With so many of our visitors on long, high-miles-per-day tours it was refreshing when Valerie Wells, Sandy Fisher and Billie Kanter, all of Chico, California, walked in our front door in July of 1997. They had chosen Missoula as the start and finish point of a casual week long loop that took them to Rock Creek, Philipsburg, Georgetown Lake, Anaconda, the Big Hole Battlefield, Gibbons Pass and Sula.
Valerie told us, “I’m a 44-year-old, child-free woman; grew up in the San Francisco Bay area and started riding ‘seriously’ when I moved to Chico in 1980. I’ve done everything but race. Since I don’t own a car, it is a rare day that I don’t ride a bike. I think what attracts me to self-contained touring is the practical aspect. I love the explosion of stuff that comes from the packs at night and gets put away in the morning.
“Our five-night, six-day tour was designed to be short and easy so as not to overwhelm any of us, specifically Billie who hadn’t done much of this sort of thing. I had some trepidation, of course, but everything went great!”
“The memories from bike tours are so vivid and the overall experience is so fulfilling. I’m sure I will venture out again and take my chances on the road.”