Asphalt and Corn: Biking and Skiing

Yesterday morning after a very positive job interview (which I look forward to sharing more about in the near future) my buddy Mike sent me a text about going for a bike ride. We’d been talking about strapping our skis to our bicycles and heading up the most popular mountain access road in Bozeman – Hyalite Canyon. At this time of year the Forest Service gates the road to motorists for reasons based on impact but bicyclists are still allowed to enjoy the dry, clean pavement. The road winds about five miles (8km) and gains a few thousand feet of elevation which means its a great climb followed by an even better descent.



Mike and I planned this for the later afternoon so it wasn’t within our time constraints to ride directly from town and up to the mountains so we can’t claim pure smugness for this trip. We loaded bikes, skis, poles, boots, clothing, water, warm-temp ski wax, and panniers into Mike’s Suby and headed out.


Arriving at the trailhead and setting up the bicycles with ski gear is fun for a couple gear/bike dorks like Mike and I. The best part of it is living in a town like Bozeman doesn’t even proffer up a bunch of goofy what-the-hell-are-you-doing looks from other trailhead users. People just give you a nod of approval or a vocal ‘way to get after it!’



We had a great, albeit short ride up the asphalt road, then down a dirt and snow covered side road up to the snow line. Mike and I both chose to ride our “townie bikes” which have +/- 2″ MTB tires which made for a good choice given the multiple surfaces we rode upon.



From here we transitioned to skis and other than having to walk three short sections of dirt we were able to ski about four miles of pretty decent corn snow. We applied some Swix warm-temp wipe on wax before setting out which kept the snow from sticking and provided good glide.


Mike and I both ski on Madshus Epoch skis and were really enjoying the control that the shape and edges provide. In the downhill sections of our ski we were both making alpine turns in the slush and whooping with enjoyment. Mike skis in a Fisher BC NNN boot and I ski in a Rossignol 3-pin boot.



  • Anonymous

    These multi-sport/discipline/transport trips are so inspiring. Just getting my head around the extra gear required for the packrafting is keeping me busy at the moment. Fingers crossed I will have a bike again in June. Then maybe I can go on one of the schizo trips :)

    I will ‘man up’ to the Eons from the Glittertinds next winter but I will always go waxless!Good luck on the job front Sam.

    • Anonymous

      The photos of you from your last trip, much like photos of Dave on his raft trips look HEAVY!  But, we carry less other stuff to make up for it, right? 

      You’ve been skiing a long time and I for one enjoy your perspective on it.  I look forward to seeing what kind of stuff you will be getting into in the future if you get a b.c. setup.

      • Abbi10jordan

        Keep blogging my friend…. ;-)Camp

  • Anonymous

    Sam, I like the photos you have used and having watched your development then involvement with BPL and  then … I wish you all the best for your future jobs and what ever else takes your fancy.

    • Anonymous

       This is most appreciated.  There is good circle of ULers out there who provide me support and inspiration.

  • It’s a good time of year in Montana.

    • Anonymous

       Oh man, oh man, oh man it is!

  • malford777

    Cool trip Sam.  I like the look of a the Bozeman “Townie”!

    • Anonymous

       We like ’em tough ’round here.

  • Garret

    Way to get after it, indeed.