Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My Ride has officially begun!!!

I know I said the start date for Duff Bikes for Habitat was the 25th of June, but I jumped the gun and got started today. It was a great feeling to be finally biking for real.

The past three days Linda, Max, and I drove the route I had planned, but in reverse. That was obviously to get me to my start point, but also to allow me to see the route from ground level, and gain an appreciation for what I'm tackling. It was really worthwhile, and I actually changed my routing in a couple of cases where frontage roads were not good, so I'll ride the interstate in those cases. I also got to see some of the hills I'll need to climb, and while I'll give them all a good try, there are some I just know I'll be walking. Examples are the Lewiston Hill, White Bird Hill, and a couple we saw today. All in all, the route is fair and as safe as the other drivers and I make it.

Today we got to Montpelier, ID about 1:00 PM, and checked into our motel. I had already decided that if we got here early, I would start my ride today. Linda drove Max and me to the ID-UT border south of Fish Haven on the west shore of Bear Lake. We got the trailer attached, everything loaded, took some photos, and then launched. It was 26 miles to Montpelier, and most of it was fairly level. The sky was clear, temperature in the low 70s, and the wind was a 5 to 10 mph crosswind that sometimes became a quartering headwind. We made a couple of water stops, and got to the motel at 5:45 PM. According to the GPS (thank you sons and families), I was riding about 10 to 12 MPH.

Riding today allowed me to get about one-half day ahead of my original schedule, which will probably come in handy getting to Idaho Falls on schedule. That is my first affiliate to visit, and I know they have something planned for the afternoon after 2 PM. I'm hoping my ride today allows me to shorten some of the coming days as I bike toward Idaho Falls.

Tomorrow I intend to ride to Soda Springs, and then turn north to arrive at Henry. We talked to a person at the RV park there this morning, and we are welcome to camp out there Thursday night. I'll be out of cell phone range as we approach Henry, so Linda will not get an update on my actual progress until Friday evening when I arrive in Alpine, WY. I need to go through WY to get to Idaho Falls. So, if you want a "real" update, watch for Friday's posting.

Best wishes to all who read this, and I hope each of you makes a commitment to support your local Habitat affiliate wherever you are. I've had people ask me how to donate to an affiliate in Idaho, so here are some numbers to call to make a donation of cash, time, or materials.

Idaho Falls 208-528-0298
Pocatello/Gateway 208-233-9081
Twin Falls/Magic Valley 208-735-1233
Boise Valley 208-331-2916
Caldwell/Canyon County 208-459-3344
Lewiston/Clarkston 509-758-7396
Moscow/Palouse 208-883-8502
Coeur d'Alene/North Idaho 208-762-4532
Sandpoint/Panhandle 208-263-7001
Bonners Ferry/Boundary County 208-267-1601

Of course, if you want to donate to my own affiliate, Skagit HFH, call 360-428-9402. To donate to Habitat for Humanity International, call 800-422-4828. Thanks for your support.

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