First stop today was the headquarters of the Adventure Cycling Association where we were greeted by Casey and given a comprehensive tour of their entire operation.
Above, Marie discusses route options with Casey, left, and the association director, Tim.
The workspace is decorated with bikes, many of them significant to the history of long-distance cycling. It was so thrilling to be surrounded by the energy of these enthusiasts. We just soaked it up.
The cyclists lounge has free beverages and, of course, the energy source of champions in the freezer.
The cyclists lounge has free beverages and, of course, the energy source of champions in the freezer (ice cream).
We went around the corner to the nearest recommended bike shop and bought Marie a new rear tire. The mechanic strongly recommended a Panasonic messenger tire over the Continental. 2 blocks later my rear flatted, so we took this as a sign we should go back to the ACA and use their repair facilities and shady courtyard to fix the bikes and eat lunch.
While at ACA, we had our pictures taken and had our bikes weighed.
That's us, column 2, row 7. Hey, it's meaningless to anyone but us. Like having your name and time put up in chalk at the Isle of Man motorcycle race.
We left ACA at about 1 pm, just totally energized and inspired. We rode 40 miles of gradual uphill along the Lolo Creek canyon. Halfway up we came across this sign:
Thinking of my friend Jeff who could use a silver hammer about now (BMW track incident),I said, I have to investigate. I started taking some pictures, and Tim Maxwell came out, and I introduced myself.
As fellow car nuts, somehow we found something to talk about. Soon Marie and Melody came to see what was taking us so long. We had the best conversation! Tim filled our bottles with fresh cold Lolo spring water, offered to air up our tires and give us a tour of his workshop, and we exchanged life stories. We were tempted to stay and stay, but we still had 20 miles uphill to pedal. But it was a magical moment to be embraced by total strangers, with whom we instantly bonded.
Onward and upward we pedaled. I wasn't in so much of a hurry, I was pretty euphoric by this point. Marie, however, wanted to get to Lolo Hot Springs. Also, she was under the impression that we were now going downhill, due to the optical illusion of the creek. So she felt that she had Togo at least 12 mph, whereas my back and legs told me to go 10 mph. She probably got a mile ahead of me at one point. Eventually we rolled into Lolo Hot Springs, enjoyed the volcanic springs hot tub (104 degrees), a steak dinner, maybe a few beers.
Her post about the easiest and balmier day ever follows.