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Mountain Biking on River’s Edge Trail

I’ll be open right up front – a mountain biker I am not! Casual, bike around the neighborhood yes, but nothing too daring.
But, we had so much fun doing a video of several mountain bikers who volunteered to be models for a video we are doing and I’d like to share the experience.
Our goal is to feature several areas of our thirteen county region and show off our awesome uncrowded trails in a short video. We aren’t done with the video (more models, more locations) but here’s a fun recap of how our efforts have gone so far.
Our first location was the South Shore Trail of the River’s Edge Trail system in Great Falls. This trail has grown and grown – a true success story.
I remember being at a community vision session years ago and someone mentioned repurposing the old rail grade that ran through town and was no longer being used. A good idea I thought but I couldn’t imagine the amount of work, planning and money it would take to do that.
Not only did the project begin, it has grown to over 45 miles of trail, both paved and single track, and it is on both sides of the Missouri River.
The mountain biking models I reached could all meet us at the South Shore Trail at 3pm on a Saturday. The day had been fairly hot with a clear sky and lots of bright sun. However, the forecast was for a quick passing thunderstorm about 4pm. So many times those predictions don’t come true and I repeated that to myself as I looked at our clear blue sky.
Our models were excited and waiting for us. I wanted to have a background that epitomized the area and I chose Rainbow Dam and Falls on the east edge of Great Falls. You can easily pick up what is termed the South Shore Trail, a single track trail that crosses some hilly terrain, at the Lewis & Clark Overlook at Rainbow.
We started the video footage capture – lots of back and forth, lots of “let’s do that one more time”! All of a sudden things seemed different and I glanced upwards and saw a rapidly darkening sky.
The predicted storm was right on track. Of all the times when the forecast was wrong, this wasn’t one of them.
The video camera is expensive and I offered to hold an umbrella over it to protect it. Our models thought it was pretty cool to get a little rain on the trail, a little mud could fly and things could get fun, mountain biking style.
After a couple of loud thunder claps, I realized I was basically holding a lightning rod over that camera! By time I figured that out the storm had passed and I could see blue sky in the distance.
We were able to resume the video capture after the storm and got some good footage. The trail was a little slippery, we had one mountain biker take a tumble, but that seemed to be all in a day’s work of riding.
There are several more locations lined up for getting video footage of mountain biking. Stay tuned and I’ll share our experiences!
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