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Thanks to the thirty hardcore cyclists who showed up at Bogert Park in the middle of a torrential downpour to ride wet streets, muddy trails, avoid (or partake in) physical altercations with a transient, summit the shit out of multiple fake rocks, go to the ends of the earth (or at least the end of our humble little burg), and then finish it all up by drinking cans of Miller High Life beer while soaking wet.
A number of the requirements on the manifest involved riders taking photos of various elements around town with the purpose of them being voted on after the ride by a couple of the event sponsors (Stevil of "All Hail the Black Market", John F. of "Chunkstyle", and Pete of "M.O.R.B.I.D." and maybe local bicycling non-celebrity or two such as Sethanol. Five people submitted photos that had about thirteen people in them so rather than vote on anything I'll just post 'em up for people to enjoy and if any of the photos get a bunch of comments I'll give them a prize (I haven't actually received the prize I want to give away yet no thanks to 685... I should really contact him and tell him to send that to me).
To view the photos in full-resolution, visit the collection of photos on Flickr:
Comment away on ones you like. A few of them are worthy of posting here for one reason or another - reasons I've stated in their captions.
Tom getting his photo taken withe the AHTBM sign as required in the manifest just before getting punched in the neck by the transient dude who happened to live at this alleycat stop. Doh.
Instructions at one of the stops included the words "...Keep in mind that Stevil [a judge] is a dirty fuck so no amount of lewdness will offend him. Middle fingers, bare asses, and beers represent, mofos!" so why not take it seriouly? They took it seriously elsewhere also - - check the photo gallery for that ravishing pic.
These are the results in this past weekends Redundancy Alleycat Bicyle Race and Bicycle Race. A race report, photo, and video post will follow next week. I'd also like to suggest individual racers or teams submit race reports as well, too, additionally, and also as well.
Before I list the winners I'd like to thank our race sponsors whom provided a box of prizes that were given away after the race. They are (in no particular order), Stevil Kinevil of "All Hail the Black Market", Pete of "MORBID", John F. of "Chunkstyle", Wiley of "Practical Pedal", and 685 of "Pentabike" (who hasn't actually mailed me the prize yet and whom I'd best contact to bitch at).
Special thanks to John C. for recording race results at race end. If I missed your name, give me a shout and I'll add you to the list.Racers, in order of arrival:
OK, so remember that movie The Island ? Well you can read about it there, though basically it was about famous people having clones so that when they have a accident or need some new organs they can just harvest them from their clones. Well looky what I found here! Yes its Ewan McGregor riding a fixed gear but thats not the point. Do you see?! No helmet. I think that we can all agree that this is pretty hard evidence that The Island was not just another mindless actions -thriller crapped out of Michael Bay's butt. It's reality. He probably has like 10 other Ewans just hanging out in some growth chamber underground waiting to replace him when he gets smoked by a garbage truck.
Thanks to my mom and stepdad for coming out to visit this weekend and driving all the way to Missoula with me for the race.
F*$k you and your secondary manifest, John.
The administration at The Fix are soliciting for other authors as well. If you're an active cyclist in Bozeman and you think the writing and photography you would offer to this blog fits within the scope of work already here get in touch with us.
Stay tuned to this here informational ressource for all-things Bozeman, bikes, beer, and bacon.
Please take a few minutes to ponder what kind of precedent our situation presents. The science supports responsible use of bikes on dirt, a significant part of local economies benefit from moutnnain bike tourism, and bikes are a great way to get kids off of couches and families spending time together in the great outdoors. Sadly, this message is proving difficult to get out with a well-funded, closed minded and collusive Wilderness contingent closing doors in our collective faces.
If this is something that you'd like to be part of there's a few things that you can do to make a difference: join the Montana Mountain Bike Alliance, Check out the Montana Mountain Bike Network ning site, or even just follow Montana Mountain Bike Network on Twitter.
It's Game On in Montana and we need your help!
Late Summer - Early Fall 2009 Update
- On Sunday October 10th a story ran in the New York Times that highlights some of the challenges we face as cyclists here in Montana. The piece gives a disturbing insight into the Region One bicycle banning philosophy. Entitled Growth in Mountain Biking May Put Western Trails Off Limits, the piece should sound the alarm for all those who cherish their backcountry access and motivate even the most APATHETIC among us to become active advocates. Does the conventional conservation group-think offer that because bicycling has been successful in getting more people off the couch, reducing obesity, promoting good health, boosting rural economies and connecting people with the outdoors that we should have our access restricted? PAY ATTENTION!
- WSA LAWSUIT - Sept. 28th - Ruling on a lawsuit filed by the Montana Wilderness Assoiciation, The Greater Yellowstone Coalition and the Wilderness Society, U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy states that the Gallatin National Forest travel plan did not do enough to ensure the Hyalite-Porcupine-Buffalo Horn Wilderness Study Area kept its wilderness characteristics. The ruling means that the Forest Service will have to revisit how the HPBH WSA is managed. Named as a threat to solitude in the lawsuit, mountain bicycle access to the 220 miles on 36 alpine trails south of Bozeman and east of Big Sky that fall into the 155,000 acre WSA will again be on the table for possible closure - including trails in upper Hyalite and Porcupine drainages. Read Article. View Lawsuit.
