10 Days of Cycling in Montana Image

Tour de Montana and RATPOD are two events we love. We organize and run the Tour de Montana and RATPOD is a charity ride that we love supporting so this year we decided to try something brand new and organized a weekend event around RATPOD and then followed it up with the start of the Tour de Montana. Some riders that participated in both events, which turned into 10 days of riding, eating tasty food and adventuring in Montana with us!

It all started with RATPOD, a charity ride for Camp Mak-a-Dream.

Our group at the start of the RATPOD charity ride. This event raised over $350,000 for Camp Mak-A-Dream!

Why did we do this this at RATPOD? It was all about bringing The Cycling House guests and our staff together for a fun party, big amazing ride in our beautiful home state, and most importantly, support the kids of Camp Mak-A-Dream. We believe in this cause and we’re all in here at TCH.

Brendan, Owen and Anya hanging out and celebrating with Rick (L), who just finished his first ever RATPOD.

A big, beautiful ride & TCH raised $16,000 for the kids!

We had the TCH community helping us fundraise and ultimately raised $16,000 for Camp Mak-A-Dream between our two fundraising teams. The ride was challenging this year as we had some wind and rain in the mountains. We finished with a tail wind for almost 30 miles into Dillon so it was the perfect way to end it!

Rick and Judy, long time Cycling House riders, traveled from Washington to ride RATPOD with us for the first time.

Tour de Montana

After RATPOD, we took Sunday off the bike and our guides got to prepping for the big Tour that would be starting on Monday. The 2018 Tour de Montana route put us on the quietest roads and we rode more of the diverse terrain that the state offers. This was an all-inclusive, fully supported tour that featured chef-prepared gourmet campfire meals, guided and SAG-supported rides, and some of the nicest country in the world to bike through. IT WAS AWESOME!

Arrival day at the Tour de Montana. We shuttled our guests from Missoula, MT to the start of the Tour in Dillon.

 

The first stage of the Tour de Montana took us along the Pioneer Mountains from Dillon to Wise River.

 

Every day on this cycling tour we had a designated lunch stop where riders could rest and hangout and enjoy lunch along the route.

 

There’s something special about moving point-to-point everyday and getting a little closer to the final destination. Our guides setup our tents at every overnight location so when riders roll into the finish of the stage they don’t have to worry setting up a tent. We offer this service to those that rent our camping equipment.

 

The crew made sure there was plenty of freshly baked pastries from Le Petit bakery, hot coffee from a Black Coffee in Missoula and our trademark orange coffee camping mugs :)

The Food

Hannah Rice was the head chef on this year’s Tour de Montana and she brought on her little sister Chloe as the assistant in the kitchen. These two were an amazing team and dished out some of the best food we’ve ever had on our camping tours!

 

Hannah and Chloe presenting their final masterpiece meal at Red Barn Bikes in Hamilton.

 

The chefs even let Owen Gue toast the buns for lamb burgers in Jackson, MT!

The Riding

The ride distances this year were a little less than in the previous Tour de Montana’s. The rides were plenty challenging and we built in options for adding more mileage for those that wanted it but with a range of 55-75 miles/day, it was manageable amount of riding that allowed for an opportunity to do some afternoon hikes, fishing or just chilling out. If you’d like to view the full route and map, you can see it here. 

Cruising with a group through the Big Hole Valley, making our way to the Bitterroot Valley.

 

One of the best stretches to ride a road bike in Montana, the Pioneer Scenic Byway.

 

Climbing through the trees.

 

The sag vehicle was never too far away even in the most remote parts of the tour.

 

We had two different roll out times every morning so those that wanted to ride with a group and work together always had a train to jump in with.

 

After a nice climb to the top of Chief Joseph Pass, we descended into the Bitterroot Valley which connects to Missoula, our final destination on this trip.

 

The time off the bike was just as fun as the ride. Big Sky Brewing provided us with tasty beer all week!

 

Relaxing after an afternoon hike.

We had a wonderful Tour through Western Montana. We’re grateful to have the opportunity to show off this wonderful state and get off the beaten path with our guests.

What’s next for us?

We have more tours in Montana this summer and we’ll end our Montana season with our first ever Montana Gravel Camp in September. We’ll be doing more riding in Montana in 2019 so if you want to come adventure with us here, drop us a line or check out our future trip dates here. We’d love to have you along for the ride!