Final Thoughts About Ride The Divide PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bill Wagner   
Sunday, 12 September 2010 09:46
  • No matter how many times you check on a long climb, trust me, you're already in the lowest gear. You've been in it for over an hour now.
  • Pushing uphill you go about 2.8 mph.
  • Riding a steep or difficult climb you go about 4.6 mph.
  • The most likely underrated piece of furniture in our modern time is the picnic table.
  • While cycling in NM a can of wasp spray is as useful as a functioning water filter. Actually, it may be even more useful depending on how many loose dogs are around.
  •  Regardless of the outside temperature, kind people in Montana campgrounds that ride ATV's offer beer as the first supplemental beverage.
  • In Montana and Wyoming the battle against the mosquito is a fierce one. The way I see it there are two options: Spraying DEET about your skin and hoping the sunblock you caked on hours before is still there as a thin layer of toxic protection. Or...getting eaten to anemia!
  • If you ring the garage-door-opener button at the front desk of any hotel for more than 15 minutes and no one comes, consider it a blessing in disguise.
  • I am baffled by the fact that as the price of a hotel room goes up, the freebies go down. Example: I payed the most for lodging (ironically I guess) in Tucson at the end of my trip and the cost of the room DID NOT include Wi-Fi (that was extra if I wanted in my room) nor a free breakfast. I previously stayed in spider-infested dumps that ALL had free Wi-Fi and likely included a free breakfast. OK, so the breakfast was stale and likely months after the expiration date, but it was still free!
  • I have this vivid memory in Colorado of eating some packaged pear pieces in juice and reading the expiration date was only a few days prior. I felt so cool and tough not caring the least as they were a major portion of my liquids that night. Too bad it wasn't the same year.
  • I've said it before and I have to say it again; there's just nothing that great about the Great Basin.
  • Don't believe ANYONE who tells you that it rains in Colorado every afternoon for about 20-30 minutes. All you need to do is find shelter for the daily thunderstorm and then you can ride for many more hours after it passes. I believe now that it is a conspiracy by the Dept. Of Tourism and the Chamber of Commerce. Be afraid, be very afraid! They are lying!
  • If I had a penny for every time I ran over Cow Dung...
  • The tiny whistle I carried (and never used even once) along the whole route is proof that bears are afraid of me.
  • The coolest and also scariest animal sighting occurred for me on the very last day. About 30 miles from the border a HUGE cat crossed the road about 50 yards in front of me. This was no "here kitty-kitty"! In that one, I'm the prey, no contest. It was likely a cougar or Mt. Lion. God that was cool and sucked the air right out of my lungs.
  • As an alternate route for most all of NM, the map could read: "...or simply follow the stream bed down to the bottom".
  • Frosted Raspberry Pop-tarts are a luxury item not to be taken for granted. Montana turned out to be the only state where they were reliably acquired.
  • As for border crossings, The US Customs personnel at Mexico were more heavily armed than those near Canada but gave away ice cream sandwiches. They were also much nicer at the Mexican Border which might explain the 1 mile long line of cars trying to get back into Canada vs. 2 cars trying to get into the US. Just a hunch.
  • Taking a nap or spending a night on the floor of a bathroom might sound awful but sleeping on gravel or getting wet sounds a lot worse to me.
  • The greatest thing I was reminded of on this trip is to have faith. Faith in what one may ask? Faith in knowing that I am deeply cared for. That I can afford to worry less and trust more that all things, everything, will be alright. Tangibly feeling that kind of care and support is the greatest reward I can imagine. It was an awesome feat to bicycle the Rocky Mountain Chain but my favorite prize is to have been given that simple yet profound reminder. Of course this isn't unique to me, each of us are cared for in so many ways. Maybe living on a bike out of a tent is what I needed to be reminded of this truth? I hope I don't forget.
  • Being able to go to the sink and have endless water at the turn of a knob is a great thing. Water filters clog and bleach tastes pretty bad.

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