Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Fitz-Barn 2012

Wow! Fitz-Barn was a WICKED good time!  I definitely recommend this ride for 1st time bike packers, for those who are gear testing for a up coming longer ride or for anyone who just wants to have FUN!

As I was getting ready for this "ride" I focused on carrying the least amount of gear that I could, which of course changes with every ride depending on temps, wx conditions and terrain, very hard to figure out sometimes. Being that I was on home turf made it a little easier.

My gear list was as follows:
Sleeping system: NeoAir therm-a rest & Montbell sleeping quilt
Clothing: Montbell rain, wind & puffy jackets, tights, ultra light wool long sleeve top, arm warmers, warm hat & gloves, 1 and a half buffs
Fix it: 2-29er tubes, quick links/small piece of chain, lube and rag, zip ties, duct tape, patch kit, pump
Personal: eye drops, toothbrush and paste, vitamin I, chamois cream, contacts, antibiotic ointment, phone, camera
Food: Kate's real food bars, licorice, sunflower seeds, nuts, grilled cheese, nut rolls, misc, no bags of hot nasty

It was so great to be able to leave pretty much right from my house with several friends! The start was a little delayed but ya gotta be flexible, a lesson I learned long ago. Roll out was fast & furious as usual, there is always talk of this casual group ride start but it just never seems to go that way. I headed out with JayP, TJ & Bill M and was able to keep up until my seat post started to slide down and I had to stop ant fix it just outside Tetonia, after that, I was on my own-which I kinda like & am getting more used to.

This part of the road was a little knarly, but didn't last for long.

I had no idea these sand dunes were so close to my house!

I had no idea there would be snacks in the middle of where?

Heading toward Dubois where I caught up with JayP & TJ.

I caught up with JayP & TJ just about 20 miles outside of Dubois, it was freakin' HOT! I was still feelin good   but that changed within 10 miles of Dubois. My stomach started cramping and I needed something cold to drink. 5 of us showed up in Dubois and had lunch. I wanted to leave with JayP & TJ which I did, but I just wasn't able to keep up. My legs started cramping, no way did I stop, I began to rub my legs and move around on the bike asking the cramps over and over to go away, I just dealt with it and ate some more electrolytes. 10:30 pm rolled around and I was at the bottom of Banock Pass, it was time to sleep. I dread going to sleep cuz it's so hard for me to wake up. I ate a grill cheese and set my alarm for 3:45 am, which I have discovered is unrealistic for me, unless I am with someone, which makes it easier to get up. My sleep was restless and the cramps made me whimper in the night, but I just fought thru them and kept asking them to go away. I surprised myself when I heard my alarm and woke up. I saw what I thought was like 4 people riding and moving around, only to find out later it was just Bill and I was hallucinating in the dark. I got up about 430am and started to move. Lemme tell ya, it's cold & dark, I do not like it. Getting redressed is tough, and within minutes I changed only to change again, and again. It was very cold coming down the Banock Pass, I couldn't feel my hands so I put them down my pants every few minutes and continued to ride towards the sunshine! I did stop at one point and cry, but all was good after that and the sun finally hit me. It was kinda freaky going the opposite way I had just come 2 months ago, very cool to be in a familiar place.

Food was scarce during this ride so good planning was essential, but very hard at times. I did run low on food between resupplies and ran out of water 2x's 20 miles out of resupply, which is fine, so long as it's not 40 miles out. I was excited to get to Grant, as it was familiar and I knew there was water there. I ran into a man who lived next door to Ned & Ester the water resupply in Grant. He wanted to chat and tell me where to go, but you can't listen to these people, b/c they have no idea what you are doing or willing to do to follow the track and they don't ride bikes! When people tell you its downhill, it's not, they have no idea how far anything is even though they have been living there for 30 yrs. It was NOT all DH from Grant to Jackson, not even close. The road was washboard and this car with the license plate Spine DR, kept driving back and forth around me stirring up the dust-ugh!

Ahhh, Jackson! What a relief, food and cold drinks! The hot springs here were very tempting! I Got a good meal and a grill cheese with fries to go. It's very interesting how different grill cheese's can be. There was a man who was touring to PA who said Jay and TJ had been in 3 hrs earlier, boy did I want to catch them! I was happy about not staying here too long & got on my way, wanting to make it as far as I could that night.

I laughed when i saw this thinking, I wonder if anyone will try to ride this. Shure enough I later found out TJ tried, fell in but had his get out of broken bike card with him. 

It was definitely smoky, which made it hard to swallow food. As I headed over to Skalkaho Rd, I ran into 6 huge horses that were on the rd. It was dark and they wanted to race! I tried to get around them but they just kept running faster kicking up the dust, after about 10 mins they finally tore off into the woods. It was cool except for the dust. I went to bed about 1130 Sat night, and really, really wanted to get up at 4am, but was unsuccessful, instead I woke at 630-ugh! I believe the time for me to get up is 5am, that is doable, guess I'll find out next time. The grill cheese was not appetizing, it was soggy, so I had a Kate bar which was great. Once it warmed up a bit I was able to choke down the GC, and again was running low on snacks, so the rationing began. By the time I finished all I had left was salty sunflower seeds & no water. 

The roads were quiet, and I hardly saw anyone. I did see lots of wildlife though, cows, horses, big horn sheep, regular sheep, skunks, a heard of Elk which ran right in front of me, a huge buck, some other deer, rabbits, snakes, a monkey, & coyotes howling in the night  

It was thru here I was unable to shift down into my front small chain ring, about 50 miles from the finish. The housing on the cable was shredded and was rubbing the cable itself, so I peeled as much of it as I could off, tried turning the adjuster barrels but eventually just dealt with not being able to down shift, I certainly did not want my cable to snap! Welp, I gotta lotta miles outta those! Hopefully my mechanic will replace them. 
It was so amazing to be riding through this area, as I looked around I could see the rds to where I was going and it seemed so big, very FUN! The terrain was very friendly, a good time fer shure!

The finish! I was super stoked to make it! There are so many variables and things that can happen in these multi-day rides, ya just never know, so I always feel very fortunate to get to the finish!

As always I learned a few more things which I will carry to my next adventure!
Thanks to Magic Wanda Salsa Cycles, Fitzgerald's Bicycles, Red Barn Bicycles, Princeton Tec, Montbell,  WTBGiro , Kate's real food & Trackleaders for being a part of another successful ride! 
Til' next time! T-Race

Finishing place4
Race StatusFinished
Last Update Rec'd09:17:58 PM (MDT) 08/19/12
Current speed0.1 mph
Route mile404.56 mi
Route average speed6.7 mph
Route distance per day161.02 mi
Moving Time1:13:37
Stopped Time0:22:33
Moving Average Speed10.8 mph
Current Elevation3675 ft

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