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.