Mileage: 97 miles
Weather: Sunny and warm. Mid 60s to start. Mid 90s to end.
Highlights of the day:
The distances we ride each day are dictated by logistics, where we can find appropriate places to lodge and feed our flock of riders within reasonable riding distances. The resulting rides can seem a bit odd, and this leg is a prime example. We have both our shortest and longest ride within a few days. Today we rode 97 mi, and tomorrow we ride 38, followed by 87. If only the locals, back in the day, could have been more thoughtful in terms of locating larger towns with proper facilities in terms of consistent cycling distances.
The temperatures were lovely and cool this morning with some cloud cover. This held until just after our first SAG stop. The clouds cleared and then the temperatures started to head up. Based on what they have been in the past, the temperatures were not that high. I would not recommend telling that to the riders who were feeling the heat radiate off the pavement as they rode. It was toasty to end and Mother Nature tossed in a strengthening headwind for “fun.” Then there was more rough chip seal. The big challenge for riders today – stay hydrated, keep moving and try to keep a positive attitude. A relaxed and accepting attitude goes a long way to help you spin off the miles in less than optimal conditions – as long as you hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
Today we started early for the longer ride and saw our first sunrise on the road. The route was long but fairly flat. We rode through a string of farms and dairies, all on land that can only support agriculture with heavy irrigation. Sprinklers and rolling irrigation systems were everywhere. And livestock. The smell of money (as they like to call it in Kansas) is well represented between Mountain Home and Twin Falls. Mostly cows with a smattering of goats, sheep, and even an ostrich or two. Riding a bicycle allows you to see the country without the constraints of the steel and glass an automobile imposes. It also allows you to smell, breath, and sometimes taste the surroundings a little more than one might expect.
We finished the day at the Snake River canyon. Stunning views. Photos don’t do it justice. Evel Knievel made the canyon famous back in the 70s when he attempted to jump it in a steam-powered rocket. The steel bridge at Twin Falls is now a favorite of daredevil parachute jumpers – aka BASE jumpers. For you geeks out there, BASE in an acronym for Buildings, Antenna, Spans, and Earth. If the winds are calm, some of our riders might head back to the bridge to see if there are any jumpers early tomorrow morning.