Day One: There and Back Again (Salmon, Idaho to Jackson, Montana)

John and the  riders meeting

John and the riders meeting

The Rally began with the Riders’ Meeting. President John gave the usual reminders to ride safely. He described the steep pass at the Montana border, and the need to shift down before entering corners especially when descending. The numbers were something like a 3000 foot elevation change in 15 miles.

Dan, who has some experience with roads in this area, added tips. Dick raised our consciousness in two ways. First he stated that if we don’t know the story behind the name of Dead Indian Pass, then we need to stop at Big Hole National Battlefield and learn about the Nez Perce Indian Tribe. Then he spoke of the need to gather and recycle crankcase oil, and accepted to take charge of this.

Velocettes and tipi

Velocettes and tipi


We need to remember our history!

We need to remember our history! Big Hole was an important stop on today’s ride. There is much more to our trip than the road.


The plan took us north on US Route 93, along parts of the Lewis and Clarke trail, and pass the Continental Divide to Highway 43. Here we turned east to Wisdom where we turned right (south) on Jackson for lunch.

Velocettes in front of Jackson Hot Springs Lodge

Velocettes in front of Jackson Hot Springs Lodge


Repairs sometimes got tense

Repairs sometimes got tense

More bikes parked across the street from the lodge.  Notice the snow on the hills.

More bikes parked across the street from the lodge. Notice the snow on the hills.

And then back again.

This was a great shakedown run, a test to see if the bikes were sorted or not. Although he hadn’t planned on riding the Matchless, Fred was talked into it. About 2o miles up the road he could feel it start to seize. Instead of risking serious damage, he pulled off and put on the orange tape which means, the bike had to go into the chase truck.

Fred and his Matchless ready for the chase truck

Fred and his Matchless ready for the chase truck


It also was a good warm up ride for riders like me who haven’t been riding much. Eager to get back into shape some of us took the recommended detour out to Shoup, despite the warning of gravel on the road. It wouldn’t be a Velo ride without some gravel or dirt roads. The ice cream was good and some took the time to cool off in the river. None of us needed fuel, but yes the pumps are still active. A few miles further, the road ends at the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness area.
Pete, Kim and Dan in front of the Shoup Store

Pete, Kim and Dan in front of the Shoup Store

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