Sunday, July 1, 2012

Day 5. It's better on your own terms.

Heading out of Columbia Falls, the boys spotted a couple of girls ahead of us on touring bikes. Naturally, they decided to try to catch them. In the process, we managed to miss our first turn. It seems that a GPS and a map are no match for male hormones. I can't imagine what it is going to be like two weeks from now...though the guys seem to be equally enthusiastic about fireworks, so perhaps that can fill the void.

We pulled into Swan River for second breakfast and Kim ordered a coffee, a chocolate milk, a coke and two sandwiches. The waitress thought it was a joke. A few Northbound Dividers were at the same restaurant; Patty and Gary from Del Norte and Mike from New Mexico. Their advice on the conditions of the next stretch of road (obstructed for miles by piles of fallen trees) led us to take a detour. We are here to ride, not to carry our bikes.

Deciding to take on this challenge on our own terms, rather than those of the Tour Divide (as we had initially planned) has given us a lot of freedom to make this ride enjoyable. The ability to take this detour was a good example. And our Fernie detour. And drafting when we've had a headwind. And just riding together at a fun pace. I guess that it should have occurred to me before now that doing things on my own terms brings me a lot more enjoyment.

We encountered another northbound rider when we rejoined the normal rout. His name was Dave and he was on a fixie (maybe fixiedave?). He said that he'd been out for 28 days so far. He looked rough; sunburned and worn. Like he'd lost his spirit along the way. Maybe it was just the moment. Maybe it was a bit of what I felt last year. I'm glad that I don't feel that way this time around. it's better on your own terms.

We made it to Holland Lake after dark and found a nice spot to bivy. A beautiful night for sleeping outside. We are breaking up the next 3 days of riding into 4 days to ensure the fun continues; good weather, or bad. I hope that we will have a chance to use some fireworks along the way.
Sent using a Blackberry that I'd better not lose.


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