This is part of a series of posts written during my cycle from Vancouver, BC to Minneapolis, MN in June 2013. For the most part I followed the Adventure Cycling Association’s ‘Northern Tier’ Route, but deviated where I saw fit. It was a great experience, read on to find out more…
Today was relaxing after the last three days of mountain passes and arduous climbs. It was mostly flat as I transitioned between the end of the cascades and the start of the Rockies. Thanks to easy(ish) terrain and a slight tailwind I managed to put in a 113 miles – meaning that I’ve covered just over 500 miles in the last five days. I’m really pleased with that – I’ve had to alter how I climb to help out my knees and I’ve not been overly pushing myself, so to cover these kind of distances is really encouraging.
The main challenge today was the sun — my cycle computer registered 90F. I felt like I was burning this morning so grabbed some sun screen from a gas station — it helped, but not as much as I’d have liked and my arms and legs are red tonight. Cyclist’s tan is definitely well under way now!
I made it clean across Idaho in around 5hrs and plunged into my third state. There was no state sign to welcome me to Montana, but the scenery was an instant reminder why this was my favorite state when I rode the Trans Am Trail in 2010 — snow capped mountains arranged around roaring rivers make for memorable views.
I lost an hour when I cycled into Montana and am now on Mountain Time. It feels odd to have crossed a time zone in five days, but more than anything else it’s a mark of progress. I joined Route 2 this afternoon and should now not have to make a turn for over 1000 miles — this road should take me all the way to Minnesota. Somehow I don’t think my map reading skills are going to be challenged!
As I write this I’m sat by my tent, surrounded by mountains, and drinking a beer. What an end to a good day’s ride.