Podunk Meets Paradise

Musings from Central Idaho

Archive for the tag “Lemhi Valley Century”

Year 4 of the Lemhi Valley Century

Photo credit: Lost Trail Lens, http://losttraillens.smugmug.com/Events/LVCR

Photo credit: Lost Trail Lens, http://losttraillens.smugmug.com/Events/LVCR

Saturday’s Lemhi Valley Century Ride served as a good reminder for a lot of things.

1.  If given two options: a) ride 100 miles on Highway 28 with 35 of those miles being a long grind up a 7200 foot summit, or b) ride 65 miles on the supposedly downhill stretch and pretend you know that roughly calculates to 100 kilometers (Canadian for “mile”) — always choose option B.

2.  Riding a bike 65 American miles on a highway is hard. We should conserve fossil fuels.

3.  Bike rides with a BBQ and a keg of Bertram’s beer at the end are better than those without.
4.  You can so get a flat tire riding on the highway, and your sidekick Lucy is so smart for bringing a spare tube and her fancy new bike tools even though there was no cactus in sight.

5.  June and Whit McKinney should get the Nobel Peace Prize for offering free wine tastings, bratwurst bites, and smoked cheese at the Lemhi Store. If they do not get the Peace Prize, nobody should.
6.   If you stay too long at the Lemhi Store with the McKinneys, old people and little kids will pass you.

7.   If you believe Iron Chef that Maker’s Mark is an electrolyte replacement beverage, old people and little kids will pass you.

8.   Next year, we truly need sponsors.

A Century to Ride

The Lemhi Valley Century Ride has become something of a family tradition. It’s the one time all year Her Royal Highness rides her bike and the only time I ride mine on pavement. For the past 2 years, we’ve ridden from Gilmore Summit to Salmon (about 100 kilometers –a metric century — thank you Canada) on mountain bikes.

10 speed

Verboten Road Bike.

Then Her Highness lined up a road bike. The allure of skinny tires was completely understandable. But by 9 p.m. the night before the ride, HRH hadn’t taken the loaned bike for a spin — a major problem considering she had never been on a 10-speed in her life. After a forced test ride, the road bike was forbidden under Section 47.2 of our family safety code.  Her Highness was back on fat tires.

Meanwhile, I had broken down and put skinny tires on my bike.

In other words, I had a chance to beat her to the finish line. My Lost Rider teammate Lucy and I smoked past Her Highness and her riding mate (astride a road bike) a few miles into the ride and put enough distance between the teenagers and us that we could no longer hear the wailing and they could no longer hear our evil laughter.

Lemhi Store Wine Tasting

Lemhi Store wine maven June McKinney with Lost Riders Sally and Lucy.

Fueled by our competitive spirits, Lucy and I made a pact to limit our wine tasting stop at the Lemhi Store (Mile 36) to one white and one red,  finding ourselves in complete agreement with postmistress and store proprietor June McKinney regarding the loveliness of the Bella Sera Pinot Grigio.

That’s when my plans started to fall apart. Somehow, while we were inside evaluating the merits of an Idaho merlot, Her Royal Highness was swindling an innocent passerby into letting her borrow a sleek road bike and schlep her mountain bike to Salmon. Unbelievable!

Her Royal Highness Nets the Skinny Tires

Her Royal Highness Hoodwinking Spectator Out of Skinny Tire Bike

The obstacles continued to mount. The Iron Chef and our son, the Odd Number, returned early from an All-Star baseball tourney in Eastern Idaho, and established a supplemental Negro Modelo and Salt and Vinegar potato chip aid station just after Mile 46.

Salt and Vinegar Chip Stop

Salt and Vinegar Stop

After we’d made it over that hurdle, another one presented itself at Baker, Mile 55. Team Easy Rider joined the Lost Riders for the home stretch to Salmon. But first, they insisted we evaluate the pleasantness of icy cold vodka poured over ice and Paul Newman’s virgin lemonade. Did I mention it was a hot day? And the Easy Riders had ice?

With all this adversity, I failed to overtake Her Royal Highness. Next year, she’s mine.

Easy Riders join the Lost Riders.

Rising to the Disco Challenge

When my best friend suggested we enter a sanctioned mountain bike race, I was a tad on the reluctant side. There were a lot of flaws in her scheme starting with we are not mountain bike racers.

The race — 12 Hours of Disco — indicated to me that we would have to ride our bikes for 12 hours which I considered to be a problem.

The Disco is for Discovery Hill, our local singletrack mecca — not the Donna Summer groove move, but even this kind of Disco is a problem. That is, if you are directionally challenged, like my friend and I are.

The trails at Discovery Hill look like this:

Lost Trails: Discovery Hill.

We get lost everytime.

I reminded her (we’ll call her Lucy for identity protection purposes) that we most likely couldn’t ride our bikes for 12 hours. Lucy and Max the Bike Guy, the race organizer, did some quick math and reported that if we signed up as a team, we would each only have to ride for 6 hours.

Last year we rode the Lemhi Valley Century Ride from the top of Gilmore Summit to Salmon.

Lemhi Valley Century Ride – Google Maps.

The route is about 60 miles on Highway 28 and is theoretically all downhill. I reminded Lucy that took us about 5 hours and she fell off her bike. She touched the scar on her elbow and agreed that did happen. And, I reminisced, we stopped for a wine tasting and then had champagne before we made it to town.

Lemhi Valley Century

Max the Bike Guy insisted this was just the kind of training we would need for 12 Hours of Disco.

So now I’m on a team of 4, which by my math should have whittled my actual assigned cycling time to 3 hours, and we had our first training ride last Saturday — a swell idea given the race is May 19.

Two of my teammates — Lucy and Zephyr — showed up looking pretty perky. But K-Dog seemed a little green around the gills.

I was hoping no one would show up and I could sleep in the back of my car for a few hours, she admitted.

Apparently she had gotten home at 2 a.m. after taking part in the unfortunate invention of something called the Dooky Bomb. As described to us, the Dooky Bomb involves the dropping of a Baby Ruth candy bar into a shot of Dr. McGillicuddy’s cinnamon schnapps. We collectively groaned.

K-Dog good naturedly made a small training loop.

Lucy, Zephyr and I proceeded to get lost. We will most likely be assisted off the race course by Search and Rescue.

Next up: Team Shirts

Post Navigation

%d bloggers like this: