Thursday, June 16, 2016

55: What the hail?

Today was just a joke!  Waking to rain in the park, we were glad that we had gone up the road yesterday, since the mountains were totally obscured by the clouds today. That's okay - we just needed to get back to Kalispell and take care of that spoke, and it wasn't going to be a long day on the bike anyway.
New snow, again!
 We learned that the really great bike shop in the area is in Whitefish, just a few miles from Kalispell, so we altered our plans to head that way instead. It was just drizzling when we left, but that soon turned to real rain and necessitated a stop for hot chocolate and a chance to warm up. We sat out the worst of that squall, and headed back out.

On the next leg of our trip, we had a chance to see the clouds ahead of us as the storm brewed. This one pelted us with hail for about five minutes, and so in addition to being quite wet, we were now very cold. And then - dry pavement! Just like that, it was over.

We knew we were in for it
The bike store was as good as they said. We got the spoke replaced, trued the wheel, replaced the gear set, and fixed a problem with the shifting that's been an issue for some time. Meanwhile, we ate at Loula's, which I believe had the best pie we have had yet.  The crust was a marvel - so flaky - and the fillings were fabulous. I had sour cream lemon with berry topping and Roger had cherrry/raspberry. OMG.  Good.

Whitefish is at the confluence of two of the Adventure Cycling routes, and like the merging of two great rivers, this means there are always cyclists going through. In addition, just this week the Tour Divide event is taking place. About 180 hardy souls took off on mountain bikes to ride the Continental Divide route (mostly off pavement). We had a chance to talk with two of the cyclists in the event. They admit they are "well off the back" and even that the event organizers have changed them to "white dots" on the tracking system.  Still, they are doing this Most Amazing Thing!

I'll tell you more about them another time, as it's too late right now.  But Nick and Dave - if you see this blog - Good luck and God speed!  You guys rock!
Headed for home and hoping to beat the next storm (we did!)

Oh, and that "short day" we expected?  Well, we finally made it back to Kalispell at 7:30 pm!

The day's report:  Glacier National Park to Kalispell (via Whitefish), 52.7 miles/2615 to date

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