Eating Sh*t and Getting Giardia

Ok ok I didn't really eat poop! But I might have drank it!! And I fell off my bike.

Work finished up in the afternoon so I went over to Joyride Bikes where I rented a bike for 24 hours, knowing that I'd have to return it in the late morning. The bikeshop dudes gave me directions to Green Canyon, which they assured me would be flowy and fun and wouldn't kill me. They were right!

But I am going to go ahead and apologize in advance to Travis. Babe, I am sorry I am going to be so slow on this tour. I was riding this bike that has full suspension and one more easier gear than my bike and no stuff strapped to it, and I might have been pushing 4 mph in the granny gear riding the paved foothills to get to the trailhead. IN THE FOOTHILLS. 

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I found the trailhead no problem, and followed the little creek that winds its way down to flatter land. The path ended up being mostly shaded, which was great because today's high was 91. That being said, I learned some things about myself today. I need about a liter of water an hour when I'm biking up a canyon. My water bladder only holds two liters, and I ran out pretty quickly. So I could either turn around back to town to refill and waste this rental bike situation, or take a risk and fill up in the little river with plain water because I'm a dummy and didn't bring water treatment. I thought, "Well, if I get giardia, then at least I can feel terrible and miss a few sessions of this conference tomorrow and no one will know better." So I filled up, and kept going.

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I only fell once today, and it didn't hurt that bad. I already have a terrible bruise from falling the last time I rode in Florida, so this was in no way worse. Truthfully, I am intimidated by rocking inclines, and I am glad I didn't Strava this ride so I didn't have to post my embarrassing speed. I walked quite a bit.

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But I stuck it out to the end of the trail. It was neat to watch the scenery change as I gained altitude, and I started to recognize alpine wildflowers. It's always nice to see those ethereal quaking aspens. 

A word on descending off-road. It is just not as rewarding as descending on pavement. Descending on pavement I can relax, look at scenery, stretch my calves, take it easy! NOT SO OFF-ROAD.

It is almost as much work to ride down as it is to ride up! First of all, I don't want to die, and gaining too much speed and hitting a rock or running into a tree does not sound fun. It takes a lot of concentration, hand strength for braking, and a general activeness to keep from crashing. So we'll see how that goes when we actually climb a peak next week. 

Last thing. I was guzzling the end of my giardia water as I got back into town, and then felt something slimy in my mouth..................

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IT WAS A SLUG THING. FROM THE RIVER. IT WAS SO SLIMY. 

I was feeling pretty confident about my water decision, but this slug put a serious damper on my mood. And then I actually looked up when giardia symptoms set in. It's a parasite, not a bacteria, so instead of getting stomach problems within hours, symptoms don't show up for a week or two and can last for a whole month......... WHAT DID I DO. Luckily, lots of people show no symptoms at all, so let's all take this opportunity to pray to Baby Jesus that I don't get sick while camping in rural Idaho next week. 

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