Archive for Montana

On the Road – Butte to Bozeman.

Travelling from Butte to Bozeman, Montana, August 12th

. We left Patrice’s house that morning (thanks Patrice and Rick!) and left the I-90, taking some stunning back roads through the passes of the Continental Divide, passing by the Rockin’ Rivers Festival, which was just getting set up, eventually arriving in Bozeman after a 100 mile cycle!

Thank you!

A big thank you to Jason Delmue and Melissa for putting us up in their amazing house in Bozeman. I wish I had taken some pictures of it! It featured moveable stairs, rolling hinges made from skateboard wheels and tri-coloured bedsheets. Thanks guys!

Butte, Montana/Ireland.

On the afternoon of the 11th of August we arrived in the town of Butte. We met local reporter, Melanie Yuill, who interviewed us for KXLF TV. Check out the interview here:

We then went to the house of Patrice Evans, who kindly hosted the team that night. Thanks also to Casey for accommodating Will and Mark! Patrice has been accommodating Rob this week as he is staying in Butte to prepare for An Rí Rá Irish Festival at the weekend, and no doubt doing loads of back-breaking work. Patrice and Rick brought us to a picnic at their friend Cherisse’s house, where we received a royal welcome from Irish-Americans and Americans alike.

The town of Butte has a massive Irish-American population who have kept very close to their Irish heritage and roots. It’s almost like a home away from home! Patrice’s sister, Monica, kitted us out with flags and stickers for the car from her fantastic gift shop, Cavanaugh’s County Celtic. Thanks!

Patrice and friends also brought us up to one of “gallows frames” at the old mine in Butte. Very impressive, there’s some great history in this mining town. Pictures below!

[VIDEO] Day 7 – Rodeo in Superior, Montana

The COA team attend the annual county fair and rodeo in Superior, Montana on August 7th.

A big thanks to everyone in the town who made us feel welcome, including Sharon Smith from the Big Sky Motel (who kindly gave us free accommodation), Tallie from Durango’s and ex-pat Robert McGuinness.  Plus, a big thanks to everyone who agreed to appear in our video!

View our rodeo video here

MARKS BLOG-Day 10- 10 August 2010 Missoula,Montana to Deer Lodge,Montana 82 miles (132 Kms)

Mark “ Lenny Armstrong” Leonard reporting directly and exclusively to you on behalf of COA

After the day of rest and recuperation in the magnificent Missoula,Montana the legs and mind felt ready for another day in the saddle pedalling through the Rockies.

To set the scene of the day in question ,I  was rudely awoken by a certain room-mate William “snores like a bear” Kerwin  at 6.30 am with the question “are you awake Leonard?Are you awake?there’s a storm Leonard,there s a storm.Did you see the news?Get your big a$$ out of bed” In a thick Wicklow brogue with an expression of utmost dissatisfaction.Surely this was just a bad dream?I wished

From the moment the man they call “the Kerwinator” uttered those fateful words the scene was set -today was going to be a disgustingly horrible day.A day to be remembered for all the wrong reasons.

I took a quick glance at my bike sitting there beside the bed and thankfully there was no mysterious early morning punctures (which is ongoing investigated with young Kerwin the prime suspect)

From the outset today was a day you would want to be in the support team( or even in the local county jail) rather than one of the cyclists. Everything seemed to have to been going against us- the weather the ridiculous climbs, the traffic the poor quality of the road but Akin to Armstrong the COA team are made of stronger stuff.

In cold, wet conditions far worse than you would expect to see at home in Ireland we commenced the cycle to Deer Lodge.

After just 5 minutes of cycling we realised we were lost and boom tragedy struck while trying to find our feet boom a puncture on the dreaded back tyre. This is where the fun and games were to begin. The team had 5 punctures today, would you believe?

And whats more! All 5 were on my bike! DISASTER!

Before I began to blame the innocent until proven guilty tyre-slasher William Kerwin for the punctures I found the culprit (a staple on the inside of the tyre)  4 more were to come. Fixing punctures tyres in torrential rain without any shelter on the side of an interstates with 50 tonne 100 feet long juggernaughts whizzing by at 70miles per hour ant no fun,but I’m not one to complain

But this was only to strengthen our resolve as a team.

After battling with a number of tasty hills  and passing through towns such as Clinton, Bonner and a short lunch stop in  Drummord (which seems to have a massive problem with Meth judging by the copious amount of signs around what is a small town-see pics)Mysteriously young McNamara seemed to fly out from the blocks from Drummord onwards.Perhaps this was due to his “stop off” in Drummord perhaps not. We finally arrived in Deer Lodge never more happy to see the faces of Rob and Donal.

After a quick ice bath and shower each (not together!) we went for dinner at the local diner by the Budget Inn Hotel where we were staying

Coincidentally of the 10 hardy soles in the Diner which you would expect to find on Gordon Ramseys Kitchen Nightmare were father and son David and Gregg from New Jersey whom were also doing a cross country cycle .We exchanged war-stories of our respective cycles and mutual respect and contact details were exchanged

Overall as challenging  as the day was, I am always quick to remember and remind ourselves just how lucky we are to be fit and healthy enough to be partaking in this cycle.

