Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ride Day 96 by jimfrogs at Garmin Connect - Details

Ride Day 96 by jimfrogs at Garmin Connect - Details

Ride Day 95

Today I rode from Colgate Licks campground in Idaho to Lolo Hot Springs in Montana going over Lolo Pass at 5235' and the continental divide. The ride was a lot of climbing but it went easily because the grade was not too steep. I rode it alone as my friend Mark left earlier than I did because he wanted to ride al the way into Missoula but I did not want to get to Missoula until Friday so I took it easy. I had two breakfasts at Lochsa Lodge before going over the grade with two other riders I have been running into a lot since we are going the same direction. We had a good time together. Although we rode separately over the grade we met up at Lolo Hot Springs and shared a campsite and hung out in the hot pools together. The weather here has been scattered showers that have not been real heavy so they are ok to ride in. I am taking the day easy again tomorrow so that I don't arrive in Missoula until Friday. More later...

Ride Day 94

Today I had a short ride of 54 miles and climbed 2700’ still following the Lochsa river as it gets faster rapids and is becoming smaller. The ride was easy rolling hills that steadily climbed higher ending at Colgate Licks campground. I took it easy because I have been pushing it hard lately and I am now only a one day ride to Missoula Montana. I was surprised today with my first flat tire. Of course I had to get a flat in the rain which just makes repairing it that much more slippery and dirty. I took the tube out and found a goat’s head thorn in it. I think maybe the thorn has been in the tire for days and only just today worked its way into the tube to cause the leak. I pulled the thorn out with needle nose pliers that my fellow rider today, Mark, had with him and put in a new tube because it is too much hassle to try to patch a tube in the rain. I only lost about 15 minutes due to the flat. This is a very wild part of the country around here. The Bitterroot Wilderness starts on the other side of the river and goes 150 miles before the first road and is over a million acres of area. The campsite next to me is full of bear hunters. I did not take many pics but not because this place isn’t beautiful but rather the camera just can’t capture the immense size and depth of the vistas and the light rain made everything I tried to take a pic of look blurry. It is less than 30 miles to Lolo pass which is at 5235’ then a long downhill coast to Missoula. I am not riding tomorrow. I want to try to get to some local hot springs to rest my tired old body before I hit the big city. I plan on getting into Missoula this Friday afternoon. There is no cell or wifi around here so until I get to Missoula I am just saving these blogs. More later…

Ride Day 93

Today I rode from Winchester Idaho to Lowell Idaho 80 miles and 5200’ of climbing in more perfect riding weather. I left Winchester at 7 AM after a big breakfast at the cafĂ© there. All the people in Winchester were very nice, friendly and helpful as well as chatty. I had a good night of rest in the city park there for free. I did have a small problem with a seizure during the night but it wasn’t a bad one so I came out of it alright. The only lingering problem from it is a little higher pain level today but I will survive. It threatened rain for most of the day but I only got a few sprinkles that felt good and cooled me down. I had expected an easy mostly downhill ride today but instead I had a day of big rollers that look flat on the profile of my map but are in fact some big hills. The downhill came all at the same time in the morning part of the ride where I got to glide down to Kamiah for 8 miles. The ride in the morning was through fields of wheat and soybeans on a road with a mostly good shoulder. In Kamiah I ran into two other bikers that I have seen a couple times before. They are also heading to Missoula on their first bike tour. They have had some bike problems but otherwise have been doing well. I am sure I will see them again. Today they wanted to go to some hot springs along the road and invited me to go. The only thing that stopped me is the shortest walk was a half mile each way and it is impossible for me to walk that far. I stopped to look and see if I could ride my bike on the trail but it did not look possible so I had to pass on the hot springs. That would feel good right now after all the hard days in the saddle. Riding along the Clearwater River Wilderness area and the Lochsa River also surprised me today because I expected that to be pretty flat but it rolled a lot and climbed in elevation as I rode along it. It was still an easy ride compared to the last few days for me. The river looks beautiful with rapids along most of its length making a nice background sound along with the birds singing and the eagles, ospreys and hawks flying overhead which all together made it a very nice ride. The shoulder of the road is not good but not real bad either. I survived another day on the road. I camped with another biker, Mark, I met at the end of the day in a USFS primitive campsite right on the bank of the river and slept to the river sounds. It was good to have a fellow biker to talk to tonight. Mark is going to Virginia also but he is taking the more direct Transamerica route…more later.