Powell ID to Missoula MT - 60 miles
Note: Daily reports are now being submitted by Karl Murphy. Take it away Karl.
Sunday we left Lochsa Lodge around 7 am after a resupply breakfast of cd cuts, PBJ, fruit, donuts, cakes....etc.
I drove our trusty Subi 12 miles to top of Lola pass ahead of the group and rode back down the hill a few miles to meet them.
Steve Rothwell was hammering hard at the front of the group to be first to the top. I drafted behind him with a pannier-less bike chatting over his two weeks with Ed and the boys. There was a sharing of road stories and a download of key info needed to keep the boys safe and on plan...thank you steve.
We had resupply leftovers as a snack while Steve broke down and boxed his bike in less than 15 minutes.
We traded panniers for duffle bags. Hand shake, high-five and I was on/he was done.
The boys really enjoyed Steve's time and there was a bit of discussion about his riding the whole way. Steve clearly wanted to stay and mumbled something about a wife and a job...
The green Subi headed down the mountain in front of us with a new captain as we cruised downhill into Lolo....passing the previously reported Lolo Hot Springs and a brief historical detour to Camp Fizzle where Ed gave a short report on US Army/Nez Pierce Indian relations in the 19th century...
We made it to Lolo and the Lolo Exxon (we spend a lot of time and money at c-stores) in record time with a 20 mph pace on the downhill/flat section.
The break was short...First Sergeant Karl had arrived by this time..."I want wheels rolling and pointed toward Missoula by 12:30" much to the chagrin of the boys who were settling in for a two hour break....
Our route to Missoula was down an incredibly nasty section of Hwy 12....unfortunately our only real option at this point...4 lanes, fast cars and the shoulder - though wide - was filled with trash.
I took the lead for my group and remember on several occasions yelling "dead gopher, ride left" or "lumber left, ride right"...about half way to town we cut to an available side street and cruised through neighborhoods to the Holiday Inn..our home for the next 36 hours.
Zero days are a combination of work, rest, relaxation and press calls from local media outlets interested in the scout's story.
Our priority of work included food (boys had not had a meal since breakfast) laundry and bike maintenance
The boys are truly amazing kids...save a couple of minor things.
First is their obsession with ghetto Mexican food. I am convinced you parents either feed them ONLY lousy Mexican food OR you have NEVER feed them lousy ghetto Mexican food. In either case, the boys crave it like an addict craves a fix and my very vocal and public disgust over this addiction is starting to work against me...
First, I was purposely excluded from both the lunch and dinner discussion...
Later,After dinner we went to see a movie and yes...again, Taco Bell. The team addiction is so bad that they could easily convince an uber willing mexican consumer -Ed to talk his way into the closed restaurant...which he does in like 30 seconds. The entry was a thing of beauty.
Picture the scene...the scouts, INSIDE taco bell, 11:15 PM..cars lined around building in drive thru lands..scouts being served....inside....on full display
People are coming to the door...the manager is shooing them away....impressive by all accounts...save my intense anti-cumin bias. More on that later.
Monday started with a "late" wake up for the boys vicinity 10 AM.
Ed and I being "a tick over 40 years old," wake at 5:30, toss till 6 and then capitulate to the start of the day. Our breakfast was at local cafe adjacent to the hotel.
The boys rallied at 9:45 for a quick stop at the cafe...Imagine a place with a Starbucks meets Dean and Deluca vibe/menu.
NOT Taco Bell.
Breakfast was quick because we had a 10 am appointment at The Adventure Cycling Association whose sole mission "is to inspire and empower people to travel by bicycle." Our kind of people and they felt the same.
T845 was an honored guest...treated to more ice cream, a personal briefing by the head cartographer and another local TV station interview.
The boys had their photo taken by a member of the association who is creating a documentary photographic history of long range cycling.
We have had so much press interest that we created a team press secretary and an assistant press secretary leadership position to handle the media.
David M and Brian R are filling those roles...and doing quite a good job at it. Going forward, Ed just hands them the phone and they wranle.
Next zero day stop - The Bicycle Hanger - a bike shop near the hotel where Ed again negotiates a great professional bike tune up rate. We got all the bikes tuned for the full price cost in Chapel Hill.
Frugality and meeting budget are T845 core values.
We leave bikes and the group splits for afternoon fun. Half go to a climbing gym and half go to hotel pool.
Dinner is at Biga Pizza (yelp- 4.5 stars).
Again, Not Taco Bell. At dinner the topic of discussion is the running pool (bet) about what gear and when mr murph will break first.
Apparently there has been a lot of discussion about my non standard kit and possible issues...all of this tracking back to Dean B. who is completely freaked out by my choice to ride "that piece of tiffany's crystal that will certainly explode upon meeting its' first pot hole..." Otherwise known as a modern carbon fiber bike frame...
Interestingly I was heckled for the same at the Lolo c-store by some woman who was apparently riding for a weight watchers anonymous charity. "Its not- trans America if you do it on carbon..." For real...this happened.
Jeez people, it has two wheels and I am powering it. All great innovators are heckled at first...
Zero day concludes with me proofing this post in bed...to the mellifluous serenade of Ed's snoring....
Tomorrow we ride 80 miles to some town somewhere 80 miles from here.
Till the next time.