CTN TransAm 09
40 days on the road
3750 miles by bicycle
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Chris Nadovich's 2009 Transamerica Bike Tour.

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    Sat, 13 Jun 2009

    Lincoln, MT

    [CHRISDAYTEN] We made an early start out of Missoula and were on the road by 6AM. The day was a long gradual climb toward the continental divide through sparsely populated range roughly following the path of the Blackfoot river via Route 200. There was an option to push on over Rogers pass today, but as we neared Lincoln, we encountered riders from the Helena Cycling Club that invited us to camp with them at the local high school.

    They tell me that this town, Lincoln, was the home of the Unabomber.

    At first the Blackfoot seemed similar to the other mountain gorge streams we had followed, but as the land stretched into open range, the Blackfoot started to meander and resemble the twisty streams you find in the New Jersey pine barrens.

    Riding was pretty easy with mixed but generally light winds and no sustained grades above a few percent. With our early start, we were approaching the 80 mile mark and Lincoln at around 2PM. What with the the rest day yesterday, it would have been possible to push over Rogers to the next likely campsite, arriving at about 7PM with a 130+ miles. Tough, but doable. This plan would put us in easy range of Great Falls, giving us a short day into the big town and likely motel stay.

    This plan was not to be as we encountered a local club (Helena Bicycle Club) that were on a 2 day ride circling over the contental divide. Their overnight stop was the Lincoln High School and they had a catered meal arranged in the school cafeteria. When they invited uss to join them, it was impossible to refuse.

    The people from the club were very sociable and Gary and I both had some nice conversations at a local bar before dinner, then then more conversation at dinner. We won door prizes. Me a shirt. Gary a hat. One of the prizes was a birdbath. I was hoping for that one as it would have givev everyone a good laugh when I mounted it on my bike.

    One thing I found interesting was that several of the club members, independently, told me that they were not like "other people" in Montana. They appreciate and want to preserve its beauty, other people just want to make quick money on "extractive industries". I noticed this conflict in Oregon as an open thing, but out here I get the impression that progressives keep their heads down. And the Unabomber was from here. Hmmm...

    Lincoln is an old logging town that looks like what you'd expect. This is what some people call the "real" Montana. A typical bumper sticker reads: Earth First! We'll log the other planets later. When we walk into a bar, conversations stop -- just like in the cowboy movies.

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    © 2009 C.T. Nadovich