Gridiron Goals

Reid Sabin deep in the Montana backcountry, on a trail that sees far more wolf and bear traffic than human. Fresh snow from the night before revealed the pack was cruising just ahead.

Gridiron Goals Northwest Montana's Postseason Blitz

Omaha! Omaha! To most people, this famous snap count is synonymous with Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.

But to mountain bikers in northwest Montana, it’s a rally cry we yell when we see our buddies on the trail, enjoying the best time of year to ride. While fall means football season for the whole country, in these northern climes it also  represents the prime riding period. And though it might at first seem odd, to us, mountain biking and the good old gridiron have a lot more in common than just a shared season.

Think about it. During the spring, everyone’s a little rusty from a long, harsh winter, and our rides here are more like football’s training camp, when we’re just getting warmed up for the season. The trails are usually still snowy up high and muddy down low, and we can’t ride as much as we’d like. Even though fall is several months away, autumnal glory is still at the forefront of our thoughts.

Summer is when the gains are made, putting hay in the barn and working on the fitness that we’ll take into the regular season and hopefully the playoffs. While the big alpine rides of summer are cool—and an ideal way to get into shape—it’s hot and dusty on our finest lowland trails, and it’s all too easy to get distracted by time cooling off in the lake or rivers. But come Labor Day, it’s game time for everyone who’s put in the work and is ready for the regular season.

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