Monday, August 15, 2011

bicycling across America, Wyoming part 3

Friday, August 12, 2011


Do you know that ThreeWheelJourney has a Facebook page?

Microsoft's blog and Windows Live Movie Maker

Microsoft, maker of Windows Live Movie Maker, interviewed me about my bicycle trip and the software I use to edit video.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"Old Town Coffee" in Lander WY

My first day in Lander WY, I awoke, showered and made a bee-line for The Old Town Coffee house in Lander WY.   I wanted a place to sit and work on some videos, post some tweets, pics and maybe a quick facebook entry, together with a couple of cups of coffee.  What follows is the dialog that happened as best as I can remember at the barista counter...

ME:  hello, can I have a large Americano, and do you have an electrical plug for my computer?

Barista@OldTownCoffee: sorry we don't have plugs and we're not going to put them in.

ME  I see, why don't you have electrical plugs?

Barista@OldTownCoffee:  There is a great article in either the New York Times or LA Times about Coffee Houses not providing electrical plugs, you should read it. 

ME: ok I will look for that article when I can plug in my computer, but can you tell me; Why?

Barista@OldTownCoffee:  People talk to each other more and interact with the baristas more if there are no electrical plugs in a coffee house.

ME:  So there are no plans to ever install electrical plugs in Old Town Coffee?

Barista@OldTownCoffee:  At this time there are no plans to ever have plugs

ME:  OK, thanks, where is a Coffee Shop in Lander with plugs?

Barista@OldTownCoffee: ... down the street somewhere...

ME:  OK thanks

If the barista would have just looked me in the eye, and been honest and said "We don't want to encourage people to hang out in Old Town Coffee and soak in the free wifi" I would have been happy to accept that answer, but the "Manager" was rude, offensive and arrogant.  I left the business immediately and went a block down the street to the Apple Valley Market.

If you are visiting Lander Wyoming, I strongly encourage you to visit Apple Valley Market, where they have excellent coffee/espresso drinks, serve wonderful food, have free wifi, ALLOW CUSTOMERS TO PLUG IN COMPUTERS, and simultaneously provide honest, polite and respectful customer service

Old Town Coffee in Lander Wy is no friend to travelling bicyclists.   With more than 1000 people riding the TransAm annually, (which runs right thru the center of town) you'd think a business would go out of their way to make electrical plugs available.     The TransAm riders offer a revenue stream to the small towns on the route.   Please post this blog post on your Facebook or tweet it.

(this blog written and posted at the Fremont County Library in Lander WY.  This place is so newly constructed, it still has that "new library smell")

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Royalty-free background music on videos

I received a question today from one of my twitter followers and the question was so relevant and so pertinent that I'm writing an entire blog post to answer it.  



Friday, August 5, 2011

Jeffrey City WY

I jumped on the TransAm (the ACA Trans America route) at Muddy Gap Junction and turned west on HWY287.   22 miles west, pedaling thru some rolling hills brings you to the town of Jeffrey City (elev 6324, pop. about 50).  Jeff City as it's affectionately called is a once booming mining town town that went bust in the early 1980's.  There are only two businesses in town; The Split Rock Cafe and Bar, and a pottery shop.  The Monk King Bird Pottery is operated by the slightly eccentric Byron Seely whose beautiful and unusual mixed clay pottery is sold online and in the gallery in town.

The Monk King Bird Pottery is across the street from the Split Rock Cafe.  Byron is the owner and potter and encourages traveling bicyclists to camp in the back yard of the pottery (or in the old camper RV during inclement weather.  

The Lions Club Pavillion is also available for overnight camping (free), and if a call is made ahead of time to the Baptist Church, you can overnight in the basement of the church in town. 

The Split Rock Cafe and Bar  in Jeffrey City was a major headache to touring bicyclists.   The previous owner of the one and only place in town for food and water was almost universally hated by bicyclists passing thru town.   Most of the blogs and journals covering this section of the TransAm are filled with venom for the previous owner.  Many bike tourists would plan an ultra-long day to be able to pass thru this town without having to stop to resupply or camp.   

ALL that has changed. Vikki, the new owner took over the Split Rock a couple of months ago and truly understand the needs of ACA TransAm touring bicyclists and hikers on the CDT (Continental Divide Trail) which passes 5 miles south of Jeffrey City.  "We serve BIG food" she told me, and the pancake I ordered arrived to the table on the front end of a bulldozer.   Measuring 20 inches across, the single cake weighed 22 pounds and required a gallon and a half of syrup, at least it seemed to.  Vikki's approach to bike tourers is perfect.  Good food, resonable prices, huge quantity, and free wifi. If you're traveling on the ACA TransAm be sure to follow Split Rock Cafe on twitter for specials and events  

The town of Jeffrey City was originally named "Home on the Range WY" but the named was changed to memorialize Dr C. W. Jeffrey who financed the early uranium mines which brought wealth to the small town and it grew to have a huge high school, stores and shops, hotels, and a small hospital.   When the mine closed down, 95% of the residents of the town moved on, leaving just a handful of residents.

If there were a place to shower here, Jeffrey City would be one of the best small towns for a cross-country cyclist.  One day The Monk King Pottery Shop may build a proper Bicycle Hostel complete with campground, showers, and shelters.