Grand Ride in Bitterroots

Good morning from Missoula Montana where I enter into a much deserved rest week after a 3 week block of some pretty fun hill intervals and some long weekend rides. I am lucky to find sun and fun each weekend and not get killed in the South Hills of Missoula during my week day after work hill sessions. It’s been a pretty good block.

In the last three weeks I have been on the bike for 50.99 hours, 431.02 miles, 37,356 vertical feet of climbing, 110 bpm average heart rate, 143 bpm average interval heart rate. For me a pretty bold undertaking (specially with a full time job).

This year I am sitting at 925 miles for the year, the most since 1997.  109 hours, also the most since 1997. I love training and stats … have you figured that out yet?

Yesterday I did a road bike ride in the Bitterroot Valley and I must say it is one of my top road bike rides of all times. The terrain, dry roads, and spectacular views made it a keeper.

I parked my car in the parking lot of the Stevensville Super 1 and headed to the East Side Highway. The first town to go through is Stevensville which is a pretty cool town with a nice little western downtown.

Down the road a bit was Corvallis with its New England look.  I am reminded of some of my road bike rides in CT at I pass some church like buildings made into antique shops and ice cream parlors. Cool little village.  What made this ride was all the small towns to go through.  In Montana you are lucky just to reach one other town where as in the East you roll through many.

Next came Hamilton with its big brewery and cool shops downtown. I wouldn’t mind living in this town but one gets the feeling like there is serious money in this hamlet.  From there I climbed towards the Bitterroot Mountains to do the West Side Road (route shown me by Jim :).

The last part is my favorite as I swung East and headed towards Skalkaho Pass.  In the summer you can travel to the falls and the road turns to dirt.  With a cross bike this ride is awesome. I made it to the gate and the snow was deep and I ran into a closed gate (couldn’t go any further anyway).

I met some nice folks and they took my photo before I headed back to the car. I fully recommend this route.  In all it is 88.66 miles with about 1.5 thou feet of climbing, a very fun, easy, and scenic ride.

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