Bike & Build

July 31st - Tortillas?

Helen and I at the Oregon state sign
We biked to Oregon. How did we bike to Oregon?

Today's ride took us from Boise, ID to Ontario, OR. That's the penultimate state crossing!

We passed a little tortilla bakery, and they offered us a few bags of tortillas to take back and share! Fresh tortillas are delicious.

June 30th - Loss on the Trail

My tire with a large staple in it
This is the only picture I have from the ride today. Fitting, I suppose.

As much as Bike & Build emphasizes safety, cycling - or being outside in general - is dangerous. Especially with hundreds of riders and thousands of miles, accidents are all but unavoidable.

On another Bike & Build trip, one rider, Patrick Wanninkhof, was killed and another, Bridget Anderson, was hospitalized when a distracted driver struck them.

Our ride took us from Mountain Home to Boise, ID. When we arrived, the leaders brought us together to let us know what had happened, and give us time to talk with each others and think with ourselves.

It was a quiet day.

Don't drive distracted.

July 29th - Lost on the Oregon Trail

The tennis court we slept in, at dawn
Daybreak at the Y

Just about six months ago today, I was lost on the Oregon Trail. Heading out of Twin Falls, we started off the wrong way, turning a 95-mile day into a 105-mile one. With headwinds. It was a pleasure.

A very long day, and a very tiring day, but we got to bike on the Oregon Trail, out in the middle of nowhere. I love biking in the middle of nowhere.

At the end of the day, we wound up in a surprisingly built-up town, Mountain Home. You couldn't even see the place from 5 miles out, yet it has a population of about 15,000.

This really kind woman put all of us up in her house. Apparently, her boss used to host B&B, and when he moved out of town, he asked if she'd like to.

July 28th - To Twin Falls!

Ellie and Abra, sitting ... on Abra?

Today's ride took us out of Burley, into Twin Falls, ID. Twin falls, named for Shoshone Falls, was a large city, as cities in Oregon go. The real feature, though, was the waterfall.

Helen and I rode down (literally - it was a few hundred feet of descent) to get to the falls with some other riders, and we all explored for a bit. The pictures have captions, too!

(I promised I'd finish uploading these, and I will. It's just that driving across the country, starting a job (I have a job now!) and moving into a new house are all time-consuming.)

July 27th - Fairgrounds!

The tents, my friend, are blowing in the wind. The tents are blowing in the wind.

In yesterdays post, I promised more cool pictures of the fairground. Here they are!

When Helen and I woke up this morning, we were surprised to find high winds making life difficult for those in tents. Overnight lows notwithstanding, we all headed out around 9 to work on a build site for a while. They had a little interior work - cutting trim and wiring - that I helped out with. Most of the group was in the front yard landscaping. (I didn't envy them: it was cold and wet.)

We stopped by a bike shop on the way back from the build site and picked up patch kits. The southwestern part of Oregon and northwestern California are desert, so it'll be a while before we hit civilization again.

July 26th - Sweepity doo dah

Sleeping out under the stars. Always nice, especially with a warm sleeping bag. Irrigated lawn notwithstanding, we are in a desert.

Rachel and I swept today (we were in back with the spare tire and medkit). In the morning, that meant we had to stop every few miles - someone had to take off a jacket that made more sense in the morning cold, some had flats. The state line was at mile 7, if I recall, and became our fourth stop. Fortunately, people started moving faster after the line; aside from Erin having continuing tire trouble, we didn't see much more till lunch. Robin and Alex both wound up in the van today; Robin's blood sugar was misbehaving, and Alex was just plain tuckered. 

It was a good day. Especially because every time we pulled over, Rachel started singing, then hollering "today is gonna be a good day."

July 25th - Rockets!

Helen and I slept out under the stars and got a nice view of the dawn.

The ride today took us from the small town of Brigham City to the smaller town of Snowville. Around here, we only pass towns every 20-50 miles, so anywhere we can stop is a good place. We rode about 60 miles, mostly on a quiet section of I-84W, the same road I take to get from home to school. 

Asking the way we passed a Orbital facility where they built and tested rockets. It's odd, to say the least, to see an office building designed for a hundred people 40 miles from anywhere. Out in front, they built a rocket garden of engines Orbital had some part in building. Their centerpiece was the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster, which was around 100' tall and 12' or so in diameter. It is huge. 

Later in the day, we pulled into I-84 (it's just about the only paved road between here and Boise) for a spell. The interstate wasn't too busy, and had a wide shoulder. For a few miles, resurfacing work forced all traffic into the right lane, so we had a12' buffer from traffic. 

In Snowville, we set up in a small city park, for want of anywhere to camp. It was a little weird. 

July 24th - Bike Trails!

We had to ferry all of our bags back upstairs in the elevator, then outside.

It's been a while some we were on dedicated bike trail for any length. Back in Aspen, I think. Today's ride covered a lot of trail on - I think - the same trail line as the trail into Carbondale: the Rio Grande Railroad. In a few spots, we actually passed old rail segments, exposed when the paved path turned to meet a road. As usual, the rail trail was very flat and covered some pleasant suburban scenery. It's been a little funny: this trip covers a lot of wilderness and occasionally routes through cities, but we rarely encounter suburbs. The cities just kinda peter out into farmland. 

July 23rd - Salt Lake City!

Sunrise! People should watch sunrises more often.

We ride Salt Lake day before Pioneer Day, which is a queer little state holiday. Pioneer day looks an awful lot like the 4th of July; they have fireworks, a parade, and tons of events. And everything is closed. 

A bunch of people out on the sidewalk overnight in preparation for the parade tomorrow. 

The ride into Salt Lake was nice, but unremarkable. Pleasantly easy, if anything. 

July 22nd - Building Fences

We rode to the build site in the morning. In a large group, we make quite an impression.

Literally. In the past three years, Bike & Build has rehabilitated this house from the ground up. Around five years ago, a developer bought the land around the house with plans to demolish the block for an apartment complex. Fortunately, the building was on a historic register and the developer was blocked from demolishing the building. They elected to sell the house to Habitat and develop the remainder of the block. In the past three years, Habitat has completely rehabilitated the house, replacing windows, removing lead, and  the interior. Bike & Build helped start the rehab two years ago, and we finished it. 

With a fence for the yard. 

The owners have already moved in, so we chatted with the wife. Her children helped a little bit with digging fenceposts.