For those of you thinking about a great 3-7 day adventure, you might consider the 450 mile ride that starts and ends at Red barn and Fitzgeralds bike shops, cuts it's way through 4 or 5 national forests using a series of Forest Service roads ranging from primitive and bumpy as heck to well maintained dirt roads, at times....barely recognizable paths. (approximation is 90% dirt & 10% asphalt). Numerous mountain passes that will net you approx. 35,000 ft of climbing, tired legs and a sore ass. Anyway...I'd highly recommend it. The scenery and remoteness offers a very unique experience. The Fitz Barn or Red Gerald or Barn Fitz or what ever you want to call it is the brainchild of two fellas that seemed to have much in common....yeah, why not do a ride from one shop to the other. The admission is free, but we'd highly recommend renting a Spot tracker before the event so your loved ones can join in on the fun (following the small balloons is highly addictive). Details on when and how to rent one, along with ALL other important details can be found on the Fitz-Barn blog which is located here : Fitz BArn
a map of the route can be found right here and goes between Hamilton Montana and Victor Idaho and to keep it interesting we flip-flop the route every year. And yes, a GPS is a nice tool....ideally used along side some printed maps.
The route in 2013 went from Red Barn to Fitzgeralds, the route will flip-flop every year. This year it started with this 10 mile pavement cruise up Sleeping Child Rd
after 10 miles the real climbing starts. Approx 3000ft in the next 15 miles
Skalkaho rye Rd, near the high point Black Bear Point
Big Hole Montana, foothills rd.
some amazing sunrises
creatures other than us
be bear aware
loons.....and their calls. pretty awesome to hear the sounds of a mating pair.
getting closer to Idaho....the Centennial Mt range
water is abundant on this route....bring some type of filtration
yes, lots of water....but always top off when given a chance.
near the Yellowstone Plateau
Idaho's fields of wheat
it's highly recommended to ride with your best friend, Solo is also wildly popular.
finishing up the last portion of the route involved riding old railroad beds and was a nice change of flatness
finishing at one shop or the other typically involves a warm welcoming from all, Janine rolled out the red carpet for us and made Tracy and I some amazing coffee which sure tasted good after the 4 day withdrawal.