Lubrecht to Missoula- Tyre Gremlins, the ACA, and Sparkle! - Undaunted Porridge - CycleBlaze

July 13, 2018 to July 14, 2018

Lubrecht to Missoula- Tyre Gremlins, the ACA, and Sparkle!

Slacking at the Koelling Ranch

 Surely you can't be serious.

I am serious. And don't call me Shirley. 

        Robert Hays and Leslie Nielson, Airplane

The day started out with this bucolic scene. Surely there won't be any complications today.
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7/13 summary By Jen

The 35-mile mostly downhill ride from Lubrecht Experimental Forest to Missoula was a breeze ... until I heard a sharp hissing sound and felt the rear part of my bike go weeble-wobble, indicating a major puncture. A slow flat usually means that you can patch the tube but this was quick and noisy. No big deal, I thought. The road had a wide shoulder and Ron could help me fix the flat. 

It was a standard flat tire exercise at first. Ron used his exceptional thumb strength to remove the tire and when he re-inflated the tube it was easy to find the little slash that needed patching. The challenge came with trying to find the offender inside the tire. It wasn't until I bent the tire while turning it that I sound a large-ish 3/8 inch slash that went all the way through the tire just off the center line. But no evidence of what caused it. There was a lot of shrapnel,  nails, glass and rocks on the shoulder, so I guess we are lucky there weren't more flats.  Surely it was an attack of the Tyre Gremlins! (Don't call me Shirley!)

The Big Ben Greenguard tire I chased from Mobridge, South Dakota to Medora, North Dakota was now flat! Shit!
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Dee ForteHoly Cripes! That sucks!
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1 year ago
Ron SuchanekTo Dee ForteYeah! We never have flats so I guess we are due.
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1 year ago

Anyhow, Ron booted the tire with gorilla tape on the inside and outside and it survived the final stretch to Hellgate Cyclery in Missoula. There, we played Tire Tetris and replaced the latest tire casualty with the one that Ron had special ordered to replace his tire that was destroyed en route to Jordan. And he bought a new Schwalbe Marathon Plus to use as his new rear tire, as Hellgate had nothing comparable to the Big Ben. He'll ride with his mis-matched set until we get to Portland. (The Marathon is 1.6 inches wide and the Big Ben is about 2.1.)

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From Hellgate we crossed the street to the Adventure Cycling Association Headquarters for free ice cream, sodas and a tour. What an impressive organization! The ACA has mapped over 47,000 miles of scenic and historically significant routes throughout the U.S., including a couple of short routes in Canada.

The kind and friendly ACA staff took our photos to put up on the wall with  other 2018 cycle tourists and also helped us weigh our loaded bikes. Ron and Gay's bikes weighed 89 pounds apiece and mine weighed 74 pounds. As a percentage of our body weight the bikes and gear were Ron - 53%, Gay - 57%, and me - 67%. I think it's time for the guys to start carrying some of my stuff ... right??

We made it to Cycle Touring Mecca!!
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Our photo is on the wall for posterity
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Weighing the bikes
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From the ACA we went to Sparkle laundromat to wash our clothes. It was a great place to hang out. They had good machines, air conditioning, comfortable chairs, food and drinks. We were tempted to ask if we could spend the night at there, but Ron's cousin Charlie pulled up in his truck at 5pm to whisk us away to his family's home in Stevensville, 30 miles south of Missoula. Charlie and his family live on 15 acres just outside of town and have a beautiful view of the Bitterroot Mountains. What an awesome place for a detour!

Charlie and Ori
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Charlie and Oriana's place
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Charlie and Amara
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Chopping something or another in Oriana's and Charlie's beautiful house
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Touring Uncle Chuck and Debbie's house that they are building. It's very impressive.
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Jen and Kiva
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Me and Uncle Chuck. Notice Kiva photobombing.
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Judy & Sharon Thieme-RahnDid you teach Kiva how to do that Ron? I sure can see family resemblance between you and your Uncle.
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1 year ago
Jen and Debbie
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Hanging at the barbeque
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Sunset at the Koelling Ranch
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7/14 summary by Ron

We camped in the yard Fridat night and then took the tents down Saturday morning before the barbeque guests arrived. Uncle Chuck said we could sleep at his house (up the hill on the same property) Saturday night so we could get an early start. He also offered to drive us to Lolo at 6:30 in the morning to get is on the route right away without the need to ride 25 miles up the highway. And that's awesome. 

We had a good time with the kinfolk. Charlie and Ori, Debbie and Uncle Chuck are generous hosts, we got to meet the lovely Amara, and it was fun to talk with Ori's family and their friends.  We will be back. Stevensville will be on the list of places we might choose whenever we are ready to.setrle down. It's amazingly beautiful. 

Tomorrow: Up to Lolo pass. 

Today's ride: 32 miles (51 km)
Total: 1,408 miles (2,266 km)

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Scott Anderson‘Ron could help me fix that flat’? You fix your own flats sometimes? What a concept. I’ll have to pass that on to Rachael.
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1 year ago
Wendy WoodrichHi guys! So glad to see you have recovered from the really-oh truly-oh soul-trying time and are back "in gear," despite the tire problem. How nice to have such a great visit with family! Wanted to say that another reason to like Stevensville is that Barb and Bill Samsoe live there. Barb is a good friend from high school and our mothers are best friends in Roseburg. Barb and Bill rode their bikes from San Diego to Florida earlier this year, so you would have a lot to talk about! Didn't realize you would actually be there, or I would have put you in touch, but maybe if you go back? In the meantime I can send Barb a link to your blog if you are interested in connecting. Love you! Wendy
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1 year ago
Jen GrumbyTo Scott AndersonWell ... I know how to fix a flat, but Ron, with his exceptional thumb strength, has been the go-to tire issue guy. I did find the tire slash on this one.
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1 year ago
Jen GrumbyTo Wendy WoodrichWould be great to meet Barb and Bill someday! Very cool that they ride their bikes across the south.

We're in Riggins, ID right now (a few days behind on the journal).

Love!
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1 year ago
Mas KenahcusHey Ron and Jen hope all is going well. Our friend chip duello just moved in Missoula and is building a house. If you need anything here's his email
cduello21@gmail.com
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1 year ago