Let me say this

About that:

100 feet of climbing per linear mile of trail is about a 2% grade. But here in these mountains the trails are steep from the get go, lots of climbing in a short distance. I struggled with the climb today up Mill Creek from Teton Canyon, 1574′ in 5.34 miles for 295′ / mile which really equals a 5.6% grade. Doesn’t seem steep on the whole as a percent, but, pedaling topping out at 8,000′ was crushing. I started up Mill Creek which is an old hiking trail that has been rerouted in places to eliminate the fall line. Then I pedaled on Andy’s which is a green trail inside the Targhee resort.

About that:

Machine built trails given time to weather  become more interesting as the riders ride in a line and dirt erodes away “raising” rocks.

downhill Colters far side.

Out of the trees in the shadow of the Tetons:

Grand in the center

Downhill on Colters swooped then I rejoined Mill Creek that I rode up. Hang on, let the bike have its way. I turned on the bell as warning but encountered no one to hear it. John Colter, trail namesake was a member of Lewis and Clarks expedition, he explored on his own afterwards and is legendary for his escape from Indians.

Sunday I let Matt work on my shifting. Today it was golden going up but after bouncing around on the downhill some of its bad performance returned.

Monday I drove way west of Driggs to the Horseshoe trail system. I previously rode some of the trails at that time w/o gps data and poor signs. This year the intersections are all signed and any navigation errors that I made were because I did not pay attention. All but a short section of primitive FS road is single track. Cows. Worth doing again tomorrow if rain does not fall. Not as much hard climbing. Tight trees in places others let ‘er rip.

Horseshoe trails

I drove back to Driggs for a shower and socializing at Peaked. Plan for today’s ride was Mill Creek out of Teton Canyon. Guy gave his knowledge of what I wanted to ride. I asked about camping to which he said drive up the canyon and pick a side road for a spot. I did. I stayed somewhere on this road on my first visit. Go view of the Tetons up closer.

Did the ride today as written above. Sat in the warm sun recuperating then drove into town for a shower and groceries. I drove down to Victor because that’s where 2 brew pubs are. One was better reviewed than the other. Except it was closed. Bummer. Drove back to Driggs and camped on the Teton River again.

Heavy rain is forecast for the east side of the Tetons with some spilling over here. Plan revision.

Nice being out of heavy smoke although a slight haze is in the air. Being in rain will be novel. Bend is still smokey and dry.




Tonight down by the Teton River west of Driggs, ID. Down as the Mariners and Seahawks losses, and me beat down going uphill.

Last night the camper 2 spots over finally turned off his generator at 11:30. I slept straight thru the night prolly in the same position. Hard hot ride yesterday.

This AM I drove to Victor stopping at Fitzgerald’s to learn local ride ideas etc. Matt helped me. Grizzly bears are to be a considered encounter. Bear spray and I even bought an enjoyable handlebar bell that I left on  ringing. I have bear spray from my Mile Creek ride outside Yellowstone several years ago with the Spokane folks.

I drove west of town then parked on the shoulder of a side road. As I was gearing up 3 other riders showed. Nate came back to chat with me and I asked if I could glob on with them Sure he said. I my haste I left my spray out of easy eyesight on my bed pedestal. We pedaled out for the only flat part of the entire ride for about 2oo’, turned right and up. Brutal. I didn’t blow up so much as just spent. I was way off the back. First part of the trail is almost a fall line for I don’t know how long then a newly machine purpose built trail took over. I could ride all of this except for a really steep climbing turn. My ride was to be  up this climb then down a drainage then a bigger climb back up then down Drake that I rode. For me I bailed on the big one and settled for Drake down. Amazing: 41 mins to pedal 3 miles climbing 1539′, that’s 510′ per mile. Entire ride was only 6.86 miles gaining 1637′, that’s 238′ / mile.

grove up
looking east to Tetons across the Hole, Victor out there.

