Wednesday, August 13, 2014

" We should ride bikes to the cabin, ok let's ride bikes to the cabin! "

*Who-  Mark Schafer aka " Markzilla " , Gabe Keck , Patrick Nagler and myself...
*What- Bike ride to the cabin!
*When- Saturday, August 2nd, 2014
*Where- Donnelly, ID
*Why- Because it would be AWESOME! we love riding our bikes!
*How- 8hr's of pedaling along great dirt/gravel & little pavement of beautiful Idaho back roads!

*Cabin ride break down* 
-Time- 8 hours & some change ...
-Miles- 122
-Elevation Gain- 10,300-10,800 feet
-Avg. Speed - 15mph
- Almost 90% dirt roads

-Route-  The FUN!... all started right from Patrick's house (Military Reserve)-->Up Bogus Basin road-->Cat track to Schafer Camp ground-->* Best single track in Boise trail* -->Boise Ridge road 374-->Harris Creek/Star Ranch Road-->Placerville Rd 615-->Alder Creek Rd 615--> 17 Banks/Lowman Rd to Garden Valley-->Crouch-->Middlefork Rd-->Scriver Creek Rd/693/ 670,-->Deer Valley Rd--> 6 Mile rd , Bacon! Rd,--> Gatfield Rd--Sixty Ln--> Skunk Creek Rd-->Clear Creek Rd (across 55 ) -->Cabarton Rd-->W Mountain Rd--> Tamarack Falls Rd--> W Roseberry Rd-->Highway 55--> Old State Rd-->Loomis Ln--> Spring Valley Rd-->Lake Trail Dr-->Cascade Dr-->Wildwood Dr-->Hereford Rd--->*PATRICK'S CABIN* Wowerzzzz, what a ride/adventure, we made it!  BEER! & FOOD! time ...

*Worthy ride for a few High 5's! *
*One of the best rides/adventures I have been on with some great friends*

It seems like a while since I have written on our blog page.  It's probably because every race I have done this season has been a BUST! in my eyes ( except 9-5!, 2nd in team duo category with my good buddy, Gabe Keck).  So when my friends and I were about half way through this epic ride, I thought to myself this is for sure a worthy ride/adventure to write about, as well as an afterthought of a small memory of the BIG Loop road ride back in May.

"We should ride bikes to the cabin. "
"Ok, let's ride bikes to the cabin! "

About a month back while at Patrick's having some beers and catching up about our 4th of July weekend events we both did, the awesome idea of riding cylcocross bikes in one day from his house to his cabin, 5 miles past Donnelly, was discussed. It sounded like a awesome idea for a super fun mostly dirt/gravel road route adventure, so I was on board with it from the get-go.  Not only was it a awesome idea just to do it for a fun weekend day ride, but also a good reason to get in one last big ride before the Pierre's Hole 100 race over at Grand Targhee on Saturday, August 16th.  The same for Patrick as he is getting primed and ready for Lotoja come September.  We ended up recruiting two more friends Gabe and Mark, who we knew would be very interested and down to join us in this awesome adventure  ( also racing Pierre's Hole 100 ).  We got a great ride planned and also weekend plan dialed and set out with nothing but pure excitement and high hopes for a good, hard, long, safe, and memorable ride.  Something about getting super stoked on a big ride like this and not knowing the turn by turn route or where we were really going was a really fun part of this adventure for me.  Luckily, Patrick had already done this route before, so we were fortunate to have him as a great guide.

The skinny knobby tires started rolling out from Patrick's house at 7am through town and up Bogus Basin road to the lower lodge.  This was a pretty fun start to the day because BB road was just packed with cars going up to the resort for the Dirty Dash event.  We didn't know that event was going on when we planned the cabin ride but it all worked out. The vibe and atmosphere was great to see and have before a long hard day on the bikes. Once we got to the lower lodge and refilled bottles,  it was full on party mode up there and it was hard to leave and not join in on the fun; however, we had our own ride party to get on with. We made our way up to the Schafer campground where we climbed some extra to get to what we call " Boise finest/best single track ".  It made the start of the ride that much sweeter, as we got to ride some very fun single track with some of the best views of the ride, I would say.  Along with the gorgeous views from the Boise Ridge road all the way down and into Placerville.  Making it all good into Placerville, after some super fun and really fast dirt road downhills, we fueled up on calories at a small general store and refilled our bottles.  We also chatted it up with some interesting locals that just happened to have some extra chain lube in their RV.  A funny quote that stuck with me for most of the ride was " is that a big stick of butter you're eating, " said Patrick as he asked a friendly local.  It turned out it was just ice cream....1/2 of the "stick" was in the dudes beard... Gotta love the friendly, humorous hill folks.

