Big Day yesterday. Disaster averted when Big Sky bike shop found my front axle loose. Reinvigorated I went for Basin, MT. Didn’t realize the one of the 3 mountain passes between Helena and Basin was gonna be such an ass kicker. Thre last 3-ish miles of the Lava Mountain pass was the toughest thing I have ever done. Imagine 14% grade, pushing a 60 lbs bike up over washed out jeep track strewn with boulders and the debris/remnants of fallen trees all in the dark with nothing more than a head lamp. Didn’t get any photos. Too busy pushing. Took me approx 9 hrs to cover the 38 miles and 5000+ feet of climbing.Rolled into Basin approx 1am, had trouble finding a camp spot, ended up setting camp in the easement of I-15. Got a good 4 hrs sleep. Now waiting for the post office to open to fetch my care package I had sent myself before leaving.Gonna be a big day today also. Fleecer Ridge day!!!
Hoss is currently pulling 100+ mile days – here’s a couple of pics he had time to send thru during a burger stop in Ovando. Kathy, who runs the Blackfoot Angler, keeps an eye out for Tour Dividers, and makes sure they get water and so on.
Well, I am as ready as I will ever be. Bike is loaded with gear and approx 6000 calories of food onboard. I am guessing the bike weights approx 60lbs with no water loaded yet. After the 1st 10 mile stretch there are no food options for 90-ish miles, plenty of streams to pull water from along the way so I will start with just 2 liters.
Race starts at 12:00 Mountain Time tomorrow. Hope I can get some sleep, getting very anxious to get this party started.
One thing I always had an issue with during my training rides was trying to figure out where and how I would carry my Bear Spray.
As it is a potentially important survival tool which needs to be easily and quickly accessed quickly, figuring out where to effectively carry it always gave me trouble.
At one point the handy fabric holster that the Bear Spray came with was zip-tied between two water bottle mounts where it took a good yank to have it in hand and ready to fire. I also tried wearing it on a belt around my waist, or zip-tied to one of the suspender straps to my hip pack. None of which I was confident in nor happy with how it rode.
I saw an add on Facebook for a product that a company makes that adapts the narrow Bear Spray to a water bottle diameter.
That got me thinking, I bet I can make one myself. So off to the REI in Kalispell, MT. I grabbed a sample Bear Spray canister off the shelf and then went to the bike section of the store. I tried numerous bottles until I found one that fit but just barely. Inserting the Bear Spray canister fully into the water bottle I took a measure of how much I would need to shorten the bottle. One problem I encountered was that the Bear Spray fit so well that it was vacuum locked I to the bottle. No problem, just drill a hole in the bottom of the bottle since it will no longer be an enclosed bottle.
And Walla!!! Bear Spray holder that fits conveniently in one of my 5 water bottle holders. Losing the water capacity won’t be an issue in Grizzly country. Once I get south out of Bear country I planned to dispose of the Bear Spray anyway and the regain my water carry capacity.
PS – I also made one for Paulette as well. I need to make sure my ride home from Antelope Wells is not eaten by a Bear while on her MTB bike adventure too.
Pit stop on our way to the northern border brought us to Idaho Falls. We took a little time out of the Rubicon to take advantage of the nice paths in the downtown area.
Nezt stop? Headed to Whitefish Bike Retreat for a few days.
So, one thing I did not anticipate in my preparation for this event was that some of my cold weather gear may not fit after losing 18 Lbs since March. Went for a brief ride this morning in Idaho Falls where it was a nice 53 F this morning. Quickly discovered that my leg warmers would not stay up. Solution is to wear the leg warmers tucked under the leg of my spandex bike shorts/bibs.
Everything has been check thrice. The Kid has been briefed to take care of the house and cats, to include much to his dismay, petting the cats. Everything loaded into the trusty Rubicon for both mine and Paulette’s adventure, there really is nothing left to do but drive.
We set out a day early to not only break up the drive just a little bit but to put an end to the stress of, “whatever do I need to bring “.
Rolled thru Llano Texas right at supper time so of course we stopped at Coopers BBQ (arguably some of the best on the planet) Sorry, no foodie photo’s, we were to hungry. Made a nice sunset cruise thru Central Texas making it to Lubbock around 11PM.
This is the final load out of the kit & gear. I feel like I may have forgotten something?
You can follow along here – he will be posting up when he is able.