Page 1

Cycling

bitterroot the

ravalli republic

MAY 2016

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Page 4 - Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016

In this issue

Montana Bicycle Celebration.............................6 A year of trail........................................................9 Bicycle rest area coming together...................11 Bike Walk Bitterroot is born..............................13 Bitterroot trailtowns...........................................15 Map of valley breweries.............................. 18-19 New cycling rest stop........................................20 Pedaling through heritage................................21 Why cyclists ride the way they do....................24 Branding the Bitterroot Trail.............................26 Falling in love while cycling .............................28 Cycling events in the Bitterroot Valley.............30

Cycling

bitterroot MAY 2016

the

ravalli republic

in partnership with

Cycling the Bitterroot is published by the Ravalli Republic & Missoulian Newspapers, divisions of Lee Enterprises

Mark Heintzelman, Publisher • Perry Backus, Associate Editor Project sales, Kathy Kelleher and Jodi Lopez Dara Saltzman, Production & Design Community Liaison, Kris Komar Cover Photo by Lance Pysher Cycling the Bitterroot is copyright 2016, Ravalli Republic. Photos on this page Courtesy of the Ravalli County Museum File photo

232 W Main, Hamilton, MT 59840 • ravallirepublic.com


Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016 - Page 5

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Page 6 - Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016

Montana Bicycle Celebration

Saara Snow

By Eva Dunn-Froebig Adventure Cycling Association

Hundreds of people from all over the world and throughout the United States have already made plans to travel to western Montana for the inaugural Montana Bicycle Celebration, July 15 – 17, to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Bikecentennial and the completion of the Bitterroot Trail. The weekend will include free, organized bike rides on the Bitterroot Trail, a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Bitterroot trail section at Travelers’ Rest State Park in Lolo, a bicycle expo at Silver Park in Missoula, Sunday Streets in downtown Missoula, and other social events with music, art, film and inspiring speakers. “The Montana Bicycle Celebration has the potential to be a Bloomsday on wheels,” says Donna Gaukler, director of Missoula Parks and Recreation, and a part-

ner of the Montana Bicycle Celebration, referring to Spokane’s foot race, the Lilac Bloomsday Run, which sees upwards of 50,000 participants. Many of the guests planning to be part of the Montana Bicycle Celebration also participated in Bikecentennial, a 4,250-mile cross country bike ride with over 4,000 cyclists to celebrate the bicentennial of the United States in the summer of 1976. Bikecentennial was planned in Missoula and the organization later changed its name to Adventure Cycling Association. Today, the nonprofit organization with a mission to inspire and empower people to travel by bicycle has over 50,000 members and more than 44,000 miles of bicycle routes, including the original TransAmerica Trail that was created for Bikecentennial. The TransAmerica Trail and the Lewis and Clark Trail, another Adventure Cycling route, travel through Missoula and use the Bitterroot Trail.


Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016 - Page 7

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Page 8 - Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016

John Sieber

“I have heard many times how the stretch between Lolo and Missoula on US 93 is one of the worst bits cyclists have pedaled on their 4,000 plus mile TransAmerica Trail journey,” commented Jenn Milyko, routes and mapping assistant director for Adventure Cycling. “I am thrilled to have those comments coming to end with the opening of the trail from Lolo to Missoula on the newly finished Bitterroot Trail.” Following a study by the University of Montana’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research found that touring cyclists spend $75 to $103 per day and stay an average of eight or more nights in Montana, partners of the Montana Bicycle Celebration and the communities along the trail wanted to highlight the completed Bitterroot Trail as a tourism destination. A new website – BitterrootTrail.com – provides year-round resources about businesses and services along the trail and serves as the event website for the Montana Bicycle Celebration. One of the highlights of the Montana Bicycle

Celebration will be free, organized bike rides on the Bitterroot Trail with varying distances and optional shuttles (for a small fee) on Saturday, July 16. The bike rides will range from 10 to 100 miles, making the event inclusive to people of all ages and experience levels, from kids riding with training wheels to veteran cyclists who did Bikecentennial. Registration for the free ride and a full schedule of events is available at MontanaBikeCelebration.com. Thanks to partners Adventure Cycling Association, Destination Missoula, Bike Walk Bitterroot, Bike Walk Alliance for Missoula, Missoula Parks and Recreation, Missoula in Motion, Missoula County Parks and Trails, Travelers’ Rest State Park and Windfall, the Montana Bicycle Celebration has the potential to grow each year and become a Blooomsday on wheels. Visit MontanaBikeCelebration.com to view a schedule of Montana Bicycle Celebration events and to register for the Bitterroot Trail Bike Ride on Saturday, July 16.


Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016 - Page 9

A year of trail: Mountain Biking in the Bitterroot

Photo Provided by

Lance Pysher

Bitterroot Backcountry Cyclists

January Snow is deep and the days short, meaning it’s the perfect time for Full Moon fat bike rides on the groomed roads at Skalkaho and Chief Joseph Pass. February Start planning for the Lost Trail Bike Fest. Meet

with the Forest Service to discuss trail maintenance plans. Watch plenty of bike videos. March Maybe it’s daylight saving time or maybe it’s the occasional warm day, but we remember the flat tire that is still flat since last year, or maybe the brakes that weren’t quite working at the end of last season. Dust off the bikes hidden in the back of the garage.


Page 10 - Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016

All those repairs that you meant to get to all winter suddenly become urgent. Suddenly the wrenches at Red Barn and Valley Bicycles are busy all day. April In a good year, or a bad year depending on your opinion of winter and the snow pack, there might have been a few days with trails dry enough to allow riding; most likely at Soft Rock or the lower portions of Coyote Coulee. By now most of the valley bottom trails have dried out. April 15 means the opening of the lower meadows at Calf Creek.

August Time to start checking wind directions. What should be prime riding is so often contingent on the prevailing winds and fires further west. Even then, a smoked-in valley doesn’t mean that there isn’t clear air higher up. Check those satellite maps. September Lost Trail Bike Fest. Not a race, just a chance to get together with friends, ride and the trails off the top of Lost Trail Pass, and then get shuttled back to the top for music and celebration.

May As the snow level rises we discover all the treasures the winter storms have left on the trails for us to clean up. With the bikes tuned up, now the chainsaws and blades get their turns. Handsaws are strapped to the bike frames to deal with the downfall. May 15, the rest of Calf Creek, at the end of Hamilton Heights Road, opens.

October For so long fall has been the time for the big backcountry adventure rides. By now we have cleared the trails so the rides are just for fun. Unfortunately 178 miles of prime backcountry trails in Wilderness Study Areas were closed to bikes this year. Right now we aren’t sure

June The busy season. People are getting itchy to head up to Warm Springs Ridge to ride the collection of sweet single track, but before then trees need to be moved off the trail, shrubs trimmed back, and water damage repaired.

what will replace them.

July Long days and warm temperatures. Time to head higher. Palisades Ridge is finally snow free. Just enough time for four and half hour after work rides. 13 miles of dirt road climbing and 6 miles of rocks, roots, and more rocky single track back down. Probably the highlight of our after work rides.

December: Snow, cold and dark. Perfect riding weather. Until the white stuff piles up too heavily, trails and fat bikes are a perfect match.

November: Some people have discovered that bikes and hunting are the perfect combination and one more excuse to buy yourself a fat bike.


Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016 - Page 11

Bicycle rest area coming together at fairgrounds Perry Backus by

Perry Backus

Stevensville Bicycle Camp Committee

Ran Pigman has never stood on a steadier ladder. At this moment, Pigman is perched near the ladder’s top as he installs the heavy bolt that will keep another leg of a new timber frame pavilion being built at Ravalli County Fairgrounds from falling over. Down below, most of the Trapper Creek Job Corps carpentry crew is making sure that his ladder stands still as they stare straight up to watch

Pigman’s progress. After months of preparation, the timber frame pavilion that will serve as the centerpiece of the fairground’s new bicycling rest stop started to take shape Wednesday afternoon. “When it’s done, it’s going to have a pretty cool look,” Pigman said. “It will be about 16 feet at the top and about 22 feet in diameter. People sitting at its base will be under cover.” Pigman is a longtime local builder who also has


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served for years on the fair board. He’s been happy to see this project that began with a Community Transportation Enhancement Program grant and a partnership with Trapper Creek Job Corps finally coming together. “It’s been going a little slower than what I’m used to in the private sector, but it’s also an education project,” Pigman said. “They are getting some good experience.” It’s been more than just the carpenters who have benefited from the partnership. Trapper Creek cement masonry students have built the foundations for the buildings and poured the new ramps that made the fairgrounds’ barns ADA compliant. Welders made the benches for inside the gazebo that people will enjoy for decades. Painters will help with the gazebo and the new restroom that’s being constructed at Trapper Creek. And before it’s all done, the natural resources students will finish the landscaping. “It’s really going to be a great addition to the fairgrounds,” said Fairgrounds Director Deb Rogala.

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along the bitterroot trail, Ice age Floods national Geologic trail, Lewis and Clark trail, nez Perce national Historic trail and the transamerica bicycle Path!

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The plan is to host a grand opening celebration in July. As use on bike path between Missoula and Hamilton grows, the expectation is the rest stop will be a nice place to relax, get a drink of water and maybe even ponder spending a night. Rogala said plans call for allowing bicyclists to camp in the shady area on the fairground’s north end. “We want to allow camping by donation,” Rogala said. “We haven’t put a lot of information out there yet, but we think people will use it.” Getting the cycling rest area wouldn’t have been possible without the partnership between the fairgrounds and Trapper Creek Job Corps. “We didn’t have enough money to pay traditional contractors,” Rogala said. “It’s really turned into an education project for them. It’s been great. The kids are learning a lot and now we’re at the point that it’s starting to pay off.” “I think people are going to like what they see is happening here,” she said.


Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016 - Page 13

Bike Walk Bitterroot is born

provided photo by

Matthew Rohrbach

Bike Walk Bitterroot Coordinator

The Bitterroot Valley has quickly become a destination for cyclists of all varieties. Between the Bitterroot Trail, the myriad of winding country roads that flank the Bitterroot mountains, and the mountains themselves, there is something for everyone. But beyond simply recreation, biking (and walking) are important aspects of every day mobility for many Bitterroot residents. In compliment to the vast recreational opportunities, Bitterroot Valley communities are places where biking and walking are supported as viable transportation options.

While the Bitterroot has done well to create an active community around biking and walking, there are always ways we can make it better. Bike Walk Bitterroot was created to work with community partners towards this aim. Bike Walk Bitterroot is a local advocacy organization comprised of residents, elected officials, community leaders and business owners working to maintain and improve biking and walking assets in the Bitterroot Valley. The group formed in the fall of 2015 as a local program of Bike Walk Montana, with a mission to “promote a healthy, economically strong, and culturally vibrant community of cyclists and pedestrians


Page 14 - Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016

by making biking and walking safe, convenient and accessible for users of all ages and abilities.” What it all boils down to is ensuring that biking and walking are safe and convenient transportation options in existing communities and capitalizing on the economic benefits surrounding cycling. The benefits of active communities (places that are bikeable and walkable) cover a wide spectrum ranging from public health and economics to the intangibles like creating a sense of place for residents. There is rising demand for communities to better serve the mobility needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities. There are economic benefits as well. Increasingly people young and old are choosing to live in places where they can safely walk or bike from their house to the grocery store, their child’s school, and their workplace. This trend has resulted in higher home values in walkable communities. A 2009 CEO’s for Cities study found that homes with above average levels of walkability were valued

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higher than houses with average walkability. While the study was done in large metropolitan areas, the message remains that, holding all else equal there is an increasing amount of value being placed on places that actively support biking and walking. Bike Walk Bitterroot’s hope is to work with Bitterroot communities on becoming even greater places for biking and walking. As anyone who has driven Highway 93 in the summer will attest, the Bitterroot Valley is a popular destination for bicycle touring. A 2013 study by the University of Montana’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research (ITRR) found that bicycle tourists in Montana spend $75 a day on average and stay eight nights or more in the state. Judging by the number of cyclists traveling through the Bitterroot each summer on the popular Trans American bike route, there are a lot of dollars passing through our valley on an annual basis, with a substantial economic impact for local businesses. Recognizing the economic opportunities for our community, Bike Walk Bitterroot is looking at ways to further identify the Bitterroot as a bicycle destination and help connect cyclists with the tools they need for the journey. In January of 2016 Bike Walk Bitterroot organized a strategic planning meeting with the help of Bike Walk Montana. Over 40 community members participated in this event and helped identified numerous actions for improving biking and walking in the Bitterroot Valley. Community priorities ranged from safe crossings on Highway 93 through Hamilton and safe routes to school programming to promoting the Bitterroot as a cycling destination and extending the Bitterroot Trail south to Darby and beyond. Bike Walk Bitterroot hopes to work with local public and private partners in the coming years to make these aspirations a reality. If you are interested in becoming a member of Bike Walk Bitterroot or would like information on how to get involved, contact Matthew Rohrbach at bikewalkbitterroot@gmail.com.


Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016 - Page 15

Bitterroot trailtowns Courtesy photo by

Kristine Komar

For

the

Ravalli Republic

A long lean valley with a communities dotted along the river that runs through it. A string of pearls? How about Trail Towns? The Trail Town Program in western Pennsylvania and Maryland “works in small rural towns focusing on community and economic development around trail tourism and outdoor recreation.” The Bitterroot Trail offers the opportunity for communities in the Bitterroot Valley to think along the same lines to develop trail tourism in the valley. Bittterroot ‘Trail Towns’ include: Lolo, Florence, Stevensville, Corvallis, Victor, Hamilton, Darby, Sula, and Conner. Organizations such as BikeWalk Bitterroot, Bitterroot Trail Preservation Alliance, and Main Streets are at work to encourage each com-

munity to design amenities and services attractive to cyclists. At this time, here are the offerings from each community. For information on the Bitterroot Trail, bitterroottrail.com Lolo Restaurants: A few. Coffee: Florence Coffee Company, Hunter Bay Coffee Brewery: Lolo Brewing Other: Bank machines, grocery store Florence Restaurants: A few. Coffee: Café Firenze Internet: (


Page 16 - Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016

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Other: Bank machines, grocery store, hardware store. Stevensville Restaurants: Several. Coffee: Big Dog Coffee, Bitterroot Star, Morningstar Caffeine & Cuisine, Florence Coffee Co. Internet/Wireless:North Valley Library Breweries: Blacksmith Brewery, Wildwood Brewing Camping: The Stevensville Hotel offers camping on their grounds. Showers available. Other: Bank machines/financial services, grocery store, medical clinic/pharmacy/physical therapy/ massage, library, Laundromat, art gallery, shipping services, hardware store.

