Category Archives: Uncategorized

The blog is up in the bike stand but please come spin the wheels!

The blog is having a few cables replaced and a new BB installed, but it’s still open for exploration! Feel free to message me about anything that needs some tuning while riding around these pages.

IMG_0182The posts from The 2014 Adventure are slooowly being written, edited and posted and I still have a thousand photos to upload and write interesting things about after 3 months on the road throughout the Northwest United States. Hopefully the beta about our route west will be useful to others wanting to link hundreds of miles of car free riding on dirt, gravel and railroad ballast while carrying 8 liters of water each! That’s some wild country far from civilization! There’s also a bunch of 4-5 year old posts imported from Key West Velo floating around in here now as well with bad photo links due to a lost host.

ChillysBizCard1flatChilly’s Bicycle Shop is a large part of my focus in general right now as I open a bicycle shop in Key West, Florida. Can’t make it down? No worries, a full online store is being built! All this while fixing lots of bicycles and selling panniers and appropriate sundries. Woohaaa! Stop by and say hi. I’m buying an espresso machine soon to increase productivity! How much maple syrup do you take?

8/21/14 Trestle near Long Pine Road to Derrailed Boxcars near Rock Lake

Day 18 Trestle near Long Pine Road to Derailed Boxcars near Rock Lake
8/21/14 Thursday 30.6 miles

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8/22/14 Derailed Boxcars near Rock Lake to La Crosse town park

8/12/14 Condon to Salmon Lake State Park

Day 9 Swan Valley Centre, Condon to Salmon Lake State Park
8/12/14 Tuesday 36 miles

IMG_0340The phone booth in front of the store.

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IMG_0343I wasn’t expecting to still be able to see jagged peaks and snow fields. Nice!

IMG_0344We had a nice bike path to enter the town of Seeley Lake. It was very windy, hazy and smelled of fire. We found a grocery store to stock on supplies and find dinner. We ate lunch in town in a gazebo.

The road from Seeley Lake to Salmon Lake had no shoulder and the heaviest traffic we had seen all day. The riding sucked. The road dropped off pretty well a few times on the narrow highway. There were a few rollers, but nothing too bad.

IMG_0346We enjoyed a pleasant hike to the lake and found a nice covered picnic shelter. We decided to cook here since it was looking to sprinkle or rain a little bit. Chili and quinoa saves the day!

We arrive in Missoula manana!
8/13/14 Salmon Lake State Park to Missoula

8/11/15 Big Fork to Swan Valley Centre, Condon

Day 8 Wayfarer State Park, Big Fork to Swan Valley Centre, Condon
8/11/14 Monday 48 miles

Our first day without proper stove fuel, but we did meet some very friendly people. And have some amazing luck! Unfortunately, some parts of Rt. 83 had really poor shoulders, especially when right next to Swan Lake; killer view! Be careful through here, be aware of what’s coming up behind you and if there’s gonna be a squeeze play of two cars.

IMG_0319Things quietened down quite a bit by the time we got to Swan River. The sun wasn’t calming down however, it was growing more intense if anything. We began looking for spots to get water after the big bend into town and stopped at the Laughing Horse Lodge. It wasn’t currently staffed, but a jogger we had recently passed had caught up to us and offered his help.

IMG_0324Garth lived across the street and when his wife Barb, also jogging, arrived seconds later. Super super nice people! We all walked across the street to their house and filled up on water while getting to know each other.

IMG_0326There was a small waterfall along their waterfront they insisted we saw. It was a waterfall indeed!! And fun goofing around in the shade. Barb threatened to make us lunch if we would stay and swim and relax for a bit. We felt as though we still had a ways to go and knew we were still in grizzly country; so wild camping definitely had a bit of stress to it if that became our only option.

IMG_0330Back on the grind. Under an August sun.

IMG_0331We stopped here for some snacks and water in the shade. It felt great to be off the bikes and out of the sun.

