BUTTE – For most people… biking 2,745 miles from Alberta, Canada to Antelope Wells, New Mexico seems absolutely ludicrous. But for Bear Stillwagon it was anything but that. Biking is a way of life. He pushes his body to the absolute limit all for the spirit of the open road. But even he’ll admit it took some time for his amazing accomplishment to set in.
“You didn’t have time to think about it and let it settle in what happened,” says Butte cyclist Bear Stillwagon. “Then you know maybe a week or two weeks later it kind of sunk in like holy crap you know i finished it, I’m done. It took a while to settle in.”
But even before Bear took on the Tour Divide Race he was already set to race the Butte 100. Knowing that in just less than a month he’d have to push his limits again for 100 miles in one of the most renowned bike races in the country.
“I didn’t know if I’d recover in time to race the Butte 100,” added Stillwagon. “Some people take a couple of months, some people take even six months really just a few days later I felt good, I wanted to ride again and I did ride.”
To most people it seems crazy to push your body through that kind of physical strain…to do it twice, in a month span…impossible. But not for Bear Stillwagon.
“You know I hate not being on the bike and really in the few days I had off…coming back to Butte from the tour I just wanted to get back on the bike,” he adds. “And like this week we taper we get off the bike a little bit and not ride as much, and I’ve been telling everyone I’m dying to ride again. It’s killing me to actually not ride this week trying to get ready for it.”
But Bear got his wish and raced the Butte 100 taking home a third place finish…conquering the 100 mile trek in 9 hours and 53 minutes. But above all the accomplishments Bear’s biggest love is the countless people he meets along the way.
“It is a culture and we understand each other, it’s great,” says Bear. “The friends are a big part of why I love biking too.”