The Bad Medicine 90: This is the featured ride of our event that highlights the Western Slope of the Big Horn Mountains. We have smaller doses of Bad Medicare for those who want a big challenge but a bit less distance (56 miles) and those who want just a taste of Bad Medicine (16/20 miles - this one offers a gravel only route of 16 miles or a gravel and mountain two-track route of 20 miles).
All rides are fully supported with aid stations approximately every 10 miles, with emergency aid available as well.
After the event, you'll be able to enjoy a block party in beautiful, downtown Shell, Wyoming. The party will include food, beverages and music.
All courses start identically. You'll head southwest out of Shell on Trapper Creek Road. The first 3 miles are paved giving you a nice warm up over some rolling hills. Watch for wild turkeys and pheasants crossing the road.
At the Y, you'll stay right and start the gravel. About 4.5 miles into the course you'll pass the last hay field and get a glimpse up into Trapper Canyon towards your left. Now the work begins.
6.5 miles into the course, you'll get an excellent view of Devils Leap. This impressive geological features towers 800 feet in the air. Next you'll ride through Red Basin. As the sun climbs, these vivd red and orange cliffs will change color. 10.5 miles into the ride, you'll reach the Red Gulch Road. At this point you've climbed about 1100 feet. This backcountry byway will continue to ascend until you reach the Alkali Road where you'll turn right and descend over the next 9 miles towards Medicine Lodge Archaeological Site and Hyattville. Take the opportunity to recharge a little – the best is yet to come!
Time for a change of scenery. You'll head north on the Cold Springs Road
towards Bighorn National Forest. Good thing you rested up as you coasted downhill for 9 miles, because you've got a monster climb in front of you – 4,900 feet over 21 miles. Don't worry, that's only 233 feet per mile – you've got this.
Once at the top, another aid station awaits. The cool mountain air will refresh you as you take USFS 17 for the next 23 miles (there will be an aid station in this section as well). You'll pass Paintrock and Medicine Lodge Lakes, Spanish Point, Crooked Creek Hill and Snowshoe Mountain. When you reach Ranger Creek Station, make a note to come back. The Bench Trail, an excellent mountain bike trail, starts here (but that's an adventure for another day). When you reach US14, flaggers will warn uphill traffic for you.
Once on US 14, it's a feast for the eyes as you descend through Shell Canyon. Shell Creek is your companion as you admire Copmans Tomb, Shell Falls, and Elephant Head Rock. While your legs will appreciate the break, stay alert – hairpin turns and switchbacks require your full attention. When the canyon narrows at the bottom the sound of Shell Creek rushing by tells you you're almost home.
Once at the bottom of the canyon, it's time for the final push home. The next 5 miles have a gentle descent back to Shell through rolling ranch land. Check out iconic Chimney Rock on your left before cruising back into town.
Shell, WY, sitting at the western base of the Bighorn Mountains was founded almost 150 years. The area features an great network of two-track trails.