I spectated my first Randonee Race this weekend.
As I was watching the race I noticed a trend. The best Montana bikers embrace the Montana winter.
Brandon French, Ben Parsons, Clint Muhlfeld, Alex Lussier, Mike Bestwick, Toby Meirerbachtol, and Doug Dale were all competing. French was 2nd, Parsons was 4th (got dq'ed, I explain tomorrow), Muhly won the heavy metal division, Lussier was right behind Muhly, Bestwick was 3rd, and Toby + Dale were both mid-pack.
I first thought about this when I was talking to John Curry about his off-season activities. He said that every Tuesday night him and some buddies do a crazy adventure (non-cycling related). Sometimes it was just post-holing up a mountain. The Flathead Crew runs up Big Mountain multiple times a week.
Parsons, Lussier, and The Lung are some of the best cyclists we have in Montana. They all have dedicated winter sports. Parsons is about to make the US Randonee Team. Lussier is one of the nastiest ice climbers in the region.
The best female mountain biker I know happens to also be the best nordic skier I know??
The point is this. If you want to be a better cyclist and you live in Montana. Don't curl up against the trainer in the winter. Hit the mountains. There are some great competitive outlets here in MT. A full nordic race schedule, regional randonee races, ice climbing, and plenty of mountains waiting to be post holed upon. I hit the trainer hard one year. I got a lot faster, but I didn't get stronger or tougher.....
See you at the OSCR...