Brianís Cross-USA Bicycle Tour

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© 2001,

Day 15 - Monday, July 2, 2001
Missoula to Florence, MT
24 miles

No, the mileage is not a typo, especially considering this update is late, but all will be clear later... 

I woke up shortly after sunrise and Dave was already packed and gone - he had mentioned something about getting an early start. I walked over to the KOA Kafe for breakfast, and Phyllis and Geoff (that's their names) came over also. We were recalling last night's discussion about training for touring - and remarking that none of us had done as much preparation as Dave.. Dave had a coach and a trainer - some of his more unusual training methods included pulling a trailer with gallon jugs of water, and riding a stationary bike in a chamber where the air pressure was lowered to simulate riding at 10,000 feet! 

My training philosophy was that you don't train for a marathon by running a marathon, so most of my training was done by riding to/from work on the bike I'd use for this trip, sometimes carrying gear, sometimes not. 

After breakfast I went to visit Adventure Cycling's offices in downtown Misoula. They're the folks who make a lot of the touring bike maps, among other things. They invite bike tourists to stop by and say hello, and they take a Polaroid photo of everyone who stops by so they can put them on the wall. 

I know some have complained that people who visit the office are virtually ignored. But if they gave all visitors (there were seven today) the red carpet treatment they would never get any work done! I think the things like the free internet access terminal, free sodas, etc., are a reasonable compromise between hospitality and not tying up staff's working time. 

Geoff and I had lunch downtown, and he talked about how he and Phyllis had hooked up for this tour. I'll save the story for another time... 

After lunch my bike and I were invited to be photographed by the Adventure Cycling photographer. Perhaps I could make it onto page 3 of their magazine?  [After the tour, I found a confirmation letter in the mail from Adventure Cycling, asking me for more information on how the tour went, etc.]

Finally, around 2 PM I set off riding. It was a bit much for one day, yet not enough for two days, to ride down the Bitterroot Valley just before Lost Trail Pass. That's why I settled on a half day today and a full day the next day. 

After I set up camp just outside of Florence (around 5 PM) I was starting to feel lightheaded and nauseous. Ever since Day 4 or so I had started eating like a pig, and today I had not done so and it was apparently catching up to me. I pulled out the odds and ends of food I had, but it wasn't fast acting enough, and I was only starting to feel a little better around 10 PM, when it was time to go to sleep.

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