What it like around Helena, MT?- Mtbr.com
Results 1 to 21 of 21
  1. #1
    Law
    Law is offline
    45 gone, 15 to go
    Reputation: Law's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,237

    What it like around Helena, MT?

    I am looking at possibly moving next year to Helena MT. What is the riding like around there. How long is the riding season. What are the trail like. I have lived in Utah and Oregon mainly and have enjoyed both places a great deal.

    Also, is there any cyclocross out there?

    thanks!

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation: dir-T's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,645
    It's been a few years since I've last ridden in Helena but I can tell you that it's great. They have lots of trails that you can ride right from downtown and their season runs fairly long by MT standards because they don't get much snow. I'll guess that the season is from May through early Dec?? They're within an hour's drive from Pipestone where you can practically ride all year. Lots of fun singletrack and atv trails.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ewarnerusa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    2,608
    Helena is great for biking of all kinds. there are cyclocrossers here, but I don't do it so I can't comment on the quality. Numerous trails right from town, a local club with group rides of some type nearly every night of the week. Helena doesn't get much snow by Montana standards, but we do get the cold. I would say dir-T has the season about right, May-Dec for the MTB trails. You won't be disappointed by the biking soul in Helena.

    http://greatdividecyclery.com/index.cfm
    http://www.bigskybikes.com/
    http://www.helenabicycleclub.org/
    http://montanacycling.org/

  4. #4
    Law
    Law is offline
    45 gone, 15 to go
    Reputation: Law's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,237
    thanks guys. There is also a chance that I might end up in Billings. I assume the riding is good there as well.

    Basically, I am want to live somewhere a little out of the way. I am graduating soon, we (my wife and I) want to be somewhere that is scenic, safe, not quite so rushed, but where I can make enough money to pay off a large school loan debt

    For the most part small town bring small money, but this position might be an option if I were so lucky as to get it. I won't know for a couple months though and the position doesn't start until Fall of 2007.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ewarnerusa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    2,608
    I would avoid Billings. no offense to people there, but it stinks of refineries and the scenery is ugly. And while still small by most people's standards, the town is too big for me (~100,000 I believe). I would imagine the biking is not as good there, there aren't the foothills right out of town like Helena. A short drive out of town puts you into the Beartooth Range, though, which is a plus. Billings puts you in Eastern Montana, which is like a whole different country when compared to Western Montana. A former co-worker moved to Billings for his g-friend's job and he hates the town. Billings has a meth problem, too. I'm not saying it is only Billings (out of MT) that does, but that's what they say.

  6. #6
    jones'in
    Reputation: venom600's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    917
    Quote Originally Posted by ewarnerusa
    I would avoid Billings. no offense to people there, but it stinks of refineries and the scenery is ugly. And while still small by most people's standards, the town is too big for me (~100,000 I believe). I would imagine the biking is not as good there, there aren't the foothills right out of town like Helena. A short drive out of town puts you into the Beartooth Range, though, which is a plus. Billings puts you in Eastern Montana, which is like a whole different country when compared to Western Montana. A former co-worker moved to Billings for his g-friend's job and he hates the town. Billings has a meth problem, too. I'm not saying it is only Billings (out of MT) that does, but that's what they say.
    I'll have to agree w/ ewarner here. You should also check out Bozeman. Not sure what kind of job you're looking for, but there are several high-tech companies in Gallatin Valley that pay fairly well. The town is great. Friendly people (~30,000 of 'em) great outdoor activities and it's beautiful. Just some food for thought.

    --Ben

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation: dir-T's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    1,645
    I'm also not a big fan of Billings. As far as I know there is only one boring MTB ride anywhere near town. The town is also full of traffic and lots and LOTS of commercial development (ie strip malls everywhere you look). I have heard that Billings folks are more down to earth than those in the other popular MT towns because "you have to work for a living in Billings". Lots of trustfunders and wealthy newcomers in Bozeman and I suspect Missoula too.

    IMO Bozeman will catch up to Billings in the strip mall department in about 10 years but at least we have mountains. On the other hand, housing is affordable in Billings, not so much in Bzn.

    Helena probably falls in the middle of Bzn and Billings in terms of traffic, housing prices, and job opportunities.

    If I can ask, what kind of job are you looking at?

  8. #8

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    5
    Montana actually has a great cyclocross scene for such a small number of USCF licensed riders. In fact, Geoff Procter, the US cyclocross team coach and all around cyclocross bad-ass lives in Helena. You will have no shortage of people to ride/cross with. . .

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ewarnerusa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    2,608
    Quote Originally Posted by lawbiker
    Montana actually has a great cyclocross scene for such a small number of USCF licensed riders. In fact, Geoff Procter, the US cyclocross team coach and all around cyclocross bad-ass lives in Helena. You will have no shortage of people to ride/cross with. . .
    He is who I thought of with cyclocross. him, along with 2 other cyclocrossers, finished the Spirit of 76 version of the York 38 Special this weekend. That's 76 miles! It took them 6 hours.
    www.york38special.com

  10. #10
    Law
    Law is offline
    45 gone, 15 to go
    Reputation: Law's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    1,237
    Quote Originally Posted by dir-T

    Helena probably falls in the middle of Bzn and Billings in terms of traffic, housing prices, and job opportunities.

    If I can ask, what kind of job are you looking at?

    I am going to probably apply to a law firm that has offices in Helena and Billings. I kind of like the idea of Helena. I knew that Billings was on the far east side of the mountains in MT. But I didn't know that it was ugly. I knew it wasn't green like here in Portland, OR, but...

