Monday, 8 August 2011

Day 67: The fun and winding road

Day 67
Grangeville to Riggins 50miles

Do you remember that episode of Top Gear where the presenters drove around in expensive cars? Okay, that probably doesnt narrow it down much. You know the one, they had some funny, completely unscripted, japes along the way. Not helping? It was the one where they set out to find the best driving road in the world. Ended up driving their hugely priced cars around Europe, and did seem to actually find some nice looking roads.

If there was a cycling equivalent of that show (“Granny Gear”?), then I would have to nominate Old Highway 95 as the best cycling road ever. It was only about 10miles, but what a 10miles it was.

Just to backtrack slightly. The day began with a quite long climb out of Grangeville, up to the top of White Bird Hill. I think I was actually supposed to take the older road up the hill too, but didnt read my map that closely so ended up going up the main road. When I got to the top, the views down the other side were amazing. I didnt really know much about what to expect in Idaho. But it's been very impressive so far.

Views from the top

After about ½ mile I turned off onto Old Highway 95. It was like someone had draped a small ribbon of road down a steep hill, with loads of tight hairpin bends. And the views were just phenomenal. One added bonus was that, because there was now a newer Hwy 95, it was completely traffic free. Just me, Whiskey and a thin strip of asphalt. Although I guess if you had an accident it might be days before anyone found you!!
Lots and lots of hairpins!

I split my time between speeding down the hill, and stopping to take photos. Sadly it was all over too quickly. But it was great fun whilst it lasted. It's a shame there wasnt some sort of bike version of a ski-lift at the bottom. I could have spent all day going up and down!

Once I got to the bottom, I was riding alongside the Salmon river for the rest of the day. It's one of the bigger rivers I've seen on my trip, and again was very scenic. The rest of the day was spent by the river. Just before I got to Riggins, I crossed the river and actually crossed back into Mountain Time. So only 7hrs behind the UK again for a few days.
The mighty Salmon River

Going back to the future (by 1hr)

Despite it being only 50miles, I decided to stop in Riggins. I contemplated whether to head down the road a bit to Pollock, but there didnt appear to me much there. At least in Riggins I have shops, restaurants etc. Just means I'll have quite a long day tomorrow.

So another solid day. And one which included probably the best bit of riding of the whole trip.

After such a great day, it seems a shame to end on a sour note. But it's impossible to not be disturbed by what is currently unfolding in my home city. I hope that the many friends I have living there are not being affected by the actions of a bunch of mindless animals. Hopefully ordered is restored soon and the perpetrators brought to justice. Stay safe people.


  1. Its nice to look at your scenic photos today instead of those of burning buildings!

  2. Wow your photos are amazing the view is something else. Makes me jealous even more then I am already.

    We missed you on Saturday.