Day 13 – Pocatello, ID

Garmin Data:

WIND! Remember this as a theme during all my late winter and spring training. Well, wind is the topic again today. However, today’s wind was a VERY friendly one! It carried us effortlessly all the way from Burley to Pocatello. For much of the day it was a pure tail wind — and the rest of the day it was behind us off to one side or the other.  What a wonderful treat! And if you check out the Garmin data, it shows it! We covered 86 miles in 5:22  (not counting stops, that’s 16.0 mph!).

Now, if you’re not a cyclist, I’m not sure you will understand what I’m about to write. Riding with a tail wind today was nothing like riding with a tail wind at home. How can that be, you ask. Well, since I generally ride out-and-back routes at home, starting out with a tail wind only means that there’s a really good chance that I’ll have a head wind on the way back home. Out here, you get the tail wind “free and clear.” No pay-back worries.  (Now, I do realize that the chances of this tailwind continuing are slim to none — but as long as we have it, I’m gonna enjoy it!)

I tried to take a few shots that illustrated the wind… they really don’t do the wind justice, but you get the idea.

When I took the grass shot, the wind was moving right to left…

and, if I have to tell you the wind direction on this shot, we need to talk!

When we started out this morning at 6:45-ish it was a weeee bit chilly. Like 45 degrees chilly. A few brave souls went with bare legs and arms. Not me!  I had three layers on the bottom (more on that in a minute…) and three layers on the top.  Somehow, my long fingered gloves never made it in with my gear, but luckily I picked up a pair of light work gloves yesterday so my fingers were also protected from the “frigid” temps.

So, three layers on the bottom….that’s TWO pair of bike shorts and my long tights. It turns out, wearing two pair of bike shorts is a well known “trick” on these long rides. My friend, Jenny, who rode across the USA in 2004 with the American Lung Association told me about it, and they talked about it again here after some folks were complaining about saddle sores and tender bottoms.  I decided to join the club and I must say, it is AMAZING! I’ve never been in a situation where it made sense before, but with over 885 miles in two weeks — it makes real good sense! I’ve been doing laundry (in the sink or at the motel facilities) every day so having clean shorts has not been an issue even though this new fad goes through clean ones twice as fast!

OK — enough of that topic, on to something else!

I snapped this shot of (l-r) Kim, Tom and Bob at the luggage loading. I hardly get to see these guys because they ride like maniacs and once they leave the hotel parking lot I don’t see them again until I get to the motel.  Wonder if it has anything to do with what they’re eating for breakfast.

The route today took us out in the middle of nowhere! Literally! I didn’t take too many shots along this stretch because they all would have looked like this one.  Some cows broke up the monotony and the cracks in the road created some different patterns – so the “thump, thump, thump” would change cadence as we rode along. We also crossed a half dozen or so cattle grates. This is still open range and by now, we’re all getting real good at standing out of our saddles and crossing those nasty things!

That’s Leo keeping an eye on Mama and baby. No doubt the cow sees lots of cars on this road, but a bicycle? This seemed to be a new experience for everyone.

Another good diversion is having a flat tire. Scruffy (a.k.a. Gary) abliged us today. His flat was extra special because he has a tire/rim combination that is ultra-tight and it took “three small boys and a monkey” … well, actually, our hero, Jim (in blue below and now known as “The Wizard”) came along to rescue us. It is uncanny how Jim, Mike and Karen arrive whenever one of us stumbles or needs a hand. I’m starting to believe they really are super heros!

“Scruffy” will disappear in a few days of corporate life and then join us again in Casper. Wish we could convince him to stay and just call in sick !

Our first SAG was at an old,  no-longer-open store. The gas pumps were still there, so I decided to gas Scooter up for the ride into Pocatello. Those of us who were riding weren’t too cold, but poor Jeff (ABB Staff) at the truck was jumping around like he had pepper in his shorts in an attempt to get warm.

Leo and I were riding along and came upon Nan who was about to close a deal or this fixer-upper. This wasn’t the only one in the area so if you’re looking for an investment…  And, did you notice, Nan has a kickstand! Believe it or not, there are a couple of folks here who have them. Who’d a thunk!

There was one  official point of interest today – Register Rock. The first picture explains the others…

Once we got to the end of this “cow path” and Register Rock we did a little interstate riding — some of the smoothest surface we’ve seen on the entire trip so far. Here’s a picture of Leo with his Bike Friday (…named Tuesday, of course) on our approach to the highway.

At the second SAG stop, I caught Karen with her halo showing! The staff really are saints — but until now I didn’t have any proof!

Today’s parting shot is of Scooter — he was getting real tired of crossing the cattle gaurds so he decided to just stop and take a break in one!