Sunday, January 20, 2019

2018 Tour of Idaho Day 3

Tour Of Idaho (2018) Day 3:
Up and on the road at 4am with a plan to reach Smiley Creek before the restaurant closes and the gas pumps are shut off.  First checkpoint for the day, Beverland Pass is only a short 30 min up the road.
It’s still pitch black and not much to see but the 2 track road and some sagebrush. 

My Tour almost ends:
Heading down that backside of Beverland Pass there was a major washout.  The road was completely gone, replaced for ¼ or so mile by 4 to 10 feet deep channels.  Some just a foot or so wide, others wide enough to ride down.  In the dark I can’t see any obvious work arounds and start to slowly pick my way across and down the washouts.  I soon come to a 6-foot-deep, 2 feet wide gap and cannot see an easy way around.  I set up to power across at 90 degrees and easily reach the far side but land my front wheel 8 inches to the right, smack into a tough bit of sage brush. Forward momentum halts and I stumble off to the side of the bike—right into a deep washout.  My chest hits the far bank and my head smacks the ground, hard enough to ‘bounce’.  The speed of my little mishap was slow, ie walking speed, but the hit to my head was hard enough to displace my goggles, visor and helmet light. I could tell I just missed hitting hard enough to cause a concussion, ie I wasn’t ‘quite’ seeing stars.  All in all this was my most scary time for the whole tour.  But other than scaring the bejesus out of me all was good and I was soon past the washout. 

Easy relaxed riding on road, forest service roads and a bit of ATV trails to the next Check Point, Stewart Canyon/Corral Creek. 

Sun is up, bike is running great, miles are being racked up, all is good. 

Next Check Points are Wildhorse Look Out followed by Burnt Aspen/Kane Creek. 

Last year (2017) the loose shale rock sections near the top of the climb to Wildhorse tested my skill just a bit, this year the same rocks were well within my comfort level.
This year the Burnt Aspen switchbacks, the ones with the stupid angled logs were a non-issue, unlike last year when I lost time man-handling the bike over them.

I rolled into Ketchum at 11:26am, gassed up, ate a hot snack and was back on the route by 12:00, a 30 min pit stop!!

Just outside of Ketchum the route dives across a small river and into long sections of flowing singletrack mixed up with a few short technical sections.  Basically the rest of the day is singletrack with just a few miles of connecting roads.  Once past the last Check Point for Day 3 (Paradise Peak) you cross some intimidating but relatively easy side hill and then on into Smiley Creek.

Here is a video link of Martin’s “Side hills of Concern" coming down off the saddle at Paradise Creek/Snow Slide Viewpoint.  Not the only side hills on day 3 but one of them is pretty tall

I reached Smiley Creek Lodge at 7:15pm.  Shortly after I arrived there was a power outage so I missed getting a hot meal. 

But even with the power outage the lodge staff went out of their way to take care of me, had the cook whip up a two tuna sandwiches, and with some cold drinks and snacks I was set.

Days 4 & 5 up next....