Confidence Building – 30+ Miles to Go.

May 23, 2020

What do you do when you are planning on ridding 45 miles a day in an upcoming 2-day biking adventure and have never ridden more than 10 miles in a day? Simple: you ride more than 10 miles in a day. We decided to put 30+ behind us. 

What do you do when you are planning on ridding 45 miles a day in an upcoming 2-day biking adventure and have never ridden more than 10 miles in a day? Simple: you ride more than 10 miles in a day. We decided to put 30+ behind us. 

Some of y’all doing these cycling centuries (aka: century cycling or century ride) will giggle a bit at 30+ miles on a bicycle on pavement. And, that’s okay. Not everyone can have the biggest manhood in the room. Consider the newly minted 13-year-old that is about to be drug along a gravel path 40+ miles per day. That dude needs a confidence builder…for sure!!

For y’all like me that ain’t got much time to spend on anyone thing, here’s a video index to help you navigate the video.

Boise River Greenbelt

May 23, 2020

May is a big birthday month in our world. Early this May, my son turned 13-years-old and later this May, I turned 50-years-old. Travis wanted a new bicycle for his birthday and with my wife being so busy with work (and I being a school nurse with no kids at my schools), I took on the mission to find a bicycle for our young-un. What started out as a budget of $500 has turned into a $1,500 budget…for his bike. The question is: Why did I order two?

I remember in the day when the aluminum framed cannondale with those big fat tubes were the bikes I dreamed of. But, back then, my Trek with the Rock Shocks wasn’t too shabby. Now, everyone shouts “Steel! Steel! Steel!” After much searching and studying…we decided on either the Jamis Renegade S3 (Steel) or the Salsa Journeyman (aluminum). Both bikes were so close in features and were the exact same price. My fear was that Travis would get his new bike and not like it. Me? I am older and can tolerate more discomfort. So, I decided we’d buy both! Yep! Both! My logic was: He can pick the bike and if he doesn’t like the bike, he can try the other one for a while.

We are Jumping in with Both Wheels!

We’ve had our bikes for less than a month so far and have definitely put the miles on them. After spending $3,000 on the two bikes (less than many of y’all spend on your one), we kept going with a Burley bike trailer and all the fixin’s to get out and find some gravel to grind. Our first (real) trip was up in the mountains around Idaho City. What a trip. That’s when Travis realized “what goes up (usually) comes down.” And that “down” was intense. He’s sold. 

We’ve done some back-woods gravel but only 10-15 miles at a time. I thought that getting Travis out and riding more than 30 miles would be a good confidence-builder. This time we decided on ridding pavement rather than gravel. Distance was the goal. Here in the Boise Metro (Idaho) we have an awesome trail system called the Boise River Greenbelt. 

Packed Way Too Much!

I picked up a Burley Coho bicycle trailer. I had a Bob Yak back in the day (and regrettable just sold it off). But, I am pretty happy with my Burley. It’s pretty okey-dokey. With so much room, it’s tempting to “load it up.” And I did. Three liters of water, a gallon jug of water (what the heck!), a JetBoil to cook some dehydrated chicken and dumplings, and all the tools we’d need to completely tear down our bikes and put them back together again (with redundancies). 

Truth be known, I was trying to “handicap” myself to help with endurance…and to tax my trailer a bit to make sure it’ll hold up when we find ourselves way, way, way out. We got these bikes to ride and not to push back to civilization. 

Video Index

00:00 – Brief Intro
00:20 – Starting at North Glenwood Street in Garden City, Idaho
00:50 – First Bridge Crossing (not that it was difficult or anything and there are more to come)
01:35 – Video footage facing backwards
02:30 – Video footage facing forwards
02:40 – I didn’t know I was so ugly!
03:00 – Brief break to enjoy the lupins
03:20 – Video from Travis’ Bike
04:45 – Passing under Highway 21
05:15 – At the Boise River Diversion Dam
06:13 – Story about a bicycle purchase I made years ago (without my wife knowing) – See the full story text here.
08:25 – Heading down the final stretch to Lucky Peak State Park
11:00 – At Lucky Peak State Park
11:40 – Setting up for Lunch with the Jet Boil that we had just purchased.
16:15 – Story about a fella and his wife who had a peculiar way of “washing” their silverware (sorry for the sound quality). Full story text here.
17:30 – Camera dipped into the Boise River
17:55 – Ride back from Lucky Peak to Garden City with a stop off at the cafe’ for a teenager-energy-boost (Nutella Croissant).
25:28 – Back at the car. Post ride conversation and the introduction of BENGAY.
26:49 – Maps of the ride
27:39 – END

Story: My Wife Said “No” But I Did It Anyway

I am a registered nurse. I graduated from Louisiana Tech in 1998 and moved to Alaska. Then in 2000, we moved to Boise, Idaho and I went to work at a faculty called Life Care Center of Boise. Most each day after work, I’d drive down Ann Morrison Park in Boise and ride from the park to Lucky Peak State Park and back each afternoon. I lost a TON of weight. Two years later to the day, we left and moved back to Louisiana (I think it was that Emmylou Harris CD I bought my wife that past Christmas). It wasn’t two weeks back in Louisiana and we remembered why we had left four years earlier. Fast forward two more years (and many, many fried and “southern” meals and nearly zero time in the saddle), we found ourselves with a for sale sign in the front yard of our Ball, Louisiana home. I still have my same bicycle I bought in College and am packing it (and 40 more pounds (no joke)) back to Idaho.