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Corvallis Restaurants: Several. Coffee: Florence Coffee Co. Other: Bank and financial services, post office, convenience store, physical therapy, post office, hair salon. Victor Restaurants: Several. Coffee: Bitterroot Beanery Internet/Wireless: Other: Bank and financial services, post office, park (no restrooms), barber shop, churches, dental clinic/ chiropractor/physical therapy. Hamilton Restaurants: Many. Coffee: Coffee shops abound. Big Creek roasts their own beans.


Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016 - Page 17

Internet: The Bitterroot Library (State Street and Hwy 93) offers 24 hour/day wireless and has computers to use. Breweries: Higher Ground and the Bitterroot Brewery are along the Bitterroot Trail/Hwy 93 in the center of town. Good food and brews. Also, Backroad Cider. Camping: Campsite is available at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds. Restrooms but no showers. Bike Shop: Valley Bicycles, Red Barn Bicycles Other: Bank machines/financial services, grocery stores, Marcus Daly Memorial Hospital/ pharmacies/ physical therapy/massage, clothing, bookstore, barbers and salons, post office, laundromat, shipping, parks with restrooms and water, hardware stores, art galleries, computer service, churches, fly shops, gyms, Darby Restaurants: Darby has three restaurants and a c-store. Coffee: Darby Espress-O Internet: The Darby Library offers 24 hours/day wireless and has computers to use. Brewery: Bandit Brewery may be the smallest brewery in Montana but it’s a great place to meet the locals. Good beer, too. Camping: Campsites are available at Travelers Rest Cabins, just north of town. Showers also available.

Other: Bank and financial services, grocery store, Bitterroot Chamber of Commerce South Valley Visitor Center, physical therapy/massage, parks, churches, hardware store, fly shop Sula/Conner Restaurants: Sula Country Store and Resort, Rocky Knob Internet: Sula Country Store and Resort Camping: Sula Country Store and Resort Other: For more information: • For more about lodging and activities in the Bitterroot Valley: VisitBitterrootValley.com and BitterrootChamber.com. • See companion article in this edition of Cycling the Bitterroot for information on historic sites or VisitBitterrootValley.com/travel-guides for the Historic Bitterroot Valley Map & Guide. • Community Calendars can be found at: bitterrootevents.net and bitterrootARTS.org. • More about the Bitterroot Trail can be found at bitterroottrail.com.


1

2 3

LOLO

6201 Brewery Way Lolo, MT 59847 (406) 493-6231

BREWING COMPANY

114 Main St, Stevensville, MT 59870 (406) 777-0680

BREWING COMPANY

4 HIGHERGROUND

3 BLACKSMITH

4018 US Hwy 93 N Stevensville, MT 406-777-2855

BREWING

2 WILD WOOD

1 LOLO PEAK

BREWERIES OF THE BITTERROOT VALLEY

Page 18 - Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016


6

5

4

101 Marcus St, Hamilton, MT 59840 (406) 363-7468

308 E Tanner Ave, Darby, MT 59829 (406) 646-6003

BREWING CO.

Map provided by the Bitterroot Valley Chamber of Commerce

6 BANDIT

BREWING

518 N 1st St, Hamilton, MT 59840 (406) 375-5204

BREWING CO.

5 BITTER ROOT

Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016 - Page 19


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New cycling rest stop with camping area at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds Deborah Rogala by

Deborah Rogala

Ravalli Republic

The summer of 2016 will see the completion of a cycling rest stop in the heart of the Bitterroot Valley at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds. Built in partnership with Trapper Creek Job Corps and funded in part through a Transportation Alternative grant, this project will offer cyclists a shady respite complete with restroom, benches, and picnic tables under a timber frame pavilion. Begun in the spring of 2015, this project has been an educational opportunity for Trapper Creek Job Corps students, who, along with their instructors, have been an integral part every step of the way. From foundation through finish Trapper Creek Job Corps has incorporated input from trades taught at the center including: cement masonry, carpentry, weld-

ing, painting, and natural resources. This endeavor has become a source of pride for the students at Trapper Creek Job Corp and for the Ravalli County Fairgrounds. For cyclists traveling through the Bitterroot, the Ravalli County Fairgrounds will also offer overnight camping on the grounds north of the new rest stop. Water, restrooms, and picnic tables along with friendly advice on where to go for repairs, groceries, restaurants, brews, entertainment, and shopping will be available. Fees for camping will be by donation. As of yet, the Fairgrounds does not offer showers, but we are fortunate to have partners nearby that have both shower and laundry facilities. The new rest stop at the Ravalli County Fairgrounds welcomes all cyclists looking for a pit stop whether they are just touring around town or across the country.


Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016 - Page 21

Pedaling through the Bitterroot heritage landscape File Photo

by

Kristine Komar

Bitter Root Cultural Heritage Trust

When traveling by car, we whoosh by the details on the landscape. Not just the geographic features, its heritage and stories too. When you have the windows rolled up, you just aren’t able to hear the stories. Cycling affords a more leisurely, contemplative journey allowing us to discover and ponder the life and times of those who first lived in this place as well as those who shaped the current culture. All places have such to offer and the Bitterroot Valley welcomes cyclists to explore its rich history. Look for good advice on other sites to visit wherever you stop. You will be provided with a map/ guide of the Historic Bitterroot Valley or find it at www.visitbitterrootvalley.com/travelguides. Entering the Valley from the north on the Bitterroot Trail (Hwy 93), your first stop might be

Traveler’s Rest State Park. Turn west onto Hwy 12 and travel 1/4 mile on a paved path to the park. Travelers’ Rest is bicycle friendly (bike racks, water, restrooms) and the 51-acre site includes picnic shelters, a visitor center with interpretive exhibits on the Corps of Discovery and Native Americans, a small gift shop, and walking trails along Lolo Creek with good wildlife viewing – over 115 species of birds are recorded. Check the calendar for education programming and presentations. stateparks.mt.gov/travelers-rest/ Next stop Stevensville. Travel east along the paved path a short two miles into Stevensville. Along the way, stop at Fort Owen State Park. Just one acre surrounded by private property, Fort Owen boasts many “firsts” in the Valley – first Catholic Church, first permanent white settlement, first sawmill, first gristmill, first water rights, and first school, among other firsts – and several


Page 22 - Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016

File Photo

structures from 1850, interpretive signs, and artifact displays. The site is unstaffed and has vault toilets. www.stateparks. mt.gov/fort-owen/ Travel on into Stevensville to one of the most spectacular sites in the Valley, Historic St. Mary’s Mission. Just off Main Street on 4th Street (look for the signs). Father DeSmet established the Mission in 1841. The Mission Complex includes Father Ravalli’s Cabin and Pharmacy, St. Mary’s Chapel with attached residence hall, dining area, and kitchen and Chief Victor’s Cabin which

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Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016 - Page 23

houses a Salish museum and dove cote. There’s Age Floods National Geologic Trail. Here you will also a gift shop, picnic area, restrooms, and find a fine selection of books on the three trails as guided tours (in season) are offered throughout well as a National Park Passport stamping station the day. The well-preserved buildings and artifacts for the trails. The museum is bicycle friendly (bike of the Mission Complex afford visitors a look back racks, restrooms, and water). at the historic beginnings If you ride as far as of the birth of Montana and Darby, stop and see the the settlement of the West. Historic Darby Ranger www.saintmarysmission.org/ Station Visitor’s Center and While in Stevensville, Museum built between drop by the Stevensville 1937-39 by the CCC. The Historical Museum at 517 building has been lovingly Main Street. You’ve been to restored and it seems as many small town museums if the staff must have left and the best part here as for just a minute to get at most is talking with the the mail. If you’ve read photo courtesy of the Ravalli County Museum The Big Burn, you’ll find old timers who volunteer to keep them open. They some related material here can usually spin a yarn or as well as artifacts, maps, two that gets you thinking and photographs telling as you ride along. www.stethe story of the rugged vensvillemuseum.com individuals who staffed this Back on the Bitterroot “isolated” ranger station. Trail, the next stop is Victor The Darby Pioneer Heritage Museum at the Memorial Museum at East corner of Main and Blake Tanner and Hwy 93. The in Victor. The museum is museum is housed in one housed in the relocated of the first hand-hewn historic Victor Depot and homestead cabins built in File Photo boasts a finely restored buildthe area and is the repository ing inside and out featuring for the extensive collection railroad artifacts as well as of both home and busilocal history. www.victorherness artifacts saved by local itagemusuem.org. There pioneer families. Step into are restrooms and water the museum and you’ll feel available at the museum you’ve fallen into a time when it is open. portal. If you have only one The historic Lake Como place to stop, make it the Schoolhouse is a little over Ravalli County Museum a mile south of town. At the in 205 Bedford, Hamilton. intersection of Hwy 93 and Housed in the AJ Gibson Old Darby Road, turn north designed historic county you’ll find nice grounds photo courtesy of the Bitterroot National Forest courthouse, the museum for a picnic. A few hunboasts exhibits on County history as well as the dred yards beyond you’re at FWP’s Darby Bridge three National Trails traversing the valley: The Memorial Fishing Access on the Bitterroot River Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail, the Nez Perce where you will find a vault toilet. (Nee-Me-Poo) National Historic Trail, and the Ice


