This is part 1 in a series of blog posts that I am dedication to my favorite photos of 2009. Today’s inductee and now a resident in my “Plains” photo album is “Pipestone”. In the far distance you can see four riders Sten, Bob, Zephanie, and Chad, who had just missed a right hand turn.

First off I would like to step up on the podium for an announcement. Bob Waggoner and his company Triple Ring Productions are responsible for the Butte 100 and the 8 Hours of Labor mountain bike races. I believe Montana’s best. TRP is my sponsor this year as well so not only check out these races but if you get a chance let Bob know how much he is appreciated by us mountain bikers. Hey, if you don’t want to race those races are great fun and also fun to volunteer in.

Stepping off now today’s favorite photo ties in nicely with what I just mentioned. Last winter I was preparing for the 24 Solo Worlds and decided to stay on the bike all winter instead of ski. Not only a bike but a mountain bike. Bob made this possible by hosting a dozen Pipestone trips which looking back was like mini training camps.

The objective was dirt and we got lots of it. Zephanie and Chad joined me in the other side of pipestone when we got introduced to the mud on a rainy day but for the most part Pipestone is a dry oasis in the middle of winter to go mountain biking. If anyone wants to go I am sure Bob and I can set something up.

Most of the time it was Sten, Rich, Long lost Jim, Bob and I. We met and we made dirt angles (you must see one to understand). This photo was taken after a long fast downhill stretch going back to the vehicles. Along the way just before a right hand turn is a junk pile that includes some old rusty car chassis. I mean real old, like model T style. I stopped for a vantage point that I thought made me feel at home here in the west. An old mode of transportation enjoying retirement with a good view. New mountain bike contraptions whizzing by. Kind of a bicycles triumph over the big iron fossil fuelers.

Then it is Pipestone, dry, old west, and it middle of winter. i see this photo and it brings me back to the good old days of Bobs training camps. Next year we must do it again. for now, damn its looking like spring.

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