White Bird

Have you ever just drove by on on something that you kept saying, “One day I am going to do that”? This post is about one of those times that I got to do “it” one spring day.  Mostly I am about to ramble out my thoughts so the movie is a better source of what went down. Movie!

My friend and I were traveling home from the race and we were in Idaho driving up route 95.  In White Bird he turned into town and I started to wonder what he was up to. I figured he was just stopping in to see where this road I have been talking about begins.

A little history. There is this road called White Bird Grade in Idaho that I have always wanted to climb on a bike. That’s it … the history.

White Bird is a small town that almost resembles a New England style of town. Nestled in a valley with church steeples the most predominant. We went by the school, post office, another church, and kept going. Suddenly I realized he was going to drive it.

I hunkered down in my seat getting ready to jump from the moving car. There was no way I would ride a car up this road I always wanted to ride up. No way! My hand grasped the door handle.

“Boy this would really melt your tires”, he said. For for the untrained reader this statement doesn’t make sense. What that means is that with mountain bikes we try to keep our knobs square so they bite on dirt trails. This road would wear them down.

“That sounds like an excuse”, I blurted out. The handle on the door was halfway pulled to the open position.

“What? You want to ride this”, glancing at the road. Does a bear shit in the woods. “You damn right I do”, scowling back at him. He saw the look of a wounded cougar ready to fight its way free.

The car stopped and quickly turned around. We stopped midway in town and I unloaded my bike. The bike and body was in tough shape from the weekend’s race but this was “the White Bird Grade”. I don’t know, its spiritual. It can not be explained. I set forth to do my ride.

Ross made coffee and waited on a switchback to cheer me on like I was in the tour de Fraaahhhnce. I encountered many mules, brethren mules, which was a sign from all that is. There were many moments but will leave it at that, To ride it is the way to go … not drive up it.

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