Monday, August 6, 2007

Day 13: Bear Lake to Huntsville, UT

Some of us felt our strongest, others explored the depths of their pain caves, and still others of us hit the edge of our sanity levels today. We climbed to 9,000+ ft, and pedaled up a 15 mile hill, against a headwind then descended 25 miles also against a headwind to our destination in Huntsville. With a total of 82 miles in the saddle, we all agreed today was our hardest to date. But the Wasatch Cache Mountains presented us with views every bit as beautiful as the day was difficult.

Hitting false summit after false summit gave me plenty of time to reflect on the milestones of this trip.
- One of us did our first century ride (100 miles in a day)
- We lost an iPod to a port-a-potty (then retrieved and tried to revive it)
- We found two weeks time to spend out of the office
- We met amazing people doing inspiring things to protect our wilderness
- 2 of us (Mike and Jerry) turned 60 (today!)
- 2 of us got engaged (Bree and Brent)
- We traveled to 3 states and covered more than 1,000 miles by bicycle
- We met amazing friends who will be with us for life

As we sat down to our last dinner together Harry, Hybrid.Pedal’s bike mechanic and over all cycling industry pro, gave us all goofy reminders of the trip AND we celebrated Jerry and Mike’s 60th Birthdays over 3 cakes (Chocolate, Carrot & German Chocolate). And we were joined by Barry from SUWA, and John and Adam from the Conservation Alliance. A special night indeed.

It is with mixed emotions that I’ll greet tomorrow, our last day of the ride. Thinking of not snuggling into a palace of a Kelty tent, on a cushy Therm-a-Rest with an inflatable pillow then getting up at the crack of dawn to sort out our identical jumbo Big Agnes duffle bags, kitting up in a hurry then rushing off to hit the road before the heat hits is odd. The end of this epic adventure, not seeing and riding with each other day after day, not having the support structure and family we have become, or continuously stumbling upon sights, gems & people we never anticipated leaves me a little at a loss. BUT the idea of fresh sheets, no shamy butter, clean clothes and a chance to get reaquainted with my running shoes is also very welcome.

So for now, I'll look to tomorrow with a big ol' grin, waiting to see what treasures the day holds for our group.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Day 12: Logan Canyon to Bear Lake, UT

“Follow your heart”
This morning we woke up to find Jeff from Yakima at our campsite which was a fun surprise. He’d braved the lightning storm the night before and driven 11 hours from Portland to join us for another day of riding out of Logan Canyon, Utah. If you’ve ever been in Little Cottonwood Canyon outside of Salt Lake or really any canyon outside of Boulder, it’s that kind of beautiful.

The food train continued in a major way when Carol, a buddy of Mike on our ride support, hosted an amazing breakfast at her house. About 15 really hungry riders descended on her house and devoured almost everything in sight including homemade cheesy bread, eggs and coffee (probably the best and strongest coffee we’ve had so far on the trip, not that we’re complaining).

We reluctantly left the cozy food-filled house and headed off for the 40-mile ride, which followed the course of the canyon along the river along a mellow grade, topping off at a false summit, with some more climbing for good measure – around 30 miles to be exact. When we arrived at Bear Lake (the Caribbean of the Rockies), we jumped in the water and swam. Swam some more, and swam some more. Then Bree, Linda, Shannon and Erika got totally lost in bizarre reeds several feet overhead. Check out the picture. All Shannon kept saying was “follow your heart and you’ll find your way out.”

So the sun’s finally setting now and it’s hard to believe the trip is almost over. Looking forward to 80 more miles tomorrow…wish you were here.

Day 11: Malad, ID to Logan Canyon, UT

We LOVE Idaho scones… They are like a giant dessert doughnut or a funnel cake but in Idaho they are dinner and breakfast food (instead of bread). After a balanced breakfast of “scones” and oatmeal we hit the road. Full of carbs and with fresh legs we were ready to take on the day and finish the Idaho stage of our ride. Today may have been out strongest riding day to date, with group speeds hitting up to 28mph! (Who would have guessed we’d ever be riding that fast?) The only downside we found to the speed is that sight seeing takes a back seat when getting there is such a focus. When we rolled into lunch, it was pretty clear that wheels and butts were most of what we remembered from the day’s ride.

We were psyched to be joined by Kevin Kobe, Adam and Carol from Utah State, who met up with us just outside the Utah border and were source for insider information as we rode into Logan.

