Skip to main content

 

Day 9

 

Shelby to Brady, MT


100 miles / 3,500 feet of elevation

 

When we left just outside of Shelby this morning it was 42° along with a stiff breeze – we were freezing as we rolled out on day 9.  We were however treated to a wide open “access road” next to the highway, with very few cars / trucks for the first 2.5 hours of our ride.  We saw more Turkeys across the wheat fields and simply enjoyed the rolling landscape all around us.


After about 2.5 hours on the roads next to the highway, we had to go up onto the highway shoulder, but today we had a 4’ shoulder and concrete highway.  This highway riding, even though the cars / trucks around us were going 70(+) mph, we felt like we were riding on a track!  Our speed (with a slight tailwind) were between 22-24 mph!  This pace assisted with a short, just less than 100 mile day and allowed us to undertake some late day bike maintenance.

 

Before ending our day though, we traveled along the Missouri River, through Great Falls and Belt, MT.  In Great Falls we got on a fantastic bike trail for about 10(+) miles.  This bike trail is great and if you find yourself in Great Falls with nothing to do, grab a bike and take a ride on their trail.  While on the trail Bob and Joe spied a skate / bike park and had to try it out – this, while in the middle of a 100 mile ride!



After 20 or so miles we traversed through the town of Belt – this was a truly magical detour through a wonderful Americana small town and was well worth the 1,000 feet or so of elevation loss / gain to go through Belt. 

Later in the day, after leaving Belt, we encountered multiple “hay trucks” on a highway with a small shoulder and guard rails – a tricky combination!  After experiencing several “hay truck encounters” (see photo) we reassessed and called it a day on this stretch of highway.


 


Popular posts from this blog

   Day 1   “They’re baaaack.”    That’s right, the same guys that spearheaded the RAA I (“Ride Across America I”) three years ago, Bob McCullough, Joe Geivett and Carl Forsberg are headed out on RAA II, this time the Northern Route across America. As you may recall, in August 2018 this group rode from San Diego, California to St. Augustine, Florida over 27 days, with a rest day in Austin, Texas.    RAA I was about 3,055 miles.    RAA II (who’s idea was this anyway, Bob?) is from Anacortes, Washington to Bar Harbor, Maine, our route is 4,251 miles.    One never has an appreciation for how much wider America is on its Northern border than its Southern border – until you map a bicycle route.    Due to scheduling considerations (the “vocation” as opposed to the “avocation”), we will ride from Anacortes to Minneapolis, Minnesota this year and pick back up in Minneapolis and ride to Bar Harbor this time next year.    (We hope to get a spectacular “New England Fall.”)    The first leg of RAA
  Day 3   Omak to Colville Another very big day:   116 miles and a 9,000-foot gain in elevation with most of this gain in the elevation occurring in miles 80-90 towards the end of the day (just when you thought the day couldn't get any tougher, oh yeah, “Here’s a huge, steep climb to end the day!”) Road Conditions:   We went from 3-foot shoulders with a “rumble strip” to 18 inch shoulders with no rumble strip to no shoulders!   And we have included here photos of some of the machinery going up the mountain passes right next to us – not for the faint of heart! Today’s weather:   We had it all today, a little rain in the morning out of Omak and then the day progressed to about 88° from Noon on, going into Colville.  Air quality from the fires was 151.  Oh, and we had near 15 mph headwinds for some of the mountain ascents and descents.  Some of these headwinds pushed us sideways while descending at near and above 40 mph.   Today’s story is about the ride, it was a very tough d
Day 2   Ross Dam Overlook to Okanogan   Pre day-2 discussion; Bob email to Joe and I:   “Surprise, our total elevation gain is over 8,000 feet, our estimated elevation gain was 1,600 feet off!  2,500 feet in 10 miles between miles 70-80.  Super steep!  Oh, and FYI, Wednesday is close to 9,000 elevation gain, not the 7,000 we had charted …”   Joe’s response, “Good to know Bob.”   105 miles; over 8,000 feet of elevation gain!  Tough, tough day in the saddle; this was one of the top 20 hardest centuries we have ridden and among the top 10 most beautiful.  Stunning vistas, truly a magnificent highway (Hwy. 20; which closes for about 4-5 months a year due to 20(+) foot snowfalls!  We encountered some smoke from long away forest fires and we saw tremendous damage from recent forest fires in the Okanogan National Forest.  Very sad, this forest will not likely come back in our lifetime. We had beautiful, well-maintained roads, with little shoulder but for the most part very courteous drivers.