Page 24 - Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016

Why bicyclists ride the way they do when they ride the way they’re supposed to

By Melinda Barnes Bike Walk Montana Executive Director

Why is that bicyclist riding in the middle of the travel lane @*?&#*??? You may have heard this (I certainly have) or you may have been the one saying this. I will be the first to admit that not all bicyclists (and not all drivers) follow the rules of the road nor ride in a safe and prudent manner, but it is important to understand why bicyclists ride the way they do. So, just why is that bicyclist riding out there where

cars drive? Believe it or not, it may be safer for the following reasons: • There may not be a shoulder or bike path/lane to ride in; • The shoulder or bike lane may not be safe due to potholes, debris, gravel or parked cars; • Riding too close to parked cars puts a bicyclist at risk of being “doored” meaning hit by opening car doors; • Riding on the white line or edge of the travel lane increases the risk of the bicyclist being hit by a


Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016 - Page 25

passing car; • Riding in the middle of the travel lane forces the driver behind to slow down and change lanes to pass the bicyclist instead of trying to squeeze by in the same lane; • It is far less likely for a bicyclist to be hit from behind then from a passing or turning vehicle. Most times, a bicyclist will need to “take the lane” in order to safely traverse through the intersection. The only time a bicyclist should be treated as a pedestrian is when they are riding on a sidewalk or in a crosswalk, which they are allowed to do. There are some very nice drivers who go above and beyond being courteous to bicyclists, which unknowingly puts the bicyclist in a more perilous situation. For example, if the bicyclist is waiting to cross a street, they do not automatically have the right of way and should not be given the right of way (unless they are physically in the crosswalk acting as a pedestrian). There are several reasons for this:

• The yielding driver does not have full control of the intersection and cannot prevent other drivers coming from behind or making a turn and hitting the bicyclist who would then be crossing the road out of turn; • If the bicyclist is turning into the same lane the driver is in and there are no other cars in that lane, the bicyclist would much rather ride behind that car then in front of it; • A bicyclist plans their crossings and turnings according to traffic flow. Yielding drivers break this, potentially forcing bicyclists into unsafe scenarios or making it even more difficult to cross. For example, the bicyclist plans to cross as soon as the car goes by but the car stops, causing the bicyclist to lose that opportunity due to cars coming from the other direction who are not yielding and should not be yielding. Bottom line - bicyclists are considered vehicles with the same rights and responsibilities and need to act and be treated as vehicles.

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Page 26 - Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016

Branding the Bitterroot Trail

Coutesy of Windfall Studios by

Tia Metzger

Windfall Studios

The Bitterroot Trail is about connection—connecting with each other, the land and the rich history of the Bitterroot Valley. And, much like the trail, branding is also about connection. Brand identity for the Bitterroot Trail helps symbolize its greatness, maintain a thriving community and preserve exploration in the valley. It connects adventure seekers and outdoor enthusiasts from far and wide with everything the area has to offer. Windfall, Inc.—a Montana advertising agency located at the northern endpoint of the Bitterroot

Trail in Missoula—enthusiastically donated time and talent to the endeavor, working closely with the Montana Bicycling Celebration Committee and Bitterroot Trail Preservation Alliance to create an invaluable brand identity that befits the majestic trail. Windfall collaborated with a consortium of public and private sector groups including Adventure Cycling Association, Bike Walk Alliance for Missoula, Bike Walk Bitterroot, Destination Missoula, Florence Civic Club, Missoula County Parks & Trails, Missoula in Motion, Missoula Parks & Recreation, Stevensville Main Street Association and Travelers’ Rest State Park to actualize the brand identity just prior to the


Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016 - Page 27

completion of the Missoula to Lolo section of the trail – the final eight miles to be built. Brand development consisted of monthly meetings with the consortium, public input meetings with Missoula and Bitterroot groups and brand presentations to both. Windfall’s goal was to capture the 30 years of dedication, hard work and enthusiasm that was necessary to complete the 50-mile trail that stretches from Missoula to Hamilton. The logo’s emblem shape was inspired by the U.S. Forest Service logo. The color palette is organic and natural—earthy brown, fresh shades of green, and a splash of pink for the iconic flower that gave the Bitterroot Valley its name and makes the logo unique to the area. Pine trees flank the path along the bottom of the logo, creating depth. The path winds up through the landscape into the mountain silhouette that represents the area from Stevensville to Hamilton, drawing your eye upwards to the text. The Bitterroot font is strong and substantial, while the Trail font adds a playful flair. As versatility is key to any good logo, the Bitterroot Trail logo text can stand alone with or without the flower icon. The flower icon can easily Serving the Bitterroot the finest since 2005

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stand alone as well. There is also a badge option available sans text, with just the landscape, trail, and flower icon. The logo can be used in a multitude of mediums from signage and wayfinding to digital applications, and the supporting brand guide will help each community along the trail use the logo in a consistent and cohesive manner, which strengthens brand integrity. The result is a brand that successfully represents the full spectrum of the communities along the trail and attracts worldwide visitors and locals alike, motivating them to get outdoors, enjoy unlimited access to recreation opportunities, and connect with the natural beauty of the Bitterroot Valley, its merchants and its residents. The brand takes center stage on the trail’s recently launched website, which includes an interactive trail map, events calendar and community information. See for yourself at BitterrootTrail.com.

