All posts by rhogue

The Things We Carry: Drink Additives

On our cross country trip, we stuck to drinking only water until we reached Barstow, California, where a trail angel pulled over to give us frozen water bottles and Monster energy drinks. That initiated an energy drink addiction for the rest of the trip!

On this trip, we have had a few interesting items that we have added to our water. At a cyclocross race this past year, I won some Skratch Labs apple cinnamon drink powder that is supposed to be consumed with hot water. For the first week or two, while Chris sipped his coffee, I sipped that. Additionally, for Christmas, Chris’ brother, Casey, gave him some Skratch Labs mix that was lemon and matcha flavored that is supposed to be consumed with cold water. It took me some time to get used to that particular flavor, but Chris loved it. He added one scoop a day to one of his water bottles until it was gone.

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Wildflowers

It has been a very wet year, so lush green grass that is normally brown by this point in the summer has decorated our route. Many beautiful wildflowers coat the forests and meadows: there is the purple of the lupine and the fire weed, the white of the trillium and the columbine, the yellow of the daisies and the buttercups, the pink of the Indian paintbrush, and so many more whose names I do not know.

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Bike Maintenance: Brakes

On our rest day in Bozeman, Chris made sure we checked our brake pads. We hadn’t been stopping on a dime- braking wasn’t very smooth and it was a bit noisy- , so he wanted to check whether or not it was time to replace the pads. Thank goodness I’m riding with him; otherwise, I’d probably just ride until I discovered I couldn’t stop anymore.

There was still plenty of pad, but he sanded off the layer of grime that had collected on them and had me wipe down the rotors with rubbing alcohol on a paper towel.

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Trail Angels: Julie and Buck

Day 26 – Helena, MT to Basin, MT

I knew that it was going to be a good day when I found the heads up penny. The copper coin sat in the parking lot, glinting in the late morning sun, an omen of good luck. I picked it up, and Chris and I climbed into the blue pickup truck that we had driven there. As we pulled onto the road, I pried open the cardboard box in my hands, revealing two dry meals and a Salsa Anything Bag. I had left my fanny pack with my parents, and this third Anything Bag that we had shipped to Helena would serve as a replacement, providing space for overflow food. The dried meals were a bonus, added to our order so that we could get free shipping from REI.

After purchasing a new seat from Great Divide Cyclery (I’ve had a few more saddle sores than on our cross country trip), we headed back to my younger brother, Sam’s, house. The truck we drove is his. He and his fiance, Kelsey, were out of town, but they let us crash at their house.

We lingered there until 4:00PM, reading our maps, tweaking our bikes, and eating leftover Chinese food and ice cream cake from my birthday meal the previous night. Finally, we climbed back onto our bicycles.

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