Later in the evening Winter Wildlands, Nordic United, and the Bear River Watershed Council brought dinner (and a party) up to our campsite in Logan Canyon. We learned a lot about mixed use issues in Logan Canyon and the ways the local conservation groups are working to deal with them. We were also treated to Shannon’s guitar and song writing which was absolutely divine!

THANK YOU to all the FOLKS IN LOGAN for making us so welcome!
We really enjoyed your hospitality and support of Hybrid.Pedal.

Check out our camera crew!!! --> Not only are they getting great footage of Hybrid.Pedal they are also amazing us daily with their freakish abilities to longboard skate crazy long hills and to film off a mountain bike, riding one handed with a big ol' camera!

Day 10: Ketchum to Malad, ID

Rest Day! Oh beautiful rest day! This one wasn’t planned but was well needed. Ketchum was so beautiful and Ellsworth Estate felt like home away from home so by group vote we decided to spend the day prepping and resting for the rest of the ride. Laundry has never been so fun! The attached pictures best illustrate how a group used to spending long hours in the saddle deal with a little down time.

As late afternoon rolled around we headed out to Malad City, ID where we camped in the city park and checked out some of the local hang-outs.

One thing so unique about this trip is the opportunity we’ve had to spend time in out-of-the-way towns that would not otherwise cross our radar. Places like Paulina and Malad where ways of living and sources of livelihood are so different than ours.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Boise Party Note from Bill

Dear Keen folks (and John):

Thanks so much again for providing the impetus (with your bike ride and film) for our Celebrate the Payette Party Monday night in Boise. By all accounts it was a wild success and a fun evening.

Some highlights:
We had more than 200 people through the door during the course of the evening... And fed and watered them all.

While those in attendance were mostly IRU members already, 10 new families joined on party night.

We covered our expenses and raised $1,000 on top of that for our conservation work.

We got some decent press coverage from the Idaho Statesman.

Stan and Jo sold some stuff — part of the proceeds from those sales came back to IRU.

And our members had a fine time of celebration and great music and beer without being pestered... For once... For money.

All and all, a very good night. Thanks so much for your part in it. Have a safe ride to SLC, and I’ll see you all on party night.

If you love a river. . .
-- Bill Sedivy, Executive DirectorIdaho Rivers United

iPod Recovery in Progress

Stay tuned for the outcome of this risky clean up effort!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Day 9: Stanley to Hailey, ID

So sorry for the long silence from us, we’ve been out of the reach of technology (at least cell phones and internet service) for the past couple of days. What a respite from the speed at which our usual lives fly by. But now that we are back in range, let the good times roll!

Today we really did let the good times roll with a 25 mile descent!!! Yee-haw! First we climbed Galena pass (8,750ft.) after having a Clif Blok and Glucos party at the top we saddled up and rolled down into Ketchum. We rode along the Sawtooth Scenic Byway with smoke filled views (lots of wildfires burning in ID) of the Boulder Whitecloud Mountains, which Idaho Conservation League is currently working on turning into a national wilderness area. When we got into town we stopped in at Elephant’s Perch a great local outdoor store to say hi and then jumped on the bike path to Haley and tonight’s rest place – Ellsworth Estate B&B. Fantastic!

After shower time and some homemade iced tea & brownies, we headed back into Ketchum to attend the reception that Backwoods Sports and the Ketchum branch of Idaho Conservation League put on for Hybrid.Pedal at a park in the center of town. While we had planned for an evening of jazz and beer – we ended up with un-seasonal and much needed rain showers. So in true bike adventure style, we pulled out our Showerspass rain coats (that we were beginning to wonder why we packed) and hung out in the rain with ICL and Backwoods. Here’s a link to the short version of the article that ran in today’s “Idaho Mountain Express” on the event.

I know a lot of you are wondering why anyone would want to ride 1,000 miles from Portland to Salt Lake City. Well… other than raising awareness for the wildplaces that need protection and the people that are working to protect them… the answer is FOOD! Yes, we are eating our way from stop to stop and beautiful area to beautiful area and it is FUN! Brownies, shakes, sandwiches, trail mix, pizza, steak, sour dough pancakes, biscuits and gravy and the list goes on. Trust me, hours outside and tons of food make every mile worth it! OK, maybe too much time on my bike is making me crazy…