Gavin last saw Jenna on June 12, Day 2 of his fundraising ride for Ecojustice. Three weeks later, he taps his inner romantic and waits for her at bus station in Fargo.

Day 23
July 3
Distance Travelled: rest day (Lodging: Comfort Inn, Fargo, North Dakota)

I woke up and biked to a diner with Judith and Carbon John, where I had an omelette that came with a side of hashbrowns AND a side of pancakes, which was amazing. I’m pretty sure that my cappuccino (a luxury) was actually a hot chocolate, but it was a good hot chocolate. Carbon John insisted on paying because I was a visitor. Judith went to work and I wandered around town, eventually biking out to Comfort Inn, a hotel that Jenna had booked near her bus station in a strip mall on the western edge of Fargo. I filled the room with a scattering of green balloons, chocolate, beer, oranges and a ribbon that said AWESOME in capital letters. I walked to the bus station and stood there among pre-4th of July fireworks when Jenna stepped off the bus at 10:30 p.m. Strange and surreal that it was actually happening. Here we were, 2,000 km from home in a small town we had never seen before. We were there, in the same place. It worked. It worked!!

Day 24
July 4
Distance Travelled: rest day (Lodging: Comfort Inn, Fargo, North Dakota)

Things were slightly less surreal in the morning over continental breakfast, but no less amazing. We didn’t actually start to re-assemble Jenna’s bike from the box that she had shipped it in until early afternoon. We discovered that something was wrong with the bearings in the hub of her front wheel so that it would hardly turn when attached to the bike. We also discovered that my largest chainring had somehow bent so that the chain could no longer run along it. I say “discovered”, but that word implies a quick realization, which is false. It actually tok a couple hours of fiddling with stuff before we had the whole thing figured out and realized they were problems that couldn’t be fixed without more tools and expertise. The bike shop was unfortunately closed for the holiday.

We cancelled on plans to meet Judith for a bike polo potluck downtown because it was too far to walk and instead hung out and managed to have an excellent time in a Fargo strip mall. After dinner we stepped out of our hotel room to watch what we thought were fireworks. It turned out to be lightning, lightning like I had never seen before. Perpetual lightning. No gaps. Then the tornado sirens started. We didn’t know they were tornado sirens; we had to be told. The rain hadn’t come yet, so we stood outside under the hotel entrance and watched the approaching chaos, ready to head for cover if needed. There was no tornado in the end, but there was definitely rain. Rain, rain, rain, rain, rain. It felt good to go back to a cool dry hotel room together.

Bike repairs dominate Day 25 and include a return to Great Northern Bicycle Co. Be sure to return. We’re also coming to the end of our daily recaps. After Day 30, our plan is to switch to weekly updates.