The Bitter

I went on a ride today I call “The Bitter“. Its close to a 45 mile loop and with some extra logistics could be the grounds for a underground race. Well, one can scheme … right?

The loop is some of my favorite trails but early morning things did not look good. I had no energy today. I was able to venture out to City Brew  but soon the scones and coffee wore off and I was asleep on the couch. I had to go to the Red Barn in Hamilton to get my shifter looked at and my front wheel fixed. After 138 miles the front wheel to my cross bike had a bad case of stink bearing and loose spokes. Tomorrow is my 6 hour pace simulation so I had to get going or risk not making it to Hamilton before Chad left. I struck out early mid afternoon.

On the way I came up with todays adventure / challenge.  I really wanted to do the Lake Como Loop but that alone was not long enough. I couldn’t wait to be hanging in the mountains and lakes.  I have done the Lake Como Loop and the Coyote Coolie Loop before in fact they are my favorites. One time my friend Larry and I did both in one day with a stop in between for a buffalo burger. But that took all day. I figured that if I could ride from Red Barn, do the Como Loop, traverse over to the Coyote Coolie Loop, and then get back to the barn in 3 hours that would be impressive.

I arrived and Chad was not around so I had no one to boast about my grand scheme. For this to work I needed to tell someone and that in turn would make me responsible for following through with my big idea. But on the way down the gravel road to Darby I ran into Chad. We chatted about doing the Tour Divide since what I was doing greatly resembled some of its dirt road sections.  I love traveling along dirt roads, specially when they lead to sweet single-track.

great country side

It was suggested that 5 hours was the expected time and I held firm to my 3 hour idea and took off towards lake Como with the challenge firmly in place. Somewhere halfway around the Lake I totally forgot I was doing a mock race pace. I pulled out my camera which has not seen any action lately. I snapped off a few shots but nothing real cool. I guess I lost my touch. The loop around the lake was beautiful and the trail itself astonishingly fun. It is a technical trail but so much fun. I am contemplating going back tomorrow for my 6 hours of solo pacing.

From that loop I headed over to Coyote Coolie trail. But before I set my wheels onto some for the best single-track in the Root I had a mountain pass to get over. I climbed very well and was greeted with such a great view of some Bitterroot mountains. I arrived and started my way around the Coyote Coolie trail. Half way around I hit a trail that was suggested by Chad and I bombed out into some of the most beautiful country side I have seen in a while. I started to wish I could live in the Bitterroot. I think I will have to put some effort into this.

I arrived at Red Barn at about 3:20 so it was a pretty decent time. I did stop to chat about doing the Tour Divide with a couple dudes and stopped often to take some photos.  The photos didn’t turn out but the memory remains.

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