IMG_0332The high sun in Montana in August ain’t playing around. So I brought my A-Game from the Florida Keys to stay as protected and cool as possible.

IMG_0333We are so remote, that even the airplane landing strips are not paved! We did encounter a grocery/gas station with a great selection of foods for touring. Really good!

IMG_0335The next place was Swan Valley Centre, which is where we camped after a very hot 48 mile day. Camping was $10 and showers were $4 each. Also available was an automobile service station, cabins, laundry and a small general store. Even more amazing was the one, lone iso-butane sitting on an almost empty shelf. SCORE! Glad we are cooking again! This should last us to Missoula and its REI.

IMG_0334The funny part is later we realized we did not have a safe place for our food…

IMG_0337Another new friend. In the grass here were thousands of grasshoppers that would all leap into the air in front of you as you walked.

IMG_0338I remembered to take a picture of camp! You can’t see all the ants and grasshoppers. But they are there. Lots of them.

IMG_0339There was no place to safely store our food. The bathroom door wasn’t very secure. We were told bears do walk through sometimes. I bear hung the food in a very, very sappy pine.

Tomorrow!
8/12/14 Swan Valley Centre, Condon to Salmon Lake State Park

8/10/14 Wayfarer State Park, Big Fork

Day 7 Wayfarer State Park, Big Fork
8/10/14 Sunday 6 town miles

IMG_0313Campsite photo! It was easy as we didn’t pack up. We decided to stay an extra day rather than share the roads with all the yahoo’s with big trucks and boat trailers we’ve seen at the park. Even the rangers were happy about the Sunday exodus. We ventured out to the old town area for town food and supplies.

IMG_4735We had run out of stove fuel and expected to find some in Big Fork. Nope. I mean yes, that store is indeed called “The Mountaineer.” And yes they sell stoves. But they do not sell fuel. I asked for clarification that they had sold out of fuel. No. They don’t carry fuel. Oy. This truly is a true tourist town as we were told. And the next three days of riding are through a blank spot on the map.

IMG_0314No worries. Kerry’s from Maine, I’m a backpacker; we’ll make this work. And still eat well!

IMG_0316I found some sterno cans to cook the rice and sausages and our campfire cooked the corn and sweet potatoes. Super delicious! One of our mantras on this trip is, “If we can’t handle the Western States, we can’t handle Patagonia and South America!” We have a dream of buying one way tickets to Ushuaia and riding North for a few months or years!

Tomorrow we leave civilization for a few days.  8/11/14 Flathead Lake, Big Fork to Swan Valley Centre, Condon

8/9/14 Columbia Falls to Flathead Lake, Big Fork

Day 6 Columbia Falls to Flathead Lake, Big Fork
8/9/14 Saturday 30 miles

IMG_4733Terrance was up and ready to go but was having trouble with the U-locks.

IMG_0294I remembered to take a camp photo in the middle of packing up. This shouldn’t be so hard!

Soon after leaving our fancy campsite we were confronted with four  lanes of Rt.2 to cross then ride. A break in traffic form the left allowed us to safely make it to the center turning lane where we stopped with feet on pavement to wait a few more minutes to cross the last two lanes. Then something strange happened. Time slowed down. Then I realized it was just the two lanes of traffic coming to a stop at a safe distance. Drivers waved us across as they waved and smiled. Was it a trap?!?!? Nope! Just people being nice. Wow! Small town Montana rocks!

IMG_0299Beautiful country roads and very, very little traffic. We really enjoyed our morning and afternoon.

IMG_0304We turned right at an apple tree and decided to enjoy some shade, chug some water and eat some apples. Well, I decided to do that. Kerry decided to also juggle to help select the tastiest apples!

IMG_0305Llamas! We are loving this section of the trip. No super spectacular jaw dropping vistas; just pretty farmland, fun hills, distant mountains and subtle amazingness.

