Good morning! It’s 4:30 a.m., and as Michael’s evening update mentioned, I’m awake and once again trying to beat the heat/wind. The temperature has only dropped to the mid-seventies or so, and we’re expecting it to reach over 100 degrees again by noon.

Today’s ride will take us through Idaho’s capital, Boise, and about 25 miles west of the city to Caldwell, where we’ll be staying with another Warm Showers host for the night.

Hoping for less traffic on the roads today, as our route puts us on the interstate for 12 miles. We routed around as much as we could, but unless we wanted to do some off-roading, we needed to be on it for a bit.

That’s all for now! Check back for an update later. I’m off to go get packed up before it gets light out here!

Update (2:30 p.m.): Today shaped up to be one of my favorite days on the road, despite a bit of a rough patch towards the beginning. I’ve made it to Caldwell, and Michael will arrive later.

I was able to get on the road by 5:45, well before the sun came up; My lights came in handy. The sunrise was absolutely beautiful in the morning.

It was more riding through flat Idaho desert today. Not a whole lot to see for miles in any direction!

During our course-plotting last night, we tried to stay off the interstate for as long as possible, which unfortunately put us on some dirt roads that were loose-pack sand. I slipped and nearly wiped out multiple times. It was a 10 mile stretch of going slow, slipping, catching myself before falling, and so on.

At one point, there was a barbed wire fence, with a “no trespassing” sign. Rather than backtracking 7 miles, I went under the fence and continued on.

After what felt like hours (but was probably only 45 minutes), I reached pavement, and aligned myself with the interstate. After merging, I quickly realized that the interstate was the way to travel: wide shoulders, courteous drivers, and great pavement. It was smooth sailing for the next 20 miles into Boise.

I exited the interstate a bit south of Boise, and hooked up with a bike path that led me straight downtown. It was the first experience of what turned out to be one of my new favorite cities for cycling.

Downtown, nearly every road had a bike lane, and I saw cyclists on every block. Some professional bike teams are in town, preparing for a race that’s happening tomorrow. Seeing the capital building ahead, I lined up to take a photo, when another cyclist rolled up and told me to get in the photo.

I introduced myself to Ken, and had an extensive conversation about his travels. He’s living out of his motor home and traveling around the country “following the nice weather, ” as he put it, to ride his bike. He has one of the coolest tattoos I’ve seen.

I wandered around town a bit, and heard a hissing noise a few miles down the road. Gah, my tire! It was my third flat of the ride. I pulled over and swapped out the tube, then swung around the corner to grab a replacement tube.

Bauerhaus bikes is a completely custom bike build-shop, and very tech focused. The mechanics were happy to get my gear back in shape and gave me directions to the Boise Greenbelt. The Greenbelt runs along the river, and was pretty active with cyclists. I saw everything from families riding all the way to professional teams training for the race tomorrow.

At one point, there was a pull-off where people were surfing on the river rapids!

Unfortunately, the Greenbelt ended after about 10 miles; I rerouted on the main road to continue toward Caldwell. I couldn’t resist a quick stop at a farmstand for a cucumber and a root beer.

By now it was reaching close to 100 degrees, so I pushed to my final destination. As I rolled into downtown Caldwell, I HAD to stop at this brightly painted bakery.

Best. Decision. Ever. 

The Sweet Spot Bakery is a gem. They gave me some complementary cookies and baked goods as I told them about my cycling trip. (Thanks for being so amazing!!!) If you’re ever in Southwest Idaho, you definitely need to check this place out.

After getting to know everyone around the shop–Kathy, Penny, and Ashton–we all got together for a photo outside the bakery and they plastered my bike bag with a shop sticker!

A couple came into the shop and bought me an eclair. Mmmmmm.

As I type this, I’m hanging out with Kathy, Penny, and Ashton, watching them bake wedding cakes and drinking a coffee they made for me. What a great way to spend the afternoon!

That’s all for now! Check back this evening for another update and an account of things from Michael’s ride!

Update (10:00 pm): An all around amazing day on the road today for both of us.

Michael took a different route out of Mountain Home, enjoying a new bike path; 30 miles of good asphalt with no traffic; a quick section of the interstate; and another 20 miles of fresh blacktop–getting him all the way to Caldwell. We both finished the 76 miles with energy to spare.

Michael and I met up outside of the home of Stan and Gina, our WS hosts. They shared their home with us, giving us their guest room. It was great to be able to get some laundry done as well! Their dogs and cats all welcomed us into their home. (Michael and I both love anywhere where we can visit with pets.)

We ate a delicious dinner of pesto pasta, salad, and tamales. For dessert, Laura made us cookies, and offered us to take the rest as road-snacks tomorrow. Yum!

As a future Bose employee (I start right after this trip), I was so excited to see a Bose Wave system… it’s 20 years old! It still looked and sounded great!

Thanks so much to our hosts, Stan and Gina for letting us stay at your house this evening. We really appreciate the hospitality!

That’s all for today! Only a few handfuls of these posts left until we’re done. Check back tomorrow for a post from Michael!

You can view the Relive ride here!