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Party At Da Lakes

2071 Views 24 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  Funrover
As my college roomate used to say back in Fargo. Owenhouse put the Klondikes back on the Slayer and so it's off to party at da lakes for the winter. I rolled out of bed in Great Falls with a good old fashioned xmas bellringer and the Lindstrands were all packing up to go ice fishing at Bynum Lake. There northwest of Choteau.

Riding on the lakes. There is no trail no road no direction just a perfectly flat plain of sometimes smooth other times not so smooth yet other times completely rugged pressure ridges of jagged wet blocks. Snow patches in wind blown patterns. You can really get to hauling on the ice. Where will you go?

Everybody took a turn and big grins broke out on their ice fishing faces. I must recommend riding on the ice. It's fun and I don't exactly know why. Then Prosper started doing slides and we took turns sliding the bike for a while until we both crashed and hard.

Power off slides. If you are sliding to the left start out right pedal down, drop your left foot down and out and lock up the rear brake. Then pedal up brake slides left pedal down and right pedal down. Finally power on slides. Get that slide going with one pedal down then stand on the other pedal to get that rear wheel a going.

Is this a thousand words? I'm not counting. I hope you aren't counting my words. If you do count my words please don't tell me. And if you ever play golf with me please don't county my strokes. I'm not counting my strokes. I don't care. Don't count me out. You can count on me.


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you will need a nice warm hat

When you party at da lakes. Extra long johns. A few hot dogs. A portable foldable fishing hut. Sterno. Popcorn. Tungston Carbide Studs. Don't forget that the wind makes your mind illogical. And the cold. The cold makes your mind irrational. So plan ahead for this. And other things too.

I had the outside pedal slides coming along then it was time to go home. So one more BIG one I thought to myself and layed into an inside pedal power slide to beat all the days power slides. Things went well for about sixty feet then I decided to let the rear end come all the way around just for show. This was my big mistake the front wheel went out and I went down for the count.

I'm seeing stars. I said to the assorted ice fishermen who were all having a pretty good laugh on me. That's what you get for showing off. Said my very best friend Chrissy. I think I hurt my arm. I said. But I'm still concious! (this has to be two hundred and fifty words at least (but I'm not counting!)) Oh well. I am really tired of being concious. Sick and tired of it as a matter of fact. Tired of being concious of the the war. The starving the mayhem. Nothing a little wine couldn't cure.


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Did you know that it's impossible to slip on the ice and hit your head while riding a bike? In fact ice provides more traction than even the tackiest of dirt.

pop_martian said:
Did you know that it's impossible to slip on the ice and hit your head while riding a bike? In fact ice provides more traction than even the tackiest of dirt.

Put a freakin helmet on! One saved my noggin...
seat belts save lives

I have yet to see a bicycle with a seat belt or even an aftermarket seat belt for a bicycle. What's going on here? Are we as bicyclists completely unsafe? Do we have no concern for our own health? Safety First! Actually we all know perfectly well that bicycle riding is dangerous and the fact that we all continue to do it indicates. Well. That we just must not CARE or something even worse even. That we WANT to get hurt or perhaps that we flirt with danger and even death.

Now I do like that feeling I get flirting with danger and then getting out scott free. And from some of the pictures and video that I see here posted on the passion site of MTBR it would seem that I Am Not Alone. No there are plenty of others like me flirting with death and danger just HOPING that their animal natures will kick back in. Having been so badly savaged by the television set. So radically sedated by the Society Of Doing Nothing. It almost feels like some kind of relief to be in danger again.

But I am not completely suicidal nor are you dear reader. I wear my leather jacket when I ride. I am thinking about how to build a seat belt for bicycles which. Once I get Ralph Nader on board to legislate MANDATORY SEAT BELTS FOR ALL BICYCLES AND ALL BICYCLE RIDERS this will make me rich and famous. I already own the patent for bicycle seat belts and so the Safety First Movement will be god for me.

Why am I even writing this? DON'T RIDE BICYCLES!!! You might get hurt. DON'T LEAVE THE HOUSE!! Stay on the couch and watch television. PUT A SEAT BELT ON YOUR COUCH! There could be an earthquake or even a tornado. Be Safe. Take a Safety Break. Safety First. First and Formost take Safety Breaks OFTEN...


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Canyon Ferry

Canyon Ferry reservoir lies southeast of Helena Montana USA. It is one of the largest and longest lakes in the state. Top notch ice fishing. Great Ice Biking. Good skating and skiing. Nice views. It's mostly public so it has a lot of access points and lots of VERY nice country road riding for bicycles. I'm not aware of single track nor do I know if it is legal to ride the shoreline.

There is hundreds of thousands of acres of forest service on both the east and west sides of the lake. More forest service double track than you could ride in a lifetime. LOTS OF VERTICLE there on the east side. Good shuttle bug. Bunch o' singletrack in them thar hills. Gregg would know the details. That which is Lewis And Clark National Forest is mountain bike friendly.

I just had the most terrible realization. For years now I was under the misstaken impression that this site was about riding bicycles and motorcycles in the mountains. Mountain Bike. I thought it was bicycle riders AND motorcycle riders who all liked to ride together in the mountains. Which is why i was here. Now it's too late I suppose to change my mind. ANYHOO. Good lord what a shocker! I do ride bicycles in the mountains so I'll stick around. SORRY!!!

Took the dog to Canyon Ferry and rode the lake. There was ice fishers there and they had dogs too. Ice fishers are friendly and bored so they usually don't mind if I stop by on the ice bike to see what they caught. Trout mostly. Rainbows and Carp. We went out to the middle and took some pictures. Then we rode around the bay. Then we went home.


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Your writing and pictures put a smile on my face. What kind of dog is the little orange one?
Nice post, and well written.

BTW, Helmet Nazis are soooo cool!
thanx cbratt

Bodi is a half chiuaua half corgi from the Stafford animal shelter in Livingston Montana. She's got a polka dotted tounge though so maybe some Chow? Kris King helped me with the adoption. She is real peppy and smart. Likes to run with the bike. Anybody got some ice tales or shots please post them here. Maybe Wassa has some foggy moonscape. Or you wrote a poem when you were drinking. Or you are drinking and your drink has some ice in it.


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nice. i'm jealous
Really Nice....

Great pics....gotta love winter and riding on "water"
Dave, G'day, Happy New Year Mate. May your New Year be prosperous, much travelled and well ridden.

I'm notoriously late for parties that I'm invited too. I've an excuse, I've been bush for the last couple of days.

Dave, I hope you like the contrast between your post and mine, for both the landscape and the temp ... 31° - 36°C here, with an overnight minimum of 21°C (about 72°F in the old money).

I was originally going into the deep gorges around the Shoalhaven River and the Clyde River looking for pockets of rainforest to ride close to and then walk into, and find slick sandstone pavement to ride out on. The photo immediately below, is of the upper Clyde River Gorge, and was taken on an earlier trip.

My best made plans were thwarted by out of season heavy rains, which were reported to be the tail end of a tropical cyclone, 5,000 kilometres off course and out of cyclone areas.

I didn't feel like dumping the car and riding 50 ks through the mud and sticky clay of the Eastern Escarpment to reach locked gates, so I change tack and went to the sandy fire trails of the Western Escarpment. Which turned out to be an excellent move. I had the good fortune of meeting two trail bike riders who briefed me on what to expect water wise. Which was good because I hauled very little weight up hill for 5 hours. Their advice was spot on. There was just so much running water it was extraordinary. I don't know if this post-Christmas journey is best described as a MTB ride or a swimming trip.

I had to climb several levels and cross a couple of swamps to summit an unnamed plateau ... I pushed and carried the bike in places. Riding back to my camp was practically all down hill for 19 kilometres, on double track.

It was hot, humid and surprisingly free of annoying-insect. The water crossings were amazing. The sandstone pavements were long and interesting and all I hoped to find. The views in this little visited area are pristine and stunningly beautiful. My photography doesn't do this place justice, not for my short stay, at least.

These shots were taken over two days, but describe each day. I started the rides before sunrise at a dismal swamp, beside a sandy fire trail.

Then the fogs rolled in with the temperature inversion and turned the dismal swamp into an ethereal swamp.

The first river crossing at about 7am. Just knee deep here. On the return journey I found it very hard to quickly cross this river, in the deepest spot I could find ... in the 31C heat. It took me an hour and a half to cross this river on the return journey. Swimming up-stream, floating down-stream and much duck-diving.

Then came the ride up hill for the next several hours. The vegetation here is widely varied. Tall moist Eucalyptus forests and pockets of rainforests are found beside the rivers and in the deeper gullies. Sparse open woodlands occupy the clearings with Inland Scribbly Barks, Ribbon Gums, Casuarinas and Grass Trees and on the summits of the plateaus and peaks are found heath, of Dwarf Casuarinas, spiky Hakeas and Malley Eucalypts.

The first level reached ... open woodland.

Another flowing creek crossing. It is unusual to see the sandstone pavement this low down, normally at this level the rock is conglomerate. There is no drama drinking any of the flowing water here, it is all sandstone filtered. The track can be seen on the other side of the creek.

The summit of the unnamed plateau in sight, with water running over the rock. These are some of the oldest exposed rocks on earth. They are silicon skinned sandstone. Extremely slow 'Elephant Hide' weathering and very hard crusted. Once the thin crust breaks the rock inside is like soft talcum powder. These rocks were on the surface of the earth when the now summit of Mount Everest (27,000+ft ASL) was still beneath the sea. The summit of Mount Everest is marine limestone. I've sung old songs in older caves in the Budawangs.

Approaching the summit, filling the water bottles.

The reason why I climbed. I'm not a big fan of climbing, although I seem to climb a lot. Every time I feel puffed when I'm climbing ... I get off the bike and take a photo. I can climb all day like this and not feel too tired.

The next two shots were on the evening of the second day, when I rode to the escarpments.

When I'm on the plateaus (technically they are butes) looking down, it can look like this. Photo from a previous trip.

The wilderness of the Great Escarpment at the southern edge of the Sydney Basin is a spectacular place.

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david - really nice pictures, especially this one:

Wild Wassa - wow, amazing location and fantastic photos, I really disagree with your 'my pictures don't do it justice' comment, if they don't then that location must be even more incredible.
He's on a hot streak now

thanks wassa

mysterious intense even a little spooky

that's the first shot i've seen of your bike


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Steve, Thank you Mate. From the quote was left off a most important bit ... "not for my short stay, at least."

This was the first time I had been in this NW section of the Budawang Ranges. The photos were taken as they were found, basically from on or beside the track. There were many interesting landforms that I would liked to have photographed, given more time to explore and to have waited for better light. Landforms (especially the narrow canyons and cliffs) were not photographed on the trip, because of the adverse lighting ... that is what I meant.

Dave, I have an entry level Anthem, that is my cross country cargo bike. The bike this trip was set-up for day touring. Normally the tripod is placed on the rack athwart for a better balance, but on this trip because of the narrowness of the vegetable tunnels it was placed along the centre line of the bike. The pink thing on the ground is a snake bandage, an essential bit of equipment. There are 110 species of venomous snakes in Oz and no mobile reception out in this part of the bush. The Budawangs (all 3,000 square kilometres of it), is a place for many species of deadly snakes.

My 2010 Anthem X3 with a quick release stem mounted rack. The rack is very light but can hold a surprisingly good (maximum0 weight of 20kgs, made by Tioga.

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