Another cool fact about this ride: There are currently 5 active Randonneurs USA members in the State of Montana, and we had all five on this ride. This is especially terrific because all the guys came from very different places in the State. We had Mike Biggle from Great Falls, Joshua Loveland from Helena, Karel Stroethoff from Missoula, Ken Billingsley from Molt, and myself from Belgrade. That's a lot of miles traveled to ride in our little 'ol brevet series.
|Mike Biggle, Ken Billingsley, Jason Karp, Karel Stroethoff, and Joshua Loveland|
We were all back together at the next control in Ennis where we refueled for the beyond category (for me anyway) climb over the Virginia City Hill. Mike cruised up the hill easily and was soon out of site. Joshua and Karel spun a nice steady pace and were well ahead of me. Ken, who took the early part of the climb easy, caught me about half way up and gave me a nice push before he rode past. How he can do that and not wipe out I'll never know, but it was pretty fun while it lasted. Karel stopped at a scenic turnout to take some pictures and Joshua stopped on the false summit 1 mile from the top to help a guy in a pickup with a flat tire-calling a bunch of phone numbers trying to find somebody to rescue the poor guy. Everybody climbed well, although I need to lose about 10 more pounds of winter flab-that really slowed me down. We caught up to Mike briefly in Sheridan as he was having lunch in a small café. The rest of us settled for the grocery store and a shady spot on the bank lawn across the street. Mike was underway again just as we were chowing down.
In Twin Bridges, Ken, Karel, and I stopped to check out the town's bike camp. The town of Twin Bridges set up a small building and camping area for touring cyclists. It has a sink, toilets, and a shower, along with maps, tools, and other essential items for the cross-country tourist. Cyclists can stay free of charge (though a donation is encouraged). In exchange, it's hoped the cyclists will drop a few dollars in the town. It's a neat idea. I hope they can keep it going. Reading the guest book, it is obviously much appreciated by those who have passed through.
|Twin Bridges Bike Camp|
Many, many thanks to my fellow Montana Randonnuers for all coming out and making for such an enjoyable, and even historic day. And as always, many thanks to my wife Brenda, and son Jackson for supporting us so well and having a meal prepared for us at the finish.
Our 109K 4th of July populaire is just around the corner and then it's on to our 400K on July 20. If those days are half as nice I'll be happy. Ride results and a link to more photos are HERE.