DAY 59 JULY 25 97.8 MILES
If you succeed to love your bicycle, it will give you emotions you will never forget. Mario Cippolini
The temperature in Libby was 45 degrees when we awoke at 6 AM and, by the time we pedaled away, it had warmed to a balmy 52. It would have been better if we could have waited a few hours for warmer temperatures before starting but with a 90 plus mile day, that was not an option. For a while, I was wishing for my full fingered gloves because, due to the surrounding mountains, the sun did not warm us for another 2 hours. We simply pedaled hard to ward off the cold.
Misfortune fell upon me today but positive things happened as well so, overall, it was another excellent day. First, my rear shifter cable broke at the 49 mile mark and the derailleur automatically shifted to the tallest gear. I was nearing the top of a small hill and was able to coax the bike over the top by standing up on the pedals. Fortunately, it occurred within a mile of our second rest stop and, even more fortunately, one of our team leaders was able to install a new cable. If not, I would have been forced to ride one of the other team leaders' bikes. It would not have been set up for me and that would another cause entire list of problems.
Next, somewhere around the 65 mile mark, I could hear the air suddenly depart from my rear tire. This was not a major problem but, on inspecting the tube and tire, I could not find the cause of the leak. That always is a red flag for a recurrence.
Later, at our third rest stop when I was inflating the tire to the recommended 100 psi, the tube suddenly popped. This time, I could track the cause to a small cut in the side of the tire. At that point, I remembered that toward the beginning of the day, I had been forced to ride through a patch of gravel and one of the pieces had caromed off to the side. Evidently, it had placed a small cut in the sidewall which took many miles to eventually penetrate the tube. Again, I was very fortunate that the second puncture occurred at our rest stop because I had a new tire and tube in the trailer.
On the bright side, today's ride featured continued spectacular scenery along several deep blue lakes framed with heavily forested green mountains. The hills were neither long nor steep and, with the cool temperatures and gentle winds, the riding was spirited and easy. We could push harder because there would be an extra day in Sandpoint to rest. After nearly 98 miles, however, we were extremely happy to arrive at our destination. Once again, Sandpoint is a resort town and there is not an available room at any hotel or B&B. Fortunately, we are camping indoors at a local health club so it is not a great inconvenience.
Tip: Start a training diary. It need not be elaborate to record daily data but it will allow you to analyze and learn from your experiences.