Day 3 3:30am-12:00pm, 209 miles
Only 2 days in and already I felt things slipping away. The need to get back on track was the theme for day 3. I rode away from my room by 4am and rolled the pavement out of town. Along the way I saw Mark Caminiti sleeping on the side of the road just before crossing Hwy 93. Almost stopped and woke him up but decided he might not appreciate that. As the sun came up I started the first climb of the day.
I did not stop to take any pictures on Day 3 but here is one from Day 3 of my aborted 2014 attempt. As you can see the conditions were a wee bit different. For a whole bunch of reasons I only made Eureka to Whitefish on that particular day. 93 miles in 17 hours in 2014 vs 209 miles in 20 hours in 2015 Wow quite a difference.
The day was another ‘picture perfect’ day weather wise and other than a few tinges in the left knee everything felt good as the miles rolled past. Going up the climb to Red Meadow pass I tried to catch up to Greg and Evan, never did which confirmed once again all the riders around me were as strong or stronger. Once over the pass I caught Greg and Evan on the decent and the three of us play raced all the way into Whitefish. I had a blast spinning out trying to stay ahead but was missing some bigger gears, not for the last time.
I resupplied at the first convenience store and as they had ‘hot’ food considered this my main meal stop for the day. Rolling on to Columbia Falls I did a quick top off of my supplies and ate a big ice cream sandwich. Now I began to think about where I might wind up for the day. The route from Whitefish to Ferndale is paved and fast and I now had supplies to see me to Ovando the following morning.
Along the pavement to Ferndale I caught up to a rider but every time I tried to join him for some conversation he would use his higher gearing and accelerate away. I would soon be spun out but later would catch up again. He would never let me quite join him. Basically he was acting like there was a finish line just up ahead. I was sort of laughing yet at the same time a bit put off by his strange antics. He rode off route at Ferndale to resupply and I dropped it down a notch and soft pedaled on up the climbs along Swan Lake towards Hollend Lake. Later the same rider, plus Greg and Evan pulled up behind me. Once again this other racer played silly ‘its-a-race’ games and accelerated by me like he was trying to ‘stick’ his pass without so much as a hi. I simply did not understand why a fellow TDR racer would be so unwilling to a least say hi. Frankly it pissed me off just enough to make me start ‘racing’ back. I deliberately caught up and forced him to acknowledge my presence. At some point it occurred to me, perhaps this racer didn’t speak English? Well sort of but still.....
Anyway this little back and forth racing pulled me all the way to Holland Lake where I ended my day at 209 miles. It had been a good day, some fun play racing even when totally spun out and I was more than a bit surprised at the total miles. And I was back on plan distance wise but knew as I crashed into my bivy I was in serious trouble from a knee/achillies point of view. My left knee was starting to noticeably swell, by morning the left knee was about twice the size as the right.