Cycling trip raises funds for Flathead ski museum

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Tim Hinderman rides along Boreas Pass in Colorado on a previous cycling trip. (Courtesy photo)

From one historic ski hill to another, Tim Hinderman is set to embark on a 2,100 mile bike tour across Montana.

Over the course of his adventure, Hinderman will visit all 15 Montana ski areas in just under a month in an effort to raise funds for the next phase of the Flathead Valley Ski Education Foundation Ski Heritage Center Museum of Skiing in Whitefish. Donations also go toward the FVSEF race team scholarship fund.

Hinderman, who serves as FVSEF’s executive director, said he hopes to raise $25,000 in pledged donations prior to his departure on July 22. As of last Thursday about $6,200 had been raised.

Taking time to visit all of the state’s ski hills seemed the most appropriate theme for the endeavor, Hinderman said. Among the 15 ski areas, a variety of sizes and histories will keep things interesting.

“It seemed like a relevant theme for the ride,” he said. “Because some of those ski areas are pretty historic and as old as Big Mountain. Some of them are just hanging on ... some are thriving like Big Sky and Big Mountain.”

These long-distance trips are nothing new to Hinderman, who completed the Tour Divide race in 2014, a 2,700-mile endurance biking trip that runs down the Continental Divide from Banff, Alberta, to Mexico.

“In a way I’m prepared in terms of knowing what the needs of a multi-day trip are, how much to pack, not to pack. I’m thinking the bigger challenges here, in terms of the types of riding and the hills — it’s really fairly similar, if you look at the route, but there’s a little more secondary county roads in this.”

The ski museum is housed in the former Saddle Club building on Wisconsin Avenue. So far the remodel has added a new kitchen, offices and new doors and windows. Pledges dedicated to the museum will go toward the initial exhibits and photo gallery to help get the museum open in the fall in time for Whitefish Mountain Resort’s 70th anniversary season.

“We’re really excited about the fund raising potential for Tim’s ride,” said FVSEF Director Geoff Calaway. “On the Ski Team front, our numbers continue to grow but travel and program costs are increasing as well. Our scholarship fund allows us to keep the programs affordable to more Flathead Valley families every year. And for the Ski Heritage Center to be opening this fall is an exciting milestone that we have all been pushing for.”

The Great Montana Ski Area Bike Tour is sponsored by Sportsman Ski Haus, Hammer Nutrition, and Great Northern Cycle & Ski.

Pledges are based on various combinations of lift ticket prices at the ski areas. Pledge packages range from $93 to $1,100, but pledges and donations will be accepted in any amount.

Pledges can be sent to and can be designated for either the Ski Heritage Center Museum opening fund or the FVSEF scholarship fund.

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