Sunday, September 12, 2010

DAY OF A BAZILLION BICYCLES

It’s about sixty miles to the Wyoming Border from our house. 

That’s about one hour by car on good paved roads through rolling hills of wheat fields.

 The Grand Teton Mountains are always visible.  (The highest peak, The Grand, is 13,775 feet --4,199 m—high).  The highway gradually rises and then switchbacks over their south shoulder

The climb steepens at the border.

DH and I continue our drive over Teton Pass.  Each mile is more vertical and more winding.

 We are on the last switchback and just a few yards from the top when we see what we are looking for.

 Our youngest son, a.k.a. Beavis, left a few hours earlier in the day from our house riding his bicycle.   He had the Teton Pass as his goal.  At this point the bike is getting a rest, but Beavis is not. 

 We yell words of encouragement, give him a bottle of cold water, and drive around to wait for him at the summit.

 After all that work biking UP he wants to ride DOWN the other side.

 He checks his brakes, takes a deep breath and pushes off. 
(Note the snow on the hill behind him).

 And he’s almost out of sight in seconds.

 There goes my baby to certain death!

 We follow him down the hairpin turns.

 He stops at an overlook point.  His brakes are sizzling hot!

 Down and down and around he goes to end safely at the bottom.  BUT this isn’t the end of the story.  He changes from his biking gear, loads his bicycle in the car and we go on toward Jackson Hole Ski Resort.

 With the Wyoming side of the Tetons in the background we suddenly come upon MORE people on bicycles.
  
 They are participating in the LOTOJA Race.  It is considered one of the longest single-day cycling races in North America.  The course goes from Logan, Utah to Jackson, Wyoming, a distance of 209 miles (335 km) and over three mountain passes.

And they are almost finished.

 One of the riders will be our first son, a.k.a. Bobert.  
We are going to wait for him at the finish line.

 Even after riding for over ten hours they come in at incredible speeds.

 There are two thousand riders, some in teams, some in relays and some, like our son, traveling alone with support from wife or friend.

We watch and watch for Bobert. Then his wife, “Greasy Lightning” sees him zip by and runs to meet him at the finish.  But his mother blinked and missed a chance at the big photograph.

 DH, Beavis and I make our way through the crowd and find him triumphant and celebrating

 as Greasy Lightning pushes his trusty bicycle beside him.

 Bobert and Beavis had quite a day!

Now, I ask you, do not those boys have very handsome legs?

14 comments:

Pam said...

How exciting for me to see your photos! Bought back memories of this Aussie visiting Wyoming over thirty years ago with it's beautiful scenery, although I now know the name of those wonderful Grand Teton Mountains thanks to you. Husband will be able to relate to this post with nostalgia as he can no longer do these sort of rides. Congratulations to all on a magnificent effort.

frayedattheedge said...

I got distracted from their cute legs by the SNOW. It was mentioned in the weather forecast at the weekend that there might be some snow on high ground up in the Highlands, but it should be some months before we see any here. I can't imagine cycling on those roads - well done to your boys (and all the other participants). To compare distances, Scotland is five hundred and something miles from top to bottom!!

Sarah said...

How amazing to have those mountains to look at so nearby home! I am again impressed by your both of your sons' daring exploits and yes their legs are very nice!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Handsome legs indeed Leenie - and good strong lungs!

TALON said...

I think I'll just lose myself in those mountain shots for an hour or two - sooooo beautiful!

Way to go, Beevis! Remarkable to bike such steep grades! I'm in awe!

kamana said...

very! :)

Linda Sue said...

Youth I think that is what causes old age...Biking in the Teton range - insanity unless there is a life somewhere to be saved and the bike is the only vehicle on which to ride out and get help...WOW! He's got legs - he knows how to use them!AND he is gorgeous...ahhh youth.
My son went to Portland today in a car and I am all nervous- you hold up very well, Leenie. I would have to ground him so hard, even though he is "grown up"...

Kilauea Poetry said...

Wow, incredible- and ya, I see all the snow!! Nice legs (lol)..
amazing the distance and
"considered one of the longest single-day cycling races in North America"-I had no idea? These are terrific images- how grueling but exciting!!

Marilyn said...

Oh what a wonderful post, I so enjoyed reading about your sons' cycling feats and am in awe of them; as I am of your beautiful mountain country. You live is such a beautiful area.
More and more I feel that i would love to spend some time in the States to see places just like this and others that i have been introduced through blogland; years ago i had stop overs in Miami (Fort Lauderdale)and San Francisco which I enjoyed but I want to see the 'real' America, the country areas as well. Besides I had an American ancestor and that makes me part American doesn't it - even if he came to NZ in the 1860's ;-)
Thanks for visiting my blog and for you lovely comments. By the way, I am only a 'wannabe' watercolourist,not a real artist.

BUSH BABE said...

Wowser! Gorgeous countryside and handsome legs... what a combo!!

I cannot believe how breathtaking your mountains are... hope to see them for myself one day.
:-)
BB

CeeCee said...

You're a brave mom. I just couldn't do it--watch them bike in the mountains, I mean. Scary, but you admitted that.
I'm glad they had such a good time and you got some good pictures to prove it.

Anairam said...

Jeez. That Bobert and Beavis! What can I say? They make me feel old just looking at them. I cycled once - very long ago - an experience I would rather not mull over. I didn't get very far - I think I did about 50 km and then my boyfriend put me on the train back. Needless to say that relationship didn't last very long.

Mama Zen said...

How could they not have some handsome legs? That's some serious riding!

kendalee said...

Great legs! And great hearts, which in the end I always believe is what really gets them to the finish line. Well done to both of them for an amazing achievement!

And what beautiful scenery... an added bonus to catch a glimpse of some of that, snow and all.