Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 10 - Boise to Mt. Home (52 miles)

Well, after a day of rest everybody was anxious to get started today, and the line of bags for luggage load formed pretty early.

We headed out of Boise with 7 or 8 miles on their bike trail system, which was really nice as we didn't have to deal with the rush hour traffic. By the time we got off the trail, we were outside of town. 

Another day where we had a stretch of interstate riding due to the lack of secondary roads around here that go in the direction we want to. We were on I-84 for 12 miles or so, but with the awesome tailwind we had today, there was nothing to complain about. Even being one of the slower riders out here, I was still appoaching 30 miles an hour.....and barely pedaling. 

......I sure hope those winds don't ever turn around and start blowing in the other direction. 

Once off the interstate, we found ourselves on some side roads. Wow, side roads out here are really out here. Usually I see power lines following a road, but with the lack of roads, we came across these that just head out over the prarie.

At least the traffic wasn't barely even existed until we got close to town. I've noticed that traffic always picks up a bit when you get close to a town out here, but can't quite figure out something.....why does traffic pick up close to town on a road that didn't appear to have any other roads connecting to it until you got to town?
Easy to get caught up in thoughts like that when the scenery doesn't change so fast.

As we all got in so early, thanks to that great tailwind, Mike put on a tire changing clinic before dinner today. Didn't sound exciting, but turned out there were a lot of things I didn't know about changing flats. Got some really good tips.

Well, it looks like bed early tonight as tomorrow is a 97 mile day. If I make it, that will be the 2nd longest ride of my life, next to last weeks 117 mile day into John Day. We'll be headed to Twin Falls. From what I understand, we'll cross the Snake River canyon near where Evel Kneivel tried his jump (I was told we have a bridge).

....until tomorrow. 

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day 09 - Boise ID to no where! Rest Day! Woo hoo!

Wow! A day off was really welcome after 600 or so miles to get here. Here are a few pics of what we do out here on an off day....

It's always a good time to clean the bikes up and have them ready for the next ride. Here's Rod getting his bike all cleaned up.

At lunch Todd got up to take our picture....not sure who this couple is. Oh well, he still got a good shot.

This place had the simplest menu. Sure makes the choices simpler when the selection is small...
Of course since it was only a few blocks away, some of us had to check out "smurf" field...the blue turf at Boise State's stadium. It really is blue....there's nothing wrong with your TV.

Phillip had a few calls to make as he has friends here....
...and of course, everyone took some time to catch up on their blogging. Here's Sandy and Mark K.
....Tom and Katie working on theirs....
....and it always helps to have an expert to help get the new gps gadgets up and working. Jeff has the same garmin model that Mark got. 

Well, tomorrow we're back on the bike headed to Mt Home. Shouldn't be too bad of a ride as long as the heat holds off for a bit.

Day 8 - Ontario, OR to Boise ID (62 miles)

Well, we've left our first state behind. Oregon turned out to be much more than I ever expected. The completely differing landscapes from day to day was really hard to comprehend. We went from the beach, to a rainforest kind of setting, to mountains, to desert, and finished up in farmland.

Going into Idaho, we were expecting at least a 98 degree day, so I didn't get a lot of pictures alongthe way.....didn't want to stop moving long enough. But I do have a shot from first thing in the morning at the state line.


Sometimes, when everyone's trying to get somewhere at the same time, it's just really hard to find decent parking.....

Looking forward to rest and relaxation here in Boise on our first rest day.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Day 7 - Baker City to Ontario (83.2 miles)

A really nice day to not have much climbing. After the last two days, any climbing at all is met with moans and groans from my entire body. This stretch is really wide open, with what seems to be miles between trees. It's amazing the variety of scenery and landscape from one day to the next, especially since we have been in the same state all week.

Today we actually rode on the interstate for a few miles. Apparently there wasn't any other way to get where we were going. They have cattle guards at all the onramps and exits out here, so that nothing wanders out on the highway.....didn't stop us though.

Don't think I'd ever seen a locomotive quite like this one just outside Huntington.....and yes, it is actually pulling those railroad cars.

Also, saw this old paddlewheel up on a trailer just after the semi-locomotive. When I saw the name of the boat, I just had to stop and take a picture. Still don't quite understand how a paddlewheel named "Robert E Lee" wound up in southeastern Oregon.

The big event of the day was that we've crossed into the Mountain time zone, so we're now only 3 time zones from the finish.

....and tomorrow we leave our first state behind and head into Idaho for a much needed rest. Only 61 miles until our first rest day in Boise. I have a feeling nobody will be wasting any time on tomorrow's ride. With a high of 98 forecasted, I think everyone will want to ride fast and finish early.

