I have always enjoyed bike riding. Ever since I was a kid, I was popping wheelies and riding all over the place on my bike. When our kids were young we didn’t ride much but we have really been getting back into it. Liz and I have been conditioning ourselves, riding a 5.5 mile loop as well as riding about 10 miles one way with a friend picking us up afterwards. So, a couple weekends ago I planned a “little” trip for Liz and I.

     I decided that if we started in Plummer Idaho and rode the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes to Kellogg, we could stay the night in a hotel and ride back the next day. Insert dramatic eye roll here! It turned out that 54 miles one way was a bit more ambitious that I thought it would be! While our legs actually responded really well, we both realized that bicycle seats are not meant for 5 hours worth of riding!

     We stretched it an extra day and got to stay in another hotel but overall it was very enjoyable and we went back to the same area the following weekend with the kids and rode a much shorter distance with them on the same trail. It is beautiful and follows the edge of Lake Coeur d’Alene. We got a chance to see wildlife and do some much needed exercise while having a great time as a family!

     I wanted to share what we took on our BIG ride in terms of 1st Aid and Food.

     I took my basic 1st Aid Kit that had bandages, gauze, steri-strips, etc. To it we added:

Cayenne Powder (which took the place of the Quik-Clot in my kit)
  – Stops bleeding

Liquid Cayenne Tincture
  – Stops a heart attack in its tracks
  – Stops a stroke
  – Brings someone out of shock rather quickly

Dr. Christopher’s X-ceptic Tincture
  – Great for disinfecting a wound
  – Take internally to fight off infection

Plantain Ointment
  – For bites or stings
  – Draws out infection

Dr. Christopher’s Complete Tissue and Bone ointment
  – A must for bumps, bruises or abrasions
  – Soothes and heals sunburns

     Day 1 – We left the house drinking a quart sized banana smoothie each, as well as a quart of watermelon juice (just blended so it still has the pulp) each. We each ate a couple bananas at about 2 hour intervals or so and averaging about 10-15 miles an hour, it took us about 5 hours to get to Kellogg. Once there, we stocked up at WalMart with 4 avocados, a bag of oranges, a few more bananas, some orange juice (the best we could find at WalMart), a couple bags of shredded lettuce, a bag of plain corn chips and a jar of organic salsa. Once we got to our hotel room, we filled our faces with plant foods and were stuffed afterwards! We enjoyed a couple hours in the hot-tub and then crashed for the night. The next morning we finished up the oranges for breakfast along with a couple bananas each.

     Day 2 – The ride back was pretty much the same with a couple bananas every couple hours or so. We weren’t really pushing our speed so the demand was mainly for water, as it was the first really HOT weekend of the summer! We kept Day 2 to 38 miles of riding, stopping in Harrison ID for that night. We asked the hotel manager if she knew of any restaurants that had vegan options (Harrison is a pretty small town). She told us that there was a creamery just two blocks away that actually offered vegan ice-cream (coconut based). We treated ourselves to a cone each there and then went down to a restaurant by the marina and ordered a veggie pizza, which was a nice treat for the end of a tiring day.

     Day 3 – We left the hotel with a couple bananas and since we only had 15 miles to finish our trip, didn’t eat much, just downed lots of water!

     Overall, the trip, though being a bit more than we bargained for, was very enjoyable and we will definitely do parts of that trail many more times! It was very cool knowing that we had natural treatments for injuries that we may suffer or to help someone that we came across that may be in need. We had plenty of food and the food we ate nourished us and kept us fueled efficiently and long-term. The saddle bags (pannier set) that I got for my bike were a must and there was plenty of room for all of our food as well as more tools that we needed for repairs.

     If you ever plan on riding the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes, keep in mind that from the start of the trail in Plummer ID, it drops about 600 feet in elevation in 6 miles. The valley is pretty flat and then Kellogg is about 160 ft above the valley floor. That being said, Liz stayed at a park and chilled by the water while I rode that last 6 miles of climb to get the truck. All in all Liz and I rode 102 and 108 miles respectively and it was quite a work-out!

     If you live in this area and enjoy biking, I definitely suggest riding the Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes. Its beautiful and is part of the nationwide Rails-to-Trails program where they turn old railroad grades into paved or gravel bike trails. They are very well maintained and clean! The Trail of the Coeur d’Alenes has benches and restrooms every several miles so it is very convenient.

Eat well, enjoy life and ride safe!

Jim Bunting