Thursday, July 24, 2008

Day 44, In a roundabout way

Day 44, Hamilton, MT – Lolo, MT* 70 miles (3249 total)

July 24, 2008

Time on bike: 6:17:59

Avg: 11.2

Daily Ascent: 1145 ft (16 ft/mi)

Elevation at days end: 3200 ft

Max: 29.5 mph

I forgot to mention the coolest part of yesterday. I had just finished up my Poweraid and Reece Cups and crossed a river when I noticed up a head a herd of wild… something-or-another. They looked like deer but they had horns like rams. There were 35 of them and they weren’t too afraid of me. I cycled up pretty close to them and watched them graze along the side of the road and cross as traffic stopped to watch. Some of the young ones were up on the rock-face and I was amazed at their ability to climb and then to scale down the side! It was just so serene to watch them and to feel like I was just part of the scenery and that they didn’t mind me being there. Especially being on a bike and not being separated from them by a windshield and being totally vulnerable, I felt like such a part of everything around me.

Early morning today at 5am and on the bike by 5:45. The goal was to put on some MAJOR MILES. Missoula was coming up and it’s about 60,000 in population, plus it’s a college town. Missoula is also quite the bicycle town! I can’t remember seeing so many bicycles. They were parked outside of almost all of the shops in town! There were a number of marked bicycle paths on the roads for the bikes as well. I saw another recumbent as I entered the town. It seemed funny to me that Missoula would be so into bikes, being that they have summer probably only about 2 months out of the year…

As I left Missoula my rear tire went flat. Upon checking it I found a 1” sheet metal screw lodged into my tire as if someone had drilled it in there! It chewed up my innertube to the point that patiching it wouldn’t suffice. So, I put on another tube which already had a hole, patched that one, and biked back into Missoula to the bike shop to buy 2 additional tubes which I should have done in the first place. While there I figured that I’d just go ahead and do some laundry and also wash my sleeping bag which hasn’t been washed in I don’t know how many YEARS!!

To top it all off I found out that Missoula isn’t even on the route but it’s 13 miles off the rounte at which point you have to turn around and bike 13 miles back. So, all’s told I only biked about 50 miles towards my final destination but 70 in total.

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