Do you know who Roger Maris was? We’ll get to him in just a bit. For now, notice the asterisk next to Idaho in the post title.
As I crossed over into Idaho, the first exit was Post Falls. I glanced over to the right of Interstate 90 and noticed a runner on what appeared to be a bicycle path! Whoa! An honest to God bicycle path! Out in the middle of no-damned-where!
I pulled off onto the exit and spotted a bicyclist on the same trail. Turns out it’s called the Centennial Trail.
Hands down, this was one of the most beautiful trails I’ve ever ridden. Mainly because of this bad boy:
I’d no idea what river this was while I was riding. Turns out it was the Spokane River. But it ran the entire length of the trail. Right off to the side.
Normally when you ride a trail that parallels a stream or river the grade of the trail follows the path of the water. What I mean is, if the water is flowing in your direction, you’re usually going down hill. The opposite is also usually true. If you’re going against the flow, you’re going to be putting in a little more effort as you’re generally going up hill.
Not here. At least, not noticeably.
I won’t go so far as to say that I found the first bicycle trail in history that goes down hill in both directions but it sure felt like it. Whoever engineered it made it so the trail was nearly flat, no matter which way you were going.
The day before, in Anchorage, it took four hours to cover 20 miles. In Post Falls on the Centennial Trail, I whipped 20’s ass in just an hour and 20 minutes. That’s what I’m talking about. It was a pure pleasure to ride the trail.
Gotta say, I’ve hit the jackpot on weather. C’mon, 70 degrees in Utah in February? 60 degrees in Colorado in February? 55 degrees in Idaho in February? There were lots of bicyclists, walkers, dog-walkers, and sight-seers along the trail.
Including the Stupid Ones. Until my dying day I will not understand why people — almost universally women — will straddle the entire width of a bicycle trail, with dogs on leashes, kids running around, and stand there gabbing their fool heads off, completely oblivious to any other trail traffic. There were two fairly significant hills that I could easily get to 25 MPH coming down . . . only to have to come to a nearly complete stop because of the Stupid Ones at the foot of the hill.
Let’s get back to Roger Maris. In 1961 Maris broke Babe Ruth’s record of 60 home runs in a single season by hitting 61 home runs. But baseball commissioner Ford Frick said the record really wasn’t valid because the season length was different. Ruth hit 60 when the season was only 154 games. Maris did it when the season was 162 games.
Maris lived with an asterisk next to his record. (Mark McGwire went on to break it in 1998.)
Got all that?
On the way back, I happened to catch a placard that mentioned something about the Washington / Idaho border. It didn’t register until I was all the way back to the car. Then I got to thinking, “Oh shit. I may not have ridden 20 miles in Idaho after all.”
Turns out I may not have. I looked it up later and found the Centennial trail does span both states . . . but I don’t know where. I don’t know how much of my ride was in Idaho and how much of it was in Washington.
I’ve decided to claim the state . . . but with an asterisk. Some day I’ll find myself out in Idaho again. I’ll find some place smack dab in the middle of the state and ride another 20 miles to seal the deal. But for now, Idaho stands with an asterisk.