RA2011 Superlatives Part II

[Superlatives are split into Part I and Part II only because WordPress seems to limit the length of a post.]

Among the Most Memorable Experiences…

The adventure begins in Ocean Shores WA

Among the Most Memorable Encounters…


Mechanical and medical mishaps. As a team of seven guys, I’d say we fared very well. I’ve only listed those encountered by Jack and me, although others in our gang experienced greater hurdles (heat exhaustion, wheel problems, etc.)

  • Jack – Rear wheel spoke fracture (on drive side) in Denver IN
  • Rich – Front wheel spoke fracture in the Adirondacks in NY
  • Rich – Fender rubbing issues north of Pierre SD
  • Jack – Broken chain, near Savoy MT and again in Malta MT
  • Jack – Headcold in Washington, also during RAGBRAI
  • Rich – Headcold in Glenwood IA
  • Rich – Helmet locked in bicycle shop in Havre MT

    Waiting at Havre Bicycle
  • Rich – Knees threatening to end tour – diagnosed by roadside orthopedic surgeon in Essex MT. They slowly improved over time due to slower riding, ibuprofen, and icepacks when I could find them.
  • Road closures – We road 15 miles on dirt roads as a detour near Savoy MT. Other than that, we rode through a number of “Road Closed” signs without consequence, once south of Lake Sakakawea ND, and again south of Fort Thompson SD.
  • Flats – Jack 6, Rich 3

On the subject of flat tires, I put together this little table indicating the general experience of the RA team.

Rider Number of Flats Tires Tubes Type / Valve Type Comments
Bill 3 Continental Contacts Regular / Presta Replaced rear tire at 2500 mile mark
Jesse 1 Michelin Sity Thorn resistent / Presta valve
Rich 3 Schwalbe Marathon Dureme Regular / Presta valve Tires rotated at 1500 mile mark
Roger “dozens” “lost count” Least expensive possible (Walmart, bike shop discards) Regular / Presta valve, use of Goop Frequent replacement of tires
Frank 7 (2 were valve stem failures) Schwalbe Marathon Supreme Regular / Presta valve
Gary 0 Continental Touring Plus Thorn resistent / Presta valve Replaced rear tire at 4000 mile mark
Jack 6 Continental Contact Regular / Presta valve Tires rotated at 1500 mile mark; replaced rear tire at 3500 mile mark

Although it is difficult to extrapolate from this small set of data, use of thorn resistant tubes appears to offer advantages. All riders using Continental tires required tire replacement along the way, while those with Schwalbe or Michelin did not. Roger, while likely winning the contest for least $/mile, paid a price in inconvenience (which, incidentally, I think he was happy to pay in order to save some bucks).

Critter Encounters

  • Moose (45 miles E of Colville WA)
  • Deer – in many places Lake Crescent WA, Glacier NP MT, West Whitlock Recreation Area SD, Two Bit RV Park in Libby MT, Thendara NY
Deer next to Lake Crescent WA

Most Scenic Riding