Lowell, ID to Grangerville, ID
Total Miles: 4969
Today began much like yesterday except I didn’t get to throw rocks at Sebastian’s tent. He really ruins all of my fun when he wakes up early. We debated on whether we should ride up the road to the diner for breakfast or press on the 22 miles to the next town. It was a tough choice but in the end we decided to polish off the two remaining beers from yesterday(because beer=carbs=energy=happiness), eat some trail mix and stop being little bitches. The morning was cool, the road was continuing in a lovely downhill direction and I was feeling like I could crush anything in my path. And a good thing to because there was a beast of a mountain coming up after our breakfast stop, but, seeing as how Lolo Pass wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be I wasn’t too worried. I’m a fucking high powered cycling machine!
We got into the town of Kooskia (say it with a Russian accent, it’s fun) at about 9:00 and headed into the first diner we saw for some breakfast. I ordered the Kooskia omelette and holy shit was this thing huge! It was positively stuffed with every breakfast meat imaginable and probably about a half pound of cheese. By the time I was done there was nothing left but a slowly congealing puddle of bacon grease and a warm, shameful feeling in my belly. Probably not the greatest meal to eat before I long climb but, meh, I’m a garbage disposal. Afterwards we popped across the street so Sebastian could feed his Monster addiction and for me to grab a petite can of RedBull. Gotta have some gogo juice if you want to be on your game 🙂
So by the time we leave town it’s about 11:00 and it felt like we were pedaling through a fucking oven. Just dry and hot and miserable. When we finally came to the nasty climb we’d been expecting I was pretty relieved that it didn’t seem to be that bad. It started out really fucking steep but once we got to the first switchback it didn’t seem to be the nightmare I had anticipated. WINNNINGGGG!!! When we rounded the final switchback I wasn’t even out of breath, these cycling maps really make these hills out to be bigger than they really are. At least that’s what I as thinking before I saw that the road continued up. And up. AND UP. No more switchbacks, just a ridiculously steep grade straight up the side of a fucking mountain. Like, who even designs a road to be this steep?! It’s criminal! Before too long I’m panting like a dog and sweating like a whore in church, my shirt looked like I had just hopped out of a pool. When Seb and I are climbing hills I’m normally in the lead, just banging it out like it’s nothing. Today I was fucking dragging, I felt like my legs were made of lead, my bike was made of lead, my packs were filled with lead. I eventually have to stop, catch my breath and take a drink of water but by this time Sebastian is a good 100 yards ahead of me so I wasn’t worried about keeping up or slowing him down. Little bastard just left me in the dust (To be fair I would and have done the exact same thing in his position). My stomach is really feeling that greasy omelette I ate earlier, I guess you’re not meant to eat something that heavy right before the most intense cardio exercise of your entire life. I start to get that unmistakeable feeling you get right before your stomach explosively empties it’s contents, so, I take a huge swig of water to stop it. Yeah, like that ever works. Ladies and Gentleman! Boys and girls! Children of all ages! Introducing….. James and his Explosive Omelette Vomit Comet!!! The best part about it was a car just so happened to be heading right past me as I was puking so at least somebody got to witness my shame. I felt much better, though!
Weighing exactly one omelette lighter I finally make it to the top and catch up with Sebastian. We’re both fucking dead. It’s blazing hot, we’re riding through endless wheat fields with no shade in sight and it. Is. Fucking. Hot. I’m running low on water at this point and the little that I have left is so piss warm that it’s barely drinkable. At the next house we see I decide to go knock on the door and beg for succor from some kind stranger. Except nobody is home.
James: Is it unethical for me to just steal water from somebody?
Sebastian: Well if it’s a life or death situation then I guess not.
James: It’s fucking life or death.
So I stole some water and stealing never tasted so refreshing. Then, as the punishment must fit the crime, I returned to my bike to find that my rear tire had gone completely flat. Yep. My life, folks. Just one series of misfortunes after another. Woe is me. Somebody call James a waambulance. With Sebastian’s help I found the offending puncture, patched it up and we set out to complete the remaining miles.
When we got into town the first thing we did was hit up the local watering hole for an ice cold beer and it almost, almost made it all worth it. Almost. I asked how many miles we did today as I was feeling fucking dead. The number was 45. 45 fucking miles. I can do 45 miles in my sleep! Not today, James, not today. Stay tuned for the next edition of James and his Bike!
Too Drunk; Didn’t Read (TD;DR)
-It’s still hot and the AC is busted on my Bike
-THE OMELETTE VOMIT COMET!!!
-Stealing water is punishable by up to 1 flat tire
-45 miles. A sobering number.