Basin and Range

We were convinced that over the last few days we’ve been riding out of the basin of a basin and range. Simply put (sorry, John McPhee, while we listened to Assembling California during a training ride and learned a lot, we will butcher the explanation)….anyway…simply put, the basin is a flat bowl shape between mountain ranges. Over the last few days we’ve been riding barely perceptual inclines. In fact, with tailwinds, the only way we knew we were going up was that the elevation plot on Ride with GPS showed the up tick.

Today, that uptick was greater with a very long stretch that never exceeded 2% and was usually less (for my Milwaukee readers…think Waukesha to Wales on the Glacial Drumlin except that for the Real Riders that lasted for 83 miles). Not bad, but deceptive false flats that can make you feel like you’re dragging a brake. The Real Riders did an hefty early morning stretch on the freeway and we picked them up after they got off.

While the last several days we’d been riding along wide winding rivers, the longer the day progressed and the higher the elevation became, the more the terrain changed. The rivers became more narrow and twistier. In places the river was no more than a creek (or “crick” in the vernacular). Then after lunch we had to cross the range with a four mile climb. It felt like a mountain climb with rock walls and pine, steep drop offs and switch backs, not much traffic. When we reached the top, there was a dam and behind the dam was a lake with boats and a huge vacation community. A bit of a “culture shock” but a fun (and pretty) change of views.

But, Dear Reader, I must confess, that while I (and others) have thought “basin and range” that, technically, Montana is not part of the basin and range (or at least per Wikipedia, if one trusts Wikipedia). But, we like the analogy and we’re sticking to it.

Details: 77 miles (out of 134), 3334 feet of climb (out of 5400), 14.0 strain

Reading List:

The Innovation Delusion Lee Vinsel An exploration on the fallacy of innovation culture. Some may have angst at the term “fallacy” there, but, give it a listen and you might be convinced.

Our Magnificent Bastard Tongue John McWhorter. Linguistics. John McWhorter. Perfect diversion, as expected.

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