Hello from the Green Hanger in Missoula Montana where I am doing chores (laundry). I got up this morning aching (from sleeping on a futon) and ideas dancing in my head on how to make my front fork perform better. Yesterday was race 2 of the Knobby Tire Series of Idaho (The official state championship series). Marcy and I just went into Albertsons to use the change machine where I poured all the change I could find around the house into the slot and waited to see if I had enough to do laundry. I did, in fact enough for a bagel and Starbucks coffee (and do laundry too). How cool is that.
I left last Friday after work. Well, not right after work because I had to ride my bike down to the Good Food Store to get supplies and stop in at the bank. After that I went home and packed the car. I didn’t get out of town until 4pm.
I drove 70 in hopes of stretching my gas mileage. I was not carrying enough cash to buy two takes of gas and pay the entry fee so I was going on a wing and a prayer. As I approached Idaho Falls I was excited to see that I was only down 2/3 a tank. I figured that I would go sign up for the race on Saturday and put the rest in the tank. Maybe it was possible to make it home.
At around 10 PM I stopped at a rest stop about 30 miles from Pocatello. I was almost there and I would camp out in the back of my car. The rear seat turns and lays flat and make a really comfortable bed. It worked well except for the occasional group of travelers looking in my windows to see how I was sleeping in my beetle. I felt like an animal on exhibit at the zoo.
In the morning I awoke and went exploring the lava fields nearby. It was pretty exciting but soon I felt the need for a bagel and a cup of coffee. I set out for Pocatello in hopes of going by a Starbucks. I was hoping my card had enough coffee bucks on it.
I did find a Starbucks and when I got my coffee I found a way to do some grocery shopping at the same time. I found out that Starbucks has that pure cane sugar in little packets. I stuffed a handful in my pocket. If I did this each time I had a coffee I could sweeten my evening Chai. I was excited.
The Knobby Tire Series is Idaho’s State Championship Series. When I registered for the race I commented that maybe the series should track all participants even the out of state ones. The person at the desk said that they would, just not for the State Championship. That’s cool by me. I would be honored to go for the Knobby Tire Series Championship. I was also pleasantly pleased to find out that it was only 25 bucks … I still might make it home.
The course was spectacular! It started out in town (Desert) and wound its way up through gulches and sagebrush weaving through the dry dusty terrain. After a fair amount of climbing the scenery changed to flowers and more of a mountain and alpine terrain. the course was all singletrack and plenty of climbing. Near the top of the course (12.5 mile loop) there were groves of aspen and the track went through them getting deep and dark at times. Some of the trail reminded me of being back out east again. There were roots and dark soil! The descents were fast and technical and even crossed a scree slope and at time forced a dismount to clear fences. Just when i thought I could not stand any longer I was treated to sitting finally while I climbed up switchbacks. This course had it all.
The race started out well and it seemed as though i would catch the pros again. I left the expert field in the dust and bridges up to the pro single speeders. Then the course got to me but not in a bad way. I had so much fun I forgot I was in a race and after lap one I decided that I better concentrate on my race and not worry about the pros. The course was great but it took its toll. My knees hurt from so much standing due to the technical and the downhill. I had been scared in some parts and wanted enough energy to concentrate on them for lap two. I slowed down and enjoyed lap two hoping my knees would hold out. They did and I scooted across the finish line in first place.
I came home a different way going through Lemhi and the Lemhi Valley. The scenery was spectacular but soon I realized that I would need gas and I was out of cash. i stopped in salmon and used the credit card. I was hungry and exhausted from all the adventure and I just wanted to know i could make it without walking so I gave in. I finally did make it and soon I was in bed at home resting.
So the gas mileage was astounding and the beauty of the trip was the usual majestic and spiritually soothing self. Now it is on to next weekend and the possibility of two races in Salmon and Cour d’Alene. Have a good week everyone!