Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 12: Twin Falls, ID, to Burley, ID

Today's Mileage: 39 scheduled; 51 ridden
Average Speed: 14.2 mph
Max Speed: 33.4 mph
Average BPM: 122
Max BPM: 188
Calories Burned: 1084
Moving Time: 3:43
Blog & Ride Details

Today's ride began with a somber reminder that our daily undertakings come with an element of danger and that we must remember to exercise caution, especially when we're feeling carefree and having fun.

And there was a lot of fun to be had today. America By Bicycle incorporates their annual scavenger hunt into the short 39-mile trek from Twin Falls to Burley. There were also two optional deviations from the route to visit Shoshone Falls and Twin Falls; the latter serves as the town's namesake.

Andrew - one of the founding members of "The Bad Pennies" (it sounds much more distinguished with his British accent) - and I were able to stretch today's ride into 50 miles. [I earned Honorary Bad Penniship one day by missing Highway 30 and cycling for nearly a mile with two cyclists absentmindedly following me; in my defense, I didn't know they were behind me until I turned around to get back on route.]

The group was inadvertently advised by one of the ride leaders that, if we were going to pick one to visit between the two, Twin Falls was more spectacular than Shoshone Falls; I won't say who told us that falsehood (cough-Karen-cough). As a result, Andrew and I passed the turn to Shoshone Falls at 3.6 miles and continued to the intersection leading to Twin Falls at the 5.4 mile mark. While we were lounging at the second set of falls, other cyclists began to arrive, raving about how much better the Shoshone Falls were.

Andrew and I cycled the two miles back to the main road - with a 17% grade for which we proudly patted ourselves on the back, I might add. Then, we had a decision to make. We could continue on to Burley. Or we could capitalize on the minimal mileage schedule for the day and the remainder of the hours still left in the morning and backtrack to Shoshone Falls. It would add about 10 miles roundtrip and more 13-15% grades of climbing.

Being the rouge cyclists that we are, we went for it. And we were glad that we did.

Which do you think is more spectacular?
I'm taking a poll for Karen (wink).

Jim, the ABB mechanic stationed in his SAG van post, saw Andrew and me cycling in the wrong direction as we headed back to Shoshone Falls. Being the responsible ride leader that he is, Jim came after us to investigate our motives ... so we made him take pictures with us. Being rebellious cyclists isn't as fun without documenting our debauchery.

Beyond the ferocity of the rushing waterfalls, I was even more amazed by how the entire canyon is nearly concealed on the plain. From the main road, generally a mile or two from the winding canyon's edge, it appeared as if I could cycle straight to the horizon.

This is what I saw from the main road ...

And this is what lay between the main road and the horizon ...

According to the world's largest online resource for information, Wikipedia, the most frequently occurring theory of classical elements, held by the Hindu, Buddhist, Japanese and Greek systems of thought, it that there are four elements, namely Earth, Water, Air, Fire, which are currently associated with the four known states of matter (solid, liquid, gas and plasma) and a fifth element known variously as space, Idea, Void quintessence or Aether (the term "quintessence" derives from "quint" meaning "fifth").

We experienced the five elements on today's ride: the beauty of earth, the power of water, the speed of tailwinds, the energy of the sun, and the vast spaces and voids spanning the land. And of those five, I think that water and wind contribute some of the most remarkable of phenomenas - though arguably all five work simultaneously to produce breathtaking sights.

After witnessing the thundering force of the waterfalls and its centuries of carvings in the base of the canyon, we cycled along fields of Idaho wheat as the wind gracefully rippled the ears, creating flowing, silvery crests in a sea of green. Often, we noticed that we were following a single wave across a field, watching the wind softly bend the wheat like a row of dominos alongside our bicycles. Who knew that a field of wheat could be magical?

Day after day, I find myself wishing more and more that I could share every moment with all of you ... and day after day, a blog is as close as I can get.

"If you liked today, you're going to love tomorrow."

More images from Twin Falls to Burley:

Click here to view my entire photo album of Day 12.

The Ride Leader's Official Report:
Across America North:


Monique D. said...

Ok, #1. This might be one of my top 5 faves THUS FAR. I know we have many more days to go (notice I said "we" b/c i do feel like i'm sorta there)

#2. HOLY SH*T. I would have NEEEEVER guessed that canyon was out in the horizon!!!!

#3. Where all the houses? I see the mailboxes but um..... ?

Katie said...

#3. Where all the houses? I see the mailboxes but um..... ?