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Unity, Oregon

I rode in the van today because I am having really bad knee pain. It was really hard to be separated from the rest of the team, button hoping to be back on my bike tomorrow

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Ontario, Oregon

Here we are, in Oregon.

Today was quite the battle. Before the day began I was in the no flats club, and by the end of the day, I needed new tires.

I had rotated my tires the night prior in hopes of avoiding flats for the rest of the trip, but failed miserably and got 4 glass flats today. I guess if it ain’t broke, dont fix it.

We made it to the Oregon sign after a few more hours in the smoldering sun, and then finished up the ride after finding our perfect outfits for prom at the local salvation army.

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Stanley, ID

Today was one of the top five rides of the trip. We took our time soaking up 61 miles of rolling canyon roads. We rode along side the salmon river which flows through the mountains. It was so nice to be squeezing through the mountains instead of crawling up them.

We met up with a Jeff, a man who was at our host last night, and heard all about his career as a professional cyclist, and enjoyed a great ride

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Mail drop addresses

There are only two mail drops left for the trip, but I have been getting asked where mail can be sent to, so I thought I’d share the last two addresses with everyone! I would love to hear from you!

Please note all mail must be sent USPS

If the mail will arrive by July 26th:

Bike & Build
Attn:Megan Ryan
General delivery
36 Ace of Diamonds Blvd
Stanley, ID 83278-9998

Please write “hold for pick-up on July 26th” on the mail

If the mail will arrive by August 2:

Bike & Build
Attn:Megan Ryan
General delivery
145 E Franklin Ave
Dayville, OR 97825-5000

Please write “hold for pick-up on Aug 2nd” on the mail

Hope to hear from ya!

Idaho Falls, Idaho

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Estes Park, CO

Today was absolutely the most challenging ride of the trip.

Within a 2 miles of leaving the host, we were already on hills so steep that we were by only in our granny gear, but many of us were out of the saddle in our granny gear.

I was honestly ready to give up 3 miles in when I got to our first flat resting place to see a team member throwing up in a bush. After turning the corner we were greeted by a steep downhill gravel road that took us back down lower than where we had started. That felt terrible. Icing on the cake was that the road was not only downhill, but also unpaved. The gravel and sand of the road was so dangerously loose from the day prior’s rain that we had to walk our bikes down the hill.

The climb up to Ward is something I would never like to speak of again. It was grueling, agonizing and just plain terrible. Why of why are we on compact drivetrains!?!?

In Ward, many of the cyclists we had met headed back down to enjoy the decent, but we had many miles left to cover, and couldn’t indulge in such a luxury. We kept heading for Estes Park.

The climb let up a bit, so we could finally look around and take in our surroundings.

The first series of descents were beautiful and certainly an excellent treat. One of my teammates, Chris, took some videos of the ride which I will hopefully be able to share with you!

After a few short descents, we climbed right back up before hitting Peak to Peak road.

Along Peak to Peak, my teammate Ali lost a screw from one of her cleats that resulted in her not being able to unclip from her pedals. One of her shoes could not be taken off of her pedals, so whenever we stopped she hobbled around attached to her bike.

We finally made it to lunch. This was the most earned lunch of the trip, but unfortunately for Ali, she was at the mercy of someone helping her undo the velcro on her attached shoe before she was free from her bike. She then ate lunch with one shoe on, while her other hung attached to her pedal.

After lunch, we kept climbing and climbing. It was a beautiful climb, and the 7 mile decent into Estes Park made it all worth it. It was surreal.

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Granby, CO

Today was certainly a highlight of the trip and one that words cannot do justice to describe.

The ride started out with a ten-mile coast to the Rocky Mountain National Park. On the way, many of us rode within just a few feet of a huge elk that stood in the shoulder next to us.

Shortly after we entered the park, we met Trail Ridge Pass. This road is the highest continuous paved road in the nation. It was not this fact that made me nervous, but the many experienced cyclists we had met in the days prior, on very vigorous rides, telling us that they hoped to bike this pass “someday.” Nonetheless, we were all there and ready to at least take a swing at it.

Many were carried up the first few miles from pure excitement, but we quickly felt the effects of the elevation. The incline slipped down our list of challenges as we climbed higher and higher, and it became seemingly impossible to catch your breath even after just a few pedal strokes because of the thin air. Luckily, each viewpoint we passed was more beautiful than the last, so the stigma of stopping was lifted for the sake of enjoying our hard work.

For most, the climb continued in a pattern of climbing, snacking, resting, climbing, snacking, resting, as we gained elevation all the way to the “Two miles above sea level” mark. Past this mark, the air seemed as if it was not even entering our lungs.

Most riders made it to the peak of the mountain, but not without hardship. Some experienced effects of altitude sickness, such as tunnel vision, while others, like myself, had to take upwards of three breaks in the last mile and a half before the summit.

When we reached lunch, at over 12,100 feet, the winds picked up, and we piled on as many warm things as we could possibly find. There was even bartering of massages in exchange for leg warmers.

We took a few minutes to take in one final glance at our work before climbing the final half mile to the summit, and gift shop, where my only regret of the entire day would take place. Here we had our one casualty of the day–my sunglasses were lost to the depths of the pit toilet- a minor loss compared to the reward of the day, especially considering that the incident itself was quite comical.

After picking up some goodies to weigh ourselves down for the descent, we rode the switchbacks down the mountainside.

We all had a different experience in the descent. Some were greeted with sunshine, while others got caught under a storm cloud that pelted hail like little bullets as we sped down the mountain, but all enjoyed stunning views poking through the beautiful greenery.

The slope of the downhill became more mild, but was enough to nearly glide us the final 15 miles into the town of Granby, Colorado.

Reaching the peak today was a great challenge, but there is no doubt in my mind that there is no better way to see this park than on a bicycle. The envy I felt for motorized vehicles passing me on the ascent quickly changed to pity when I realized how much they were missing. We spent the entire day being engulfed in one of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, while most park visitors spent the day staring out of the tiny windows of their cars. We were the lucky ones.

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