Saturday, June 15, 2013

So far so good

Greetings from Eureka Montana!  The race has been the time of my life even with a few challenges mixed in. 

Had a hard time finding my legs on day one as my stomach was nervous but was happy to make my minimum goal of Sparwood and ahead of schedule too. Weather was changeable if you didn't like it then ride a half mile for something new...  All in all a good day.  144 miles with route finding and about 6000 vertical feet total. 

Here's a panorama of Spray lake in light rain. 

What's not to like about a day starting next to the largest truck in the world?

That thing ROLLS!

Long day today, harder than yesterday with more vertical but 10 fewer miles at about 130. I'm playing out strategy of finishing with longer miles to come as my body adapts. 

We spent a lot of time crossing creeks or just riding down the spring thaw...  We rode this one about a mile. Some crossings were knee-deep but still rideable. 

Yes that's our route.  About a foot of water moving over a rock bed. 

Saw Billy Rice today!  What a machine. Here's a pic of us near Cabin Pass. 

I felt stronger today and tested myself on the late, hard and very long climb over Galton Pass. It's no joke. 

The joke was on us with the hands-down hardest steepest section I've ever pushed a bike up. NO ONE on earth could ride this 200 vertical foot mud wall. Crazy. But fun.  Check out this tiny section. No kidding- you physically push your bike up the wall while scrambling for traction. Nuts. 

The guy ten feet behind him is too low to see. This went on for about 20 minutes. Then the real climb began up 2000 more feet. 

Eddie in the photo is from Quantico VA. He's nearly deaf and had a major mechanical issue with his drive side crank arm separating from the spindle. He's praying to make Whitefish tomorrow for a bike shop on Monday. That's how this race goes. 

I've had two issues to mention. 

Yesterday at mile 68 I went over the bars into a mud hole as we descended along a power line. I saw the guy who was right behind me tonight and he said it looked scary. I couldn't tell I just saw mud.  At least three other people did the same thing in the same spot probably more I just haven't heard.

So my right side ribs took a shot but it reminded me of youngster year boxing at Navy. The coach said the only way to an A was to draw blood. I did OK.   

My ribs were sore yesterday and better today until the mud wall. Tomorrow is a new day. 

The crazy one was today. Riding along a dirt road- I'll leave rough out because that would be repetitious.

Riding down the Grizzly Highway and next thing you know my left leg isn't helping any more. I look down and there's my left crank arm hanging from my show. 

This being a family show, that's the arm the your pedal connects to. Important unless you only have one leg. 

Seems the carefully torqued bolts vibrated loose. That's what tools are for. 

Fixed and rolled onward. I saw many other issues out there but the rules limit rider assistance which is hard for me.  People were having a hard time today and that will increase daily. 

Got a warm reception at the border since my only items from Canada were empty food wrappers and mud. It's pretty common around here and hard to identify country of origin. 

Loaded up on gas station food for tomorrow and aiming for another longish day if all goes well. I'm finding my groove and sticking to the plan- although I didn't really plan beyond today.  I'm not telling. 

The goal is to finish as fast as I can. So each day I will do as many miles as make sense for various factors- food being a huge one. I talked myself out of an extra 20 miles tonight but soon that won't work. The field will thin over the coming days and my aim is to remain moving forward.  And hopefully up my daily miles too. 

Relentless forward progress. 

I'm loving every minute of this. 

Ask me next week...

Next update in a couple days. 

Thanks for the support. 

Check out and help them out!

Ride on- d2g



Anonymous Chris Rhoden said...

Don, thanks for posting. Watching this closely. Simply amazing. Stay strong, friend. More later.

5:27 AM  
Blogger d2g said...

Hi babe,
Doing an awesome job "just keep spinning, just keep spinning!!!" just like Dory would say:)
Love Nenks xxxx

7:41 AM  
Anonymous Rickster said...

Don - Great updates! The pictures are terrific.

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You rock Don! Keep it up. v/r COS

3:18 PM  

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