Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 13: Burley, ID, to Pocatello, ID

Today's Mileage: 86
Average Speed: 17.9 mph
Max Speed: 41.7 mph
Average BPM: 142
Max BPM: 173
Calories Burned: 2068
Moving Time: 4:47
Blog & Ride Details

I cycled with "The Thoroughbreds" today! They've revised their nickname to "The Geldings" since they're all married. That's right: "[They] all know who is really in charge at home when [they] return from this tour."

Today, I was the filly, but I still haven't met my goal because I only rode with "The Geldings" from Register Rock, which was already 45 miles into the day's mileage. I had gotten an early start after luggage load this morning and the "The Geldings" caught up to me at the historical landmark. As everyone was getting back on the road, Toronto Mark started giving me some pointers on climbing hills, and I ended up falling right into their paceline.

Riding in a paceline is fast and a lot of fun, especially with a strong tailwind. I would not say that it was easy to keep up with "The Geldings", but cycling with them was easier than pedaling alone. They even taught me how to pull the paceline for a mile or two. After the ride, Baltimore Mark mentioned that I had earned an honorary nickname, like Flicka, but Toronto Mark had already dubbed me "Katie Scarlett" the other day because I had wanted a cool nickname like his wife's: The Duchess.

Jeff, Joe and Dave said I was welcome to join them again. I plan to take them up on that offer sometime soon since I still need to meet my goal of cycling with them for a full day before we get to New Hampshire. I'll wait for another ride with a great tailwind, but I have to admit I'm a little afraid that all of these easy rides on westerly tailwinds are doing my legs a bit of a disservice. We have to cycle over Teton Pass in two days and some resistance might have better prepared my legs for my next climbing challenge. Out here, though, complaining does you more of a disservice than anything else so I just have to appreciate the easy days and hope for the best on the hard ones. Plus, I've been told that every day in the saddle is another day that you get stronger.

It was a brisk morning. Gerard snapped a photo of some of us using a UHaul truck to block the chilling wind during luggage load. But it was that same wind that played a soothing tune through the rustling leaves of Cottonwood trees during the first 5-10 miles. It sounded like the ocean. If I ever have a yard with enough room for large trees, I'm going to plant Cottonwoods - solely for the music the wind created in their branches this morning. And it was that same wind today that floated us into Pocatello several hours later.

The other highlight of today's route - aside from the tailwind - was Register Rock, a large boulder that features the signatures of settlers who passed through the area during their journeys along the Oregon and California trails. The Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation has preserved this large rock, which is carved with names dated as far back as the 1800s.

It was pretty incredible to imagine early settlers standing in that exact spot, carving their name and the date into the boulder. My mind briefly wandered over space and time, as it often does, and created a fictional time lapse video, beginning with what the area and the settlers may have looked like in the 1800s and then racing forward through changing seasons, various weather, evolving fashions and forms of transportation, inspection by historians, the construction of the protective gazebo. The imaginary video reel slowed down as tourists were poking around the fenced enclosure of the boulder. I heard a shutter click in my head, capturing the image of my fellow cyclists in present day, investigating the signatures and dates. And then, I was suddenly brought out of my daydream by Jeff showing us how he can play the Canadian National Anthem on a blade of grass.

There was also a smaller rock with an Indian and a preacher carved on the surface.

It's signed:
J.J. Hansen
Age 7

More images from Burley to Pocatello:

Click here to view my entire photo album of Day 13.

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


pam said...

You are awesome. Amazing how far someone can come in just a few weeks. Riding with the Thoroughbreds! I hope to meet you at Niagara. And I'll follow all your blog till then. Glad your my daughters roommate.

Monique D. said...

Wow, 1866. Very cool pix Katie & keep up the good work!

Unknown said...

dang i bet the Register Rock was just mindblowing to see.