Once we got a contract on our home, the universes lined up and my old boss calls me from Life Care Center of Boise and offers me my job back. My wife and I decided that I would move ahead and start work and she would stay behind in Louisiana and finish things up with the house and her job.

So, we jumped into our little Isuzu pickup truck and drove from Ball, Louisiana to Boise, Idaho. It took me 2 years to put that 40 pounds back on. When I walked into the Life Care Center, a friend…who I hadn’t seen in 2 years…saw me and her eyes widened (maybe to gather as much peripheral vision as possible to take-in my fatness), “What happened to you!!??” What she meant was, “You got FAT!”

I wanted to just walk back into my old life and pick up where I left off…including riding the Boise River Greenbelt each day after work. And, my bike hadn’t been serviced in years. I needed to visit my old bike shop and get my bike (now a bit rusty with tires that are a bit dry-rotted) all fixed up for my daily-30-mile-round-trip-bicycle-treks I dreamed about when we were in not-so-bike-friendly-Louisiana (where we were anyway).

Just Don’t!

Do you remember the movie “Christmas Vacation?” Sure you do. Remember when Clark saw the perfect Christmas tree? Yes! That’s what it was like when I saw that Giant brand Revive Semi Recumbent bicycle. I was like Wayne on Wayne’s World when he saw the “ ’64 Fender Stratocaster in classic white with triple single coil pickups and a whammy bar.”

“It will be mine. Oh yes. It will be mine.” – Wayne Campbell

My wife must have seen the drool on the side of my mouth. She definitely saw the $750 price tag, “Don’t even think about it.” 

Me: “What? Who? Me? A new bike. I wouldn’t even think about it.”

Wife: “Just don’t.”

Fast Forward a Few Days

My wife has flown back to Louisiana for the next month or so and I start working right away. I had planned on staying in a motel for the month but a friend let me move into her back bedroom. But…without my wife…there wasn’t much to do. So, I started working doubles…LOTS OF DOUBLES. For y’all that don’t know what a double is, it’s when a nurse started the day at 6:00am, worked till 2:30pm and starts another shift and works until 10:30pm. No, far be it from reasonable that a nurse would be paid for a thirty minute lunch break (being that we are always interrupted for this-and-that). The day turned out to be a 16+ hour day (not including getting to work and settling in time). It’s a long day for sure. Giving a regular work-week of 40 hours, the doubles were all overtime. That first month, I made something like $3,500 to $4,000 bucks. WOW!

I Bought That Bike

Yes. I sure did. I went down and bought that semi recumbent and took it that very day onto the greenbelt. I had a small Kodak 3.2 megapixel camera that I was using and did a “selfie” by putting the camera on a post at the Boise River Diversion Dam and taking a photo of me on the bike. I didn’t even think about it when I sent a copy of the photo to my wife. 

She, being very excited about moving back to Idaho, was showing the photo off to her coworkers when one asked, “What is he sitting on?”

Money CAN buy Happiness

She called. Her tone…not good. “But, baby! Wait…(more of the what-for)…wait!. My first check was over $3,500 bucks!” 

Who says money can’t buy happiness? Because she instantly was cured of her ready-to-shove-that-bike-up-by-butt-sideways-itis and became the loving happy woman I married. Because even after that $750 there was still a chunk of change left over.

I rode the wheels off that bike while we were in Boise. But, we moved to Nampa…nowhere to ride…back then. So…who knows where that bike is today.

Story – Clean Silverware

I used to visit with a couple who lived together in a home where he was in a motorized wheelchair, the walls and doorways were all busted up (those wheelchairs are TANKS) and she worked 12-hour shifts at her job (and not just three days a week). Often I would go in and clean their sink full of dishes and put them away. 

They often would keep their sliding glass door open there in the kitchen and dining area to let in a bit of fresh air…even in September and October (those in Southwestern Idaho know why this is not okay). And to add to the fly infestation of the house, they kept their garbage just off the back patio near the sliding glass door. So the smell of garbage would “ride in on” the fresh air as would the hundreds of flies. I would take rubber bands and wrap them around my pants legs so they bugs wouldn’t crawl up my leg. No Joke!

The table only had one chair pulled up to it (he had his wheelchair). That one chair was the only chair to sit on in the whole house. There was stuff everywhere else. The table always had a plate, a fork and a spoon set up for the couple. And, when looking at the silverware you could see the lip marks as if someone drug the silverware through pursed lips to “clean” the fork or spoon.

“There’s no need to wash them each time; we just do this (demonstrated the method of “cleaning” the silverware).

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