IMG_0307Kerry at one point asked to stop and listen. All we heard were bugs. It was really nice. What a day so far!

IMG_0308I like this area.

Eventually the roads became busier and faster as we neared Big Fork. A stop at a grocery store full of weekend lake touron partiers was an accurate foreshadowing  of the crowded shitshow of a park. Far too many people, jet skis, and RV’s. Oh my. This wasn’t the quiet solitude of the lakes in Glacier, it was a party lake.

IMG_0309Still a pretty sunset though! Unknown to us, the water of the lake retains a lot of the day’s heat creating a warm micro climate throughout the night. As we walked a 1/4 mile back to our campsite the air temperature must have dropped 15 degrees before reaching our tent!

Click on through to tomorrow…… 8/10/14 Flathead Lake, Big Fork

8/6/14 Going to the Sun Road, Glacier National Park

Day 3 Going to the Sun Road, Glacier National Park
8/6/14 Wednesday 29 miles

IMG_0159This is the day! The big climb! The Going to the Sun Road proper! Up and over Logan Pass! There was road construction as soon as we left the campground. This was great for us because it created a need for one way at a time traffic and made the road super pleasant to pedal. A lot of it was also not currently paved; and more wilderness-y…no problem for our 26×2.1 phatties! Yeeahhh! Grizzzly Hood!!

Action pictures! Really nice riding.

IMG_0172Our bicycles wanted a break! There are so many spots to pull over and just stare at the mountains. Endless views.

IMG_0182We decided to have a snack. Our food situation had been critical due to slim pickings at the NPS store at the campground. These prepackaged sandwiches were found next to the milk and begrudgingly bought as there was nothing else. But dang did they taste good at this very moment!

IMG_0184The magnitude of the views is hard to photograph or describe in words. Its sooo big! And the riding is excellent. Very little traffic on well graded dirt. Yes!

IMG_0185Another great spot to just sit and stare at the mountains.

IMG_0192Or stare at the bighorn sheep.

IMG_0186Terrance is always smiling but he seemed extra happy here. Or maybe he needed more oxygen!?!? Or likes horny animals?! I like this guy!

IMG_0196We met Peter and Rich riding up the pass and shared some conversations, views and snacks; great guys to chat with.

IMG_0199LOOK MOM! NO HANDS!!!

IMG_0207The road keeps descending, clinging to the side of the valley. Inconceivable views! These photos cannot replicate the feeling of the grand scale of these mountains. Much more traffic on the western side, not that it was terrible. All traffic went the same speed downhill, 20-25mph!

IMG_0212The drop offs are pretty dang serious.

IMG_0214But make for absolutely amazing riding! The western climb is higher, so the downhill payoff from riding west is even greater!  It’s easy to just cruise downhill at 25mph,  with only cars and too much attention on the views the only things slowing you down.

IMG_0218Another spot we needed to stop and just absorb the view.

IMG_0219The scale of it all is inconceivable! It really, really is.

IMG_0223Bicycles are best for the road, but motorcycles may be a close second; at least for climbing!

IMG_0231This little guy wanted to try out my Adamo saddle. He seems to like it.

IMG_0232Thank you for making the decision to build a road that worked with the natural beauty rather than just rudely blast through. A great decision!

IMG_0236A lower part of the road where we had to actually pedal again. It was  still beautiful though. And we were looking up at the views instead of up, down and across!

IMG_0244Super clear mountain water.

IMG_0245And I mean super clear!

IMG_0247The Mikes of Santa Cruz were our hiker/biker campsite neighbors and recent UC grads, best if luck to y’all!

Tomorrow we plan on hiking around a little bit.
8/6/14 The Highline Trail, Glacier National Park

Prologue! A day in East Glacier

How did we get to the start of our great big adventure? Ha! That’s quite the story. It’s probably best to just skip down to the next photo and not read the ridiculous next few paragraphs.

