Cycling Advocates Ride to Pro Walk Pro Bike 2006

Daily Trip Log

from Vancouver B.C. to Madison, Wisconsin

Picture of Vancouver, BCGrouse Mountain Vancouver B.C.
from Deer Lodge to Butte, MT
Date: 2006-08-10
Distance: 70 Kilometres
Cycling Time: 3.96 Hours
Average Speed:17.54 kph
  Trip Distance since Leaving Vancouver - 1,386 Kilometres  
Thoughts for the Day  
  It was a quiet type of day. From early morning coolness the temperature transitioned to very warm. Clouds occasionally covered the sun providing some relieve from the sun. There were no other options. There were no trees by the side of the road and there were no overpasses.

For the first 20 or 30 kilometres there was a frontage road beside the I-90 providing for some quiet cycling. Along the way saw a magpie for the first time on this trip. Must be closer to the prairies.

We were cycling in a plain between two mountain ranges that appeared only as bumps, not mountains.

Went by the Anaconda pit mine where the dump trucks have their own roads. The headway between the trucks was just a minute or two. It was a busy road.

At Opportunity a hamlet, the road stopped with arrows at the intersection to go left or right. There was no information on how to get on to the I-90, as there was no exit at that point.

  A car pulled up and the irritated driver asked if we knew the area. Our response was no. Apparently, he left the I-90 to find a toilette. He has been driving for a few kilometres and ended up on what appears to be a dead end road. We told him of the last village that we proceeded through and he impatiently took off.

We got busy with the Montana map and found out that one had to turn right and proceed to Opportunity, make a left, and then a left on to Highway 1, and then there was an entrance back on to I-90. Just about 5 kilometres diversion and we cold continue on our journey. What was funny was that after we left the intersection and had gone about 100 metres, there was a blue port-a-toilet by the side of the road. If the driver had not been so impatient we could have helped him out.

The cycle was basically upward for the first 40 kilometres having started at 1380 metres in Deer Lodge. Then a 200 metres rise had to be climbed and then we continued up and down into Butte where we climbed to downtown at 1730 metres and then, after a restaurant stop descended to 1670 metres at he hotel.

Once the climb started the winds changed and came from the south with more intensity as it sailed through the Pass. Now it was a head wind. We were now in a bowl with mountains all around.

Now downtown, it was enjoyable to sit on the balcony of the restaurant under a roof and overlook the plains of Butte.

Not too strenuous of a day. A longer day is coming tomorrow.

Cycling Facilities  
Today, most of the way the I-90 had cycleable rumble strips broken every 6 metres or so to allow switching from the wide paved shoulder to the traffic lane.

  The I-90/15/I-115 intersection to downtown is just impossible for cyclists wishing to go downtown. Some signage for cyclists would be really useful. As one descends down the I-90 the road bends to the right. Then a four lane bridge needs to be crossed. This bridge does not have any room available for cyclists so one has to go on the inside lane. Then maybe 50 to 75 metres past the bridge there is a wye on a bend with the road dropping vertically. To go downtown one has to cross two I-90 lanes to get to the left leg of the wye. Visibility at this stage is non-existing for cars barrelling down the road at the supposed posted speed of 120 kph. It is much saver to cross the bridge and then immediately cross the traffic lanes to the left shoulder, go down the left lag and then cross to the right side of the road after the leg.

    Cycling in butte was not enjoyable. The roads are not designed for cycling and the drivers are too egotistical and just barrel down the road. The gutters are not cycling friendly being set below the road level.

    There appears to be a cycling path beside the I-90 but it is not signed. A cycling map for this city could not be found on the internet.