|some of the photos below.
Our group had it's second crash today when one of the
riders in the group I had been riding with touched his
front wheel with the cyclist in front of him. He went
down and two other riders near him also crashed. No one
suffered serious injuries although Phil, the first rider
to go down, did have some fairly severe road rash and
went to an emergency care center near our lunch stop to
have it cleaned up. I'm sure he'll be more than a little
sore tomorrow. I had hung back at the second rest stop
so wasn't part of the group, but I rode by them shortly
after their accident.
The wind actually shifted in our favor for the last
ten miles or so into our lunch stop, and we all made
great time. After a nice lunch of soft tacos and
chocolate cake (you can't get too many calories on a
tour like this), I headed out alone for the final 50
I soon caught up to David from VA on the big climb of
the day and we rode together until the finish. The climb
was probably the best part of this stretch since the
mountain blocked the winds (which had turned back around
in our face) and the views were stunning. When we got to
the top, we were rewarded with a beautiful lake.
We had been hoping for a long easy descent into
Anaconda which had been billed as a ten mile 35mph
stretch, but it wasn't to be. The strong headwinds
limited our speed to about 20mph or so for most of it,
even with strong pedaling.
After the final rest stop at mile 115, the real slog
began. David and I took turns pulling into the wind, but
it still took us close to two hours to ride the last 20
miles. Much of this was on the shoulder of Rt 90 as this
is the only practical way to get to our hotel in Butte.
We finally made it in just before 5:00. A long, hard
My knees are a little sore at this point, although
they didn't bother me during the ride. I'm icing them as
I type this in hopes that I won't have to take any
ibuprofin or the like. I also had some problems with my
wrists today since I was riding in the drops (the lower
part of the handlebars) almost the whole day to battle
the wind. I may have to resort to installing aerobars on
my bike to reduce the load on my wrists and hands.
Tomorrow should be an easy day - only 100 miles with
3200 ft of climbing. By PAC Tour standards, this is
easy. Barring more strong headwinds, I'll get to the
motel before 2:00PM and have a chance to do my laundry
in a real washing machine instead of in the sink.
Thanks to all of you that have been sending me
emails. And a special thanks to those of you that have
made donations to LAF in my name. I have now reached my
goal of $20,000, but this shouldn't stop you from making
a donation if you haven't or making another if you are