Jun 21

One state down

by in Week 1

  • Spokane to Kellogg
  • 96 miles
  • 1592′ elevation gain
  • mid to high 80s

Today was billed as an easier day. And it was, except for the fact that we still rode nearly 100 miles and much of it was into headwinds again. But the scenery and wildlife were gorgeous so you just had to appreciate what you had. And we DID!

While the accommodations at Gonzaga were A-1, the food was really pathetic. We got no protein at all from the central dining hall. They did have peanut butter. But it was not up to the standards we’d come to expect. Lots of carbs, lots of calories, little nutrition. Oh well. Mama said there’d be days like this.

Idaho border crossingOur ride to Kellogg was largely on bike trails. We had a short stretch of city streets getting out of Spokane, then small backroads that surprisingly turned into US 95, a divided 4 lane highway. after 3 miles that dwindled to backroad status, then we took even smaller roads to Lake Coeur d’Alene. Today was the day we crossed from Washington state to Idaho.

We discovered early on that our butts still are complaining by 10 AM. It’s getting harder and harder to stay on the saddle. The only things we can do are take standing breaks, stop and take longer standing breaks, or just try to enjoy the countryside. We got to stop and help Jim and Fran again today. They needed a tandem-specific tool that I happen to carry with me. He was stunned and pleased. I was happy to be of service. We took off quickly because it was time to get to the lake, the most beautiful portion of the ride.

Lake Coeur d'Alene ADA accessible bridgeThe Coeur d’Alene Trail is another Rail-to-Trail creation that was built when mining trains ran up and down this valley. It is absolutely level from the lake to Kellogg. I think we only gained about 50′ in 50 miles. And along the way we saw a great marshy valley. Sheila made the first sighting, a turtle sunning itself on a log.

moose in the waterOn two occasions we watched moose contentedly munching alongside the trail. We saw deer. We saw large heron-like birds. They might even have been herons though Sheila is sure they were egrets. We saw osprey roosting feet from the trail. While taking one of our many butt-breaks, we looked out over the water and saw a skinny critter swimming along. At first we thought: “snake?” but then decided it was a muskrat. It is humbling to be in the presence of so much wildlife.

We were far more tired than the day before. Frequently one of us would stand to take some pressure off our bums while continuing to move forward. I found myself checking the odometer often, a sure sign of suffering. I’ve learned that looking at the odometer doesn’t get you anywhere faster. We had been so proud to have gotten ourselves to an average speed of over 15 mph. But the headwinds and the tail pains made that drop. Oh well. It’s not a race. We took our breaks. We enjoyed our breaks. We stretched a good bit. And tonight at dinner a fellow who rode this 2 years ago assured us that our rears would be toughened and ready to go sometime soon. We can’t wait.


5 Responses to “One state down”

  1. From Gracie:

    I’m wondering if that muskrat might have been Gollum. Sorry to hear about the butts, some nice cushioning won’t help? Of course one would expect that there would be something the bodies would need to adjust to so perhaps this is it. Welcome to Idaho! The photo of s2 by the sign looks outstanding. You two are definitely on your way!

    Posted on Jun 22, 2012 at 4:14 am #
    • From S2Cycle:

      We just need to wait it out. It’ll get better. It already was today. Spencer.

      Posted on Jun 22, 2012 at 4:20 pm #
  2. From Gracie:

    PS If time permits it would be fun to keep a running total of your mileage along with the other daily stats. You’re gaining quickly.

    Posted on Jun 22, 2012 at 4:17 am #
  3. From Matt & Janet:

    Keep the blogs coming! I check my email every evening hoping for an update and am delighted when I see one from you guys. You group companion is right – your sore butt will toughen and you’re almost there. Janet and I had the same issue on our ride down the west coast a couple years ago. It took us about week to get over it. For us, hills helped because it caused us to change position on the saddle more often. I’m envious of your trip and astonished at the daily distances. I completely understand being tired. Enjoy your day off in Missoula!

    Posted on Jun 22, 2012 at 9:14 am #
  4. From S2Cycle:

    Thanks for the tip. In Missoula now. We’re catching up on our posts. Glad you’re enjoying them!

    Posted on Jun 24, 2012 at 6:58 am #