ST. MARY, MT
DAY 53 JULY 19 68.9 MILES
If you don't push on the pedals, the wheels won't turn.
George W. Bush
This was a day to remember. Everyone left the camp early because of the heavy wind forecast and that definitely was a good plan. Winds were 25 mph with gusts to 35 out of the west-southwest and they gradually intensified during the day.
Difficult to ride? When we stopped for a rest, it was difficult to walk. To move forward was a challenge but we toughed it out and eventually reached the town we had planned for lunch. It was the only town between the start and the destination and it was 35 miles into our ride.
The wind eventually was blocked by the mountains and taller trees and the riding became easier. However, that is where the climbing to 3 passes began. The climbs were arduous but the flights downhill were extremely enjoyable. It was the first time several of the others had experienced scenery from the top of a Rocky Mountain pass and they were especially dazzled by the view. I never tire of it so I always took time to stop at the top of each of the passes. It may have been to rest a bit as well.
Today's ride has placed us at the gate of the Glacier National Park where we will pedal along the world famous Going-to-the-Sun Road tomorrow. Fortunately, that ride was not scheduled for today as winds atop Logan Pass were 45 mph with gusts to 70. Let us hope that they will not be anywhere near that tomorrow.
The group is camping just inside the park where there exist many cautions of bears. I read over the list of caveats and then rode back to a large lodge outside the park's entrance. The resort was a favorite vacation spot for Ronald Reagan back in his movie star days. The old lodge has been replaced by a new, modern, one constructed from large rustic logs. I should be fairly safe from bears tonight.
Tip: You can ride 2 1/2 hours without eating but, if you do eat, you can ride all day. Ideal on-bike foods include energy bars, fruit and cookies.