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.