YEEEESSSSSSS!!! I drove to Bozeman this morning and went straight to Recreational Equipment Inc., aka. REI. A dedicated young fellow named Matt helped me get my bike all outfitted with the basics that I wanted and needed. It was so awesome!!! Everything worked so smoothly!!! I had my REI credit card and I should have a fantastic dividend coming at the end of the year. It was less expensive than I thought it was going to be, though, honestly. The traffic on the Interstate was insane today, as well as being out-of-control in both Bozeman and Billings! When I got back to Billings, I got my bike tucked safely away and even put the front wheel back on with the through-axle properly (I think) with my multi-tool before parking the truck and going inside my apartment for a shower. I was done driving for the day. I was going 75 mph and loaded semi trucks were passing me doing at least 80 mph!!! CRAZY!!! I will have some photos of my new bike tomorrow, but tonight, I’m going to bed early because I had a long and exciting day! I’m so glad I made it there and back again in one piece with no incidents. I was being watched over, that’s for sure!!!
I need to go through my bag-o’-goodies that I brought in with my bike and see how best to pack them in order to take them with me bikepacking and commuting, and what I do and don’t need for commuting alone. I have a pannier on order that will be shipped to me and arrive in a few days (like five) for my laptop and such that has a mounting bracket that attaches to the side of the rear rack and keeps the pannier from flopping via a magnet on the bag (so cool!). I’ll go through a more complete list of what I got tomorrow when I’m not so tired, but for now, suffice it to say, I’ve got things covered for a while. I think. We’ll see. I’m pretty sure that everything’s going to be fine. This is so exciting!!!