Mileage: 97 miles
Weather: Sunny and not too warm. Upper 50s to start. Low 80s to end. Favorable winds.
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 weather was in our corner again today. It started rather cool this morning in the 50s and only warmed up to the low 80s. This is not what we usually experience on this day. Temps are often well into the 90s. There were no pop-up thunderstorms. This is not what we usually experience on this day. We are often chased into the hotel by looming globs of dark green, yellow and red on the radar. We had a kicking rear-quartering to tailwind from the 2nd SAG stop into the hotel. This in not always what we get. We often have headwinds that slow us down so we get to enjoy the heat and thunderstorms all the more! Sum it all up - the staff was confused but grateful and the riders enjoyed great, fast ride into Twin Falls.
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 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.