Friday, August 1, 2014

Location: - Missoula MT Miles = 100, Ave MPH = 11.9 Cum. Miles = 1012

Wednesday July 30th

Quote of the Day: "The Exuberance to Pain Ratio hasn't gone below 1 yet. Not even close ".

Dew soaked tent in the morning:

Close to 100 miles to get Missoula and the profile looks like this. Need to get going. Packed the tent wet and on the road by 7am.

Early morning sun on the river:

A mirror pool where the river is wide and quiet:

A while back I picked up a newspaper in one of the towns that had an article on how in two separate accidents motorcyclists had drifted of the road of route 12 where I have been traveling for some time now resulting in fatalities. I am wondering if the riders got distracted at the unusually beautiful sights they had been seeing. It certainly is easy to do and I need to keep myself focused as I'm riding on the side   of the road that plunges down rocky slopes to the river.

Finally breakfast break and opportunity to let the tent dry after 36 miles:

Perhaps this should be the new poster child photo for the word "Tenacity"

Don't know how it stays there at all much less in the spring flooding:

Mr Jack Day who taught me about bear spray. He told me he was given it by a ranger in Yellow Stone Park. Jack had an incident where he needed to tell a 20 something about his poor driving that almost "took him out". The guy waited for him up the road and wanted to fight this 70 year old. Jack took out his bear spray and the guy backed right off. and high-tailed it to his car. Gotta get some of that! Works on bears too:):)

Check out this rig. Jack who is a veteran of touring started in Iowa and is headed to Vancouver BC and then down to San Luis Obispo CA where he will leave his rig to resume again next year. He lists himself as "Senior Fellow of Bicycle Touring" on his business card. We could have talked all day but I had to press on.

Jack has this card he gives out which I really like. It helps to show his route:

Sorry for the bad photo but this is the Lochsa Lodge where I stopped for water just prior to tackling Lolo pass. It started raining here so I took shelter for 15 minutes dozing and getting lazy on the front porch.

Up over the pass - wasn't too bad at 3.8 Freebirds:

Now are you going to see this sitting on your couch? Viet Nam Vet on the way to Sturgess bike rally:

I have spent the day off and on thinking about Sandrine's quandary regarding cycling just for the sake of cycling and the boredom factor she mentions. Frankly speaking I don't get it.

For me the Exuberance to Pain Ratio hasn't gone below 1 yet. Not even close . But of course that depends on the window of reference. 

In the last quarter of a 7 Freebird ascent the ratio can go wildly less than 1 and you begin to wonder "what am I doing here?" This is when your feet are burning with searing pain to the point you would consider amputation ....  at least in the moment. It seems the legs never give out and can keep pushing, but the motivation wanes when each thrust forward increases the stabbing pain in your metatarsals. However, when you crest the last knoll - get off the bike - rip your shoes off as quickly as possible laying back while massaging the feet, then immediately it doesn't seem so bad. 

Water and re-hydration is shortly the next thing addressed and you come close to laughing with euphoria over having whupped another one and as the excitement of not having let one more of those climbs conquer you flows in. That is all that's needed. Endorphins?? Well I don't know but it sure feels good.

And now remember the pain that precedes all of this, is only every couple of days and for 2 to 3 miles out of that day. When measured by the span of each day with all the elation brought by new sights, experiences, beauties seen, and most importantly the wonderfully exceptional people you meet, the ratio hasn't gone anywhere near less than one and I don't expect it will.

Now riding a stationary bike is like cycling for the sake of cycling. With that I'll agree.

Evidence of a recent forest fire:

One of the outlying schools of the Missoula school district:

And now you know where the world headquarters is after wondering all these years:

I took this photo because it dawned on me that I hadn't seen a traffic light since Grangeville ID about 175 mile back. I have been traveling along the riverbeds of 4 different rivers in a traffic light free region:

At 13 miles outside of Missoula I turned over 1000 miles - see right computer/odometer. I no longer can track the daily ascent/descent numbers as Sandrine was carrying the Garmin Edge unit that did that for us:

Outskirts of Missoula:

I reached Missoula about 8pm and checked into a hotel and then went out to the Oxford a Missoula establishment that has been around forever. Here I met Mr. Ian MacKendrich an Auzzie that has been touring the US for 2 years. He is headed for Alaska. He knows bikes and touring inside and out and wow can he put away the pints.

I had hit 100 miles when I reached my hotel - 100.02 to be exact. This is my first century ride ever, which means a 100 mile ride for the non-cyclists, and I had done it loaded with over 90 lbs and with the Lolo Pass thrown into it as well. Can't say I'm not a tad proud of that.

The things we can talk ourselves into after 100 miles and not having anything but peanut butter, sardines, and nuts for 28 hours. This was 1lb of ground round followed up with an omelet and hash browns:

Ian's rig:

I am going to spend a few days in Missoula doing a few errands and regrouping before pressing on towards Yellowstone. I hope to do a blog in the next day that will explain the "no chain oil thing" to those who have been asking. I need to get a specific photo to help explain and I think I can do that while in Missoula.

And as always....

The Usual Disclaimer: 
And finally please remember the cause -  I will go into this in more detail and perhaps some level of haranguing later on, but for now here is the link .... and an additional link for donation   SoldiersBestFriend - Donate Please :):)  As you donate please enter my name in the appropriate spot so the folks at SBF can tally the results to encourage me and let me know WE are getting something done TOGETHER. Oh and I would be a lot more comfortable if you use the "honorarium" option vs the "memoriam" option - you'll understand when you click on the link:):).     I will be inserting this call-to-action in all of my blogs so I hope you don't mind.


  1. I'm having such a blast reading about your adventures. I'm sorry Sandrine is having second thoughts about this trip. I'm glad you are continuing on with enthusiasm! Keep on pedallin'! (& writing!)

  2. Almost forgot about Lolo Pass, it brings back memories. Your are going to be thrilled with Yellow Stone and the Grand Tetons. Thanks for letting me relive the journey through your eyes. Keep pressing on, the rockies and unbelievable.

  3. Woot Woot! Your pictures are fantastic and your story is even better. Lolo Pass was quite a feat for your screaming feet! But you made it! Sandrine should loan you that fancy GPS. Bummed that she is thinking of ending it just when it starts getting interesting. We will keep checking on you as you press on!

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  5. We remember fondly all of your warm hospitality