Having retired June 30 after six years at the Blackfeet Community College (BCC) with the nursing program and 31 years with the Indian Health Service, 28 of those at Blackfeet Community Hospital in Browning, Keith McDivitt set out to enter a bicycle race.
A long time Cut Bank resident, McDivitt at 64 years old, rode a 100-mile road bike race held Saturday, Oct. 17, in St. George, Utah. He flew from Kalispell to Las Vegas with his family, Carol McDivitt (wife), Morgan (daughter), Caleb (Morgan’s husband), and Bridger (7 month old grandson).
They rented an RV in Las Vegas and spent time touring Zion National Park, Bryce National Park and the North Rim of Grand Canyon in addition to the bike ride on Oct. 17.
Keith averaged 14.1 mph over the 100 miles, with a riding time of seven hours, seven minutes and 23 seconds. There were 240 riders in the race. Keith stopped at miles 35, 55 and 71 for hydration and food.
The race featured elevation changes of 6,252 feet. One hill was 14 miles long from mile 54 to 68, and the temperature at beginning of the race was in the 50s and in the upper 80s by the end. To train for the race, Keith pedaled up and over some vigorous terrain in Montana, including riding five miles uphill to Big Mountain/Whitefish Mountain with its 1,550 gain in elevation; 16 miles and 3,200 feet in elevation from Avalanche Creek to Logan Pass in Glacier National Park; and 6.5 miles from Lakeside, Mont., to Blacktail Mountain with its 1,350 feet gain in elevation.
Keith’s family, whom he referred to as his “bike pit crew,” traveled around some parts of the Century Bike Ride in the RV to cheer him on.