
* A Large Wind Tunnel / Environmental chamber of the type used by NASA for experiemental aircraft.
* Discard the stationary bike. For this training you will need your actual fully loaded tour bike.
* A 16″ wide, 8′ long belt treadmill with a 4″ wide white line painted down the center.
* A rotating table large enough to hold the treadmill.
* 5,348 hungry mosquitoes.
* A flour sack full of cottonwood fluff.
* A diamondback rattle snake.
* A spray bottle of mosquito repellent with enough left in it to cover 1/2 of your body.
* A diesel truck airhorn.
– In addition to the above your assistant will need to dress for the part. He will need a cowboy hat, cowboy boots, and a buckle large enough to cover most of his bulging belly. If his belly does not bulge, then he can stuff a pillow under his shirt to simulate the proper look. He will also need to place about half a pound of tobacco in his cheek and carry a can of beer.
Once the above has been procured, set-up the taining in the following way:
Place the rotating table in the wind tunnel. Place the treadmill atop the rotating table. Place your loaded tour bike atop the treadmill facing the wind tunnel fan. Place the rattle snake in the chamber on the ‘shoulder’ side of the treadmill. Add the 5,348 mosquitoes to the chamber. Add the bag of cottonwood fluff to the chamber. Simple enough, yes?
Now, sunscreen-up, climb on your tour bike, and begin pedaling. The key is to keep the bike centered on the white line (representing the fog line) on the treadmill as you pedal. You will have approximately 6 inches on either side of the line to deviate before falling off the treadmill and hurting yourself. Simple enough, yes?
The 'shoulder' on state highway 93 - Posted speed limit = 70 MPH
Next have your assistant turn the wind tunnel fan on and set it to 40mph. That should be a good starting point to simulate a Wyoming headwind. Start pedaling, and remember, don’t deviate more than 6″ on either side of the fog line. Going off the left side would result in being flattened by a semi tractor trailer, an RV, or one of many pickups pulling horse trailers going 80mph.
Jerry riding the vacuum wake of an RV that passed giving minimal clearance
Going off the right side would result in at least an 8″ drop, falling off your bike, and getting bitten by the rattlesnake.
A friend awaits on the shoulder
What??? You are only going 4 mph as hard as you pedal? PEDAL FASTER!
Your assistant will ‘help’ you by rotating the turn table abruptly from time to time to simulate a sudden cross-wind. He will also turn-on the precipitation function of the chamber during one of these sudden wind direction changes and pelt you with sideways rain & pea-size hail. Now stay upright and on the line!
The cottonwood fluff will stick easily to your sunscreened body as they blow about in the chamber and they are fun to inhale too!
As you train you may take as many breaks as you like. With each break your assistant will turn the fan down to 10 mph and the mosquitoes will be free to feast. You never have enough mosquito spray to effectively stop them all, so think carefully about which parts of your body you want to protect. The mosquitoes tend to bite you on your butt because it is in a wind ‘eddy’ as you ride. They also bite anywhere you cannot see and reach. Ankles, hairline, and shoulders are some of their favorite spots. (Hint: Best to spray the parts of your body you cannot easily reach. You can always flail about trying to hit those you can see. It is a better use of the spray and more entertaining for passersby that way)
It’s your choice: Pedal in the 40 mph wind or stop and be eaten alive.
To finish the experience, your assistant will need to change the temperature of the chamber from about 90 degrees to 38 degrees every so often. He should also step into the chamber, take a swig of beer, and hollar ‘Get out of the road!’ while tobacco juice spits from his mouth. He should sound the diesel airhorn for about 15 seconds each time to simulate the Wyoming and Montana resident attitude towards cyclists.
A Montana resident inspects his rig before heading out to hunt cyclists
There now. Ready for the Big Sky Country?