Sleeping in a bed was blissful. I wake up refreshed and ready to attack the day. All three of us get our gear together and head to the gas station to eat, resupply and head out on our way. After eating Jean says that he would be waiting around for a while to let his stomach settle. He hasn’t eaten a fair portion of food in almost a week and is feeling drained. I have to roll. We take some photos together and walk out the door.
I try to keep pace with Will. The front shock on my bike isn’t going to let that happen. I bob up and down like a cowgirl on a mechanical bull. A couple of other riders catch up. Shortly after all three of them drop me. I run into one other person the whole time. I ask how he was doing because he had no real gear to speak of and I can hear him screaming as I ride up. His answer “I”d be f*&#ing better if you quit asking” Fair enough. I struggle bus it all the way over the pass.
Hours and hours of all of my power going to the bobbing up and down like a seesaw and not the rear tire. I get to what is a glorious decent. Even with a flat shock I am ripping down the trails. It seems like a good hour of descending. Then the downhill all the way into Helena. I feel like I am going to make it. My legs are beat but my spirit is strong. I’m singing as I roll into town and try to find the bike shop. I pedal in circles looking but I don’t care, I am ready to get my power back. I find The Great Divide Cyclery. It is not my type of place. Everyone is wearing a polo and or a tie. These are not bikers. These are salesmen in a bike shop. I walk right back out the door. Lucky for me on the same block there is a killer bike shop. It has stripped down walls, tappers at the bar that look into the bike repair shop, and all of the guys look like they are ready to hit the trail at the drop of the hat. I stumble in and tellthem my troubles. They tell me to sit down and they will get me taken care of and get me a pump. They now steal my heart as well. They ask if I would like a beer. YEAP. That frosty golden goddess caressed my mouth and made sweet sweet love to me. It was fantastic. After saying our goodbyes I head over to the grocery store and then the bar for food. All I want to do is drink a beer and get a hotel room but, I have riding to do. I get back on my bike and hit the road. My legs are shot. They feel heavy and don’t want to pedal. All of the bobbing has taken away my strength. I still have 60 miles to hit my goal. I give it the old college try. That is until I can’t pedal at all anymore….
I get off my bike and walk. I would camp here if it weren’t all mountain side with nowhere to stop. I run into the Rev. Greg Locke. We make some small talk. He had fallen asleep, wrecked his bike, and had to catch a ride back to town to get his handlebars replaced. After that he rides off into the sunset away from me. I walk and ride until I can’t take it anymore. I call Alex to see if there was anything around me. She says “two miles”. Two miles until I am at a campground. I hobble there.
When I make it to the campground there is a group of guys fishing and drinking. I ask them where the actual campsites are. They point “Over yonder”. Thanks. Then they older of the two asks me what I am doing. I tell him I am racing the divide. He says “cool” and slips me five bucks for my trip. Sweet. He asks me how my legs feel. I say, “they hurt”. He says “No, How do they feel?” “Huh?” “All of that riding you must have pretty muscular legs.” He explains to me he used to be in the military and they used to take care of their own. You know, rubbing each other’s legs. I have got to go. I try to brush him off and hobble away quickly as he tries to rub my legs. I can barely stand enough to walk. Sweet baby Jesus don’t make me stab a man. I would have no other option. If you think you would have gotten into a fist fight, I would recommend you go outside and run or bike for a few hours, have someone beat your legs with a stick and then see how much fighting you are doing. I digress. After 15 feet or so of him rubbing my hammies, he gives up the chase. I hobble my way to to the campsites where there is a guy putting up a legit Tepee. It is pretty cool. He says he bought it at a thrift shop just to see if he could get it figured out and set up. I ask him where the pay station is and he offers me a spot of ground on his site. Free of charge. Whew. I set up shop and lay down. It is one of the shortest distance days and hardest days of riding I have had. I fall asleep exhausted.
Hours later I wake up sore and tired. The tent is covered in frost and ice. I don’t want to get out of the tent to pee. So I grab a Gatorade bottle and kneel to pee into it. I am half asleep peeing in the bottle when I feel my thighs getting warm. What is this? OH NO. I am pissing all over myself and my sleeping bag. Crap. I unzip the zipper of the mosquito net, slide my unit out through the hole and pee on the ground under my rain fly. DAMN IT. Well there is nothing I could do to clean or dry it. So I give the sleeping bag a couple hard shakes, climb back in and go to bed.