Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Once in a Lifetime...

A link from Adventure Cycling on Facebook got me reminiscing. Lately I've been encouraging my senior students to go out and have some kind of epic adventure early in their lives. Anyway, in my recollecting of my  1981 Mexico to Canada Bikecentenial (now called Adventure Cycling) adventure, I remembered this photographer guy, Art Wolfe, who helped me when my Suntour freewheel exploded on Going to the Sun road in Glacier National Park. It was early morning, we had to get up to the pass before 10:00 AM or the NP sweep wagon would take us off the road, to our starting point. Apparently this guy Wolfe was out chasing the morning light, but he stopped and offered help because I was basically dead in the water.  My riding companions took off, continuing up the road, where I had to stash my bike off the road,  and hid it behind a fallen log out of sight of vehicles, hoping a grizzly bear would not find my food stash in the panniers. Mr. Wolfe and I stuffed my rear wheel among large format cameras and tripods into the crammed Porsche 924. Art took me back to Whitefish, I fixed my bike, he got his car fixed (a wobbly shift lever) and he went for a swim in Whitefish Lake. Eventually he drove me back to my bike when the road reopened to cycling after 5:00 PM. I had put a new axle on the bike which turned out slightly too long or I had misaligned it or something and I had to hacksaw about 3 or 4 mm off one end. Mr. Wolfe had a 1/2 of a hacksaw blade in his car and I eventually trimmed the axle with that primitive tool. Now it was about 6:00 PM and he took off leaving me alone. I pedaled alone up the highway. Beautiful scenery, awesome ride. I made to the Canadian border via the Chief Mountain highway at midnight, where I kept thinking I was going to run into a grizzly in the middle of the road. I crossed the border in the morning and caught up with my group in time for breakfast...pancakes if I remember correctly.

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