The souls started to gather and soon they heading out from the Rattlesnake Trailhead. Along the way Jill Homer joined us and at the top of a climb Dave Chenault. I was among the group heading up to Blue Point on the Missoula Thursday Night Ride and it’s longest ride of the season (I think). Soon we caught up to Lydia Larsen on her new 29er. We were all together as we should have been at that moment in time climbing, climbing, climbing. [video]
Heat was taking its toll as everyone was sweating like a worker in the devils kitchen. What we were cooking was a entree of wild flowers casserole with a sprinkling of black bear sightings.
Speaking of beauty there is a new section just above Marshall Grade that is really cool to ride. It goes on the South Eastern side of the ridge and into a thick stand of evergreens that make it seem like the Black Forest of Robin Hood lore.
As the trail goes I was successful for the first time on “The Switchback” a tasty little rutted switchy that in the past was imposable. If you have done the Sheep Mountain Trail you know of what I speak. hear me well … it is totally rideable now.
“The Grunt” is a long quarter mile of hell single-track that is rutted and has raised roots as a weapon against the weakened mountain biker. As you start up it you think that it is reasonable but soon enough the pitch gets steeper and steeper. I have made it numerous times but only by suffering. Tonight was not meant to be as I was defeated by one of the first roots right as I went by a walking Dave.
Blue Point is a great ride with great open meadow / ridgeline single track. Once at the turn around point you can relax and take in the views and dance with the mosquitoes. We chatted and then descended. Just to show Jill Homer how adapt I am on a bike I approached her at one point and did a over the bars slow-mo dismount planting the chain ring into my thigh … ouch. I am sure it was very entertaining.
The group decided to milk what was a great evening by riding down the Sidewinder Trail and the Son Of Sidewinder Trail. Along the way I heard something climbing a tree and thought it was a porcupine. Until it stood on its hind legs and I realized mama bear was a little annoyed that we scared the little on into the tree. We gingerly continued, leaving the bear duo to its privacy.
In the end it was a evening that you measure life by. It was great and the way it should be … perfect. It cant get any better then it got last night.