Day 14 - Pocatello to Idaho Falls ID
Mileage: 65 miles
Weather: Upper 50s to start. Low 80s to end. Bright blue skies with a few clouds. Very favorable winds.
Highlights of the day:
We started the day with a group ABC Quick check. It was a repeat of what we did waaaay back in St Helens. After nearly 1000 miles, it’s time to recheck critical systems on the bicycle. Rob walked us all through a hands on session with our own bikes. The goal is to make sure everyone is set for safe climbing and descending over the next couple of days. Identify issues now that can be resolved before we encounter the Tetons.
More tailwinds today. I hope this isn’t getting to boring to read. I can say that the riders are not getting bored riding with the tailwinds. We’ll take them for as long as Mother Nature plans to toss them our way. I’ll continue to talk about them and thank her for them as long as I can.
We gave up the frontage road in favor of farm roads. The route zigzagged through field after field of crops. Mostly wheat and potatoes. It’s Idaho, we had to see potatoes. The fields of spuds had different color flowers. We came to the non-scientific conclusion that the red flowers are for red potatoes, the purple flowers are for purple potatoes, and the white flours are for white potatoes. Researching it after we got in today, it seems there might be a thread of truth in it. I found this tidbit on the Internet, so it has be true! 🙂
We started the morning with about 10 miles of “kah-dunk kah-dunk” roads. They were mostly cement with seams and big gaps. Riders tried to find their way around them but often times, it was a case of relax and just take it. A right turn at mile 17 brought some welcome relief. We found more chip seal but the good kind - not the rough new stuff or the old cracked version like we had yesterday. This chip seal was old and smooooth. It might seem odd for those of you new to or unfamiliar with bicycle touring but the discussion of road conditions are very serious!
There were supposed to be lots of dogs today. Dogs that hide along the side of the road and run after anything on wheels. We had a couple who came out but they weren’t that interested or energetic. I guess they didn’t get the memo or have enough coffee this morning. We were not terribly upset by that.
One SAG stop divided today’s ride. The second half continued through farmland with occasional views of the Snake River - wide and calm, reflecting the sun. Coming into Idaho Falls we rode along the Snake River right at the town’s namesake, Idaho Falls. It’s not the huge spectacle of Niagara Falls but a quieter beauty that can be enjoyed on the bike paths that border both banks of the river.
Today was a well-timed “active recovery” day. Lower mileage and into the hotel early. Tonight we need to sleep well for tomorrow we will climb!