Cycling Advocates Ride to Pro Walk Pro Bike 2006

Daily Trip Log

from Vancouver B.C. to Madison, Wisconsin

Picture of Vancouver, BCGrouse Mountain Vancouver B.C.
from Mullen, ID to Superior, MT
Date: 2006-08-06
Distance: 88 Kilometres
Cycling Time: 4.26 Hours
Average Speed: 20.66kph
  Trip Distance since Leaving Vancouver 1,051 Kilometres  
Thoughts for the Day  
An early start to the day. By 7:00 am we had left the motel and cycled to a local food convenience store for the day’s supply. It was chilly, around 7 degrees Celsius. I thought of the sign that was on the highway yesterday could almost apply in early August – beware of ice on the road. Started dressed too lightly so put on some additional gear at the store in anticipation of the descend from Lookout Pass. I had forgotten that there were 10 kilometres of 6% climb to get to the Pass. Realized that as I made the turn on to the I-90 Highway and started to climb. Quickly stopped and took off some clothing. Somehow, climbing while overdressed is not very efficient or enjoyable.

The climb of about 600 metres took about an hour. It was accomplished using the large 34 tooth ring in the back and the middle 44 toothed rings in the front.

Once up there, quickly the windbreaker went on as a cold wind blew through the Pass. About 40 minutes later John appeared, having stopped to view some of the historical markers on the way. Spent some time talking to a couple of bikers who were on the way to Mount Rushmore area for a large gathering of some hundred thousand or so motor bikers.

Then, a long 80 kilometres descend started with just a couple of significant climbs to our destination at Superior.

At the first rest stop on the Interstate Highway the Town of Mullen, which we had just left, had a stand set up with free coffee and cookies. The people staffing the stand where a couple who now make Mullen their home. It turned out that he was a professor of economic geography now working at a university in Idaho. Originally, he started out in Madison Wisconsin, our destination. Now they also have an apartment in Finland as he is associated with a university there, as well. Now, as retirement is looming they are transitioning to weaving.

From there we returned to our descend. Along the way a small hamlet appeared where I veered off for a juice, while John continued on to an information centre in St. Regis some 20 or so kilometres further south. After the stop I returned to the ride keeping my speed up to catch up with John. Today, that would not happen. With a downward cycle he was able to arrive at the info centre way before I got there. The first time on this trip that I have not been able to catch up with him.

After a long lunch there we returned to the road and the last 20 to 30 kilometres to our destination. At this time it was hot with the sun beating down and nothing to offset the temperature that had now passed 30 degrees Celsius.

On a trip of this nature it is easy to forget the day of the week. Also we went through a time change today. By the time we went out we watched the grocery store close. So we hunted for a restaurant which we found located in part of what was a school. A large room was tastefully decorated with wooden tables covered by red checkered table cloths and white walls. While the restaurant tried to provide more tasty food than your normal restaurant, the menu was strictly local with burgers, sandwiches, and the usual steak meals.

  Tomorrow our trip will be some 90 kilometres to Missoula.

    For humour along the way our riding preferences are used for material. John likes riding in cold and rainy weather. I enjoy the heat. John likes to be lightly dressed as he generates lots of body heat. I tend to dress up to be warm. John likes to cycle slowly enjoying the sights and points of significance along the way. I like to get to the destination before the heat of the day is really there with some or plenty of stops for picture taking. John enjoys chatting with people that we encounter. I prefer to keep the dialogue brief and return to cycling before the body cools down too much. So, I tend to remind him if the dialogue gets long winded. We seem to handle the differences in styles and enjoy the trip.

Cycling Facilities  
Interstate Highway 90 In Idaho we experienced clean, well maintained wide paved shoulders. While, in Montana, the shoulders stayed wide, the condition of the shoulders kept changing from freshly swept clean to loitered with gravel from last winter and stray materials.

  In Montana, they seem to use a section of perpendicular rows of rumble strips extending from the pavement edge to the white line of the traffic lane. These 1-meter wide sections appear about every 7 to 10 metres. I decided to try out these sections at various speeds noting that I felt the rumble speed most at slow speed and less the faster that I went. They did not appear to affect the handling of the bike as the top of each rumble strip was made flat.

  Now John on his aluminium bike did not like these sections and felt the strips. On the other hand and while I would prefer to have a section that is flat for bikes to travel over, at speed they were not much of a nuisance on a chromalloy-steel bike.