August 21, 2001

8/21/01 Lincoln, MT

25 / 6531 miles

The whole gang stayed up late talking down at Todd and Whitney's campsite. We seem a pretty friendly group for a bunch of complete strangers. I'm sure it was pretty comical everyone trying to hang their food bags up in the trees in complete darkness. I elected to just leave my food in the trailer. Guess I should start making it a habit to hang my food because we'll be in bear habitat for a month or so.

Almost glass-smooth in the morning

Even though it wasn't as cold last night as it has been, I got up even later. Plus, with everyone talking, it seemed like we would never get out of camp. I think Mike and I finally got on the road about 10:30, and that's a far cry from my 6AM starts.

Today was a short town-day. We had a long climb first thing in the morning that took us till noon to peak. The road was more packed dirt and rock with a lot of sharp switchbacks. Mike and I always seem to stop too early. At one rest break, Todd and Whitney caught up to us, and when we continued, we turned out to be only a quarter mile from the top.

The road down seemed as steep as the road coming up. The big difference was that it was a lot of gravel. The steepest part was near the top and it had a few switchbacks, but it had plenty of sections where you could build up speed. I was trailing behind Mike, Todd and Whitney. When I took one of the hairpin turns too fast. The bike flew out from under me and I landed hard on my left side in the dirt and rock. Good thing I was slowing down somewhat for the turn or I could have been hurt a lot more. As it was, my lower leg took the brunt of the fall, and subsequent damage.

A bloody mess

Finally caught up to those guys but elected to continue down into town before cleaning and bandaging the leg. Most of the rest of the descent was less steep, but I was still a little gun-shy whenever I rode over a little too much gravel. Right before the highway, we passed one of the forest fire helicopter bases. We've been lucky because most of the fires that would have made us re-route have occurred after we already passed those sections. Not the worst fire season, but still bad for those fighting them.

Arrived in Lincoln, home of the UniBomber, Ted Kazinsky. Stopped off for lunch at the Lincoln Log Restaurant for some lunch before heading to the city park where they had a campground. Kind of disappointed that the two restaurants recommended by past Divide riders are no longer open.

Finally got caught up with my email. Then I set about cleaning up my bleeding leg. Cause I couldn't think of any other way to put it off. Most of the damage was superficial but it still stung like the dickens. After a quick wash-up, met the rest of the gang at the laundromat. Kind of funny seeing a bunch of half-naked guys sitting around while our clothes are in the spin cycle.

If you haven't already guessed it, we all went to dinner even though lunch had only been a few hours ago. The waitress at Lambkin's must have thought we were crazy to eventually cram six people in a four-person booth. As a group, we seem to be forming a tight bond. I know I'm going to remember these new found friends or a long time.

Jeremy is an avid fisherman, taking every opportunity he can to fish for trout. Malcolm was a Peace Corps volunteer in Peru in his younger days. Frog is never seen without a smile on his face and takes great care of his brother. Ed has been quiet but is starting to open up. Sounds like he is a very good soccer player. Todd was a bicycle racer in college and took a year off to race full time, making it as a category-II racer. Whitney worked this last year with Habitat for Humanity in Denver, and she just started riding a mountain bike there. And Mike is a wonder. He planned to be starting this trip in July but a burst appendix only seven weeks ago made him postpone his start. He's a strong rider already and he's not even fully recovered form his surgery. Everyone makes comments about his scar. Hopefully friends for life.