Going Gets Tough. . .

It’s hot. So hot that heat exhaustion is trying to get me to not like this mountain bike touring. Nausea and feeling very ill on hot, sunny, steep climbs. I soak my head and shirt  in streams so I can get up the next hill. We do a lot of walking and pushing the bikes and Todd’s is heavily loaded.

todd cycling in Montana

Mine is about the same weight as every other long distant cyclist out here but Todd’s a beast. And believe it or not, we are going semi lightweight.

Most of the time we are watching our front tire for rocks and ruts on the gravel roads. If you try to look around, in the rare instance that there is a chance, you seriously risk wrecking.

We see Montana rural life when we enter and leave town. So as you can imagine, a stop in town is a highlight. . . A&W root beer floats with double the ice cream help us get by.

Todd is losing his enthusiasm. We are in a great green forested tunnel most of the time. It reminds me of the AT. Our national park ranger friend Tom Banks took us on a day hike in Glacier National Park high up at Logan Pass, and we scraped heaven and were reminded why we love to WALK trails up high at altitude. This is just ok. Bryce said, “If it isn’t that much fun. Why not quit and come home?” But it is too late for that.

We’ve begun it. Have nearly 700 miles on our bike tires. We will get to Mexico sooner or later -in a few years. It is up to us to increase the fun factor where we can. It is about the journey traveling the country from north to south on National Forest service roads. It is not road touring; mountain biking long distance is a completely different animal. And much to this extroverts disappointment, there are very, very few cyclists out here to hang and eat with in town.

Todd and I are enjoying each other’s company, and we must be getting stronger although I feel like a wet dish rag on most climbs. I remember climbing Mount Mousilake in Maine on the AT. I could not believe I could hike all that way and still feel so bad. It was hot and humid and I had 57 pounds in my pack including a 5 lb canned ham by mother sent to me.

I came out here to get fit., as I entered my 60th decade. I suppose that is happening. My belly is a tiny bit smaller. But a piece of duct tape over my mouth for a few days in the comfort of my home may have ALMOST done the same trick.

It should rain tomorrow we hear and a cold front go through and reduce temps from the 90s to the 70s.

Just so you know. This is no walk in the park.
Love to all. Have some fun for us.

25 thoughts on “Going Gets Tough. . .

  1. I’m sorry it’s not the kind of thrill you were hoping for.
    Feeling your pain—-and hoping better times are on the way.
    Carolyn

  2. You both are the most adventurous folks I know. So inspiring to follow your trips via your writing. Hope to see you soon.

  3. Cindy and Todd, we’re sending powerful good vibes that the journey gets easier in any way possible. Porter and I remember well some of the brutally difficult parts of our self-supported tandem bike trips from Houston to Camden, Maine, then Houston to San Diego. Some parts were downright terrifying. We have no doubt you’ll not only survive but triumph!

    • brutal is a good word sometimes out there. Thank you for the good wishes. It helped get us through the tough times. Someone asked why we do it, why stay, why not go home and the answer is always the same, “It isn’t always easy out there but it is always worthwhile.”

  4. HI from the girl in the work van, met you in front of the historic train station in Banff. You inspire me , the reality of living your life , traveling thru the hardships and pain to reach the other place in ones soul . I am envious of your enduring strength in heart and spirit. GLad to hear you guys are pushing through –

  5. Cindy, you get to decide for yourself where the finish line is. Whatever you do will be the right decision. If the not-fun days outnumber the fun days, go do something fun. I am all for perseverance and the joy of reaching goals but as someone halfway through my 60s, I am increasingly aware that life is short. I’ve gotten super picky about how I spend my time and energy these days. I am rooting for you whether you keep on keeping on or you bag it for the year. And either way, your fans are cheering you on.

    Sent from my Verizon 4G LTE smartphone

    • Hey Suzanne- stopped a week short because Todd was having heart issues and went to the emergency room to check it out. Here he was very low on electrolytes and it affected his heart rate. Will return next year to complete the remaining 1200 miles to the CO/NM border. It was just starting to get fun and we were just beginning to figure it out (attitude adjustment) will be writing about it in next few blogs. But thank you for the permission to do what I needed to do- appreciate your support- want to see you next year as we did not get to your road turn off in Montana!

  6. Wow girl – if anyone can do it it is YOU TWO! You have carved out epic, memorable trips before and taken away the beauty and majesty you can only experience by doing the way you two do. Quiet your mind and the body will follow whatever your path. Love and positive thoughts floating your way! XO

  7. I was out biking last Sunday in San Diego, as I seem to be doing a lot this summer. At about 20 miles from home, I had a flat, and I didn’t have a tube with me. I was helped by a young man named Edward, who had some touring packs on his bike. Turns out that he was from Netherlands, and was on a trek from Vancouver, BC to Lima, Peru – a journey of 6000 miles on his bike! He was just over 2000 miles into the ride. He started in Vancouver on July 4 and was flying home from Lima on Oct 22. He is being interviewed by a radio station from his home every Friday evening. Safe travels to Edward, and safe travels to you and Todd, Cindy. No flats for you, just a gentle downhill…

    • those epic cyclists are awe inspiring. On our first day out of Banff, we met a cyclist who came from Prudoe Bay- 3500 miles away and was heading to the tip of South America. he was concerned about finding tubes in Central & South America. We just wanted to make it through the Canadian Rockies without getting eaten by a frizz. All things in perspective!

  8. Epic journey you got going there. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to make that trip dragging all of one’s possessions, while the US Cavalry chased after you with guns blazing. I know, doesn’t make what you’re doing any easier, but your hardship puts theirs in better perspective. You guys have amazing grit, but if you ever find you can’t remember the last time you laughed, you might want to reassess. I hope you have laughter today.

  9. Love the updates…you guys hang in there. Can’t wait to hear Todd’s comments. Like a true German he wouldn’t say shit if he had a mouthful.

    Hang tough…. Bricker

    ________________________________

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