I posted this photo over on instagram this morning.

It is from a ride this past summer on one of my favorite trails in Bozeman, The Bangtail divide. While this particular trip was with the #SklarBikesFactoryTeam, it had me thinking about one of my favorite rides I did this fall.

The trail follows the ridge line of the Bangtail mountains, one of the smaller ranges in the Bozeman area, for the better part of 30 miles. Compared to a lot of the riding up here it is rather mild. After ~15 miles of road from my house, it starts off with about 2,500 ft of switchback climbing to bring you on top of the ridge. From there it is pure flowy, smooth, insanely fun up and down single track. I'm getting excited just thinking about it.

Anyhow, most folks choose to drive up to the trail or shuttle sections of it, which is OK if you are in a hurry. Riding the whole thing from town had been on my to do list for a while though and on this particular fall morning, I woke up and just had to go for it. I made some coffee, Loaded my backpack up with water and definitely not enough food, and headed towards the trail. I swung by the shop on the way to swap some pedals before I left. I thew on a light jacket just to cruise to the shop as I thought it would warm up by the time I left - it didn't and I was really glad I had it later. It turned out to be a perfect Fall day for riding. Just the right temperature really - something in the mid to high sixties. There were a couple brief rain showers that scared me. Had they been more substantial I could have been soaked and without rain protection some 40 miles from home (not my best move). They were just brief enough to let the trail be nice and tacky though. It's funny how a win like that can make a ride even better. The day flew by in a whir of single-speed climbing and scaring-myself-because-I-am-alone ripping descents. I miss it.

Sometimes those solo missions really do it for me. Looking at the Bangtails as I write this, covered in snow, is making me really excited for Spring. Whether by myself or with a big group of friends, we'll be back soon enough!

Have a great Thursday!