Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Day 9 - Boise, ID

The 2010 ABB North riders

This was a rest day in Boise. No riding today.

I have been asked what a typical day is like. My alarm clock gets me up 45 minutes before I have to load my luggage on the truck. This is generally between 5:00 and 5:30AM. Up, shower, and make a final pack. Put your bags on the truck and initial the sign in sheet so the tour knows you have left your room. A typical sign in sheet is shown here.

We have to sign in several times a day

Breakfast is 15 minutes after luggage load. We initial another sign in sheet at breakfast. Then, back to the room to get the bike and helmet and hit the road. The first hour on the road is always the best. Dawn is breaking, it is cool and quiet. You are feeling fresh after a good nights sleep. We have a “turn sheet “ that shows the turns each rider needs to make on the route for the day, since the course is not signed or painted like normal organized rides. A sample turn sheet is shown here.

This is what the turn sheets look like

A SAG (support and gear) stop is set up every 25 miles, where you can refill your bottles with fluids, grab some fruit, nuts or cookies and continue on. You again initial a sign in sheet at each SAG, so the tour knows you have reached that point. This is what the food looks like at a SAG stop.

This is available to us at each SAG stop
We are responsible for our own lunch and there may be a gap in the SAG coverage around lunchtime since there are only three vehicles (the luggage truck, the mechanic van, and the second support van). There is no hurry any day, since our hotel rooms may not be ready if we arrive early. Plus, early finishers get to unload the luggage truck. When we get to the hotel, we again initial a sign in sheet, get our room keys, retrieve our luggage, and go to our rooms to freshen up. The rest of the afternoon is at our leisure; a nap, laundry, blog updating, or bike maintenance. Dinner is generally around 6PM, a group affair (where yes, we initial another sign in sheet), and afterwards we have “route rap” which is a review of the next day’s ride and distribution of the next day’s turn sheet. Then, the evening is at our leisure, which usually means an early bed time. I brought a paperback book with me and haven’t read a page yet.

A typical RAP meeting. Mike opens and then Karen reviews tomorrow's route

The tour staff is comprised of six people. Mike Munk is the tour director and his wife Barbara heads up the logistics and drives the luggage truck. In the picture above, Mike is giving us information for the next ride at the route rap meeting. We have a mechanic (Jim), and three other support staff (Jeff, Debbie, and Karen) who support the SAG stops, or ride sweep so that no one is left behind. Each gets to ride part of the course every other day. They are very organized and the tour is exactly as it was advertised.


  1. I don't think I could do it Joe.
    The wife was making me cookies ! But she didn't have enough butter, so she asked me if I could go to the store. "OK" I said. It was halftime in the world cup soccer match so I turned off the TV and got up off the couch. I thought it would be a good idea to take the bike down to the store. It is downhill only about two miles and should be a good ride. So I left the car keys, cigarettes, and lighter on the table and off I went on my dusty, rusty, needs to oiled bike. Downhill I went with the wind in my face. Thirty to thirty-one miles an hour not even thinking of needing a helmet, it was great. I got to the store and picked up my item and then I thought about the track back uphill. At first it was not so bad. I got about 100 ft and took a short break. Back on the bike I peddled about ten more time and my legs started to burn. I figured I was about 1/32 the way back home and thought for the first time that this was not such a good idea. About half way back I had to stop and walk off a tremendous cramp. about 3/4 of the way back I thought of just ditching the bike and walking. Just with the house in sight I puked. I made it back to the house and collapsed. The soccer game was over. The cookies were done cause the wife found some butter in the back of the fridge behind some hamburger buns. Now I can't walk, can't stand for too long, and have trouble getting off the toilet. But at least the cookies were good.

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