2015 Summer Journal

Mountain Biking the Bangtail Divide

Last weekend we had a great time trail running the Bangtail Divide, but we couldn’t wait to get back out there on our bikes. Bangtail is an awesome shared use trail that follows a ridgeline just outside of Bozeman, Montana. To bike the whole thing we would be in for ~22 miles of singletrack, ~8 miles of road riding, and ~4,000 feet of elevation gain. Sounds like our kind of big day!

We started early with a classic breakfast of bacon and eggs. I’ll admit that I had one too many Dark & Stormys the night before and was not feeling especially excited about biking such a far distance on a hangover brain.


For the last few days we’ve been parked on a neighborhood street near downtown Bozeman, at our friend Merrill’s house. Though we’re not 100% sure of the legality of this, nobody has made any comments about the bus bothering them.


We got on the trail around 7am and headed up the familiar set of switchbacks that we had run last Saturday. You might think that doing these on a bike would be easier than running them, mechanical advantage and all. Nope; just as hard, just as slow.



We took a quick break at the top and admired the incredible views of the Bridgers – what gorgeous mountains!


Then we hit the ridge. I can easily say that Bangtail was the most consistently stunning cross country mountain bike ride we’ve ever done. We had 360º views for the majority of our ride, and were able to see for miles!



As we rode, a dark storm front gathered over the mountains nearby, so we stashed the camera and hustled through the rest of the ride.



I wish I had some more photos to illustrate what an absolutely incredible ride this was. If you find yourself in the Bozeman area and are looking for a great all day ride, Bangtail should be at the top of your list!


Location Mileage Elev Gained GPS Link
Bozeman, MT 31 Miles 4,149ft Strava »

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I couldn’t not share this. If you’re not interested in seeing most of my upper thigh/hip, don’t scroll any further! I fell twice during this ride, both times landing on the same potato sized patch of skin on my right hip. They were both uphill falls, meaning that I was struggling so hard to stay upright through a tough technical section that when I fell, most of my power was translated into flipping me into the ground; HARD! I’ve gotten a lot of bruises from mountain biking, but this is one of my favorites by far. Why fall if you can’t get some recognition for it, right? 😉 Since this photo was taken on Sunday morning the bruise has continued to evolve. Gross.


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