It took 10 mins to drop 1257′ in 1.56 miles of steep rocky tread. I walked a rock garden. There were several places where inertia was the key and letting off the brakes to just let the bike handle the chunder. The single track ended on a steep gravel road that continued the gravity assist. OK, there was another maybe 300′ of flat road back to my van. I am beat, I have never felt the well used muscle in my groin from all the full force of pedaling. My legs are using almost all of descending pedal which adds on the last little bit between what 4:30 to 5:30 that I never used on clipless. I got beat down but I am still upright. Tomorrow I will ride the Horseshoe trails which are just out of the valley.

Shifting woes still, cable tension not making it happen. Drove back to the bike shop prepared to buy and install a new derailleur in the open stand. Matt said let me check it out first. Oh, on the ride Nate told me Matt is going to engineering school. Now I have a studying engineer and my bunch of knowledge. I complimented Matt on studying engineering, He said he spent some hours in PhD engineering so he could say that he is going to school on top of his existing masters in mechanical engineering. Oh boy, we were off to the races. Seeking the solution that a new derailleur would prolly not fix. He thinks the housing right near the derailleur has a restricting bend that I push in when I lay the bike down on that side, Solution was to lessen the bend, don’t lay the bike on the gears side and if shifting goes bad check the housing bend.

We chatted about ebikes as I saw a pickup truck driving into the crowded parking spot. I stopped them and told them that I would be leaving and you could have my spot. I looked at their bikes hung over the tailgate: Ebikes. Matt rode one on a local steep loose trail and it made what a pedaler could not. And faster. Imagine being out of breath but going so much faster. The truck kept going.

I drove up to Driggs for a shower and visit Peaked Sports to see if my picture is still in the rest rooms. I walked in and a guy greeted me asking if I was checking out my pic. Yes, it is still there. I told him the story. He remembered me from a previous visit. A guy walks in making a beeline to me and calling me by name. Memory recall worked, it was Jason and family from Elephants perch in Ketchum where I hang. They were here for a NICA race that one son raced and was coached by his older brother. I learned that smoke was  really heavy earlier in the week, the kids got to race in clean air.

Anytime has the better showers. Electronic scan of my card and the door unlocks.

I ate dinner at Royal Wolf, lots of cars. Buildings sit back from street edge just a little further than a pickup truck length allowing straight in parking. Old Chub on tab and a delicious trout dinner. The bar restaurant sits between the old railroad station to the west and cavalry chapel even closer to the east. I wonder if the bar and church share common hours.

I was told about this camp spot about 6 miles out of town right on the Teton River. Flat open mowed ground, 11 day camping limit. That’s where I am at.

Before leaving Driggs I drove down to the big grocery store. Maybe 3 rigs in the big lot, no people. The store was closed. Imagine people have living hours. I was hankering for ice cream. Ah, recovery plan: there is an ice cream shop right on the main drag. I visited there years before and chatted with the shop owners who were just starting the shop. Their premise was good milk is all I remember. Woman made me a black and white malted.

I am so enjoying not living in smoke. And the flies moved out. The dust buster was still under powered for the night time suck ups.

I am just wandering. I have several days of riding on this side of the Tetons then several more on the Jackson side. Since November last year I have not had a destination schedule. I have not been allocating time between competing locations. This year I spent from June 15 to Sept 6 in Oregon. I left because of the smoke not because I had to be somewhere. My life is pretty free and it is up to me to fill the time from when I slide out of bed in the morning till I slip back in when I decide enough all ready for this day to end. Repeat. Friend Phil from Indiana wanted to ship something to me and he asked for a bike shop that it could be sent to. I was in Bend with leaving plans unconfirmed. I did not want to be held hostage on shipping. He called me back and asked me if I knew of Crows Commons shop. Yes. He told me to stop at the shop to pick up what he wanted to give to me. It was a digital Lezine shock pump that the shop had. He made arrangements with the shop to purchase it and hold it for me. I just balk at picking a place to be for mail pick up or testing supplies because I need to plan ahead for the stuff to be there when I get there instead of waiting for it. But then that creates a stopping place. I now have given up that freedom to go somewhere else. Years ago an important mail arrived in my mail forwarding mailbox that I needed to respond to. I requested it be mailed to Oakridge. I made a plan to go to Oakridge to pick it up. Rain settled in before the mail arrived. It wasn’t riding weather but I needed to drive over to pick the mail up. I ended up being the only shuttle rider for a rainy Alpine ride. I offer this to share what living on the road full time is like.+++++

