Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Day #7: The Amusement Park Ride

Today's Route: Winchester, ID to Lowell, ID (76 miles)
Total Trip Miles: 360

There's not a whole lot to say about Idaho.

Except that it's fucking gorgeous. All of it!

Idaho. Gorgeous. Period.

I remember Idaho quite well when I made the 2,000 mile drive out west from the Chicago area to Seattle back in 2007. Driving though Montana on I-90 was mostly boring. But once I crossed the Idaho border, the views were amazing. And then once I crossed the Idaho border again, this time into eastern Washington, the scenery again changed to boring.

It's almost as if Idaho picked the longest straw, enabling it to draw its border around only the most beautiful scenery.

The elevation charts of my maps have a little disclaimer: "These profiles are only intended to show you the general elevation of the route, allowing you to plan for major climbs and descents." This means that a route can surprise you with rollers.

Let's put it this way. Today was the first day I used my large chainring. And for most of the first part of the route, I rode in only the largest chainring or the smallest chainring. Yes, today was definitely a roly-poly riding day.

Oh yeah, baby!

About halfway into my ride, I had a 2,000 ft downhill freebie ride over approximately 8 miles. I love the freebies!

Why yes, I will put my Long Haul Trucker into its lowest gear.

The speed on the downhill reminded me that I haven't shaved my legs in a week. I could feel each and every hair blowing in the wind. Ah, freedom!

Eric, you'd be proud to know that I spotted an osprey today. It was flying down from its nest, which was on a platform at the top of a tall pole. I knew it was an osprey because of its large size, its narrow wings, the crook in the wings, the black and white coloring, and its eagle-like call. Yeah me! Thanks to you, Eric, I also spotted some magpies and some ravens.

Jake and his friend, Farhad, are co-founders of a mobile app game company. This sign totally made me think of them.

Thoughts of little Sudokus and Jumblines crossing the road entered my mind.

About fifteen miles shy of my destination, I ran into some construction. Because the road had been reduced to one lane of traffic, a pilot car (which was actually a truck, so henceforth I'm calling it a "pilot car-truck") was taking turns guiding the eastbound folks though the open lane, and then guiding the westbound folks through.

The lady holding the slow/stop sign said that it was too dangerous for me to ride through the construction zone, and so I would need to put my bike in the back of the pilot car-truck.

The pilot car-truck.

I threw my panniers in the bed of the pilot car-truck, along with my bike, and also me. The ride was great! It totally reminded me of an amusement park ride. (Yes, I'm easily amused.)

I'm not entirely sure that it was a whole lot less dangerous for me to be riding in the back of the truck. But that's ok.

My amusement park ride.

As part of the construction, they've been "aerating" the pavement in anticipation of an upcoming repaving. The pockmarked pavement made for super bumpy and uncomfortable riding. At first, I was grateful that I wore my padded shorts. But after awhile, the padding no longer helped.

Crotch losing pavement surface.

I think I may have left my crotch back in Syringa.


  1. Awesome! Looks like the weather improved to!

    So I got the handle bar bag and the map case but I've run into a problem. The case is designed to attach via loops (on the case) to hooks on the hood of the bag. My bag has snaps on the hood, which makes me think Ortlieb changed designs somewhere along the way. I'm pretty sure safety pins are in my future. How's yours work?

    Really enjoying reading along! I leave a week from today.

  2. Hmmm...both my bag and map case have snaps. Are you sure you have the correct Ortlieb map case? Jake just got a new Ortlieb bag and map case, and they both have the same old school snaps as mine.

    A week from today? Woohoo! You must be pumped!

  3. You got to ride in a pilot car. I'm envious. Yes, this is a childhood fantasy -- I thought it would be SO COOL to drive a pilot car, making everyone follow you whichever way you decided to go.

    1. A "childhood fantasy," eh?

      No judging here. ;)


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