Cycling Advocates Ride to Pro Walk Pro Bike 2006
|Daily Trip Log||
Picture of Vancouver, BC
|from Billings to Hardin, MT|
Distance: 97 Kilometres
Cycling Time: 5.67 Hours
Average 17.13 Speed: kph
|Trip Distance since Leaving Vancouver - 1,859 Kilometres|
Thoughts for the Day
|Exploring Cycling Facilities in Billings|
|Off we went this morning in search of cycling
facilities in Billings. With guidance from the Billings Bike Map we went
on identified streets on the map. Our destination was a bike shop so that
John could buy some puncture kits, having now three tubes that would not
We finally found a bike lane. It was well identified. Had a centre line strip and a cyclist stencil. It was located in the aisle in the bike store.
The store owner was very helpful with information for us on our continued travels.
|Different Types of Seats|
|A bit of the past when John used to ride horses bareback. Today the bike steed needs a comfortable saddle. For me, I used to ride with an English saddle on my Arabian horse. What a sensation when galloping down the country roads and fields in gallop. The gait was so smooth that I never toughed my horse’s back. Sometimes I wish the bike was also like that.|
|A Short Trip that Turned Long|
|Sometimes various maps and road distance signs
have conflicting information. Sometimes we just misread maps. Today, was
such a day.
We decided to set out later and go back downtown as we only
had a short ride to the next destination. Well, so we thought.
|By noon, we left Billings and set out on a side road hat appeared to be connected t the I-90 by an intersection. John wanted to get away from the noise of the I-90. I wanted to escape the continuous obstacle course on the freeway shoulder with the broken of pieces from the truck trailer tires. After a steep climb the road changed to gravel. So, we stopped a truck and asked for directions. We were told that the road dead ends. So, the alternative was to cycle back 5 km to the last intersection in what now was a hot day and getting hotter. A buck deer crossed the road in front of me as I climbed the hill. The sun blazed with no clouds in sight. The other alternative was to strip the bikes to their naked self’s and lift all over a cattle fence with 3 strands of barbed wire at the top. The obvious solution, lift the bikes over the fence. We almost untied some barbed wire on what we thought was a fence. It turned out not to be so but a tension wire for the fence.|
|From there it was up hill for many a kilometres and then with ridge riding to Hardin. The scenery was interesting with its shades of golden browns. We were cycling a plateau very dried out with some farming. The mountains at the edge of the plateau were nothing more than some dimples.|
|Cycling in mid-day under 30 some Celsius heat and a blazing sun with no relief from clouds does get to the body eventually. We ran out of water almost by the last rest centre.|
|Billings Cycling Facilities|
Billings has a plan for making this town more cycling friendly. Currently there is a map. There is one trail that we saw. That is all. The Bike Route streets did not have any markings.
|Billings Bike Parking|
|Other than one small bike rack in the downtown area, we did not see any bike parking facilities.|
|Billings Bike Map|
|Billings has a bike map (internet address -
The map indicates the roads which are considered primary and secondary roads for cycling, as well as, roads that could be used as arterial bikeways and paved and gravelled trails.
A hard copy can be locally obtained from bike stores. The size is small making it a challenge for those whose eyes have passed their prime.
|I-90 Cycling, Litter on Road|
|And so continues the unkempt paved shoulders that are sometimes like an obstacle course trying to avoid the rethread tires, glass, gravel, and other debris.|