There are reasons one rides early in the morning. Work Schedule. The daily heat wave. A long day in the saddle. But we would also put chasing shadows as one of the reasons to start later in the day. There is no better place to do this than the river canyons of Idaho. The setting sun unfurls long and deep shadows across ravines, canyons and mountains. It is impossible to know the true contour of a mountain without shadow and every minute the landscape changes and there is a sense of awe and melancholy as the day and one’s ride winds down.
As part of a series of amazing Idaho rides TSH will be taking on a variety of terrain this summer via road, cx and mtn bike. Some of the exploring will feature well known routes in the central mountains and some will be following 4 wheel dirt tracks created by ranchers and basque sheep herders in the deserts of Southern Idaho.
In a gallery of 12 images, Heroes follow the North Fork of the Boise River Road which begins east of Boise. On CX bikes we seek an out and back route that takes us past Lucky Peak Dam and then Arrowrock dam. One can pick up this ride from the Boise River trail in central Boise or drive up to Deer Creek Road just east of Spring Shores Marina for some free parking. Starting there the pavement quickly turns to gravel. Though road bikes were an option we chose CX bikes and 33mm tires to take on the 28 miles upstream and 28 miles back. Though sections of washboard emerge, a quick readjustment of one’s line finds smooth dirt. Follow the water and the Arrowrock Road turns to Deer Creek Road which turns into the North Fork-Boise River Road. Bike packing and a couple days will have you reaching the middle fork of the Boise River. If you travel this far more roads open to continue other journeys. Spring days find the roads mostly empty especially during the week. On our evening ride the few campers along the route had already set up camp, their fires signaling us like lighthouses on each bend of the reservoir. One special note of caution – rattlesnakes are frequent and beautiful guests in these parts. We saw a juvenile swimming along the banks as we opened a few mid ride beers. And as a very old friend once told us, “There are a lot of things that sound like a rattlesnake but a rattle snake sounds like nothing else.” Ride well and be safe.