    Anyway, I am in my last year of law school. There is one law firm that is doing a little recruiting from MT and I thought I would give them a shot. I have other possibilities, but some involve moving to the D.C. area, (not my favorite) or staying here in Portland possibly which I wouldn't mind. I am just trying to find a good place to live with the family, while still having good stuff to ride.

  11. #11
    beater
    Reputation: evasive's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    5,455

    I'd vote for Helena...

    but then I live here. My take on Billings is that it could be anywhere in America, thanks to the recent development: divided 4-lane roads lined with chain restaurants and strip malls. But, as mentioned, it's only 60 miles to the Beartooths.

    I moved here from NYC 2+ years ago. There are things I miss (food is near the top of the list), but I'd have a hard time going back. I looked at Portland this spring, and decided that 2 million people fighting for a small amount of road just doesn't appeal to me anymore. What really did it for me here was getting a dog. I walk him off the leash in the South Hills for ~1 hour daily. I'd have a very hard time living somewhere I can't do that so easily.

    Helena does have a great network of trails that butt right up to downtown, and there are loads more within a short drive. The biking scene is pretty good. You'd also be one of very few 29" riders in town; it'd be nice to have a riding partner from the 29er board. When I got mine, Gwen at Great Divide told me she only knew of 5 others here.

    Shoot me an email or a PM if you want any more. Happy to help.

    EAS

  12. #12
    beater
    Reputation: evasive's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    5,455

    ah, nuts

    was going to upload a couple of photos, but the upload window keeps crashing. Oh, well.

  13. #13
    In FTF We Trust
    Reputation: el-cid's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    1,815
    Quote Originally Posted by ewarnerusa
    him, along with 2 other cyclocrossers, finished the Spirit of 76 version of the York 38 Special this weekend.
    www.york38special.com

    Aha, so that who those guys were. I diced with them for a while there, one guy got two flats and another guy crashed pretty bad in the singletrack section. I told them when I passed them that they have some big [email protected] for doing that Spirit of 76, yikes.
    "I'll disintegrate over time if I expect my body to try to keep up with my mind" -BM

    Race, Rocks or Road...Just Ride

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ewarnerusa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    2,608
    Quote Originally Posted by el-cid
    Aha, so that who those guys were. I diced with them for a while there, one guy got two flats and another guy crashed pretty bad in the singletrack section. I told them when I passed them that they have some big [email protected] for doing that Spirit of 76, yikes.
    no doubt! I saw in the pics that there were 4 cyclocrossers. One of them must have thrown in the towel and "abandoned". I figure that 6 hours in the saddle is long even for a Tour de France stage, so that's pretty impressive for those guys.

  15. #15

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    211

    I'll Play Devil's Advocate and Say...

    Avoid Montana. Helena is pretty, yes, but there is also that political scene and the traffic around those roads are horrible. Bozeman is a neat town but very expensive to live there. Same with Missoula. Great Falls and Billings are these rural ghettos with nothing much going for it. Kalispell and Whitefish are amazing places and very close to British Columbia but very expensive. BC is where the "real" biking scene exists (in my own opinion, of course).

    Here's why I say avoid Montana: Unless you have a good job and the law profession isn't really that great here (too many lawyers getting pumped out of law school and not that many jobs), you won't realize the "worth" of your hard-earned and paid for degree. You'll make enough to live, but I'm not certain that it's a place to make home. I work in LE, get paid fairly well, but I know I could be making a lot more if I went to other states. Personally, I have Alaska on the radar screen for a possible relocation. Pretty state and poverty wages. That *is* Montana.

    Back to mountain biking. Montana lacks the advocacy strength that BC has when it comes to biking. Mountain bikers are seen as this group of renegade recreationists that have no concern for the land or other users. Obviously, such blanket assumptions aren't completely true but let's face it: Bikers aren't really welcome on many of these trails which are multi-use.

    Plan your move carefully and if you do come to Montana, welcome!

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    73
    opinions are like *******s....

  17. #17

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    211
    Quote Originally Posted by brymihay
    opinions are like *******s....
    Woah there, big guy. I'm just trying to save the man from potentially wrecking his career by coming to this wasteland. Now, I have the following instruction for your minimum wage mentality:

    "I'd like a Big Mac, large fries, and a Coke..to go."

    How much is the Mickey Ds in Bozo paying these days?

  18. #18

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Posts
    1
    Heading to Wyoming near Cheyenne- any suggestions on trails??? Will check in with the folks at Bicycle Station when I get there but wanted to hear from any of you out there...
    Thanks!
    WOOF!

  19. #19
    UpHiller
    Reputation: TurdSandwich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Posts
    72
    Quote Originally Posted by skygod74
    Woah there, big guy. I'm just trying to save the man from potentially wrecking his career by coming to this wasteland. Now, I have the following instruction for your minimum wage mentality:

    "I'd like a Big Mac, large fries, and a Coke..to go."

    How much is the Mickey Ds in Bozo paying these days?
    Woah there tough guy...its just the internet. Riddle me this Chicago. Does a cop really make that much more than a Mickey D's manager?

    Welcome to Montana

  20. #20

    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    211
    All depends on the agency you work for.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    73
    Skygod im so very pleased you have actually read what I wrote now take a second and reflect upon what I meant..........
    now if your going to say that your little piece of the Sky is so much better than this or that, just maybe you should try viewing the sky from a different perspective. Other words you dont knnow what you got til 100'000 people decide to move in. Im not bitter but billings has its merits just like butte bozo helena kalispell etc etc all have their unique charm so simply telling a guy dont go there or dont do this is like saying this bike is the only one you could possibly ever have fun on. PS the forest service pays well so much for your rinky dink insult jerkoff... <---let your little man anger die here please

Members who have read this thread: 0

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

THE SITE

ABOUT MTBR

VISIT US AT

© Copyright 2019 VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.