an endurance
adventure bike ride

The Race

Below is a brief rundown of what to expect

We have kept it simple to save space, please download the PARTICIPANT PACKET – jcpr-2020-riders-packet-4.6 for a detailed outline, each year features a different route and the participant packet is specific to each version.

For 2020 there are two route choices, long or short. I’ve ridden all the roads either course would use during several exploratory rides.  Please realize this is a semi self supported ride and you are responsible for getting yourself back to the Whitefish Bike Retreat if you are unable to finish the ride.

It’s only a race if you want it to be. To be honest it’s an adventure/ endurance race on a bike, but again you don’t have to race, you could team up with a couple friends and treat it as a gentleman’s ride.

The short ride travels in a counter clockwise direction. Total distance is in the neighborhood of <70 miles, 6k of climbing and , and with one aid station at about the halfway mark.  Conoco stop for a Powerball Ticket at mile 4.

The long ride will be in the neighborhood of 120 miles, is the Bonafide Montana State Gravel Championship, about 11k of climbing and descending and two aid stations at mile 50 and 90. Conoco stop for a Powerball ticket at mile 115, and then on to the finish.

Both course have several long climbs in the 4-8% range and several steep but short sections hitting 14%.

You may see a few cars, but for the most part you’ll have the roads to yourselves.

There is no on course aid or roaming mechanical support. You are responsible for your own well being and any mechanical mishaps that may occur. You need to be equipped for any inclement weather and or mechanical problems. You will also need to carry enough food and water to pedal up to 50 miles for the long corse and 35 miles on the short course.  There are dozens of creeks, streams and springs along the route to stop and refill from between aid stations, I’d filter the water, but ultimately it’s up to you.

For the most part the roads are graded and improved forest service and state dirt roads, Paved sections are chip sealed but you should still pay attention for some broken pavement.

What type of bike should I ride?

You can ride what ever you want as long as it doesn’t have a motor.  If you are riding for keeps and want to earn the title of Montana State Gravel Champion, You’ll need to be on a drop bar style “Gravel Bike” though.  You will also need to be a resident of Montana for minimum of one year and hold a valid Montana Library Card.

Please consider the remoteness and difficulty of the ride and your ability in fitness level, mental capacity and mechanical prowess if something on your bike should break. There is minimal cell reception while on course and if you break down, you could be in for a long walk.

Please the FAQ page for more details.

Wildlife preparedness.

Venue Information


e would have to say that The Joe Cosley Pancake Classic, is super lucky to have Cricket Butler, owner of the Whitefish Bike Retreat as the host for the past three years. The WBR is a full service cycling oriented lodge, located on the outskirts of Whitefish along the the Tour Divide route. The WBR offers lodging, car glamping, tent camping, airport shuttles if you are coming from out of town, general store with eats and bike accessories, showers and much more. For more information, visit the Whitefish Bike Retreat.

Even though we are moving out to the Trego Pub and General Store for 2020, if you need a place to stay, the WBR is the bestest!  I’m sure we’ll be moving back there for 2021.