Wind and rain and sunshine, oh my.
We thought we knew what bi-polar weather was, and then we rode through Idaho. Two days ago, we had some of the most insane wind we could’ve imagined! Looking at the weather forecast the night before, we truly didn’t know whether we were going to be able to ride in the “30 mph wind advisories” that were showing up on our browsers. We talked the night before we rode and decided if the wind was too dangerous, we could reassess and talk about makeup miles another day.
The morning rolled around, we did our daily morning routine and loaded the van for our starting point. We unloaded in Shoshone and were projected to go 82 miles if all went according and the wind permitted us. Before taking off, we had a few locals in the gas station (sipping their morning coffee together) tell us they thought we would have a pretty strong tailwind carrying us out of town. We didn’t want to believe it in the case that they were wrong and we wouldn’t be mentally prepared. However, the locals knew what they were talking about and were 100% right to give us hope for tailwinds! They carried us at a solid 25 mph average out of Shoshone, with some gusts of side winds that accompanied them. The winds kept us cautious and aware of the semis that were within reaching distance, and every time they drove by at a solid 65 mph, we were reminded to hold tight to our handles while keeping our minds aware at all times.
It ended up being quite a comical day. There were multiple points we had to stop on the road after getting blown off the pavement onto the gravel. After regaining our bearings, laughing for a few minutes, and acknowledging how crazy we must have looked, we kept peddling. We went through the National Monument “Craters of the Moon,” gawked over mountain ranges, and rode under clear blue skies for miles and miles. We ended up pushing out another century that day with the strong tailwinds! Mile 100 entailed celebratory tears and naive laughs for what the next day held. We stayed that night in a little town outside Idaho Falls called Yucon. Our host family, Brad and Nadine, were two of the most hospitable people! They made us feel right at home with clean beds, food, and a friendly dog named Annie. They were wonderful and allowed us to stay the following night with them as well! They gave us an amazing dinner full of chicken and salad and lots of fruits/veggies (which we have all been desperately craving!!)
Yesterday wasn’t quite as smooth. The tail winds didn’t carry us, and we had some aching bodies on the team. Worn hips, sore knees, and aching muscles made our 78 mile ride against strong headwinds much more challenging than it normally would have been. BUT, we made it! And our legs got us to where we needed to go. We ended in Teton Idaho, following the 33 the whole way there. It was definitely the kind of day that only the cause could carry us through. Remembering why we were peddling, though struggling and feeling defeated, we were able to carry on hour by hour.
Today, we set out in Teton Idaho with hopes of making it to Victor. We only had 47 miles with 2,000 ft. of elevation gain, but once again mother nature decided to change things up on us! We got about 11 miles in of rain and headwinds when we finally decided to call it a day and make up miles tomorrow. We would’ve continued if it weren’t for the fact that every time a car whipped by us at 60 mph we would loose all visibility. Yes, we were cold and wet, but with our safety on the line, we made a team decision to make up the extra 36 miles tomorrow so we could enjoy the beauty of the Teton mountains and green pastures without fog and rain permitting us. Instead, we got some warm hot chocolate, some yummy food, and free tune ups at a local bike shop called Fitzgerald’s! We are so thankful for their willingness to help and for the conversations we were able to have with them about biking and the water crisis.
It ended up being a marvelous day, ending at our home that was donated to us from Teton Valley Lodge! We are cozied up with blankets, snacks, and The Office as we prepare our bodies for what’s to come tomorrow. We each have our own bed (!!!) and can hopefully get a good night’s rest before we hit the pass and cross into Wyoming tomorrow! We have a 70 mile ride with about 3,000 ft. elevation gain. Please keep us in your thoughts and send some sunshine our way! With all this cycling, each riders consumes about 5-6 gallons of water a day. Without access to clean, safe drinking water this ride would be impossible. We are learning the importance of hydrating and how accessible water should be for every person on this planet. We want to make that happen.
So we continue to ride. We continue to pour into the cause, and we continue to spread awareness about something pressing on our hearts.
As always, we are so grateful for your support. We love each and every person who is taking the time to keep up with us, tell people about the water crisis, and come alongside us to care about this cause. WATER IS SO IMPORTANT! Please continue to spread awareness and help us raise money for this campaign.
The Ride for Water Women’s