Tour de Montana – PROLOGUE


All my bags are packed; I’m ready to go.

It’s time for my yearly quest…my theater of the absurd. I’m off to join Cycling House for six days of riding in Montana. We’ll be riding south from Missoula, almost down to the Yellowstone, in a 400+ mile loop that will climb six mountain passes along the way. The basic route has about 15K of climbing, but I have [perhaps foolishly] inquired how I might push that number closer to 20-25K. I mean, heck, Mike the Cycling Bard I and I did 20K in 5 days in Wisconsin a few weeks ago.

After 3000 miles of training and 100,ooo feet of climbing this season, Tour de Montana is where it all is, at least in theory, going to come together.

  • Hundreds of miles of speed work in a wind tunnel early season? CHECK
  • Three months of weight training during the winter? CHECK
  • Dozens of hours of indoor power intervals on the trainer? CHECK

All of this, and one truth is self evident: I’m not a climber…I’m a Clydesdale. I like climbing – at least as much you can like things that are painful – and I always get to the top. Yet I have no illusions of grandeur. Even whipped down to 208 lbs, I don’t climb like the more genetically blessed who weigh-in at 150 pounds. What’s most likely, as a rouleur, is that I’ll get put out front on the flat and rolling terrain.

I’m a great wind block.

Should I live through this and prosper, I’ll be sure to ride Going to the Sun Road in Glacier Park to add another 7K of climbing before the silver bird flies me home.

Sur la plaque! [Google that, why don’t you?]



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