Established in 2020 by Terry Ambassador, Jennifer Drinkwalter, Montana Tour is a nonprofit located in Red Lodge, MT dedicated to providing support and infrastructure to non-motorized travelers, whether they be tourists or longtime locals. Montana Tour’s endeavors are funded primarily through key events including a weeklong tour, a gravel race and a 24-hour race and relay. Jennifer and her team strive to produce events for more than just the advanced rider and prioritize inclusivity, affordability, community building and good, clean—okay, probably a little gritty—fun. They focus on the event experience, not just the podium and work diligently to create spaces and opportunities where female cyclists, especially newcomers, can get involved. Their female leadership team and crew provide amazing ride support, distance choices, and a truly welcoming environment. As a result, ladies consistently make up 45% of participants across their events. If you’ve been itching to experience Montana on two wheels and want to join our mission to help them boost female participation to the majority, we highly recommend checking out Montana Tour’s event series this summer.
Montana Tour: June 23-28, 2024
The Montana Tour is a fully supported, camp-based tour that allows you to choose your own adventure with 3-day and 6-day routes available to explore roads less traveled. The 6-day tour begins in beautiful Red Lodge, nestled in Montana’s magnificent Beartooth Mountains, and forays through Columbus, Big Timber, Livingston and Absarokee. One 3-day tour heads West, joining the 6-day riders from Red Lodge to Livingston and the other picks up where they left off, starting in Livingston and heading back East towards Red Lodge. All routes blend a perfect brew of gravel roads, amazing vistas and paved roads. To enjoy all these mixed surfaces have to offer, a gravel bike or road bike with a minimum tire width of 35mm is recommended.
All Tours include:
- Support from town-to-town: baggage haul, gear drop and shuttle access
- 3 full meals a day and route support catered by Yellowstone Kelly’s.
- Shower truck at campsites
- Mechanic support en route and in the evening
- Rest stops with port-a-potties, snacks, electrolytes and water
- Professional Emergency Medical Response on the route
- Rider gifts and sponsor swag from brands you love, like Terry Bicycles
“Fantastic mountain scenery, excellent routes and friendly, first-class ride support. If this is your idea of a cycling adventure, I highly recommend the Montana Tour. Cycling in Big Sky country was equally challenging, fun, and memorable. I give the Montana Tour 5 out of 5 chainrings.”Aimee Imo, 3-year Montana Tour Participant.
Bike Touring Pro Tip: start your packing list with Terry! Our Touring Collection features versatile tops that wick, packable outerwear that travels well, bottoms that dry quickly and can go the distance, and clever accessories that’ll make the trip more comfortable. The whole checklist is covered, here.
Registration for the 2024 Montana Tour is currently open. Use code: Terry2024 to save $75 on your registration through Thursday, February 29th. For more event information and route details, please visit: montanatour.org/mt-tour
24-Hours of Elk Basin: June 15-16, 2024
This is your invitation to a one-of-a-kind, dusty party in Belfry, MT. Grab your friends for an epic weekend in the desert and ride some singletrack as a team or conquer the course solo. The challenge? See how many loops you can complete at the Elk Basin Rec Area on bike, foot, or a mix of the two within 24 hours. This family-friendly event, put on with Montana Tour’s partners at Red Lodge Events, is open to all ages and abilities and includes camping, music, great brews and food, and all of the riding and running you can manage in a 24-hour fiasco of fun.
Registration for 24-Hours of Elk Basin includes:
- Participant gift
- Catered dinner on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday
- Camping pass: tents, van style and campers welcome
- Access to medical tent, hydration and nutrition stations
- Live music: get your groove on in the evening and in between laps
Registration for 24-Hours of Elk Basin is currently open. For more event information and route details, please visit: 24hoursofelkbasin.com
Big Sky Gravel: August 25, 2024
Calling all gravel grinding gals! Join Montana Tour this August for 100, 50 or 22 miles of fun in the foothills of the Beartooth Mountains during Big Sky Gravel. A spectacular showcase of Big Sky and even bigger gravel, this event is more than just a race and has welcoming vibes, stunning vistas, courses for every ability, and a killer after-party with music and finish line festivities open to the public.
The 22-mile option can be ridden as a race, non-competitive tour or e-bike category while the 100 and 50-mile options are race only. All routes start and finish in downtown Red Lodge and 100-mile riders can expect 6,100 ft of elevation gain throughout the race. While not quite as steep, the 50 and 22-milers are not to be discounted, 50-mile riders can expect to tackle over 3,000 ft in gain and the 22-mile riders will climb a cumulative 1,200 ft. All riders can look forward to breathtaking views of the Beartooth, Absaroka and Pryor Mountain Ranges throughout their journey and will be able to navigate like pros with both GPS supported routes and clear, marked paths. SAG and Rest Stop support will be at the ready to support riders wherever it’s needed, ensuring all are well-fueled from base camp to the finish line.
Registration for Big Sky Gravel includes:
- Rider gift and swag bag
- Finish line meal and entry to after-party
- Route nutrition and hydration
- SAG and Rest Stop support
- Water source including Skratch Labs electrolytes at base camp and on route
- GPS supported and marked routes
Registration for Big Sky Gravel 2024 is currently open. For more event information and route details, please visit: bigskygravel.com
Jennifer Drinkwalter founded the nonprofit Montana Tour in 2020 with a mission to help communities support non-motorized tourism. Jennifer serves on the board of Beartooth Recreational Trails Association, a local nonprofit trail group, and has been an event director for large cycling tours and fundraisers for other organizations over the past 20 years. Jennifer and Montana Tour run a trailhead shuttle that connects her community to Red Lodge Mountain, Nichols & Willow, West Fork, Lake Fork and Beartooth Pass. They also recently started a community bike center, Bootleg Cycology, that repairs and re-homes used bikes to increase access to sustainable transportation and offers educational opportunities to learn about bike maintenance and cycling safety practices. When she’s not riding or helping others do so, you’ll find Jennifer and her partner, Bryan, skiing, running the rivers and staying busy with their teenage son and three dogs in Red Lodge, MT.
MORE UPCOMING EVENTS
We support a lot of local events and organized rides every season. While we may not be in attendance, we’re always there in spirit. Find a list of upcoming events, here. We hope one of these is in your backyard.
Think your event should be on our list? Use this form to let us know about it.