Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wallace Idaho to Superior Montana to Missoula Montana

Hey, this Patrick

 I'm sorry to report that I have some bad news

After Yesterdays ride on the way to the Superior High school for showers, Ben one of our senior riders, took a pretty serious fall. His shower bag got caught in the spokes of his bike and he flipped over his handle bars, he experienced two fractures one just above his left eye and the other below his left eye.  He was lifted into a stretcher and then air lifted to the hospital at the Missoula. His wife Sarah spent yesterday flying in to see him today. We have heard that he is stable and is scheduled to have miner surgery tomorrow. Needless to say he will be unable to go with us any further on our ride to D.C. Please keep him in your prayers.

Ben was an interesting character, he has been on a lot of touring bike rides here and abroad, he met his wife while he was teaching a bible study course which he has lead at his church. Ben also visited a good number of different denominations, he had a lot to say about Christianity and is a wealth of bible trivia and treasure trove of stories from his many travels. He will be dearly missed as we continue in our bike mission across our fair country.

The last time we posted a blog was Sunday and it's amazing all the things that have happened. So bad news aside I will try to recap our adventures of the past two days.

Yesterday we departed from Wallace Idaho, the silver capital of the world, for Superior Montana. The ride was pretty grueling actually, we are all getting used to the usual early morning steep incline, but it was a chilly morning and a fair number of riders experienced way more flat tires than usual. The road was just rough and full of bumps and pot holes. A number of riders ended up in the van at some point for at least a while during the course of the day due to flat tires or sore muscles.

shortly after I arrived at Superior and showered I went with a small group to the town pharmacy for some Ace bandage because my achille's tendon has been very sore lately and yesterday's ride was as I said tough on everyone. It was at the pharmacy that the nice woman who rung us up told us that Montana has no sales tax which was a welcome surprise.

The town itself was fairly small, but in a friendly kind of way. Superior had a pharmacy, high school, library and various locally owned restaurants, a coffee shop, several gas stations and it was pretty. You know they say the sky is big in Montana and it's true. I would have loved to stay up and watch the stars and the moon that night, but as I quickly found out it doesn't get dark enough to see the night sky there until one in the morning. With another big day ahead I knew I would need my sleep.

Today (being Tuesday in case this gets posted late) the ride was nice and smooth. There was an incline at the beginning again this morning, but it wasn't nearly as steep as the ones we have experienced this past week. It was a nice 66 mile trek. There were some hills, but it was mostly flat.

We vised the Adventure Cycling building today, and they gave us free ice cream which was awesome!!! Adventure Cycling is an organization dedicated to creating new bicycling routes and working to insure that these routes are state recognized. It was founded by a couple who came up with the idea after biking from Alaska to Argentina, a ride that makes our little trip across the United States look like a cake walk.

They sell all kinds of maps as well as appearal and free as well as premium memberships to those interested in or invested in long biking tours. Many of us had our picture taken there and all of us signed their log which includes the names of riders and their various long biking tours from start location to final destination. It was a very cool place and a much needed pick-me-up for the group after what happened to Ben.

We are currently staying at Christ The King Catholic Church. They have a very nice facility, with showers and we even have cots to sleep on tonight. I have to admit I feel kind of spoiled.

Before we took our showers today I went with a group out to the pharmacy, I mostly wanted to see the town, but some of our riders needed to get perscriptions filled.

It was at CVS that Blake began his quest. He tried CVS and when they didn't have what he was looking for he ran five miles (because we all walked to CVS instead of biking there) to the mall and after checking every store finally found what he was looking for. He dashed back to the church as soon as he was done. He walked downstairs where many riders were gathered, his prize in the air. So what was it you ask? Well firmly gripped in Blake's hand was a pair of silk underwear he had purchased for only $18.

You see after riding all day long on a bike you get very saddle sore, actually ridiculously sore. I personally feel that when I return home my rear is going to have developed skin like a sharks thanks to all the calluses I'm building daily. So Blake got the idea into his head that after a long day of riding the most comfortable thing he could imagine doing was taking a shower and then wearing silk underwear the rest of the day. Even I have to admit that for $18 I probably would have done the same thing, too bad we won't be near any malls for a while. Oh well I guess I'll just have tough it out and keep note of the experience as I develop a shark skin hide.

Our meal was provided by a kind local woman, Grandma Dee, as she says everyone calls her. She heard we were coming to town yesterday and offered to cook for us. Allen cautioned her that there were thirty-two of us, but that didn't seem to be a problem for her. We at a nice meal in her back yard and everyone walked away with a full stomach. She offered to get board games out for us to play, or frisbees or football, but most of us were far too tired and full for any kind of recreation at that point.

As we were leaving I heard from another member of our group that they had a brewery here that serves freshly brewed rootbeer. Now anyone who knows me knows that I love rootbeer, and although I try to indulge only sparingly these days to try live healthier there was know way I was going to turn down a chance to get a taste of freshly brewed rootbeer.

Sadly I must admit, that there was little difference between fresh rootbeer and the canned stuff. As a matter of fact, I'm not fully convinced that what I drank was fresh. It was good rootbeer, but nothing special.

Well folks I'm currently sitting on my cot and hope to be sleeping soon. The internet has timed out at the moment and I don't remember the password so it looks like we won't get this blog out till tomorrow (wednesday). Thank you for your continued prayer and support. Please pray for Ben and we will continue to keep you up to date on his situation and our progress.

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