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  1. #1
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Seeking good weather -- northern Montana??

    I've been buried in snow here in central Alberta. It's cold and the roads are in terrible condition. It shouldn't be like this in late March!!

    So, I'm wondering ... how far south (or east or west) would I have to go to find good road conditions.


    Missoula, Montana, directly south of me, is about 720 kms away.

    Trail, British Columbia is about 750 kms.

    Coeur d'Alene (which is supposed to have some good cycling trails, I've heard) is about 775 kms.

    Anyone know what the road/weather conditions are like in those parts of the world?


    What are the current road/weather conditions like where you live?

  2. #2
    Chief Chef BearsPaw's Avatar
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    I grew up in Montana, about 2 hours south of Medicine Hat, although I've more-or-less lived in Philadelphia for the past 7 years. Montana's weather isn't going to be a whole lot better than where you are, the roads will be covered with snow most of the year. In addition, the snow isn't removed from the roads very well; there is usually a thick layer of snow/ice covering the roads for a large part of the year. It is possible to ride in this (maybe with studded snow tires) but I don't think you'd have much fun.

    Also, I think it is dangerous to ride a bicycle outside of town in MT. Most of the roads between towns are narrow, many have no shoulders, and people drive REALLY fast on them.

    I've only been to Coeur d'Alene during summer, but I can't imagine their winters are much milder than in Montana. Have you looked at Washington or Oregon? I don't think it ever snows in Seattle, although it supposedly rains a lot.

    Philadelphia's weather is nowhere near as extreme, and they are much better about cleaning up the roads in the winter. I would say there is usually only a couple days a year when I don't want to ride due to the snow. If you enjoy the beauty of the Western half of the continent, the East Coast is probably not for you though.

  3. #3
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    I live just 20 miles west of missoula ,mt ,,I have been able to get out several times ,so far ,we havent had any measureable snow for weeks, the day time temps have been in the 40's f but has been windy ,I would ride more often if my schedule allowed it .

  4. #4
    Chief Chef BearsPaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freewheeling
    I live just 20 miles west of missoula ,mt ,,I have been able to get out several times ,so far ,we havent had any measureable snow for weeks, the day time temps have been in the 40's f but has been windy ,I would ride more often if my schedule allowed it .
    I guess I should have thought about this more since my first response, but lately we've had pretty warm winters. I never spent much time in Missoula, did it used to get much colder/snowier than it has been recently?

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by freewheeling
    I live just 20 miles west of missoula ,mt ,,I have been able to get out several times ,so far ,we havent had any measureable snow for weeks, the day time temps have been in the 40's f but has been windy ,I would ride more often if my schedule allowed it .

    Now THIS is what I wanted to hear!! If it doesn't start melting up here this week, I may be heading down that way this weekend!! I need to get my March century in!


    BTW - what is the cycling like around that area in general? I haven't added Montana to my collection of States I Have Ridden In yet, and would like to do so this year.

  6. #6
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    when I do get out to ride its usually a loop to missoula ,its pretty rural here ,depending on the time of day ,there can be few cars on the road (early afternoon) there is a variety of roads ,,flats ,hills, and big hills , there is a bike shop here that has organized training rides during the week ,at noon I think (Missoula bicycle works ,on Higgins),looking at the extended forcast (subject to change ) lol. it will be in the 50's next week

  7. #7
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    What is it like here? 62F, clear blue sky, gentle breezes, dry roads among the budding vineyards, and club rides 5 days a week.
    This space open

  8. #8
    Senior Member pmseattle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    I've been buried in snow here in central Alberta. It's cold and the roads are in terrible condition. It shouldn't be like this in late March!!

    So, I'm wondering ... how far south (or east or west) would I have to go to find good road conditions.


    Missoula, Montana, directly south of me, is about 720 kms away.

    Trail, British Columbia is about 750 kms.

    Coeur d'Alene (which is supposed to have some good cycling trails, I've heard) is about 775 kms.

    Anyone know what the road/weather conditions are like in those parts of the world?


    What are the current road/weather conditions like where you live?
    50s (f) in the Seattle area and dry today. It rarely snows here, but it does rain a lot, usually a light misty rain. I went for a 122 mile ride today. It's a long way to central Alberta, though. I think the coastal area of BC is about the same as here.

  9. #9
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    I'm in Coeur d'Alene
    the trails they have out here seem to be mostly in the outskirts of town or closer to the college. If your trying to get anywhere thats just beyond the downtown area though the trails are sporatic and not always complete. I've been walking for about a year and just got a MTB last month. I had been riding a road bike up until I was 30 (dont ask my age please :-) ) and just starting to get used to it again.
    Anyway, there are some goregeous trails around the lake, out towards the casinos and theres even a trail the stretches all the way into Spokane from here although thats only something I've heard and not looked into myself.

    Something that really gets to me is that in the downtown region the city goes to great lengths to keep the roads and trails looking great and clean but once your commuting to work outside of that area you have glass everywhere, trails end suddenly on narrow areas of roads and in some areas where theres a designated riding area (painted segment of the road for bikes) it seems dangerously close to traffic.

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