|Our little peloton leaving Bozeman|
My family and I pulled off the 3rd BKMP on the 4th of July. We had 15 riders, some new, and several who have ridden in either both or one of our previous populaires. What we lacked in the quantity of riders, we more than made up for in quality!
We had a perfect weather day. Pleasantly warm temperatures, no precipitation, and very little wind. We also had a new course this year, 6 miles shorter for a true 100 kilometers (62 miles), with a little less climbing and a lot less traffic-thanks primarily to Gallatin County paving more and more back roads. I had nothing but positive feedback on the route, so we’ll probably stick to it for next year.
As for volunteer help-we who rode really hit the jackpot. All our stops, even the information checkpoints, had volunteers, dutifully and happily waiting for us with cool drinks and lots of munchies. If a rider went hungry or thirsty-and I don’t think anyone did-it was their own fault! Many, many thanks to my wife Brenda who coordinated the whole thing (on her birthday!)-with lots of help from my sister-in-law Deborah who came all the way from Georgia to help. Thanks goes out to all our ride volunteers led by my son Jackson, nephews Austin and Jameson, Billy and Mindy Horne, LaVerna Schmidt, Deb Korrison, and Danielle and Shannon Karp. All these people got up earlier than they needed to on a holiday and drove all over the valley from checkpoint to checkpoint to look after us. Also thanks to sister Jody and many other family members for shopping for all the goodies, and for brother Travis and his son Austin for marking all the turns-a service rarely available for randonneuring rides.
|Springhill Church rest stop|
My brother Clay and his boys Darren and Derek, who rode last year, traded in their bikes for their cameras for this one and took hundreds of photos. They were with the riders every step of the way, snapping pictures and cheering us on-along with Danielle with her cow bell.
Personally, I got in a group of six guys-all of whom were happy to ride about the same speed-and take a generous amount of time at each of the rest stops. So I absolutely had a ball. I seldom get into such a well suited group for that long. It was just a lot of fun.
The MVP performance of the day has to go to my sister Jody Schmidt who took on this ride despite a very limited amount of training miles. Jody suffered plenty through the last 15 miles or so, but gutted it out and got done with plenty of time to spare. A truly great accomplishment and a really inspiring moment.
Thanks to all who came out to ride, volunteer, or just watch and wish us well. I know mom was looking down with great pride and joy.
What a fun event!