We hit the road around 08:15 after a dehydrated oatmeal breakfast, of which we are becoming quite tired… We started climbing almost immediately- on a very rough road- and climbed without interruption for the next three hours or so until we crested Continental Divide crossing #3! We then had lots of ups and downs, into the wind, on another very rough road for an hour before we stopped for lunch. We filtered water and rested a bit before starting our second crossing of the day, and #4 overall. We motored right up it and then started another sketchy 2,000+’ downhill with Ernie only having a rear brake. If you go too fast and only have a rear brake then you fishtail badly when trying to stop quickly, and all the more so when towing a trailer that weighs, with contents, more than 50 lbs. We stopped every 500′ down in elevation to cool the rear brake assembly & rotor, which sizzled when water hit it. We did pull the rear brake pads last night and confirmed they were ok so we just didn’t want to let them overheat badly and warp the rotor.
Last night when we were checking out the bikes we noticed that the rear wheel on El Rojo was not tight- we couldn’t tell if it was the bearings or what so El Rojo and Ernie needed a little TLC at the bike shop in Helena. At the bike shop we discovered El Rojo also had a broken rear spoke that needed to be replaced…
We made it down ok (Yeah!), checked into a hotel in Helena and then brought our bikes to the bike shop. The guys said they would get right on them and they would be ready tomorrow morning around 10:00 – 10:30! Those guys are awesome!
So, we did laundry, hit a local brewery and then had some pasta- we are grateful we and our bikes are/will be in good shape!
Daily totals: 39 miles and 3,300′ climbing; trip total is 563 miles
Sorry not as many photos this post- poor wifi at the hotel does not handle media uploads well..,
Alpacas at the llama farm:
some of todays roads (up & down):
We just blew past these signs and flew around the washed out road
Montana scenery- it is getting drier and more open:
About every 500′ of descent I’d have to put lots of water on my brake pads and rotor to cool them down:
Johnny D taking a break from his usual blistering pace: