Great Falls Bicycle Club > News > GFBC July Newsletter

GFBC July Newsletter


Pilgrim Creek MTB Ride (Downhill Shuttle) – Sunday July 14th – Meet at 4B’s Restaurant at 7:30 for breakfast or 8 am to carpool to the Little Belts.  Shuttle from the Logging Creek Campground at 9 am.  Bring your lunch.  Ride info here,

Tuesday – Meet at  Lewis and Clark Overlook, 6 pm, for MTB Ride on the South Shore.  Ride leader, Henry.  Pacing/ regrouping to accommodate all comers.

Thursday – Meet at Gibson Park Bandshell Road Ride, 6 pm.  Two groups, slow and medium, depending on who attends.

Gravel Road Tour Overnight – Two day ride from Geyser to Ft Benton and back, looping around the Highwoods, 50 to 60 miles a day.  Spending the night in Ft Benton.  If interested, contact  Flexible dates.

Beyond the Dam Thank You – From GFBC President Gary Arno

Thanks to all that participated in 2019 Beyond the Dam biking event. It was nice to see so much of the community out enjoying their bicycles! I am not sure of the exact headcount, but I think I remember being told there were around 700 participants. All racers in the “intermediate” and “advanced” events received cycling jerseys; all others received t-shirts.

I’d like to send a great big thank you to NorthWestern Energy for putting on such a fun event! Our community is fortunate to receive such an investment of time and resources. The effort needed to plan, coordinate, and execute this event does not go unnoticed. Thanks to all volunteers who were out there giving us food, water, directions, and to few unfortunate individuals, first aid. Thanks to all who volunteered for the trail maintenance; the north shore trails are in the best condition I’ve ever seen them in!

I participated in the “Advanced” event with a few of our other club members. Terrific job Bryce Van Overbeke and and Brian Stremcha who placed 3rd and 4th overall! We had a couple of pretty tough out of town riders show up and snatch away 1st and 2nd; we’ll get ‘em next year boys!

Apparently, the intermediate riders were just too darn fast this year and a good chunk of them beat the entire advanced field to Cochran dam. I was absolutely amazed by just how many riders were out there enjoying the south shore return route. I saw parents out there encouraging their kids, Millennials taking selfies and live-streaming on the dam, and many other event patrons out there taking care of business on two wheels! As someone who would like to see cycling, in all its forms, become a more significant part of our local culture, it was encouraging to see such a wide spectrum of people out there enjoying themselves on our trails; if anyone has any idea on how to capture more of this energy, post it up and maybe we can come up with some type of plan.

If anyone has any ideas, thoughts, or complaints they would like considered for next year’s event, please let me know. The race organizers we’re very responsive to the feedback they received from last year’s event and did a great job incorporating into this year’s race.

All in all it was great day for mountain bike riding in Great Falls! Who else out there an came to the event? I know what and how a few of you did but I’d like to hear/read your thoughts on how you think things went.…

Southwest Montana June Bike Tour – Travel Log by John Juras

Day 1 – Parked at Missoula long term airport parking lot with no intention of flying anywhere.  Pedaled south through Missoula down the 50 mile separated bike trail along Hwy 93.  A quick dinner and a couple beers in Hamilton then I headed up Skulkaho Creek.  Rode about 15 miles to a small very nice campground.  I am definitely excited to anticipate the next 250 miles of wild country with only a couple of towns along the way.  Roads I have never traversed.  Always seeking a new adventure.  Tomorrow morning I’m looking forward to a 2,500 VF climb up to some really wild and scenic twisty mountain roads that I’ve heard about and I’m foaming at the mouth to go and ride for myself.  So far so good on the old body putting up with hours and hours in the saddle for several days.  The mind also in a good place without lots of cluttered thoughts to distract me from living in the moment.  Perhaps the highlight of any tour is that state of mind where only thing you care about is what is happening at that moment.  Whether mesermized by a campfire like 100,000’s of years of our ancestors or the steady flow of constantly changing scenery, sounds, smells, feelings, that you experience over the hours of pedaling.  All are living in the moment.  It is especially satisfying to know that our eldest son Mark is enjoying his paddling expedition to New Orleans.  Funny how songs “Ridin’ on the City of New Orleans…” or “There is a house in New Orleans…” stick in my head.

Day 2 was a dream with quiet roads and great scenery.  Ten miles of gravel added interest to the trip.  I had meant to name this the Wildflower Tour but it was more of a Wild Water and Emerald Green Grass Tour.  Sat out a big hail storm in a nice Anaconda restaurant prior to wild camping in a perfect spot to watch the sunset/sunrise.

Day 3 – Broke camp early and headed up a tough 1,500 VF climb into a stiff headwind.  Worth every kilowatt since that accessed over 100 miles of roads meeting my criteria for Great Touring Roads.  Those roads have less than one car every 5 or 10 minutes and incredible scenery.  Southwest Montana is top of the list for prime Montana scenery.  The day’s highlight was cruising down the Wise River Scenic Byway with 50+ miles of nothing.  Just beautiful country and more bicycles than cars.  Waved to an Adventure Cycling Group headed the other direction.  I was also very lucky to ride for a few hours with 2 separate racers from the Tour Divide Race, a self-supported race from Banff CA to the Mexican border.  A Kiwi paced me up the long climb to Elkhorn Hot Springs, then a Dane paced me down the other side to Bannack.  Inspiring conversations with each guy the whole way.

Day 4 on the road.  Just left my friend Larry’s bike camp in Dillon.  He’s a great bike advocate if there ever was one.  Loves to tour.  Coasted into Larry’s camp after spending the night on Badger Pass watching the light change.   Headed for Butte tonight.  More lovely lonesome roads then a short stretch of interstate into town.  Snow predicted for tomorrow so ending the trip already doesn’t sound so bad.


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