Sunday, March 05, 2017

Plotting the Summer starts the previous December- Glacier; Going to the Sun Highway

Riding the Going to the Sun Highway has been on my bucket list for many years. I wanted to hit it when I went down the Great Divide , but that was a missed opportunity. When I mentioned this to my partner, he agreed to go with me. My partner is a good cyclist, but not hardcore. The fact that he's interested in doing this truly thrills me.

I started the process by calling Glacier Cyclery in Whitefish, Montana. One of the employees, Vanessa, emailed me back with a lot of information. She suggested that I make sure I have bike rental reservations finished by mid-March. When I had the dates all confirmed and the airplane tickets, I called Glacier Cyclery. I actually got to speak to Vanessa, and she suggested altering my plans. My plan had been to start up as early as possible, believing that everybody had to be off the road by 11 o'clock and there were no other chances to go up. Vanessa noted that leaving early in the morning, it is cold and there's a lot of traffic that makes the trip up quite stressful. Adding to that stress is the time factor, requiring cyclists to be at the top before 11 o'clock. Vanessa also informed me that after 4 o'clock cyclists are allowed again on the road. She noted that it's a fabulous time to go up since the sun doesn't go down until 9:30 at night. She also stated that at 4 o'clock most of the traffic is coming down, and all the people who were rushing to go up to start hikes in the morning are gone. There was an added bonus on top of that; the alpine glow lends a beautiful hue to views on the way back home. We don't have to mention that I do not work for Glacier Cyclery... I was truly impressed by her knowledge of that particular road, and that she's done it several times. The bike rental situation is quite good, especially after I asked her for her advice in terms of timing. Also the rates are quite reasonable and they're going to rent us a bike rack for our rental car. I have had positive dealings with Glacier Cyclery previously, when I was on The Great Divide Route. They took a phone order while we were far away and very remote, for one of my companions who had panniers that failed. The panniers were waiting when we arrived in Whitefish, MT at Glacier Cyclery.

I am more excited to go than ever...