Don's Bike Across America
Astoria, Oregon to Portsmouth, New Hampshire
June 19 to August 7, 2006

Don’s Blog: July 1: Starting a Mammoth Month of Cycling

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Here we are in Blackfoot, Idaho, located in the eastern end of the state. We arrived here after a long 110 mile-ride from Burley, after a leisurely 42-miler from Twin Falls to Burley yesterday. To review that ride first, it was what could be considered a “rolling recovery day,” considering the modest distance and fairly level route. Given that, we were allowed to “sleep in” until 6:30 a.m. and enjoy a leisurely breakfast before beginning the ride.

Most of us stopped at Shoshone Falls, outside of town. The falls were magnificent; we were able to cycle right down to the overlook point. I took some photos, which are posted on my separate photo page. Although the Falls were smaller than Niagara, they were impressive nonetheless, and the best part was that there were very few tourists, allowing us to get a nice view. We then completed the ride well before 1:00 p.m.

Obviously, recovery is an important part of each day, since aside from the few scheduled rest days, there is always another ride to prepare for the next day. For me, finishing fairly early in the afternoon is a big help, in that I can have a shower, get something to eat, and then relax for a while before the wrap-up meeting and then dinner. Before you know it, it is the next day and time to throw your leg over the bar and head down the road once again.

This will become especially important as we head into July, and more than 2,000 miles of cycling that lie ahead. That total, should I be fortunate enough to complete it, will be more then twice as much as I have ever cycled before in any one month! It is best not to look too far head however; one day at a time is a mantra that works well in an endeavor such as this.

Saturday: to Blackfoot

After yesterday's easy day, it was back to reality today, as the scheduled ride was 110 miles. Getting started at 6:30 a.m. I set off with my now regular cycling partners Steven and Ted Leh. Were got rolling at a nice strong pace early on and stayed focused on the goal, to keep moving and spend a short amount of time at the sag stops. It was hot again, over 90 degrees by the time we reached Blackfoot, and we were not lucky enough to have a cloud cover as we did on Wednesday and Thursday. Leaving the 60-mile sag stop, the three of us, along with another rider named John, established an excellent pace line. Trading off the front position, we cranked the pace up to close to 20 miles per hour for the 30 miles to the next sag stop at 89 miles. Eating up that distance in such a short time lifted our sprits. We eased off slightly on the throttle for the final 21 miles, but still got it done smartly. I felt pretty decent overall, but my left upper back got tight again, something I hope I can eradicate by tomorrow’s ride.


Although boasting a populating of only 10,000, Blackfoot is designated the "Potato Capital of the World", because it has the largest potato industry in Idaho, the United States, and even the world. It is home to the Idaho Potato Expo (a museum and gift shop that displays and explains the history of Idaho's potato industry), which is home to the world's largest baked potato and potato chip.