Sunday, December 16, 2012

Idaho Relaxed?

The postman delivered one of my favourite items yesterday.  Not an Xmas parcel (although those are fun to open), not a cheque from the government (a rare occurance), but the 2013 Adventure Cycling Tour catalogue.  Each glossy page augmented with inspiring photos from previous tours.  Cycling on beach at sunset.  Riding next to a Great Lake.

It is tempting to want to do every tour in the book and when I got to thinking along those lines, I realized that in fact I've already done one.  What the catalogue calls "Idaho Relaxed".  This past summer with my intrepid cycling partner Roy.  The guide lists it as an easy ride and the picture used to illustrate the tour is one taken on a section of highway that replaces the trail.
The route follows the highway       Photo: Chris Lipinsky

That very part of the trip was difficult in that the temperature soared uncomfortably high which led Roy to cover his head with a soaking wet towel which he placed Arab style under his helmet.  A technique I was to copy a month later when my daughter Jackie and I attempted Anarchist Mountain.
The Arab Bugman

 Compared to other bikepacking trips that we have taken, the Idaho Relaxed was easier given that a lot of the 320 mile route was paved.  We cycled the old railway bed for as long as we could and the St. Joe River that followed the trail offered inviting vistas and always the opportunity for a dip in its deep and fast moving waters.
The old trail and St.Joe River

The trip was so relaxed that there was time for a little trail tomfoolery:

Somehow a banana ended up in my Spandex shorts - and Yes!  I'm happy to see you!
(Perhaps I'd gotten too relaxed!).

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