Aug 15

Lava Hot Springs to Pocatello

by in 2008 Idaho

Friday: 45 miles; 2420’ elevation gain

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This was another day which proved to be interesting. We got out late because it was going to be a short day and we wanted to sleep in. Lots of downhill until about mile 27. Then we started an 11 mile climb. It went on and on and on. The cue sheet said that at mile 37 there was a rest stop “at the start of the climb”. Wrong. It did get steeper there, but it surely wasn’t the bottom.

We crested this hill with 3 members of our chase group from Wednesday. It was a very steep descent, pushing 10%. We picked them off one at a time. The last guy caught us as we went by and drafted all the way down. We were going a pretty steady 43 over much of it. It was twisty, but not too twisty. Lots of fun. Then it ended with a 10% downgrade that turned into an 8% upgrade over the course of about 100 yards! We were able to carry our speed almost to the top of the up. Wow.

Our new best friend (Kurt) was still with us. And then we got the real treat. We crested a rise and saw a huge long drop into Pocatello. Again we would exceed 10% only now it was straight and you could see where it ended. We didn’t even pedal to get up speed. We just tucked and rolled.

We hit 58.7 on that stretch. I had to touch the brakes toward the bottom because I saw some traffic way ahead. It turns out that cost us the speed record of the day. We didn’t pedal again, though until we got to the end of the ride at Idaho State University. Whew! We were wearing grins then, I’ll tell you.

We hung out and talked shop with the people setting up their tents. Then we drifted over to the hotel and cleaned up. Back to the school for more visiting, then we rode to a veggie restaurant that was ok.  Then back again to ISU.

There was supposed to be a slide show at 7, but it was too hot inside, so they postponed it to 7:45 and moved it outside to be projected on the side of the luggage truck. It still wasn’t dark then, so they pushed it back further. We were done by that point so we went to our hotel and made ready for the next day.

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