Inaugural Beartooth Challenge hits the mark

Alastair Baker
News Editor
Thursday, September 12, 2019
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Photo by Brady Vomund
Cyclists make their way down the Beartooth Pass.

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Photos by Colleen Vomund
The group of riders with Bob Larson (6th from the right), Operation Second Chance, and law enforcement, at the Memorial Wall at Red Lodge High School.

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The riders got a grand send off by Red Lodge High School students.

Operation Second Chance recently sponsored a challenging bicycle ride for support of combat injured veterans and raised $8,000. 

Called the Beartooth Challenge, a dozen riders, including 5 combat injured veterans, set off from Red Lodge High School, Sept. 6, accompanied by a student guard of honor.  The riders then rode towards Cody, Wyoming, staying overnight before going on to Cooke City, and finally returning to Red Lodge via the Beartooth Pass, Sept. 8, covering 220 miles.

The Beartooth Challenge is based on a similar ride called Ride Allegheny back east that also supports Operation Second Chance. To date this organization has raised approximately $3 million towards the organization. 

Taking part in the ride was Clark Wagner who founded Ride Allegheny in 2001. 

“Clark serves with me on the Board of Directors for Operation Second Chance and we held our board meeting here in Red Lodge in May of 2018,” said Bob Larson, Director of Retreats Operation Second Chance.

“He was impressed with Red Lodge and we discussed a similar effort here in Red Lodge, calling it the Beartooth Challenge. It turned out very well and we plan on doing it again next year and for many years to come. As of right now, they have raised over $8,000 towards a goal of $10,000 for this inaugural event,” said Larson. 

Andy Baranovic, of the Spoke Wrench, took care of all the cyclist needs (even on his day off). The cyclists loved him and will make sure to support his business in the future. “We could not have done this challenge without him,” they said.

If you wish to donate or find out more please visit the Beartooth Challenge website at 






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