Going to the Sun Road!

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Go there. Go there now. Or at least by next weekend.

On weekends you can ride to a pretty insanely high elevation (today around 6000 feet), on weekdays you are limited to the lower sections of the road so as to not interfere with the plowing.

It is very crowded on weekends, I'd guess there were over a thousand cyclists riding the road today. However the higher and spookier sections weren't as densely populated, but the road is narrower and there is quite a bit of debris on the road so you can't quite have a screaming descent. I screamed anyway.

The ride: by the numbers: 60.76 miles, 3507 feet of elevation gain, 4:19 ride time.

Sweeeeeet.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Going to the sun as in Montana? In my yoot I worked for a helicopter contractor in Missoula. It was uncommon to be unable to pass because of snow in late June. But that’s 35 years ago....
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Going to the sun as in Montana? In my yoot I worked for a helicopter contractor in Missoula. It was uncommon to be unable to pass because of snow in late June. But that’s 35 years ago....
Yes, the opening date for automobiles is late June, but it is open to hikers and cyclists on weekends as far as it is plowed. At the moment they are about 2.5 miles short of Logan Pass (actually just before Triple Arches) on the W side and considerably further than that on the E side. There is still a lot of debris in the road and the road in places is plowed only about one lane or one-and-a-half lanes wide.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Yes, the opening date for automobiles is late June, but it is open to hikers and cyclists on weekends as far as it is plowed. At the moment they are about 2.5 miles short of Logan Pass (actually just before Triple Arches) on the W side and considerably further than that on the E side. There is still a lot of debris in the road and the road in places is plowed only about one lane or one-and-a-half lanes wide.
I lived and worked at Minuteman aviation in Missoula during my misspent yoot. A lineman for fueling services. Many flights over the Bob’s and Glacier. Are you close? KOFI radio in Kalispell was a buddy back in the day. I do miss MT and it’s eccentricities. Still crave a Missoula Club burger. Good days!
 

harryS

Well-Known Member
There is one touring outfit that takes bikes up GTS road behind the plows, but their web site said that ebikes were not allowed by the forest service?
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
There is one touring outfit that takes bikes up GTS road behind the plows, but their web site said that ebikes were not allowed by the forest service?
Well, after you posted this I poked around on the Park Service web site for Glacier National Park, and apparently e-bikes are not allowed on roads closed to motorized vehicles. Ooops.

Interestingly, I spent 15 minutes chatting with three Park Rangers at Avalanche (where the motorized vehicle closure starts) who did not blink an eye at my e-bike and one of them even asked me a few questions about it. But there was no indication that I wasn't allowed to ride on the closed road.

I counted about a dozen other e-bikes, including a pair of Specialized Vados and an Orbea Gain.

Go figure.

On a related note, I have quite a few contacts in the NPS and USFS and all of them are very confused about this e-bike thing. The result is that they largely deal with it only with very long-handled tongs. The sense I have gotten is that while the official position is that they are motorized vehicles they realize that the reality is a little more complicated and the general consensus is that as long as nobody actively complains and there isn't any drama they largely look the other way.

On to Whitefish tomorrow.
 
Last edited:

Pay Jota

Member
I think this post might have gotten a bit more input if you had been specific as to the area you were talking about. Probably only a small percentage of Westerners even knew where you were talking about. I am a Westerner.

The NPS service is plowing roads for bikes that ebikes are not allowed on? I assumed they were plowing roads that were for motorized vehicles only. No?
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
I think this post might have gotten a bit more input if you had been specific as to the area you were talking about. Probably only a small percentage of Westerners even knew where you were talking about. I am a Westerner.

The NPS service is plowing roads for bikes that ebikes are not allowed on? I assumed they were plowing roads that were for motorized vehicles only. No?
It gets complicated but in several other places in the west bikes are allowed on highways while the roads are cleared and before automobiles are allowed. One excellent and likable ride is the McKenzie Pass Scenic Bikeway in Oregon:

 

Cowlitz

Well-Known Member
Oh lordy. Still recovering from pulling my travel trailer over McKenzie Pass. The west side was brutal. I suspect my trailer and pickup must be over 35 feet because the corners were too tight. I was doing the calculation in my head and figured it to be around 34 feet. Luckily, it was a slow day and no traffic. I can sympathize with low boy drivers after that experience, 'cept they usually have a pilot car.

Too many people were up there to stop for a quick walk. Saw lots of bikes coming up the Bend side, which was not as bad to haul the trailer back down.

I'd ride the east side up and back down. It has more volcanic scenery than the west side.

So, the bikes only must happen just before it opens? I'll have to do research.