Day 8. Riggins to McCall, Idaho: 50 Miles Up

Today Felkerino and I had a hard time getting our bike touring act together and ended up leaving Riggins at 9:30 a.m. Gasp!


Not to worry, we had a 50-mile day ahead so how long could that possibly take? I’ll say that it depends on the terrain ahead of you as well as how many times you stop to take photos of sunflowers and any other scenery that catches your eye. So that’s just shy of 7 hours for this tandem crew.


Our terrain was mostly uphill, with the exception of a big swooping descent the final few miles into McCall, which I believe is a pretty big ski town in the area.


We stopped so much today. Pedal for five minutes, stop for 20. Pedal another five, stop for important bike tour photos.


Somehow we still made it. Maybe all that randonneuring is paying off. Ha ha ha ha!

We stopped in New Meadows for lunch, and I was again reminded of Idaho’s matter-of-fact way. We overheard a woman discussing some intimate details of her life, and after she finished her rather sad tale, the man she was talking to responded, “$*#* happens.” Oh Idaho, you’re the best.

We pedaled our way up the big hump to McCall, where road construction was happening in a couple of places. Unlike earlier on our tour, the crew here thought it was just fine if we rode our bike through. They even held back traffic so we’d have clear passage, which was quite nice.


It was a slow-going day in cool temperatures with frequent cloud cover. I’m not going to complain about that when the alternative is a heat emergency at home. I’ll enjoy the cool breezes while I can, and put on a wool base layer to celebrate.


  1. Despite its matter of factness, you are in paradise. Reading this makes me miss being in college in Idaho 25 years ago. Did you know Olympic cycling gold medalist Kristin Armstrong got her cycling legs riding the backroads of Idaho?


    1. We had such a satisfying tour in Idaho and the bit of Montana we traveled. I did not know Kristin Armstrong was from this area, although someone mentioned on our last days in Boise that she still rides in the area. Very cool!


  2. I love reading about your bike tour, here in my office everyday. It’s a little bit of vicarious sunshine and outdoors. I have a very minor question — I wear prescription glasses, like you, and they are always sliding down my sweaty nose when I ride, so that I am either constantly pushing them up or just giving up and looking out on the blurry world over the top of my glasses. This is one of the reasons I am hesitant to get a road bike, because at least my current upright riding position helps with the nose-sliding. Do you have this issue?


    1. I have some Rudy Project prescription glasses that have been great for cycling. The end of the bows is designed to fit snugly around the ears so that the glasses do not slip. I don’t think Rudy Project makes these anymore, but they’ve been great frames for me, AND I can wear them off the bike without looking too weird. There are other frames that offer better coverage from wind, bugs, whatever else, but in terms of versatility the version of Rudy Projects that I use have worked really well for all-year riding.


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