Thanks for reading. Hope you'll check back tomorrow.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Day 6 - John Day to Baker City (80.8 miles)

Really hard to think about getting back on the bike today, after that long ride yesterday. Today was another tough one, as we had 3 passes to go through, with lots of climbing. So far we've already climbed over 20,000 feet since we left the Oregon coast.
This first shot is what I was told, are the Stawberry Mountains. Not sure why they are named that, but our view was spectacular. Seems like we have these great views all around us most days.

....not sure how the early bicycle settlers ever pulled these giant wagons around. They're huge!

The first of the 3 climbs out of the way......

....and the 2nd one down as well. There wasn't a sign at the 3rd one, but if I had to guess, I'd say it was twice as high as the others....ok, probably not, but after climbing the first 2 already, it sure felt like a long way up.

Our last SAG stop was right next to this beautiful lake. Made me think about my friends in Arkansas, and how nice a day on the lake is after a ride in the heat.

Just a reminder.....I am hoping to raise some money for the American Diabetes Association through this ride, so if you're so inclined, I really hope you'll consider donating through my Tour de Cure site. There's a link on the side of this blog page, but here it is again in case you're reading this on Facebook.

Thanks. Be sure to check back tomorrow.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Day 5 - Prineville to John Day (117.39 miles)

well, I can't get the photos uploaded from today with this slow interenet connection, so I'll save them and post them tomorrow evening. The one I have to get up as soon as I can is the pic of my bike computer....showing 117 miles on it!! Yes I made it! Woo Hoo!

Now if I can just get out of bed in the morning for tomorrow's ride......

....ok, here are the pics from day 5

Had some nice views along the way, but with trying to make the distance, didn't stop much to take pictures often. Most of what I got were while taking breaks on the way up the climbs.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Day 4 - Kah-Nee-Ta to Prineville (60.4 miles)

Another nice view from a hotel window to start the day....
This desert area still has some amazing views. We could see snow capped mountains all around in the distance.
This river area reminded me a lot of the canyons near Ft Collins, Co. Just beautiful clear water running through an area that just looks water starved.
Jeff picked a spot with a great view for an impromptu water stop. Perfect timing too, as climbing up here I was going through my water bottles pretty quickly. Sure is nice to have support people who've ridden this before. They always seem to know just when you're going to need something. Also, check out that spot in the middle of this shot.....that's where I'll be standing to take the next shot looking back towards Mt Jefferson.
Awesome view, huh?
....and then just around the bend, I noticed this little flag planted in the side of the hill just across from the road.
It's amazinghow fast the scenery changes out here. From mountains to desert to farmlands.

Of course my day wouldn't be complete without needing some repairs. Here Jim is fixing my 2nd broken spoke of the trip (3rd on my new wheels) about 10 miles out from the end of today's ride. 
Well, better sign off now. Have to go get broken spoke #3 fixed. It went just as I was rolling into town. Looks like a new wheel is in my near future, if I can just make it to Boise.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Day 3 - Welches to Kah-Nee-Ta (65.3 miles)

Last night I stopped in the bar at the hotel in Welches and asked if they had a good margarita. This young lady said that all the ingredients were fresh, and proceeded to create a great margarita using fresh lemons and limes. After all that work for one drink, I had to get her picture.

Today's ride started with a 13 mile long climb towards Mt Hood. It was really hard to concentrate on keeping a straight line with all the breathtaking views in every direction.....

Then after a few nice decsents, along with a couple more tough climbs, we made a turn, and all the lush vegetation and greenery turned into sage brush and desert. Apparently between the coastal mountains and the cascades there is a very dry stretch here. Still some very nice scenery though.
Then after a screaming descent into the valley (yes, on this one, I really did come close to screaming) we even saw some wild horses getting some shade a couple of miles from the hotel. I'd have a picture of the ride down if I'd been able to take my hands away from the death grip I had on the brakes.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Day 2 - St Helens to Welches (77.62 miles)

Back through Portland today. They seem to have a really nice bike trail system there. Here are a couple of the views along the trail. Pretty cool looking houses all along the river.

An old rusty boat along the trail....

....and look at this....could've saved two days of riding. Oh well, I paid for 'em.....I'm gonna ride 'em.

Here's Sandy trying to find out which way we need to go for our our first detour.

First veiw of Mt Hood made all the riding worth while. Just a warning.....the veiws are so spectacular, that I'll probably have quite a few pics of the mountain over the next couple of days. Please bear with me. We'll be out of sight of it in a couple of days.

Forgot to put down the distance yesterday. I'll try to remember to add that from now on.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Day 1 - Astoria to St. Helens

Always read the warning signs before starting the day............

Nice veiw headed down the hill.....but it was a coooooold ride to the bottom.

Survived the day, but had a small mechanical problem. Lucky again as Mike just happened to be right in front of me when it went. Loaned me a wheel and got me back on the road. Here's a shot of Jim repairing my second broken spoke on these new heavy duty wheels I bought just for this to start wondering about them.