As we move into the colder months, the Kitsbow crew has been reflecting on the good times we’ve had this riding season. The joy, the camaraderie, the outstanding dirt, the desert, the mountains, the beer. With that, we remember what makes it all possible. The trails we ride take us through these extraordinary journeys. Without access to them, we stick to the road.
Kitsbow Ambassador, Pete Thomas, recently shared some photos of riding along northwest Montana’s Whitefish Divide. The ridge ride, connecting Werner Peak to Red Meadow via the Ralph Thayer Memorial Trail, is a serene piece of singletrack dotted with scat piles of the local carnivores…but nary a human. Areas like this are true touchstones to enjoy and connect to our natural environment – places and experiences worth protecting. As Pete puts it, “Maintaining access to these trails is a big deal to cyclists here. The super wild, technical terrain offers amazing views of Glacier National Park and the surrounding ranges. It’s certainly no cakewalk – every foot is earned, but way worth it.”
As this season slows and you find yourself indoors wishing you were out, take a moment to remember your favorite trails and perhaps give them a little love back.
For more information on rides in and around Montana’s Flathead Valley or to donate towards conservation efforts, go to www.flatheadfattires.com OR contact your local trail groups for support opportunities.
This year SILCA is celebrating a century of bicycling innovation. This legendary company was the first to include pressure gauges on floorpumps, the first to produce a usable portable pump, and the first to produce a valve-controlled CO2 inflator; all necessities that we now take for granted. SILCA was run by the Sacchi family in Milan until it was sold in 2013 to the former technical director for Zipp Speed Weaponry, Joshua Poertner. SILCA is now based in Indianapolis and has carved out a niche for itself by manufacturing precision-engineered, heritage-grade pumps and tools that walk the line between utilitarian duty and aesthetic beauty. We recently caught up with Josh to talk about cycling, art, and everything in between.
With an opening in our Push to Start Summer Tour schedule, we opted to “take the long way around” for a detour de British Columbia on our way to Sun Valley, Idaho. On a whim we fled north from Seattle, first stopping in Bellingham to soak up as much lush Washington terrain as possible. We roughly sketched out what our next week might hold – entering the mecca via Vancouver, heading north to Pemberton, then working our way east and south to depart the country via Rossland. We let our trip unfold hour by hour, trying to make time to ride in all the spots we’ve read and seen so much about.
Knowing when and when not to wear shorts is a skill we only fully acquire sometime after adolescence – in fact, studies have shown that shorts-related decision-making abilities are directly linked to frontal lobe development. But since we mountain bikers are prone to being hit in the head, let’s not make any assumptions about shorts etiquette.