We left Key West, Florida, the southern end of the road,  in a van loaded with camping gear, touring bikes and cycle-cross bikes. We then drove north to Hartford, Connecticut to visit my friends and family. Kerry was excited to ride a bicycle in hills for the first time! She’s ridden for years in southern Florida with only headwinds, tailwinds and the occasional bridge.

Next we continued driving north along the eastern coast all the way to Maine to visit some of Kerry’s friends and family. At one point I found myself sitting in blueberry patches gorging myself in between trips to the vegetable garden.

Then it was back to Hartford to disassemble the touring bicycles and eat more amazing food at all the local restaurants. We eventually  packed our steel steeds in cardboard bike boxes and shipped them via Bikeflights.com to the Backpacker’s Inn in East Glacier, Montana.

We spent a few more days eating, riding our ‘cross bikes and hanging out with friends before finally flying to Spokane, Washington. We each carried only a single pannier with a few days of essentials. We hopped a bus to downtown and hung out all afternoon and early evening waiting for out train.

IMG_0087The library in downtown Spokane had a great view! They had a few books and gazetteers we were happy to read over and work on some last minute research. There were still a few sections and trail transitions to figure out. We had a very good idea and maps for most of our trip, but there were still a few areas where we’d have to just figure it out when out there. That’s why its called adventure travel! We were prepared with good gear, good brains and a great attitude!

IMG_0086Fish Creek Road might solve the next night after Missoula issue….might as well enjoy some off pavement riding and see the Champion Ponderosa Pine of Montana! Why not!? Connecting Missoula to the Coeur d’Alene Trail and the Hiawatha Trail didn’t have any standout, great options.

IMG_4723A storm in the distance. We walked down to the rivers and explored around a bit. We were walking back towards downtown when the storm hit us suddenly with gusts of wind. Sand and dirt was blowing everywhere as signs were knocked over and debris floated around and about. We found refuge in a little pho place next to a parking garage and enjoyed a great meal.

Our time later at the Amtrack Station was entertaining as well sometimes frightening. We still  had a few more hours before the train departed and decided to just hangout and wait at the train station.  Wow. It was like DMV except full contact and no security.  We saw gaping, pussing, open wounds, an obvious (and poorly excecuted) vending machine change robbery and drunken, prison tattooed women causing a ruckus.

8/3/14 Sunday

We arrive a little after sunrise in East Glacier, Montana. We take in the views for a few minutes before wandering into a greasy spoon for some coffee and foods. Afterwards, we checked into our dorm room at the Backpackers Inn located behind the Serranos Mexican restaurant.

IMG_4726We had already shipped our bikes there via Bikeflights.com and they arrived with some damage to the boxes.

IMG_0089I had packed all smaller pieces and gear into plastic grocery bags that were tied around the frame in case the box was breached. All was OK and I assembled the bicycles with no issues within hours of checking into our dorm room! and we were off on our journey the next day.

Day 1 on the road!
8/4/14 East Glacier to Glacier National Park

10/8/12 Marin Headlands Hostel to Halfmoon Bay State Beach

Day 31 Marin Headlands Hostel to Halfmoon Bay State Beach
10/8/12 Monday 40.8 miles

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9/17/12 Beverly Beach State Park to Carl Washburn State Park

Day 10  Beverly Beach State Park to Carl Washburn State Park
9/17/12 Monday 44.5 miles

 

IMG_1117I kept the promise I made to myself last night and woke up extra early to enjoy the park. Our late arrival to Cape Lookout prevented any good exploring and the little we saw packing and leaving in the morning was beautiful. I like the early alone time to explore and enjoy a morning tea or coffee.

 

IMG_1118I’m enjoying all the streams that travel across a beach to reach the great Pacific Ocean.

 

IMG_1122But sooo worth it!

 

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IMG_1124And yet another South Beach!

 

IMG_1128Sliders!

 

IMG_1129Amazing riding.