|Downtown Boise walking home from very good farm to table restaurant|
It's time to discuss the routine and other philosophical issues. This is a long trip and only rarely will I be spending two nights in one place. No one I know travels this way anymore. For years I have been the proponent of taking a long trip to one place and if possible, not leaving that place. If you want to go to Provence ( South of France), pick a town, pick a hotel in that town and stay there the entire time. Unpack your bag, hang a few clothes, fill the drawers, set out your shoes and put the suitcase AWAY. Likely, I have previously vowed to never violate this paradigm.
With Chuck on board for the first week, the routine was in soft focus. Now that he has departed and I am on my own, a pattern has quickly evolved only minimally different from the first week. After the ride I find a place to eat with the people I last have ridden. Then I check into the hotel, shower, bathtub wash everything dirty and hang it out while the sun is still my friend. I take everything out of suitcase and set it in like type piles on the unused bed. Next I clean my bike and go over any mechanical issues with the mechanic. Then back to the room where it is quiet and lonely, the latter not as bad as it may sound. Never having had my own room growing up, or in college, and then marrying almost immediately after college, has to put me in the 0.0001 percentile of adults in western civilization, with nights spent alone. This adds another dimension to the challenge and so far I am up for it.
The last room detail is to set up the technology. The bike computer (Garmen) is downloaded, the sound system placed in open drawer next to bed for extra resonance (I have a nice small speaker that attaches to the I Phone) and the lap top is plugged in and turned on. There are wires EVERYWHERE. Though Neurologists hate the government imposed electronic medical record requirement, I have to admit, the process has made me more comfortable with what technology has to offer for recreation purposes. Thank you my enemy. Now I can do ALL of this! "Ha Blanche, Ha" We have a group dinner, at the hotel or restaurant within walking distance, and back to the room to read or blog. Okay, somewhere in there, one or more cold ones are imbibed. This is vacation.
Next I would like to comment on what it is like to be on or with the bike for more than 6 hours a day. I would be interested to hear what the people I know very well would speculate. Is this like the cruel joke of giving a kid "all" the ice cream he can eat until he pukes? Things could change but at this point almost every second on the bike is a pleasure for me. The bike is magic. There are three basic factors accounting for this. As opposed to running or swimming, it is just enough speed to be thrilling, there is no motor and therefore no annoying sound production, and lastly, the awesome feeling of this movement being generated by my own power. These three are exponentially enhanced by nice weather (cool and dry which has been the case for the most part), new and interesting scenery and top conditioning. ( I gotta a few faults but right now, yeah, I'm fit). There is a linear addition of good company to chat with while pedaling. So the Ride is firing on all cylinders with two turbo chargers. I am generally disappointed when we reach our destination each day
|The Boise River just out of town|
|This is not Montana but I gotta call it big sky country|
This was the scene for most of the ride today on both sides of the road
Click below for link to today's ride
Today it was just under 100 miles to Twin Falls, Idaho.We were presented with a conundrum. It was nice and cool, below 60, in the early AM but the high in a small town half way through the ride was forecast to be 99 degrees. The wind was blowing from the East in the morning and from the West in the PM. In other words, did we want to battle the heat or the wind. Everyone choose the wind to battle, so it was off at 6:00 AM. I got a late start so I had to ride hard without a warm up for 10 miles to catch a group I felt comfortable riding with for the whole day. No way was I going to deal with the headwind alone. (If you ride with 3 or 4 other people you can trade off the point periodically and it is much easier to follow than to lead, especially if there is a significant headwind.) I feel a bit fickle having made certain claims in yesterday's entry, but I need to confess, there was a twelve mile stretch starting at about mile 75 that was a pain in the ass. I was tired, the headwind was getting old and the heat on the black road was noticeable. The scenery was also not too exciting. Only the company was good.
|The famous Snake River Canyon where Evil Knievel made his unsuccessful|
attempt to go across a long chasm in 1974
|Polly from Boulder. former basketball, softball and field hockey player.|
Now skier, rock climber, horseback rider and cyclist
|Snake River from bridge going into Twin Falls, Id|
Today was the shortest ride of the trip. With less than 40 miles on the schedule, we took a detour to the famous Twin Falls of, you guessed it, Twin Falls, Idaho. This only added 5 miles and we experienced our first 10 % descent and climb (back up) on the trip, when we went to get a close look at the falls. The remainder of the ride was flat and easy with favorable winds. There were a few minor mishaps within the small group I was with for the day. There was a flat, non functional odometer and a rider fell without significant injury. We were lucky to have these occur on a short day.
|Shake River, just west of the falls.|
Rainbow generated by the mist of the falls
|Mountains with blue hue to our right (South) along our straight shot West today|