Bogus Bike Ride

Soon after Tenspeed Hero located one of its many headquarters in Boise, Idaho, we noticed stickers that said “Bogus.” To which we replied, “Yeah, totally.” Then we learned that Bogus was the name of a ski resort. In the summer it is a popular destination for cyclists – cyclists who like climbing. In the winter there are too many cars. Indeed, an Internet search for “car accident Bogus Basin Road” is enough to make any self respecting cyclist avoid that road from December to March (or January to February if we have more snow fall years like last year). From Hawkins Pac Out, a drive in burger joint, to the resort is a 16 mile climb. The official climb, August 17 this year, sponsored by George’s Bicycles, starts a short distance up the road and is about 14 miles. The fastest time is about 52 minutes. We find that it is pretty easy to do the climb with about an hour added to that time.

The road snakes (and yes, there are snakes) its way up the mountain. There is one particularly sharp turn called “Postman’s Corner,” after a postman who drove his car off the road. Unfortunately he was hit by two consecutive cars as he climbed back onto the road. But luck was with him that day; the snow was so deep that he was pushed down into the snow and our hero was no worse for the wear.


We are not sure if the elevation marker above is official or if it was scrawled there by a thoughtful, amateur elevation enthusiast, but either way it is appreciated. It gives us a sense of of where we are on the mountain. 1000 feet to go! Of course that is 1000 feet up, not ahead.

A variation on the climb takes you to the top of at least one of the ski hills. About two miles from the resort there are a couple of dirt roads to the right. The first has a gate the second doesn’t. Take the second one and continue up. Eventually you will reach the top of the mountain where you will have radio and television antennae and a ski lift to keep you company. There are also Columbia ground squirrels, various chipmunk species, and many bird species.

As you rise in elevation you will notice that the terrain changes from sagebrush desert at the bottom to Ponderosa pine forest at the top.

It is customary to raise an arm in salute as you approach the Bogus sign. Or perhaps this gentleman is shaking his fist in anger at the new Bogus sign because he misses the charm of old one.

There is no shame in riding three quarters up the mountain and stopping for a solo picnic. This guy, the one apparently doing crunches, yelled, “The journey is the destination!” as we whizzed past him at about 50 mph, quickly snapping a photo of course, on our way down. It’s near impossible to pass a 64 cm Merckx with TA cranks and 1980s Campy Super Record components without taking a picture.

Photographer’s note: All photos were taken with a Leica point and shoot 35 mm camera bought for $4 at the Idaho Youth Ranch. The negatives were scanned but none would scan sharp so they were then printed on Ilford Multi Grade fiber-based paper. The prints are still a little damp.