Our minor whinges and moans are a small price to pay for the goal of raising funds for Cancer and cancer patients.

Butte Irish Festival, TV coverage and Internet News Articles!

The Cycle of America Team will hopefully be getting a mention tonight on KXLF TV in Butte, Montana, after a phone interview with cyclist Mark Leonard. They’ll also be interviewing us when we cycle into Butte on Wednesday. Check out the 5.30pm and 10.30pm news if you’re in Montana.  They’ve also posted a brief summation to their website, which can be read here.

Rob, Eoin and Donal will be representing the team at our very own booth at the Rí Rá Irish Festival in Butte this weekend. It’s organised by the Montana Gaelic Cultural Society. We’re looking forward to flying the flag for Dublin, Kildare and Wicklow at the event! With thanks to Patrice and Monica. More details of the event here:

Two online papers have also been kind enough to do articles on the Cycle.
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:

Irish Central:

We’d also like to say a huge thank you to the Salish Lodge and Spa, Snoqualmie WA, The AmeriStay Inn and Suites, Moses Lake WA, Stardust Motel, Wallace ID, and the Mountain Valley Inn, Missoula MT, where we are staying as I write this. All of these places were kind enough to give the team some form of free accommodation. Without the the generousity of these people, and more to come, the Cycle may not have been possible. Thank you!

On the Road – Superior to Missoula.

The 8th of August – Superior, Montana, to Missoula, Montana. We’re going to be travelling through Montana for the next while!

A Superior Day Out.

The team rolled into the town of Superior, Montana on the afternoon on the 7th of August. We were given an extremely warm welcome by the locals, especially our waitress, Tallie, in Durango’s diner. We were treated like royalty! We were also informed that there was a rodeo in town, so we high-tailed it on down!
While there we bumped into Dublin man Robert McGuinness, who married a Superior lady and now lives in the lovely town.

Eoins Blog – Day 8: Superior to Missoula

Day 8: Superior to Missoula – 8th July
Getting up early with no rodeo hangovers, we rolled out of Superior and onto the I-90 again. Mark lead out of the blocks like a train, but no matter how he tried he could not shake Will and Eoin. The terrain we crossed today was mainly rolling hills with a few long drags. The roads were nice and quiet as it was a Sunday morning. We didn’t pass through anywhere of note along the way – the only break being a top-up from the support team.

Today was a day for roadkill though – we saw vultures picking at a dead deer, a snake, some mice and a few racoons. Not distracted by all this morbid excitement, we arrived into town at 1pm having covered 100kms. The scenery we covered today and yesterday has been absolutely amazing. We’ve been following the path that the Clark River has cut out through the Rockies which means on one side we have towering mountains while on the other we have a wide flowing river with emerald green water. It’s been perfect for snapping some good shots. Check out Donal’s photos.

We’ll enjoy a rest day in Missoula tomorrow.

Eoins Blog – Day 7: Wallace to Superior

Day 7: Wallace to Superior – 7th August
We had been warned about the start of todays ride by the locals in Wallace. Just out of town, there is a ten mile climb with a fairy steep gradient up to the Lookout Pass – a famous skiing spot in the Silver Valley. We set out on the ride and similar to the Tour de France, we attacked the climb with vigour! It was about an hour of hard pushing before we got to the top of the 4800 foot climb which lies on the border of Idaho and Montana. We were into our third State – Woohoo!

After some pictures at the summit, we rolled down the other side of the Pass and on through the rest of the day without too much difficulty. The only hold-up was three punctures Will suffered within half an hour – after which he felt like throwing his back wheel into the gorge below. The route we took passed by tiny Saltese, De Borgia and St. Regis – but these were fairly spread out and not that big.

We rolled into Superior at 2pm having covered 110kms which was a great day. We had secured accommodation in the Big Sky Motel in Superior but again there was a mix up in the jerseys and we were left with no reservation. Fortunately the Motel owner Sharon had plenty of room about the place to fit us in. Eoin and Will slept in the basement, Mark had a roll-out bed in the office, while Rob and Donal put the heads down on an air mattress in another empty room in the Motel. [Insert round of applause here for Eoin who suggested buying the air mattress for just these circumstances. Bravo Sir!]

Superior was buzzing when we arrived, partially because of the COA Team cruising through town, but partially because the County Fair and Rodeo were taking place that night. While we were having lunch in Durangos, the local restaurant, driver Rob Shiels was recruited to perform some Irish songs at the County Fair that evening. Unfortunately none of the COA Team had realised we had crossed into the Mountain time zone that day and had lost an hour on our clocks. Turning up just as the talent show finished and the crowd dispersed, Shiels was seen to be similar to a kettle boiling with rage. But never a man to let such obstacles stand in his way, Rob set up stall at a booth at the Fair and bellowed out Irish classics including Wild Rover and Black Velvet Band (joined by Mark as a cameo).

Shortly after, the rodeo began with the arena packed with a couple of thousand people – Superior has a population of only 800 people! We saw bull riding, bucking horses, cattle slinging, and a fairly insane event that involved kids between 8-15 years old chase after a calf trying to grab a flag tied to it’s neck. After the rodeo, a local band started up and we chatted to anyone that would listen! We got a great reception and we’re glad we hit Superior at just the right time!