We headed out excited for the next stop few hours away which was going to be Crouch.  Along the way some really fast flat's mixed with some stiff rolling climbs and super fun, fast fire road descents.  We encountered two flat tires but got them changed super fast and we were charging hard towards Garden Valley and Crouch. A fun memory ( in a weird twisted way ) of another great " rainy" ride I did back in May ( the BIG Loop ) came into mind as we turned left onto Banks/Lowman road heading towards Crouch.  I pretty much smiled and laughed to myself a little and said to the guy's , " the last time I was on this road it was a total monsoon of a down pour " The BIG Loop day,  a darn good day/ride ...
(BIG Loop ride/memory I had along the "Cabin Ride" )
*Steaming ahead along Banks/Lowman rd just before the flood gates opened on us!*
BIG Loop day was one of the gnarliest rides I been on to survive, not the ride itself but the weather we encountered while on it. It was sure nice to be on Banks/Lowman road on a beautiful, sunny, warm day in August for the " Cabin Ride ".  Ok, there may have been a few hours where " warm " is a pure understatement.... more of like melting HOT! Anyway the thoughts of the BIG loop's weather just made it easier while on this ride, riding through the dead of the day's heat at times.

We then had a comfortable stop at the grocery store in Crouch to again re fuel on food and re fill bottles and we were off for a LONG! part of the ride and with super long, endless seeming climbs.  Scriver Creek road and then  the climb " Markzilla's climb " seemed to go on just forever and luckily for us it was really hot.  As Markzilla, was way ahead almost near the top getting some pictures, it sounded like some crazy echo's as I thought I was hearing things. Oh but it was just Markzilla already near the top cheering us on. I just thought " yep, time to stay steady, I'll get him on a TNR! "  We regrouped at the top and thankfully Patrick said that was mostly the end of the big climbs. Some decent sized rollers but as for climbs we were done with them!  Unfortunately, Gabe and myself were out of water and it was super hot and we still had, I think, a solid 2 hrs to go to the next for sure stop being at Clear Creek grill/bar/shop right on Highway 55.  We were hoping for a random camp ground along the route, but luckily while on a good rolling climb a very nice lady offered some water! So a quick refill of one water bottle.  This was all it took to get us to Clear Creek grill/bar/shop right next to 55.  It was time for one last real food if you will ( Markzilla stuffing Twinkies down, and us other much calorie deprived people eating beef jerky, peanut butter M&M's and drinking Coke -mmm tasty! )  Knowing the end may be near, across 55 we went and started onto the long Carbarton gravel road and Mountain Rd...a great deep gravel road and deep wash-boarded grind of almost there!?!? bike riding fun!...

Riding parallel of Tamarack Resort and Cascade Lake knowing pavement into Donnelly and the cabin would be coming soon.  Oh but wait now bike riding adventurers,  we were then greeted with the last of the ride's dirt roads with miles and miles of beat up gravel sections and deep wash boarded sections that jarred every muscle in the body as well as the tired mind! It was worth every mile.....

We finally hit pavement , filled up a few bottles one last time at a nearby camp site for home stretch into Donnelly and cabin. We had a great pace line going all the way into town at about 22mph which we all felt pretty comfortable with for being that late into the ride. " SWEET! This is RAD! "
As we turned off the main road onto the side roads to get to the cabin, having no idea of how much further we had, I knew we were very close as Patrick went off the front and I looked down at my Garmin and we were flying down Cascade and Wildwood Dr.  at 25mph. There it was!  Patrick put his hands up as if he won an imaginary sprint and we turned one last turn into the cabin where we were greeted by some very friendly faces of Sean Donovon, Sheila , and Margret. They were there ahead of time to prepare some great food and party late into the night with us 4 tired, super-stoked, bike riders of the day's adventure.  A ride I will remember for a long time to come and can't wait to do again!

Big thanks to Patrick, Gabe and Markzilla for one heck of a fun day doing what we love in a simple way.

" Let's go ride our bikes to the cabin! "  again....

*The endlessly fun Scriver Creek rd climb!* aka Markzilla's climb

* A series of fun,fast,flat,turn's & rollers into Clear Creek lodge/bar*


 *A shot ski in August!? OH! I think so...*