Zen On Dirt

CDT Day 97 and 98 – I love rest. I love day rides. I love day rides after rest days the best.

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Day 97

Oh zero days, how I love thee.

Scott and I both woke up with sore legs, which makes me think that the sheer fun factor of the trails leading into Butte made us pedal harder than we normally would. And it’s true, when the trail is good, it’s worth putting in the extra effort to pedal up a steep hill versus sliding out and slipping all over on a rubbly piece of junk road.

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Our bikes needed some love…

Anyhow, rest was good. We played computers. We ate lunch at Wetona’s, which now is leading the Best Salad and Sandwich of the Trip competition. We sat in the hot tub. We went and bought a watermelon. I watched two episodes of Project Runway and the movie, The Gabby Douglas Story. I’m fascinated by gymnastics as someone who’s never been able to do a cartwheel in her life. I’m also fascinated by people who can focus on goals for longer than a few months at a time, a skill that I sorely lack.

That being said, the racing bug is trying really hard to burrow itself under my skin, so we’ll see if that turns into anything. I may lack focus, but I have a thing with unfinished business…

All in all, an excellent day of recovery, rest, and rejuvenation.

Day 98

We nearly missed the continental breakfast this morning on account of sleeping until 8:50. This may have been due to me staying up late watching the Gabby Douglas Story and then letting my imagination run with the idea of racing again. It’s an itch that I’m not sure I want to scratch.

We’d decided to stay an extra day in Butte and day ride for two reasons: We’d just put a bunch of new bits and pieces on our bikes (chains, brake pads, cables and housing) and we wanted to be sure that they all played nicely together, and secondly, we (and by we, I mean Scott) are still tossing around different options on how to finish this thing, and a little more computer time would help the situation.

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Anyhow, if we day rode, we could ride trail from town up to a section of CDT that isn’t connected yet and ride it backwards to Homestake Pass. We’d been told it was a “local favorite”, so we were a little wary. But, the whole loop wasn’t going to be more than 25 miles, so we went. Rob had told us to ride up Maud S trail, hook up with the CDT south, and then come down the tracks. I was skeptical as it would involve gaining 2,500-ish feet in 5 miles instead of 20, but it’s always good to trust the local.

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The climb was steep, exposed, and hot, and we started to question Rob’s judgement. Do people really ride up this on a regular basis? A few bits required hike-a-bike, but for the most part, motivated climbing got us up the steep pitches.

“The downhill on the CDT better be awesome to warrant climbing this,” I declared part of the way up. This clearly wasn’t going the way of an “easy” day.

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Our Lady of the Rockies. If you ask the waiter at Hanging5, it’s Mother Teresa. (It’s not, it’s built in the “likeness of Mary”. Yes, we got a good laugh out of Mother Teresa) She’s 90 feet tall and 48 feet wide and her eyeballs are four feet in diameter.

After four miles of climbing, we reached the CDT. After another mile of climbing, we reached the high point at 8,000 feet and sat down for lunch. Ooof, that wasn’t easy.

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The descent…yeah, I’d call it a local favorite. It turned and twisted playfully through rocks, used its elevation to perfection making it seem like the descent that wouldn’t end, was shaded, fast, and while probably not designed by a mountainbiker, designed by someone who understood (for the most part) sustainable trail design. It was a total win and we were sad to make it to Homestake 9 miles later.

We cruised down the tracks back to town, thanking Rob for the ride tip. It was a much more reasonable day ride than our last attempt at a day ride…

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The rest of the afternoon was spent getting our junk together for a not-too-late departure tomorrow. We found fuel, I got a new pair of socks to replace the ones stolen by the chipmunk weeks ago, and three days and two nights worth of food.

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The bikes are running smoothly, the legs feel good, next stop: Some gas station seven miles off route before making another push to Lincoln. We’ve heard rumors of 17 miles of newly constructed CDT. I can’t wait.

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Pretty much how we’re feeling about this trip and the ride today

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