My laptop stand fan cooling fan just died. Quite a ways from nearest Best Buy. Maybe Jackson?

Bed time.

out of the smoke

Wed night my PA called with the CT results: nothing of concern. I am now ready to drive east out of the smoke. Spent a smokey night out at Phils. Thurs I did my laundry and ran errands. I left town around noon driving east thru Prineville which was smoked in. Just amazing how heavy and distant from fires smoke settles in. I made Dixie Summit well east of Prineville. I found what i thought to be the snow park. Around the corner is a small rope tow slope. 2 thunderstorms blew thru, the first gave just a few spits, however the second one dropped rain. I got rained on. On a earlier east to west travel I stayed on a logging road at the summit, this time I did not want to drive on the rough road. Quite the scenic drive on rt 26. Still smoke at Ontario at the east end of the state. Interstate driving on I84 driving below 65mph on 80mph limit. Van temp has been rising a little every year now, never to the red zone Temp outside was in low 90s and heat was blasting up from the pavement. A bill board announcing Warbirds museum caught my attention enough to check it out. I was hoping to see a P38 not so. Lots of stuff plus just a few war birds. Continued east to Boise and finally out of the smoke. My end point was Indian Springs TH S of Kimberly. I chose the TH parking after not seeing horse shit from the cattle people’s horses. Flies are very annoying to me. Even with the window open while driving they resist freedom. Tonight I was able to dust buster a few slow ones, works better after dark. Won’t get cold enough tonight to make them slightly slower.

At wake up this morning it was 73 degrees and bright skies. I made an omelet using left over pasta sauce. I lost just a splash when I flipped it. Back in Mountain time which moves Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me program to 9AM instead of 8 in Pacific time. I searched program guide to find an afternoon rebroadcast. I pedaled away. Hot, sunny, and no wind. Climbed up Dry Gulch which was dry and no cows. Tread is below grade causing me to loose a few pedal strokes as my foot was knocked off the pedal.

up dry gulch

Continued on Rock Star up top.

big open space looking NW

Trails are overgrown, cows have added their hooves impact to the tread. Used MTBProject. No shade, 85 degrees. Saw one other rider. I rode here earlier in the year. I talked with a woman who said she helped build trails there not using cow paths. SInce build the cows use the trail which erodes the dirt making the trail below grade in many places. Eat more chicken. Lots of feed lots and big dairy operations.

Back to the sun heated van. Good internet coverage. Found a shower in Idaho Falls, more I84 driving. 2 drivers expressed their dissatisfaction of me moving in front of them. Different manners than Bend.

I continued east on 26 turning off on a FS road to Falls Creek XG. I drove by a place where I stayed on an earlier trip. My plan was to score a saved camp spot then drive to Victor for the evening, I ended up staying at the camp ground. Fucking cows running thru leaving nice fresh splatters. More flies. I asked the camp ground host about it. He said the company he works for put up 1,000′ of fence which worked until 3 days ago.  XG closes this weekend. Dirt road is right along the Snake River.

I make an strong effort to drink while riding. I drank a beer and 2 quarts of water then more water at dinner and I hardly have anything to pee.

Today I entered my late 60s.

Tomorrow is Driggs, will ride some stuff at Targhee.

Prineville, Baker City, and La Grande each had horrible AQI readings which caused me to not stop. Plan is to work my way to Colorado which is mostly clean skies.