The afternoon of what started out as a frustrating day turned into a delightful surprise. The sun mostly came out, with bouts of sun-showers here and there. The headwind ended and I was thankful my tire issues appeared to be resolved. I've been through two Serfas tires (both were in rear), but Rhonda brought me another tire and it seems to be working great. The last Serfas is in the front and it seemed all good so far. Both the rear tires had the strangest thing happen to them... It was like they were defective. They broke down from the inside first. The guy who recently built up both my tires (two weeks before I left) feels awful about it and he's shipping me two tires- different brands. They should arrive in Twin Bridges tomorrow. They should be waiting for me when I arrive Saturday afternoon. Rhonda shipped me another as well just in case. It's absolutely ridiculous I'm having to deal with tire issues. There's no reason I should have even needed a spare for this trip, never mind having gone through two, not knowing quite yet tonight I'd realize my front Serfas is about done too.
Anyway, like I said, the headwind stopped, the sun came out and views of Trapper Peak became visible. I was happy to say goodbye to Bitterroot Valley and it's headwinds! The road went from open valley to a tighter gorge along the East Fork Bitterroot River. I made it to my destination after a 69 mile day. Physically, I felt great. It's amazing how much easier the riding is getting as my body adapts to being on the bike all day. I set up my tent fairly quickly hoping it wouldn't rain again... which it didn't. Changed clothes, washed off a little in the river and began to cook dinner. As my food heated up, I checked my bike as I do everyday and came across the same issue with my front tire. NOOOOO!!! I took a look inside and lo and behold, it's falling apart. I have no extra tires, no cell service or wifi and the hosts of the campground aren't around. So, I took my one piece of booting material, placed it into the tire and we'll see how long that will hold. If I can make it to Twin Falls, I'm set. That is two days away on my bike, over 150 miles from here... And I have no idea how long a tube will last in a tire with booting in it. I'm frustrated and confused and isolated and there's really nothing I can do. I almost wish it were a bike issue that I couldn't fix... Like truing a tire. But, no, it has to be a lame defective tire issue. I have a feeling tomorrow will be spent trying to hitchhike to Twin Bridges with all my gear. Not fun. For many reasons, including I really wanted to ride over the first passing of the continental divide. And, it's not fun hitch hiking alone. And I have a ton of gear.
So, I'm in my tent writing... And it's ccccccold tonight. I'm annoyed and so sick of having to deal with three messed up tires for half this trip so far. And, I just want to ride without worrying. But... I have to think. Be patient. Ask why. What lessons am I learning? Maybe the answer to the last question will come with time. Or, maybe it's that I have to ask for help... Although hitch hiking could be my only option and that doesn't sound like fun. Or safe. Well, I can't say it's not an adventure!!
Update: It's the morning and I've cycled 3 miles to Sula and tire seems to be holding up, for now. Eating a yummy breakfast burrito at the restaurant here to fuel up with the expectation I'll be on my bike riding over the Continental Divide today, not hitching on the back of a truck! The sun is out, I have wifi at the restaurant to let my folks know I'm alive and my belly is full. I'm not injured. I will survive. I will be back on the bike without worry that I'm wearing out yet another tire soon enough. Send good thoughts my way please...