Monday, June 28, 2010

That's one leg down

Day 8. Ontario Oregon to Boise Idaho. Today will be the first and last time I ever leave Ontario and get to Idaho in 5 minutes by bike. That's because we left the town of Ontario Oregon (as opposed to the province of Ontario) and half a mile later crossed the state line into Idaho. The day started rather warm and is the first day I rode the entire time without arm warmers, leg warmers, or thin liners on my hands.

In fact, it was downright toasty. When we hit Boise, the thermometer read 99 F. But, as they say "it's a dry heat". Actually, I enjoyed it. I am so tired of being cold when I ride after training in March, April, May, and June in Toronto and then riding the first few days in Oregon. So long as you liberally apply sunscreen (which I did twice today) and drink tons of water/Gatorade, this is great weather to ride in.

Today's route took us southeast into Idaho through irrigated farmland that ran along an incredibly wide (but not particularly scenic) valley. Along the way we found a road sign directing us to Canada (see picture)! I think all of us on this ride were very happy that today's mileage was less than previous days (we "only" rode 100 kms today in the 99F heat). All of us are just beat. The injuries amongst my fellow riders are starting to pile up with sore achilles heels being the most common, followed by knee pain, aching backs, and of course, the old nemesis of anyone who rides – saddle sores. So far, I am injury and pain free (knock on wood – pooh pooh pooh, as my mom and Joey Goodbaum say). Yay – we have a rest day here in Boise tomorrow. Even the hotel we are in is really nice.

So, the first of 6 legs of this trip is over. Over 1,000kms in 8 days of riding. According to the charts, we have climbed close to 25,000 feet in the last 8 days, which is almost as high as Mount Everest (seriously). The riding mileage and climbing is so far out of my zone that I can't believe I'm actually doing this. I guess it's one mile at a time. What other way is there?

The days are melding together and it is getting hard to know what day it is, where we came from, and where we are going. Yesterday we were in a DQ getting the ceremonial end of day Blizzard (awesome) when a woman asked us what we are doing and where we were heading. I actually forgot and someone with me had to remind me. That's not like me at all (to those of you who know me). I can't figure out why that's happening to be honest. Anyway, when we told her we were riding across the country she thought we were pulling her leg. The other day a waitress in a restaurant asked us where we were riding that day and when we told her she said "are you nuts – that's a really long drive!".

This is quite an experience for sure. It's not exactly what I expected. I have been almost overwhelmed by some of the things I am seeing and pushing myself to do. Every time I think of how hard it is, I remind myself how hard certain things are for others to do, in particular my cousin Lara. Hope you're doing well Lara. I think about you all the time on this ride.

Now it's on to the mail:

Cathy from Saskatoon writes: "Your trip sounds amazing. It's great that you're raising money for such a worthwhile cause. God bless you and keep you safe". Thanks for those kind wishes Cathy.

Fred from Moose Jaw writes: "I've been inspired by your trip to take on a challenge of my own. I'm going to climb Mt. Logan and raise money for the Save the whales Society". Go for it Fred!

Susan Weisbarth from Toronto writes: "Where did you leave the printer paper in the office at home?" It's in the drawer under the desk, my Duchess.

Useful links for you:

Trip journal and photos by our tour leader Mike Munk:

This link is data from Jeff's bike computer showing stats from today's ride – very cool:

This link is Baltimore Mark's blog:

And this is Katie's blog:

1 comment:

  1. I admire your perseverance Mark! Stop worrying - you are doing an amazing job!
    I like the name WONDERBOY - The Natural is one of my all time favorite films!
    Watch out for mysterious woman wearing black hats!