Sunday, July 4, 2010

The bully is in the playground

Day 13. Pocatello to Idaho Falls Idaho. What a beautiful day for riding. The day was sunny and crisp in the morning, yielding to warmer temperatures in the afternoon (like 23-24C). Our group of Geldings decided to take it a little easier today given our daunting day ahead tomorrow.

Before we get to today's ride, after dinner yesterday, tour leader Mike led the entire group on a final safety inspection before our ride over the Teton Pass and down into Jackson Wyoming. It promises to be a very challenging day, with over 5,000 vertical feet of climbing along with about 135kms of riding. Apparently the last 3 miles is a very steep grade (over 10% grade) which will be formidable to say the least.

Anyway, back to the safety inspection. ABB takes bike safety very seriously. So seriously in fact that they got me good and paranoid yesterday. It seems that while the ascent up to Teton Pass (over 8,000 feet elevation) is tough, the descent can be downright terrifying, especially if any part of your bike is not working properly. Some riders on previous tours have reached speeds in excess of 100 km/hour on this descent, which is remarkable. I have no intention of riding that fast, even though my bike checked out just fine. We tightened my front brakes and replaced my front tire due to a minor tear in the sidewall (better safe than sorry).

On to today's ride. At breakfast this morning I got the requisite ribbing for my appearance on the local NBC newscast last night. We loaded the truck and got moving around 8:15AM. The ride today again went through prime Idaho farmland. Is it a law out here that every home has to have 2 dogs? It's crazy but you can't pass a house here without a dog barking at you or trying to chase you. Anyway, we rolled along nicely, aided by a lovely tailwind and came across stunning vistas and some local farm life. We got into charming Idaho Falls around 12:30PM and had lunch ( Then Joe and I took some video and snapshots of the Idaho Falls.

Here's video of Idaho Falls:

So here are the statistics to date on the ride:

982 miles (1,591km) ridden
17.1MPH (27.7km/hour) average speed
106 beats/minute average heart rate while I ride
23,260 calories burned
3 flat tires
3 Snickers
3 Blizzards
2 milk shakes

Our average speed is significantly higher than my training norm and is driven by the fact that I'm riding in a group, we're riding West to East (and have had favorable winds), and that we are riding where there are few intersections/stop lights to interrupt our flow. Plus, I think we're getting stronger each day. We're also getting more and more tired and broken down each day. Today, for the first time, I was in a bit of pain as my thumb was spasming (is spasming a word?). It's not a big deal though. I'll cope with it as we roll along.

Today's blog title is about the bully in the playground. The bully is the Teton Range, and he is picking a fight with us, starting tomorrow. We are all a little intimidated by this bully (I think). But we're going to show up tomorrow, en masse, and deal with him. I guess that's the only way to deal with a bully anyway. The only times in my life that I was confronted by a bully, I learned that you do (as the old adage goes) have to stick up for yourself. Tomorrow a whole group of us are going to stand up to this bully and, as they say in Western Canada, "give 'er".

Not much mail today:

Duchess from Toronto writes: "I wish you were home so you could write fake Facebook things on my Facebook wall." Hopefully I'll be able to do that sooner rather than later my Duchess.

Here are my Garmin stats for the day:

This is Joe's blog:

Trip journal and photos by our tour leader Mike Munk:

This link is Jeff's blog:

This link is Baltimore Mark's blog:

And this is Katie's blog:


  1. Macy called ahead to all her friends and warned them that good food was approaching!!

  2. acu-torture?! wait til he prescibes ancient chinese meds to complement the treatments. More giggles from old chinee-man. At least it won't be caterpillar soup which I can say from experience is worse than gefelte fish. Wait..I like that dish. Hankering some har gows and sui mais?
    Here's to more toe wiggling Lara!