GDMBR Week 4

Our 4th week on the GDMBR began at Holland Lake and brought us to Butte. As was the case with week 3, we had rest days on both ends of the week. We have been fortunate to take so many rest days in Montana with Rachel’s family. Although our riding began and ended in Holland Lake and Butte respectively, we technically began and ended the week in Lakeside and Bozeman, thanks to Sydney, Jack, Jim, and Jeanette once again for extracting us from the route to their rather posh accommodations.

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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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Chris + Rachel