Bear Tooth Pass, Montana
As you may suspect I’m not much of a cyclist. I used to spin a lot but spinning is pretty much the opposite of riding a bike down a mountain. There is no pedaling just steering well and hopefully not dying.
The two aspects the Montana tourism board approached me about with trepidation was horseback riding and cycling down a mountain. It is like a dare. I cannot say no.
I wasn’t sure what I was getting into and as the Beartooth Bike Tours bus started the climb up to 10,000 feet with all the switchbacks so did my anxiety. But as much as I am a pansy, I am also incredibly stubborn. I wasn’t prepares to wuss out and take the bus down the hill so I jumped on and headed down with the group.
We don’t have this vast landscape in Eastern Canada and when I could take my attention off my white-knuckled grip I could not believe the view.
But could I trust these hand brakes? With shallow and hesitant breath I was one of the slowest in the group, certain I would wipe out on a turn. I could also not believe we were going so fast and I was happy I could not convert 20 miles per hour into kilometres.
Fortunately there were lots of stops for photos and history of Montana’s past with colourful legends like The Sundance Kid.
And after each stop the fear started to leave and I was less afraid of going faster. I left the back of the group and started moving up closer to the head of the group, using the brakes less and less. I was right behind our tour guide.
Then something terrible happened.
We were done.
And when we pulled in to get back in the bus I was upset, I wanted to keep going. I had finally let go of my fear of dying and finally started having fun. I cemented my new-found bravery like so many others on the ceiling of the bus.
I want to do it again.