Friday, June 19, 2009

Stuck in Lima...

Coming over Bannack Pass yesterday the mud gummed up my drivetrain to the point that my rear der. wrapped around my cassette and into the spokes bending my hanger and the der. simiultaneously. I was able to bend the hanger back only to have it snap off shortly after. I then converted the bike to a single speed shortening the chain and finding something that worked to get me the remaining 35 miles to Lima. The chain snapped twice in the next 35 miles, but I made it in for cheeseburgers, french fries, and coconut cream pie!

After lunch the plans began to come together. The Mountain View Motel let me use their computer to place an order with QBP. I then called Tim Krueger, Product Manager at Salsa cycles, stand up guy, and friend. He expedited the order and got it shipped UPS to me. It will arrive in Lima, MT this afternoon. I'll get the bike together and the show on the road. My hope is to make it the 80 miles to Mack's Inn tonight, then on to Wyoming tomorrow.

On its way to Lima is a new drivetrain, replaceable der. hanger, and a few other bits and pieces. I'll use this as an opportunity to tune a few things on the bike that are working and would likely make it to Salida, but are showing wear.

This mishap will put me a full day's riding behind where I was, but still likely under 20 days if I can keep the same momentum that the Trio of Chris Plesko, Kurt Refsnider, and I had going. We were rocking and enjoying the ride. I'll have to use this as impetus to catch back on to those gents.

It has been a good ride this far. My goal has, and still is, to finish this route. Under 25 days comes second, the daily goals keep things in perspective and get me to the next town. In the last roughly 900 miles and 7 days I have experienced more than I have words for, seen so much natural beauty of this country, and eaten a ton of junk food! I'm loving every minute of adventure. Even this little furlough is an opportunity to rest, regroup, and refocus to move on and persevere.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Day 1! Sparwood...

It's 10:12 here in Sparwood, rolled in at 9:30 after an incredible day of riding. Looks like my spot is not transmitting well. I'll need to change it's location for tomorrow.

Feeling good, riding well. It's recovery time for me; a shower, stretching, fluids, and a good nights rest...

Good luck to all the rest of the TD riders still out there tonight!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Ready?

I'm not sure I am, but I will be at 10am on Friday the 12th...

I'm putting all of this (although it has changed drastically!)

GDR Gear Check 1!

In a box with this:

The Ship

So I can climb on the plane tomorrow AM and head toward Banff. Lucky for me I've nailed seat 3-C first class all the way to Calgary.

I'm going to miss a few things while I'm gone. Rides with friends, Colossal, the house, the garden, cold beers, Mojitos, the CSA, the front porch, Minnesota summers, our bed, home cooked meals, backyard BBQ's, etc... but mostly, I'll miss time with her.

This Gelato

I've got a dozen nicknames for her, all of which she'd rather I not publish. This is a photo from our summer adventure last year. I'm looking forward to seeing Anni at the border in New Mexico. After I shower I'll be sure to give her all the hugs and kisses she deserves for being herself: Kind, Selfless, and Supportive are the words that come to mind immediately.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Shakedown.

Miker instigated it, Tim, Sean, and I showed up to work with our bikes loaded. At 4:30, three Fargo's and 1 El Mariachi headed to the river trail. Our pace was comfortable and the weather was perfect. It's hard to call it a shakedown when it's this good.

I stopped for a few photos of Tim and Mike along the way, here they are winding their way amongst the giant cottonwoods, sometimes the white feathery seeds they drop look like a dusting of snow.

RiverBottoms

After 20 miles and 2 stops, 1 for libations, 1 for food we arrived at the Lebanon hills campground. Not everyone was riding with frame bags and we had plans for singletrack so dropping the panniers and a few pounds of weight made sense.

Lebanon Hills just gets better every time I ride it. This year they've added more rocks and log rides making the course more technical and challenging. It is a good mix of fast flowing singletrack and technical handling. Here's Sean pushing into a berm on his Fargo.

Mailman

After 8.5 miles of singletrack we were a bit hungry. Back at camp the fire was started and stoves boiled water and heated beans. Boxed Pad Thai was good, but the refried/black bean/ taco seasoning concoction Tim cooked up was incredible. We feasted and enjoyed our New Belgium Arrowhead sitting around the picnic table, but it got late fast and exhaustion set in. We all climbed into our bags for a good night's rest.

Sometime mid-night I awoke to a symphony of snoring, not to mention too much heat in my bag. I remembered my earplugs and climbed out of my bag to strip down to the woolies and stick the plugs in my ears. After that it was all good dreams and comfort.

We woke to perfect sun and a couple of these making their way by camp.

You looking at me?

After coffee and granola we headed back the way we came. Back to work for the final day of the week. I felt fresh, got a bit beat up at Lebanon on the loaded Fargo, learned that I need to put my earplugs in regardless and sleep outside the bivy unless absolutely necessary. I knew this already, but needed the reminders. Wet down does nothing to insulate and a good nights sleep is critical.

It's less than a week from the start of Tour Divide. Still excited! Still nervous! I'm looking forward to reaching Banff with bike and gear in tow.