LW ITT Update: I-15 Underpass, MT

Nicholas Carman1 4824

The Limited Edition Josh Kato Tour Divide cycling jersey is available at REI and REI.com for the low price of $39.93.  Select the color “Exuberance” to look like your favorite Tour Divide Champion.  Lael is sporting an “Alaska Grown” cotton logo tee which she received for her birthday from her grandmother.

Lael passed through Butte around 8:20 PM on Tuesday night, reporting that Lava Mountain was pretty in the daytime, and the section from Basin to Butte was not as much work as she remembered.  A SPOT device was shipped to the Day’s Inn in Butte, although we now know that the Priority Express shipment was scheduled for the next morning.  Lael is outrunning the USPS.  Yesterday was a tough day of riding including three passes between Lincoln and Helena, some chunky tracks and climbing over Lava Mountain to Basin and Butte, followed by a climb out of Butte to cross the Divide.  Leaving Montana the road will open up for some big mileage days.  

Lael laid down near the I-15 underpass at 11:31 pm last night, about 30 miles past Butte.  Neil and Jay slept for a few hours here at the end of their fourth day as well.  In the morning, the route begins a prolonged ascent up to Fleecer Ridge followed by a famously sharp descent toward Wise River.  A nice paved pass connects Wise River to Polaris before returning to dirt for the climb over the Medicine Lodge- Big Sheep Creek Divide to Lima, MT.  Today will be her last full day in Montana before crossing to Idaho and Wyoming.

When we last spoke Lael wanted me to know that what she is doing is not easy.  “I am trying really hard”, she says.  “I’m doing my best.”

Matthew Lee and I have considered a few options to get her another tracker.  There may be someone who can pick it up from Butte this morning and deposit it in Lima before this evening when Lael arrives.  It is possible to forward the tracker to Pinedale, WY via USPS and have her pick it up in a few days.  Or, JayP has recently organized a small competitive ride called the Fitz-Barn Ride from Hamilton, MT to Victor, ID.  The 467 mile route shares a section with the Great Divide Route east of Lima, MT and a  handful of rental SPOTs remain from that ride in Victor.  Perhaps someone can deposit one along the track for Lael tomorrow.

Until Lael receives a new tracker we will continue to receive updates via phone when service is available, which will be posted manually to the Tour Divide 2015 Trackleaders page.  

Follow the yellow LW ITT bubble on the Tour Divide 2015 Trackleaders page.  Full SPOT tracking will resume in the next few days.  Meanwhile, Lael keeps cookin’!

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10 thoughts on “LW ITT Update: I-15 Underpass, MT

  1. Nick,
    Once again, contact me at my e-mail to exchange phone numbers and to arrange for any assistance needed in New Mexico. The weather has been hot and the rain has been scattered. The northern mountains and the Gila have been getting showers. I have not been down to Catron County to test the dirt tracks, but I expect they will be dry enough.

  2. Killin it. I still can’t imagine grinding that gravel twice in the same summer (maybe not in the same lifetime), that’s rad that she’s doing it, and doing it so well

        • You can hope, and if planning an ITT you can choose to go at any time during the season. It seems a few have been lucky enough to get close, but it is fair to always expect challenges along the way, which are so often unforeseen.

          I was alluding to the fact that four 200 mile days had her flying high; stopping in the mud for 9 or 10 hours was defeating, like taking an axe to her energy. I know you had a wet week in 2014. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

  3. I thought the exuberance color was a good choice for the Divide. However, I might have to get me one of those “Alaska Grown” shirts for my next attempt.
    Sure hope Lael keeps it going. When I got home from the Divide my wife told me, “If that race was any longer Lael would have caught all you guys.” I’m pretty sure she was correct.

    • She said that? Too funny. I don’t know if she was gaining much ground, but she seemed to be keeping pace once she recovered. The Alaska Grown logo is used on locally made product and produce, including big bags of potatoes and carrots grown in the valley. It is kind of the “I (heart) NY” shirt of AK..

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