As a rider, blogger, social media dude and photographer, I’ve been privileged to be a part of several different bike tours in one capacity or another for nearly a decade. Every one of them is incredible in its own way (because, when a bunch of people who are passionate about cycling get together, incredible is pretty much the natural outcome).
Even still, each one is different and each has its own distinct personality. This week, the riders, staff, volunteers, GYC members, area residents, host communities and vendors collectively created the personality of Cycle Greater Yellowstone. Part of the personality that was created was intentional. The conservation aspect is a given (though I’m not sure anyone who hasn’t experienced the region firsthand can fully understand what an important mission that really is and what good work is being done).
There were, however, many variables that could not be predicted. We couldn’t have known for sure that the caliber of rider this event would attract would be so high. We couldn’t have known how cool everyone would be and how quickly (and graciously) everyone would adapt to some pretty extreme changes in plans. We couldn’t have predicted what a low chucklehead factor we would have on the road (seriously, after being on a vehicle for seven full days on the course I only saw one incident of dangerous/boneheaded riding) – that’s not even mathematically possible. You guys rock.
We couldn’t have known how quickly the team of brand-new volunteers would gel. We couldn’t have known how wonderful (and flexible) state and local government agencies would be to work with. We couldn’t have known how warm the welcome from the local communities would be. We couldn’t have known how great all the vendors would be (seriously, this was awfully good chow for one of these things). We couldn’t have known how cool most of the local drivers would be on the road.