Coast to Coast 2022 Adventure Day 7: Boise, ID to Mountain Home, ID

Alan Gilbert
3 min readJun 30, 2022

This post is part of a series detailing my 2022 coast to coast cycling adventure.

Day 7 was looking to be an easy day. And in many ways it was. But it ended with a broken helmet and a serious case of road rash.

Day 7 Highlights:

Song of the day: Wake Up by Arcade Fire
Start: Boise, ID
End: Mountain Home, ID
Distance: 47.2 miles
Elevation: 1,470 ft
Breakfast: Hotel buffet extravaganza
Lunch: Leftovers from Boise
Dinner: Super Walmart potluck

Here are today’s stats:

Day 7 was highlighted by four things:

  • Riding on the interstate
  • Our first flat
  • A bitchin’ 20 MPH direct tailwind
  • Dave’s wreck

Let’s start with riding on the interstate. There was no good way to get from Boise to Mountain Home without riding a 10-mile section of I-84 (and bicycles are legal on the interstate in Idaho). It was actually pretty cool. The pavement was superb and the trucks wizzing by gave us a drafting effect in addition to the tail wind. Though things did get dicy when wide loads went by.

Riding on the interstate was just a little bit scary

I got my first flat of the trip, but thanks to my new tubeless tires, it was not really an issue. For those not familiar, tubeless tires have no inner tubes (duh!) and instead have a gooey sealant that quickly “heals” punctures. When we were riding I-84, something seemed a little off in my front tire but I kept riding fine. When we took our next break I felt it and sure enough it was soft. Probably around 20 pounds but still ridable. I gave it a quick shot of CO2 and was back in business. No muss, no fuss. Thank you Michael at Velo Science for talking me into them.

Tailwinds are magical. Today’s direction and speed were almost perfect. For almost the entire ride today we hardly had to pedal. We averaged over 17 MPH for the ride, climbs included, and at times I was cruising along at 25 MPH in complete silence as the wind speed matched mine. But with strong tail winds come unpredictable gusts, and…

Dave and I were in the stretch run of our ride, riding the tailwind at a glorious 25 MPH, when he suddenly twisted one way and then the other as if someone kicked out his front wheel. I’ve never seen anything like it. In an instant he was down on the pavement and I feared the worst. My first thought was traffic and, fortunately the road we were on (paralleling I-84) had almost none. After moving Dave and his bike off the road, at first glance, things seemed OK. But I knew that that kind of fall didn’t come without damage. Looking more closely, Dave had cuts on his shoulder, hip, leg, fingers, and ankle. And torn jersey, shorts, and shoes. But, very fortunately, nothing seemed to be broken. Also, fortunately, I had a first aid kit of alcohol wipes, gauze, bandages, and tape and all were needed. Thank you Boy Scout wilderness first aid training.

After we got Dave patched up we moved onto his bike. Obviously there was going to be damage. The chain was wedged into a place that it was not suppose to be, and both brake levers were bent, and of course there was a fair bit of cosmetic damage. But shockingly the wheels, drive train, brakes and frame were all fine. After 45 minutes of tending to Dave and his steed we were back on our way. Truly amazing (and fortunate) that it wasn’t worse.

Dave later learned that he cracked his helmet, which makes the lack of serious injury even more amazing. For obvious reasons, not too many pictures today. No one wants to see road rash pictures unless you are looking at a dermatology textbook.

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