Ride One - Beartooth SummitThe main goal of the weekend, and the ride that we traveled to Red Lodge for - was the Beartooth Summit, the high point on the Beartooth Highway between Billings, MT and Yellowstone National Park. I haven't done many rides prettier than this one. It was a hard, long climb, but I got it done - which give me some confidence about covering the 150 miles at Bike MS in a couple of weeks. My GPS log of the ride can be found here: http://www.strava.com/activities/151055013
We started the ride in Red Lodge, about 32 miles from the summit. As you can see from the elevation profile below, it is all climbing on the way up - no rolling hills, no relief. Thankfully the grade is not too steep, it was just a long grinder.
|Beartooth Summit Elevation Profile|
|Jan in the Foothills|
|Rex at about 8,500 ft|
|View at 10,000 feet|
|The Obligatory "Bike in Snow" Picture|
And here's Jan and I at the summit. We happened to be wearing matching bike jerseys from Boneyard Beer in Bend, OR - which looks pretty funny in this picture. On facebook, Jan's friend called us the "Pirates of the Beartooth". I like it!
|Pirates of the Beartooth!|
We didn't stop for pictures on the way down. It gets pretty darned cold at 10,000 feet when you're barreling down a mountain at 30 to 40 miles per hour. For the first 1/3 of the descent I had to constantly work my fingers around to keep them from going numb. It warmed up quickly, though, and soon enough we were back at the house for a shower, nap, and drive to Billings to return Jan's rental bike.
Ride Two - Upper Luther Road
Sunday was definitely a recovery ride for me. I think Jan would have had no problem pulling off another tough ride, but I didn't have the legs for it. We ended up riding a 21 mile out-and-back on Highway 78 north out of Red Lodge towards Columbus, MT, turning around after a short segue on Upper Luther Road. This was also a very pretty ride - rolling green farmland nestled against the mountains. The GPS log of the ride can be viewed here: http://www.strava.com/activities/151256714
|Rolling Green Hills on Hwy 78|
Not much else to say about this ride, except my legs held up well and I got to ride Rick's '87 Schwinn SuperSport for the second time this year. That bike is still fun to ride.
|The Pink Bike!|
It looks like Upper Luther Road would have been a great ride - continued rolling hills in lush green farmland with little to no traffic. But, I thought it best if I turn around while my legs still felt okay as we had plenty of hills to climb on the way back.
All in all, it was a great weekend of cycling, contributing most of the 100+ miles I put in last week. I have more work to do, but I think I'll be okay for the MS Ride later this month...