Divide Ride Montana – July 17, 2012


Today we rode from Condon to Seeley Lake.  The Standing Stones B & B provided a wonderful breakfast of eggs, sausage, french toast with huckleberries, fresh fruit, fried potatoes and banana bread………yummy!  We didn’t get a very early start….our room looked like a tornado went through and scattered biking gear all over.  Took a while to get reorganized and we finally got on the bikes about 8:40am.  

The route started with a little over 8 miles of pavement.  Deb managed to make it to about mile 7 before she fell over, scraped her leg and broke her rear brake.  She was moving along at a fast clip of about 1.5 mph when she attempted to turn around and take yet another picture of a horse (she took at least 20 horse photos yesterday).  She swore before the start of the ride she wouldn’t take anymore but apparently she couldn’t resist.  Luckily the ride director happened by and was able to radio the ride mechanic that she needed repairs.  The director did a quick fix to get her by and we rode on and met up with the mechanic a few miles later.  

We left the pavement and started climbing on dirt roads.  I saw a man riding a horse and leading a string of loaded pack horses.  They were on a trail that crossed the road I was on.  The route turned off the dirt road and went onto a more primitive logging/snowmobile trail.  It was rough in spots and there was even a small section of single track trail.  We had to lift our bikes over a few downed trees that were across the trail.  There was one short hill on the single track section that was so steep it would’ve been difficult to just walk up.  It was made even more difficult to walk and push a heavy bike up.  It was a very narrow trail and we walked much of it.  Deb decided at one point that it was rideable……shortly after that she had her second wreck of the day.  I happened to be below her and had my camera out to take a shot of her riding on the trail.  I laughed and took pictures of her laying on the ground instead.  

At mile 21.5 was the start of a very steep 5.5 mile climb.  The ride director met us on the road at that point and asked if we wanted to SAG to the top.  So we accepted his ride and skipped what probably would’ve been mostly a long section of pushing our bikes.  He dropped us off at the start of the second single track section.  It was a very primitive, rocky, narrow trail.  There were several downed trees and some dicey parts where there were big drop offs right next to the trail.  We climbed for about 3 miles and made it to the top of the pass.  We left our bikes near the trail and walked up a short distance to enjoy the view of an alpine basin.  It was a pretty amazing sight.  

The next section of single track was all downhill……still a very narrow, rocky trail with small pine trees and brush whacking you on the arms and legs as you rode.  I wore my video camera on the way down, so should have some pretty good footage.  I made it about 100 feet before I had my first crash.  I could not get my left foot unclipped from my pedal and couldn’t lift my bike because it was hung up on a tree.  Deb came along behind me as I struggled.  Instead of helping me free my foot right away, she has to get her phone out and start taking pictures.  She is such a true friend.  I managed to make it about a mile before I crashed again.  This time I clipped a small pine tree with my left bar end.  It caused my handlebar to turn sharply to the left, dumping me over hard to the right.  I scraped my leg up pretty good.  Thankfully I had managed to get up before Deb arrived, so no pictures taken.  

I survived the rest of the downhill unscathed.  Deb admitted to having another small crash, but no major injuries.  We arrived at the rest stop and sat a short while and refueled.  The final 11.5 miles were downhill rollers and weren’t too bad.  We were glad to arrive in Seeley Lake and get checked into our motel.  We cleaned up and walked down to a steakhouse and had an excellent meal, enjoying the view of the lake.  We managed to check Big Sky Sunny Honey Ale off the beer list.  Tomorrow is a layover day and we’re going to be glad to give our bodies a rest.

We rode a total of 40 miles and climbed 3,704 feet.  We spent 5 hours and 38 minutes in the saddle and had an average speed of 7.1 mph.  We managed to burn about 2,300 calories.




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