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 Butte to Bozeman, MT
Date: 2006-08-11
Distance: 135 Kilometres
Cycling Time: 7.05 Hours
Average Speed: 19.17 kph
  Trip Distance since Leaving Vancouver - 1,521 Kilometres  
Thoughts for the Day  
  The Great Continental Divide – 1,949 metres elevation

As we left Butte early this morning the first task at hand was to make the 300 metres climb to the Continental Divide. The climb was long but not over strenuous, taking about an hour. The grade seemed to be in the 6 % range.

The scenery along the climb was interesting. One could look down into the plateau that contains Butte, seeing some semi-arid farming between the mountain peaks. The highway was cut into a rocky mountain sprouting coniferous trees. Some of the rocks showed scars that a volcano would make. The road wound its way up the mountain until a bridge from a crossing road signalled that the Continental Divide had been reached.

As I arrived at the Divide, a racer type cyclist was just making the turn and headed back down east. Guess he uses the climb for exercise. Considering the altitude, the thin air and its effect on the body, it was nota bad place to exercise.

Form there it was a long 10 km descend at 6% grade until the next valley was reached. John just swished by me on the descend. He really dose enjoy these descends. It was frustrating that I could not let the bike just run out. An episode a couple of weeks before the ride started is causing me to keep the bicycle below 50 kph until I understand what caused the bike to vibrate at higher speeds. There was a smell of smoke in the air from a forest fire not too far away.

Then another Pass needed to be climbed. This one was of the same elevation rise but more difficult. Why, maybe because it was now 11:00 am and the sun was boiling down. This one took more out of John. He found some shade from a tree on the way up and made good use of it.

Normally, we do the climbs separately and I wait for him at the top. We do have different cycling styles and weather preferences that affect cycling. I had waited some considerable time for him but he did not appear. The sun was taking its toll on my muscles so I needed to move. Shade would have been nice but that is difficult to find in semi-arid mountains and plateaus. Just as I was starting off and took one final look back, John appeared, rested but fatigued from the sun at the same time.

From there the terrain changed as the plateaus started to widen out. Mountain tops became a border to the plateau more in the distance. There was more farming now.

We passed over the Missouri River at Three Forks, a small town that appeared to be quite active with stores and services. There was a large resort type hotel in town. We stopped at a restaurant for lunch. It was a family run operation or so it would appear. Certainly not like the usual prairie restaurants but one that has been outfitted with care. The food was also of better quality than for most. As we were leaving we noticed a pamphlet of an upcoming concert this weekend in town with the Guess Who on the billboard. Quite a concert for a town so remote.

Cycling for the rest of the afternoon became a bit of a bore. The blazing sun took its toll. There were clouds in the sky but not until near the end of the ride did the sun get covered. For most of the afternoon the sun and clouds were teasing us pretending to provide shade from the sun but not really.

Cycling Facilities  
  I-90 The quality of the shoulder and the maintenance of it, including sweeping I,t seems to depend on which county you are in. Today, one section of the highway had the rumble strips on the outer side of the shoulder. The rumble strips were about 0.6 metres wide. This was a bit inconvenient as the separation between the trucks and the cyclists was reduced. It also left fewer options to avoid litter on the shoulder.

Butte Yesterday, it was noticed that there seemed to be a bike path adjacent to the I-90. The path was not marked and showed signs of neglect as tree branches grew into the path area, making cycling difficult in spots. The path was signed as a ‘No Dog” area.

    On leaving this morning and cycling south on Harrison Dr. to Elizabeth Warren Ave. and then left to Continental Drive, it was noticed that Continental Dr. had a two-way, physically segregated bike path on the road. It appears that this bike path goes along the I-90 south until the 228 interchange. How far north and west it goes, that is unknown as the city does not have a cycling map available through the internet.

  Bozeman As can be expected of a university town, Bozeman did have bike paths and lanes.