Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Segment 2, Summer

7-3-16: off day 2 - The end of segment 2 has me driving to Salt Lake City to pick up my son and grandson, who are leaving their car there, and biking back to SLC with our riders. The rest of the group are acting like tourists in Yellowstone!

7-2-16: bike day 12 - West Yellowstone, MT: 74 miles. Headwind and slight uphill for most of the first 40 miles. My knee was hurting so I decided to sag for the next 20 and then bike to the church the final 14 miles. Took off, made a left turn catching some tailwind, and started pedaling easy, waiting for my knee to stop hurting. Finally decided it was swollen and was not going to stop hurting, so I turned back to the rest stop and sagged to the church.

 This was the last bike day for segment 2. My son Matthew and grandson, Judah, are joining for segment 3 to Salt Lake City!

7-1-16: bike day 11 - Ennis, MT: 55.5 miles. Got away from the church ahead of all but Dave and Jennifer. Dave took off but I stayed with Jennifer at about 20 mph for about 3 miles when a pace group caught us and tried to pass. Jennifer was having none of that, so they all dropped me fast. I managed to maintain a good pace until we got to the Lewis and Clark Caverns where we were scheduled for a tour. I decided to skip the tour and just kept on riding to try and beat some of the heat. So with no one to keep up with or stay with, I relaxed and just did a comfortable easy pace. Then it started to get hot, and with about 20 miles to go I started about an 8 mile climb. Not too bad a grade until about 5 miles to go when I was seeing 7% up and down from 5% which turned into a tough climb in the heat. I made it to the summit, took a selfie with the sign, and was resting in the only shade of an RV. Then a lady opened the door, asked me how I was doing, and if I would like a ham sandwich that she was making for her and her husband. I declined the food, but asked for water which I desperately needed to get through the last 11 miles. This is the kindness that I continue to experience each of the 6 years I have been biking for FCBA. Then, on to the church, hoping that none of the other riders would catch me and beat me to the church. Well my 2 or 3 hour lead was enough, and for the first time I was first. Maybe I should just wake up 3 hours earlier and leave before everyone else? Ok ,maybe it is just not important enough to be first, as it has never been a race. At least not for me.

6-30-16: bike day 10 - Whitehall, MT: 85.5 miles. I am still not feeling 100%, and with a long climb the first 20, I chose to help drive my car. Then I biked the middle two sections, for 46 miles. Felt pretty good and had fun riding at 23-24 MPH for 15 or more miles. I was with Stephany, and Leslie of DC3 fame, and we blew by Dave (one of the faster riders) who had stopped, and he had a time catching us. OK, so it was downhill, with a slight tail wind. Had some strong head winds for a while, and my support van had to take a bike off the roof because of a low tunnel. 

  Last night I had a tire that was low, so near the third rest stop when I saw a Toyota dealership, I decided to wait with my car, and take it to the dealer after the sweeps left. They found a nail, and repaired it best they could. If it holds air overnight it should be good. If not I will have to find another dealer to get a new tire. Not having fun with car problems this year. Tomorrow is a short day with a climb, and we are stopping as a group to visit some cavern; more on that tomorrow.

6-29-16: bike day 9 - Philipsburg, MT: 80 miles. First, thanks for all the well wishes on my riding! However, all that sweetness must have made me sick because I woke up this morning not feeling well. I managed to ride to the second rest stop, about 40 miles, before getting in the van to ride to the third rest stop. Tried to get it together and bike in, but after getting my bike off the van, I was just not feeling safe to ride, so back in the van. Napped all afternoon, and at least I’m not feeling worse tonight. Will have to see how I feel in the AM and decide to bike or ride. :-(  I want to bike, but will only do what I can.

6-28-16: bike day 8 - Missoula, MT: 62.3 miles, yet another climb day. Beautiful first 20 miles, climbs all day between 5% - 7% and all on roads. After the first 20 miles we were jumping on and off the interstate for short distances, having to keep catching the side roads. No malts yet today, chocolate or otherwise (otherwise not really even being an option!). Still some pretty riding, but it started to get hot after the last rest stop, but stayed under 100F. Today I made sure I had enough water.

  Rode some with Stephany and Julio; also with Ericka, then most of the last 20 miles with Diane Buckley-Maidt and Liz. Getting to know the new people a little better; starting to bond as family. 

  So, I’m a little short on donations, but still getting some coming in. Missing home, missing archery, missing my birds, and missing Hobbs.

  In 2013 I struggled with saddle blisters, and switched to supporting. In 2014 Lois and I supported together, and in 2015 I struggled mentally and with the heat, so I stopped biking and supported. This year no blisters, (just normal tired and sore butt), the heat is bearable, the mental is under control, and next week my son Matthew and grandson, Judah, will be joining me for a week. Life is great!

6-27-16: bike day 7 - Superior, MT: 66.9 miles, with another climb day today. Started out with about 7 miles of easy grades, switched to a dirt/gravel/rock combination, about 8 miles of climbing at 5% to 7% grades with one short area that I was not going fast enough to record the grade and I had to get off and walk maybe 20 yards. Otherwise It was a lot of fun on this section. Then a downhill - nice!. That was followed by another climb on a full gravel road, hard packed, but had to keep trying to dodge rumble areas in the gravel. That was followed by a great downhill to our last rest stop. I found a chocolate malt (well, you know, bought at a store), but it only rated a 6.0, but at least it was cold. The last 16 miles the weather started getting hot, and I ran out of water with about 5 miles to go, with the temp registering 110F-113F. Tired tonight 😴

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