So, it's come to this. I've gone pretty much the whole month without posting a word. Pathetic! This is an attempt to make slight amends.
It's been a great bicycling month! On Labor Day (September 7), my friends A.J., Larry, and Linda drove to northern Idaho with me, and I acted as tour guide on a Tour de Coeur d'Alene (Trail) and the Route of the Hiawatha.
We drove on September 7. We rode 50 miles on September 8, from Plummer to Pinehurst on the Coeur d'Alene Trail. We camped. We rode 50 miles on September 9, from Pinehurst on up to the end of the trail in Mullan, and back. We camped again. We took our side trip to the Hiawatha on September 10... rode from the bottom to the top, and back again. 30 miles. And camped again. We rode 50 miles from Pinehurst back to our starting point in Plummer on September 11. We drove home on September 12. (Well, A.J. and I drove on home; Larry and Linda headed for the Seattle area to visit relatives.)
Those are just the statistics... and they can't convey what a blissful experience it is, to ride on those particular paths. Pictures do better than words...
More photos can be seen HERE.
It was somewhat of a "leap of faith" for me... I'd never ridden one bicycle mile with any of 'em. But we've been discussing it, and training individually, for most of the year. And they didn't let me down! They were all up to the challenge and not only completed each day's planned riding, but remained cheerful both during the riding, which was pretty much all day long, and when the riding was over. Great company! And they went right along with my budget travel practices... camping and such.
So - I crossed those rides off my "bucket list" - again! And added 'em back on again. This is something I'll hope to do every few years, for as long as I am able. (My previous adventure up that way was in September '12 - read about it HERE. This one was far different, on account of the company, and their interests. We stopped and read pretty much every interpretive sign along the way, and learned a lot about the history of the routes and the area in general. Fascinating stuff. Back in '12, either those signs weren't there, or I just rode on by, oblivious. Next time, it'll be different once again. I hope I can finagle some family members into going with me... we shall see.)
Other September happenings... 2015 became my 29th consecutive year riding 4000+ miles. And this month marks 18 years since I last drove a car to work. The pressure's on! I can't let either streak slip away now.