Day 7, July 24th

Start: Butte, MT

Finish: Bozeman, MT

Miles: 100

Elevation Gain: 3200'


Bozeman Inn

1235 North 7th Ave

Bozeman, MT 59715


Click on an image to see a larger view

What a beautiful day! It's hard to believe that we've been at this for a week. When we left the motel this morning, we faced another strong headwind and I feared we'd be in for another slogfest. But it was not to be. A few miles out of town, we started our major climb of the day - 1200' vertical over a little more than two miles.

That's me riding on the road descending into Whitehall

By the time we got to the top, the wind had subsided somewhat and we had a glorious 18 mile descent into the town of Whitehall for our first rest stop, where our speed ranged from 24 to 35 mph the whole way. Whitehall is a typical small western ranch town and today they were having a Ranch Fair featuring, among other things, a horseshoe tournament and a classic car show. I wish I had stopped to take a few photos.

We still had a bit of a headwind, but the temperature was just about perfect in the morning (got to about 87 in the afternoon) and I made good time to the second rest stop riding on my own. The scenery was

Susan Notorangelo cooking grilled chicken for lunch

high plains ranch country, with rolling hills and more downhill than up. We were making up for all the elevation gain we made in the last couple days.

I caught a tandem-led train (the tandem ridden by crew-members Doug and Susie Slack) about half-way to our lunch stop. For those of you that are not familiar with cycling, tandems are a little slow going uphill, but they fly going downhill. Since much of this part of the route were gentle downhills, Doug and Susie were able to maintain a pace >25mph for much of the way and I just hung on the back of their slipstream for the ride.

Lunch was at a recreational area next to a wide river and a few riders jumped in for a quick swim. Bisty the dog was really enjoying himself. Susan cooked up some great grilled chicken, and of course we had the requisite cakes and pies for dessert.

Karl and I rode the last 25 or so miles into Bozeman and despite the mild headwinds, we made pretty good time. As we rode into Bozeman, we found a Starbucks in a Barns & Noble and stopped for a Frappacino. This is the first Starbucks I've been able to find so far on the tour. We are starting to see quite a few Dairy Queen's though, and will probably have to switch to Blizzards or something similar for an end-of-the-ride cold treat.

We pulled into the motel around 2:30 and I'm writing this before heading out to dinner with one of Karl's old friends that lives in town.

The rural highways in Montana have very little traffic This will give you an idea of the rolling terrain we rode today Ranch country

We still had an occasional river along the side of the road A great location for lunch. The tents are always set up to provide shade unless there is a permanent structure available Bisty playing in the water