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One Helena Hundred: “The Summer Wind, Came Blowin’ In…” This weekend was the Helena Bicycle Club’s annual One Helena Hundred, a popular annual event that benefits local bike projects with its proceeds. The 2010 route started in Cascade, up to Ulm & then a ride along the Smith River. After a return to Cascade, completion of 100 miles takes riders south through the Missouri River Canyon to Stickney Creek. The route is relatively gentle with some rolling hills mixed in along the way. As I grew up in Great Falls, I know that one of Cascade’s claims to fame is that Charlie Russell, the famous artist of the Old American West, met his future wife (Nancy) in this rail town of the Great Northern. She was visiting relatives in town there, and the smitten Charlie quickly began his courtship. They were married in Cascade in 1896 and soon thereafter moved to the bustling county seat of Great Falls. I, on the other hand, was smitten by, and subsequently married to, Chris Warneke in Great Falls…and then found myself with her Saturday morning as we rolled out together from the Cascade City Park on our One Helena Hundred journey. Riding up to Ulm was a nice little warmup for Chris & I as, getting out early, we were able to get ahead of the wind and heat that was anticipated later in the day. After a quick break in Ulm, we settled into a nice pace & enjoyed the beautiful scenery offered by the Smith River area. With no automobile traffic to speak of, Chris & I were able to visit a bit & discuss some of the pressing issues of the day. Can Levi make it onto the Tour’s podium? Can Floyd Landis be taken seriously? Will there ever be peace between the American TDF teams of HTC-Columbia & Garmin-Transitions!?!? These squads could take a cue from the various clubs & teams of Helena that we saw out on the roads today. Working together in united pacelines, regardless of team colors, squads from the Helena Bicycle Club, Team Great Divide, Helena Dynamos, & the Big Sky Cyclery Race Team were represented well. At the turn around point that took riders back into Cascade, Chris & I had a snack and prepared ourselves for the return. First, as they say in the Tour, I needed to take a “natural break”. As I waited in a long line to use the outhouse, I observed Chris jumping on her bike and taking off with a group consisting of Jim Barnes and the tandem of Buck & Silas Rea. Cheeky move! After getting on the bike, I had to turn myself inside/out to catch this breakaway just before Ulm. From there, it was back to Cascade for a lunch break. After lunch, with her metric century completed , Chris opted to end her day of riding and leave me in the capable riding group of Jim, Dave Hamer, Joe Hamilton, & Buck MacLaurin. This proved to be a wise decision on Chris’ part because, as Frank Sinatra used to sing, “the summer winds, came blowin’ in” and made things very tough for riders trying to work along the Missouri River to Stickney Creek and back. Observing all the floaters out on the river enjoyin’ a beautiful day in the Dearborn, I had to question today’s mode of transportation on several occasions. On a raft, drinking beer versus on a bike, drinking Heed. Hmm? Well, regardless, with the help of a strong group of riders, I was able to get back to Cascade and complete the day’s full century ride. Great day of riding. Another outstanding Helena Bicycling Club production. Thanks to everyone that were out there making the 2010 One Helena Hundred a huge success.

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