- An article appearing on NewWest.net allowed MMBA to weigh in on Senator Tester's Forest Jobs and Recreation Act. The piece uses the 2nd Annual Backcountry Bicycle Festival in Lima as a backdrop to examine the important link between access to great trails and prospering small town economies. Take a moment to read the article, and if you have time, puruse the comments that follow. An Important Read!
- On October 5th the U.S. Forest Service released the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail Comprehensive Plan that spells out the latest management directive for the CDNST. A must read, albeit it dry, for anyone who is concerned about future bicycle access to the spectacular and irreplaceable trail resource. Also important to note is the position statement from the Continental Divide Trail Alliance on mountain bike use of the Continental Divide Trail. Knowledge is Power.
- The most important and immediate action that EVERYONE OF YOU can do today is to comment of the Bitterroot Travel Management Plan before the November 5th deadline. Please see our Bitterroot Comment Suggestions page for more details. No matter where you live it is vital that you weigh in on this particular TMP as bad bicycle policy is spreading and your backyard could be next! May guilt and pinch flats plague you for eternity if you do not comment! Apathy Sucks. Don't depend on others to carry your load. This is APATHY FOR THE BITTERROOT! Please take 15 minutes to write your letter for future mountain biking opportunities. We need to bury the Forest Service with comments.
- Tune into Yellowstone Public Radio out of Billings, Montana this morning, Wednesday October, 21st, to help MMBA spread our pro-bicycle, pro-conservation message. MMBA will be issuing a challenge to the cycling community during the morning fund raising broadcast from 6 – 9 a.m. (MST). Participate and listen online at www.ypradio.org online or find your local frequency. No matter where you live or whether you already donate to YPR or not, this will be a great opportunity to flex our collective bicycle muscles for a great cause!
- DONATE! MMBA is a volunteer organization staffed by passionate, commited and masochistic cyclists funded by the change in their pockets and support from folks like you. Give what you can. We appreciate it!
Montana Mountain Bike Alliance
P.O. Box 7023
Bozeman, MT 59771
"Whatever the social question, a bicycle should be part of the answer!"
Wait, what an I saying? So there's skiing already in Bozeman (as long as you're willing to use or make rock boards) and about 4 inches of snow on the ground in town. Riding isn't done for those who would rather be astride wheels than atop planks. It might be tough, you might (will) struggle, and you might have to drive a bit to get to the riding- but you can ride. Trust me.
For the purposes of this post I'm going to try to stick to real trails, with real singletrack. In the winter you might not always have this luxury- but you'll usually be able to get that fat-tire fix. I'm also going to stick to regular mountain bikes- I don't have a Pugsley (hell yeah I want one though).
Most Bozeman folks know about Pipestone. It's a little climatic anomaly just over an hour west from town. Nestled in the rain shadow of the Continental Divide the whole area tends to stay relatively free of snow. And by relatively, I mean it will have three to four inches of the white stuff compared to the three to four feet we'll have in Bozeman. The best times of the year to ride at Pipestone are in the spring (late March through early late May) and autumn (October to late November). It is often possible to ride in midwinter- I've been there in January (in shorts!) during a warm snap and in six inches of the lightest powder at 8º in February after a few hours of skiing fresh powder (there's a story here, but I'll save that for another time).
Essentially, throughout the winter you can ride in Pipestone. How many of the trails you can ride on depends on the amount of snow received, but usually there's enough to scratch the itch.
Just a few miles southwest of Bozeman lies one of the most popular trails close to town. South Cottonwood is unique in that it is not nearly as steep as most of our trails, despite its paralleling a moving body of water. These two factors- high foot traffic and moderate grade make it variably ridable midwinter. On more than one occasion I've driven there with XC skis and bike- and I've chosen the bike. The furthest I've made it is about a half mile past the third bridge and if I had fatter tires I probably could have gone further. Studded tires are usually necessary if there has not been considerable snow for a few weeks- but that's when the trail is the most ridable.
A nice side benefit to riding a packed, icy trail is that the trail is insulated from your tires, so you can't do any damage. Yes, you can slide around corners to your heart's content. Braaap!
Sourdough Canyon (Bozeman Creek)
A couple of details about Bozeman Creek: it's not singletrack and you'll have to deal with acerbic glances from XC skiers. Like South Cottonwood it's better after a few snow-free and cold days. It regularly gets groomed by the Bridger Ski Foundation so the snow usually is nicely hard-packed and consistent. This is another area where I've ridden a few miles up (after riding there from town) on 2.1" tires without issue- unless you count the cold glares from skate skiers as I passed them uphill and again downhill.
Please respect the work the BSF does, especially regarding the classic ski track set. Sourdough is a multi-use trail but screwing up the skiers' fun won't win the mountain bike community any favors.
East Gallatin Recreation Area
Close to town on the other side of the interstate is a pond, park, and small network of trails. These trails do not get groomed for skiing and see a LOT of foot traffic. While a little bumpy these trails are usually plenty firm for normal sized tires. Do be aware of people walking though.
Well, there's a few ideas for you. Remember a few key details to make any attempts at riding more successful- fatter tires, a period of cold snow-free weather, and platform pedals. Disc brakes and singlespeeds make things a bit easier but are not necessary. This winter I might experiment with building a set of 24" wheels with fat tires- I'll certainly document that if it happens.
Remember, skiing is tons of fun but there's only one way to satisfy a craving for mountain biking. With a bit of preparation you can sucessfully ride in the winter- even in Montana!