Long way home

The trail home is a mixture of about 80% path, 5% road, and 15% sidewalk. In the wintertime this trinket of snowy goodness is nice because there is no traffic and one could bomb the winding trails with a snow bike. This is how my Mukluk (Larry) and I spent the afternoon. The jaunt home is a snow bikers wet dream commute … almost.

Riding across the campus of Montana State University is like riding in Pipestone. The buildings are the spire rocks, and the sidewalks are like the ATV trails.  And cutting across the lawns or landscaping in the snowy bliss of winter is like riding the sand at ol “Pipy”. First you ride past the duck pond, which was super crowded if you were a duck, and then ducked, no pun intended, across 11th street. Once across the campus main auto throughway you skirt around the Plant Growth Center. I reccomend stopping for a moment to do some trails before heading towards family housing. Cross one of the many walking bridges by the Bio Science Building and you are on your way to exiting the first leg. The campus leg is purely urban riding and transition leg is a mixture of fitness path and sidewalks. Soon you are leaving campus and entering the transition over to the Bozeman Ponds.

Leaving the campus leg you cross one of the two major road ways. The first crosses 19th Street and later goes on to across Huffine lane near Rosauers (shopping for the ultra rich). Between these the fitness path turns briefly to sidewalk and then back to fitness path. I suspect in the near future this will all be fitness path. Once past the transition leg we enter Bozeman Pond and the neighborhood paths.

The neighborhood paths are 4 sections of creek side dirt and green space / park pea gravel surfaces. I call this the fun leg.  The first section is around Bozeman Pond and that shoots you out in the alley behind the mall. A tiny parking lot crossing leads you to the second section. This section is dirt path and leads you between communities and along a narrow creek (as seen in the photo).  To get to the third section you cross Babcock Street and head up Hunters way. This in one of only two road/street sections. The third section is more dirt path which includes more visual access to everyone’s back yard. Kind of cool to have a fitness path in your back yard don’t you think? The fourth section is just across Durston Avenue and the surface changes to pea gravel. In the winter it doesn’t matter because it is all packed with snow and slight traces of ski tracks.  This last section goes through green spaces and parks between two major human villages.

To finish up the commute a quick ride down Oak Street takes you to the commercial walking path on the West side of 19th street. This path is dirt and goes behind all the businesses. From my apartment to REI, for example, it is just a matter of a quick ride down this path.  And there you have it. My commute home in the winter. Sure it is “the long way home” but believe me it goes by like a snap. Just like all fun rides do.

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