Tuesday, June 26, 2012


Day 08

We're in Montana !   Welcome to Big Sky Country !

We spent the night at the Thompson Falls High School and were able to use the library to recharge electronics and check email and such.  Breakfast was a Mimmie's Cafe with eggs, hash browns, bacon and coffee.   Everything I am eating now is delicious, as our bodies are starting so say "FEED ME".

Rolled out with Katy Perry playing on my speakers.   Ok, I am one of the oldest riders on this gig, and I have been told I have some cool music ( and I know some of the words... the 20 somethings did not expect that ! ).   This was a 105 mile day, going to Missoula.   Charlton told us that there was a 30% chance of severe weather, and so we wanted to roll early, get it done, and be in Missoula before afternoon weather broke.

Eddy on the Clark Fork river
More gorgeous scenery along the river.  A big eddy and as I was taking a photo, the train started coming through.  We have seen a lot of trains.  They are much shorter than the ones along I-10 in the southwest, the gradients probably account for a lot of that.

Here Comes the Train !

Rob at Checkpoint
 Rob and Sarah have been riding with me most of the last few days.   Great people, love them all !

Sarah ( we had 2 biker chicks today )

Rockies in the background
Some old guy, with snow covered mountains in the background.

Jeffry's Thumbs Up !
Jeffry is from Tempe ( ok, Alaska orginally, but living in Tempe now, he's the other Arizona guy on the Big Ride )

Liz's Guns 
Liz looking awesome at the Checkpoint.

Rolling at beginning of a very long climb
And here we go.   Liz, Sarah, Rob, Yugi and Doron rolling up the beginning of this really long climb.   It was started to get warm and we were about 70 something miles into the ride for the day.  The climb was interesting, the topology looked like it was  flat, but we're pedaling with some effort and only doing 14 mph.   A bit of an optical illusion, as we were going up a 2.5% grade.

Rob & Liz & Rockies in the background with snow
 Ouch !   Stuff is starting to hurt.  Scenery is beautiful, but a lot of glass along the road.

Wildlife crossing just ahead of us
I had heard about these wildlife crossings.   Sky Island in Tucson has been working with ADOT to get one or two built along new construction for the Oracle highway.   There is tall fencing on either side of the road to funnel wildlife to use the overpass which is grassed and has small trees on it.   I wanted to inspect his a bit more, but managed to flat and got preoccupied with putting a tube in.

Today, I had the first problem with my tubeless tire setup.   I am running Hutchinson tires without inner tubes.   Love the feel of the ride of the bike, and the Stans sealant has been taking care of leaks.   But all good things must come to an end, and I managed to hit something that holed the tire.  Sarah told me "you're leaking ! " as white stuff was spraying out.   I turned the wheel so the leak was down, and it sealed almost instantly !!!   Rode about 35 miles or so, and then I hit something else that put a cut on the tire.   I "think" that the first impact caused me to loose enough sealant that the second impact could not seal because there was nothing left to do the job.   Regardless, I flatted on the other side of the crossing in front of the above pictures.   Put a tube in the thing and rode into Missoula without any problem.

Day 09

Got up this morning and worked on the bike and have a new Hutchinson tire mounted and a new shot of Stans, so we can see how well it holds up.   Best case scenario is that leaks are fixed, worst case is that I end up running tubes like everyone else.  Had to run inside when the weather tanked, and hail came down and it got really cold really quickly !   The sun is out and all sparkly now, very quick weather changes up here.

Today in Missoula, we have a Team meeting at an ice cream place where we get to meet the mayor and help support some clean air initatives for Montana.   That's what the ride is really about, helping ALA get the word out about Clean Air legislation.

Tomorrow morning we roll for Avon, MT.

1 comment:

  1. Mike, It sounds awesome! -Sarah M