Grand Fondo Castle Di Monte

Blog notes: This is a second edition of this blog. Sometimes I take a fun event and write in a way that totally makes fun of it. Sometimes I think it may offend some and undermine the true appreciation that I have for my friends and new acquaintances. So instead of treating this last Saturday as a joke I am re-writing this blog. ~bill

The wind blasted me in the face and our speed dropped to 12 miles an hour. Then 9. I tried to do some math in my head. At this pace we wouldn’t finish the Grand Fondo Castle Di Monte anytime soon. It was going to be a long day with a decent headwind. But no matter … because I was with friends and we had a sun filled day of cycling in a quintessential Montana setting.

We were a band of 6. A rag-tag group from all walks of life. I joined up as a late edition after a friend pulled some strings to land me a spot on the roster. I have to say what a great group of people who I have quickly grown fond of. And so there we were out on some scenic Montana prairie highways busting through the fall wind.

I fell off the back to spend some time with my friend when suddenly we spotted a pronghorn antelope. It was a beauty! I was able to get a clean shot of it (w/ a camera) so as to show it off to my hunter buddies (Alden, Josh, and Norman).

We rolled through small towns, stopping in some to check out the REAL west. We noted that every small town must have a bar called “The Mint” interestingly enough. The second half of the ride we rode by other towns and lakes that were a part of my childhood. I burdened my friends with one to many stories as we approached mile 75. We rode on still battling the winds to finish the first annual Fondo in a time of 8:25. But none of that day’s ferocious racing (kidding, fun riding) kept us from re-banding together in a feast of friendship, beverage, and delicious fair. Did I mention that our host is a world renowned and accomplished chef? Well maybe not world renowned … but the eats were fantastic … oh yea. Good times.

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