This Summer

Celebrate the Year of the Bike

in Stevensville! The Historic Hotel will host the new Bike Camp starting in June. We will also offer a $10 discount to Bicyclists wanting to stay in the Hotel.

Stevensville Bike and Brew Saturday, July 16, 2-8pm 2nd and Main Sponsored by the Stevensville Main Street Association 406-777-3773 stevensvillehotel.com 406-777-3087


Page 28 - Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016

Falling in love while cycling across America By Mac McCoy Adventure Cycling

In 1975, Barbara Brushe was 23 years old and working as a nurse in Hawaii. One day she was on a bike ride with a co-worker, who asked her if she had heard about the upcoming bicycle tour across America being organized by group in Missoula, Montana, called Bikecentennial. Until then she had not, but she was immediately intrigued. She decided she’d like to give it a shot.

She bought a Fuji S10-S bike and quit her job. “I went home to Oregon six weeks before the trip to train,” Barb said. “I was really excited about it.” Bill Samsoe, meanwhile, was working at a ski area in northern Wisconsin at the time. “A high school friend had told me about American Youth Hostels,” he said. “I got involved with them and that’s where I met Bonnie and Tim Leifer,” the couple who would be in charge of leadership training for Bikecentennial. One thing led to


Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016 - Page 29

another, and Bill was assigned to lead a cross-country camping trip on the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail, leaving Reedsport, Oregon, on June 15, 1976. The stage was set for Bill and Barb to meet, because she was scheduled to leave Reedsport on the same day with a group that would be staying indoors rather than camping. “I remember seeing him,” Barb recalled, “a neatlooking guy and interesting, too, a real athlete and a nice guy. But I was dating a guy in Honolulu and wasn’t interested in developing a relationship with anybody.” That would change, as Bill’s group and the group Barb was in followed a similar schedule as they proceeded across the country. A little past the halfway point, near Cassoday, Kansas, Bill, Barb, and another rider spent the day together. “I remember it being so hot,” said Barb. “It was one of those days Bill wanted to be away from his group. That’s where I thought: He’s a really great guy; really, really neat.” “There were so many grasshoppers on the road that we were crunching them with our tires,” recalled Bill. “After Bikecentennial, I moved to Dallas and became a flight attendant for Braniff Airways,” Bill said. Barb went back to nursing in Hawaii, but the two started exchanging letters. “Braniff flew to Hawaii once a day,” Bill said. “So that spring we planned to meet there during one of my layovers. Less than a year had gone by since the Bikecentennial ride, and it was a huge experience in my life. At that time it wasn’t just about seeing Barb. To be able to share the Bikecentennial memories with anyone who also experienced it was a big deal. “We only had 15 minutes together, but it was the start of something fantastic.”

Eventually, Barb moved to Dallas to be with Bill. He soon proposed, and he and Barb were married in 1978. They’ve raised a son and a daughter, Erik and Kelly, in the Bitterroot Valley. “Our property is right off the original TransAmerica Trail,” Bill said. “During Bikecentennial I remember reading on my map that the population of Florence was 40. Today it’s 765.” This story is excerpted from America’s Bicycle Saara Snow Route: The story of the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail. A piece about the book appears on page >>>>> Commemoration

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Page 30 - Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016

Cycling events

in the Bitterroot valley

Photo Provided

By PERRY BACKUS Ravalli Republic

Every summer, a number of Bitterroot Valley organizations offer bicyclists an excuse to come together to enjoy a quiet ride through the countryside or work up a healthy sweat in a miles-long race for the finish line. This summer is no different. So take a look, circle the date and get ready to ride this summer and fall.

Saturday, June 18: Spokes & Suds for CASA The 4th annual Spokes & Suds for CASA fundraiser ride will start and finish at Kiwanis Park in Hamilton. In between, riders will enjoy a 35 to 40 mile route through some of the Bitterroot Valley’s most scenic landscapes as it winds from the Westside Road to Lost Horse and around the Lick Creek Road to Lake Como. Check-in begins at 9:30 a.m. with the ride starting at 10 a.m.


Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016 - Page 31

Photo Provided

This year’s event has added something new for the younger folk who aren’t quite ready to pedal that far. A super hero themed “Root Beer Float Ride” for children and their families will meander from the Kiwanis Park through Hamilton and return in time to enjoy the festivities at Kiwanis Park. “We wanted to try to broaden the event and make it more family friendly,” said Lisa Spencer, Bitterroot CASA’s development coordinator. “All of the proceeds from the event will stay right here in Ravalli County to help Bitterroot CASA.” The long ride costs $40 to enter. Riders will receive a jersey, a bag, a couple of beer tokens and a complimentary raffle ticket. The root beer float ride cost $10 to enter or $30 for a family of four. Children will receive a root beer

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Page 32 - Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016

Lance Pysher

float and backpack filled with goodies. All riders will meet back at Kiwanis Park for a celebration between 2 and 5 p.m. that includes music by David Batty, activities, raffles and more. The CRAVE food truck will there. To learn more or get a registration form, go online to http://bitterrootcasa.org/spokes-suds-for-casa/ Sunday, July 17: Tour of the Bitterroot 2016 The Bitter Root Land Trust’s annual Tour of the

Bitterroot ride offers something for every age. The Skalkaho Mountain Tour is a chance to get your heart pounding and test your mountain-biking ability with a reward of stunning views of the Sapphire and Bitterroot mountain ranges. The ride begins promptly at 7 a.m. and is for riders ages 15 to 75 years of age. For those looking for something a bit more leisurely, the Sleeping Child Ride travels up a scenic road for about 18 to 20 miles. The rides is an out and back on the same route, which makes is convenient for those looking for something shorter. The rolling start occurs


Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016 - Page 33

between 9 and 11 a.m. The Kidz Dirt Road Derby gives youngsters a chance to engage some friendly competition with a one-mile race around McCarthy Loop followed by a straight quarter mile dash to the front of Red Barn Bicycles. The event starts at 1:30 p.m. All of the rides will wrap up at Red Barn Bicycles with a barbecue featuring pulled pork and lots of tasty side dishes from Homestead Organics. Bitterroot Brewing will provide the micro-brew and Pinegrass with Jack Mauer and friends the music. Registration for the tour is $35 if the registration is completed before July 10. After July 10, the registration fee is $50. To learn more, go to http://www.tourofthebitterroot. org/ Saturday, July 27: Lake Como Triathlon

lenge, the annual Lake Como Triathlon offers the perfect venue. The rugged event includes a chilly, 1,500-yard openwater swim in Lake Como, a 12.6-mile mountain bike ride on Forest Service roads and single-track trails and a 7.7 mile trail run around the lake. Competitors can enter as a solo competitor or join a team. The $75 entry fee for individuals or $150 for teams benefits a number of organizations, including the Lost Trail Ski Patrol, Lake Como Trails Club, Ravalli County Search & Rescue, and Trapper Creek Job Corps Student Government. Visit 222.lakecomotri.com for more information or to register. A catered lunch is included with the entry fee. The event is followed by the beer-tasting Brewfest in Hamilton.

For those looking for the ultimate physical chal-

Lance Pysher


Page 34 - Cycling the Bitterroot, May 25, 2016

Saturday, Aug. 27: Bitterroot Classic Triathlon So you’ve survived the event at Lake Como and are ready for more. The 10th annual Bitterroot Classic Triathlon will give athletes just that with 750 yard swim at the Bitterroot Aquatic Center followed by a 20 kilometer bike ride and finish with a five-mile kilometer run. The event benefits Emma’s House Children’s Advocacy Center. This year’s event features two races for kids. A juniors race will give 12 youngster a chance to participate in a mini-triathlon that includes a 75 yard swim, 1 mile bike ride and a half mile run. A race for younger kids will follow. To learn more, go to www.bitterrootclassictriathlon. com September 9 – 11: Lost Trail Bike Fest and Shuttle Extravaganza

Lance Pysher

M ontana A ll M ountain A dventures We are an Outdoonry Adventure Compa

• Guided Hiking • Mountain Biking s • Sightseeing Day Tour

re information:

Visit our website for mo

nadventures.com

montanaallmountai

406-363-4719 available by phone 3pm Saturday rough Friday; 10am10am-6pm monday th

A perfect way to wrap up the summer on twowheels awaits mountain biking enthusiasts at the annual Lost Trail Bike Fest and Shuttle Extravaganza. The unique event features days filled with exploring some of the trails that spill off the top of Low Trail Pass ski area, with evenings enjoying music or a movie played on the side of the ski lodge. The trails offer 18 to 21 miles of serious intermediated to advanced riding and nearly 4,000 feet of vertical descent. There’s also some good uphill stretches to keep everyone honest. At the bottom of the mountain, there’s a shuttle waiting to carry you and your bike up to top for the start of another ride. The shuttle will run every 30 to 60 minutes from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10. There will be live music from two bands from 7 to 11 p.m. Saturday night. On Friday, people can enjoy a fun mountain biking movie. A $75 registration fee includes all the shuttle rides on Saturday, a LT Bike Fest T-shirt, dinner Saturday night, camping, live music and a movie. After August 15th, the registration fee will increase. To learn more, go to www.ltbikefest.com


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Cycling the Bitterroot 2016  

Your guide to biking in the Bitterroot Valley, Montana

Cycling the Bitterroot 2016  

Your guide to biking in the Bitterroot Valley, Montana

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