Great Continental Divide Ride 2017

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by dbradford, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. chudzikb

    chudzikb Been here awhile

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    The beauty of Yellowstone is hiking. Get out of your car, off your bike, and take a hike. Two miles in and you will be alone, all alone. Not sure why, but, that was our experience from multiple visits.
    #81
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  2. MizzouRider

    MizzouRider Long timer

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    Enjoying the report and the drone video. Looks good so far. Hope you are missing the fires..


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #82
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  3. dbradford

    dbradford Been here awhile

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    We got home from this trip about a month ago. No fires here back home in Texas. So I'm writing this all from memory. I chose to ride this weekend instead of write. This was my ride today...crossed 30k miles on the ole WR!

    20170909_194706.jpg 20170909_200052.jpg

    Back to the RR soon!
    #83
  4. Bob

    Bob Formerly H20Pumper

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    :clap
    #84
  5. dbradford

    dbradford Been here awhile

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    July 27 - Day 12
    Mesa Falls, ID to Wiser River, MT


    The next morning we get back on the pavement and look for the cutoff to the Yellowstone Branch Line Rail Trail. My maps in basecamp didn't recognize it, but I figure I can find it…after all I know it’s there somewhere, and I did it last year. I rode right past the cutoff 2 or 3 times before finding it…not too bad. We didn’t get any pics of this section, but it begins at 34:15 in the main video. The part along the river is one of my favorite parts of the trip.

    Back into Montana over Red Rock Pass. Wes in mid dismount...

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    Just after the pass, we get behind a logging truck that’s leaving a serious dust cloud. It was so bad that I couldn’t pass. After almost hitting a football sized rock that I could barely see in the dust, I decided to pull back and follow from a distance. I look back, and Wes is pointing at is his front tire. He wasn’t so lucky with the football sized rock.



    It happened right as we came up on a road crew. They let us pull off into their spot and change the tube.

    We book it past Red Rock Lakes trying to beat a storm. But it’s raining pretty good by the time we reach the interstate. We run the last few miles of I-15 into Lima in a pretty good downpour…then we got some hail. Hail hurts at highway speed.

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    We fuel up and notice several mountain bikers and hikers taking shelter in the convenience store. At least we’re not those guys! Not wanting to get back out in the rain anytime soon, we cross the street to Jan’s Café for lunch. We take our time eating and ponder our next move.

    We need to make 100 or so more miles to Wise River tonight to be in good shape for Fleecer Ridge tomorrow. I wasn’t sure how the next stretch of dirt would be with the rain though. This was by far the most rain of the trip. We decide to run the last 100 miles through the rain down the highway. I called ahead to the Wise River Club to reserve a cabin.

    Before we left, a hiker walks in to get some lunch and dry off. He was on day 43ish?? of the CDT going south. Said it would take him about 6 months total to walk to Mexico…and people say we’re crazy. Kinda felt for the guy, so we had the waitress add his lunch tab to ours without telling him so. He ran out to thank us just as we were getting going again.

    Luckily Jan's had a charging station for Wes to power up...

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    The rain had let up some while we ate, and we had a tiny window to make the interstate run. We made good time and got set up at the Wise River Club soon enough. Another cabin/bar/restaurant that worked out pretty good. I think this one was a little pricier though. It gave us a chance to strategize for Fleecer Ridge in the morning. I make note of the fire station in town which appears to be the only emergency services around...might need that tomorrow.

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    #85
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  6. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer

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    This should stay on the front page of Ride Reports for months.
    Your Drone footage changes the way I'll look at all future Ride Reports.
    #86
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  7. dbradford

    dbradford Been here awhile

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    July 28 – Day 13
    Wise River, MT to Lincoln, MT


    We grab a quick breakfast at the Wise River Club before we leave in the morning. We hit the turnoff on Jerry Creek Rd which leads to Indian Creek and the infamous Fleecer Ridge. Once again, my GPS refused to map this bit…said there was no road through there. Luckily, the locals seem to have devised a means of navigation through this part of the world that doesn’t require electronics…I think they’re called signs. Very innovative and simple. Seems rather intuitive, but you’d be surprised by how many people can’t use these anymore.

    20170728_094842.jpg

    I went down Fleecer going North to South last year not really knowing what I was getting into. I was warned to go around…a lot of people do. But, that just made me curious. I was beyond the point of no return before I knew what was going on. It just got steeper and steeper, and there was no stopping. So, I clenched my butt cheeks, prayed, worked the brakes/clutch the best I know how, and made it down unscathed. When I got to the bottom, I looked up and told myself there was no way I could go up that hill…at least not with all my luggage.

    Fast forward a year, and we are looking up at this monster. When we originally made the decision to go South to North, I told Wes that this would be the toughest section on the trip. It’s not the steepest climb in the world (38% grade at it’s steepest I think) but it is long. Steepest part lasts a quarter mile or so, but the whole thing is about a mile long with 1000 feet of elevation gain starting around 6,800 feet. Wes’s rear D606 is showing it’s age, but we’re gonna give 'er Hell. Probably shouldn’t had stayed so late at the Wise River bar last night.

    We decide Wes will go first. This way I can follow him with the drone and see how he’s doing. Also, I’ll know when it’s clear for me to go. You can’t see the top from the bottom or vice versa. I didn’t use the automated drone follow, because I wasn’t sure how it would work with the elevation gain. His first attempt lasted only about fifty yards. He smartly aborted the mission pretty quickly knowing his approach was no good. On his second attempt, he dominated. See video below.

    Now for my turn. I start off in 2nd gear which lasts all of 50 yards before downshifting. Another hundred yards or so, and I’m down for the count. I was trying to find the sweet spot in the rev range between looping it out and stalling the motor…not as easy as I thought it would be. I pick the bike back up and roll back to the bottom. My next attempt I just started in first and pinned it…made it a little further but the bike stalled when I rolled off the juice. At least this time I’m upright. By now Wes has walked back down to where he can see what’s going on.

    Try #3 ended in a pretty spectacular downhill somersault that we unfortunately didn’t get on camera.
    Try #4 I got kicked out of my line off to the side, so I just did a 180 and went right back down.
    Try #5 is the impressive dismount that made the final video and is shown below.

    After #5, I was getting pretty tired and frustrated. But, I was determined to climb this damned thing. I cave at this point and decide it’s time to strip the luggage. Wes offers his neck brace which I immediately refuse…then I realize that’s probably a good idea. I had to land the drone at this point too, since the battery was dying.

    While stripping the gear, an older fella comes scooting down on his own 690. I was impressed that he was able to stop and chat while having that thing pointed downhill on this slope. He just got the bike and this is his first trip on it. He asks Wes if he knows how to shut the ABS off. Wes shows him, I get out of his way, and he continues on like it’s no big deal.

    Try #6 I keep the throttle pinned and finally make it up. Piece of cake with no luggage. I think the biggest difference was actually removing the tankbag. I was way further up on the bike without it, so I didn’t feel like I was gonna loop it out the whole time…much better control. If there’s ever a next time, I’ll start by just pulling the tankbag.



    Wes helps carry some of my stuff on his way back up, and I make 2 trips down myself to get the rest. Walking up that mountain gives you a greater appreciation for what these bikes can do. We’re exhausted by the time we get back to the bikes.

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    We skip the next dirt bit and just make a straight run for Butte. I spot an AutoZone in town where I drop the oil in the WR. They let me borrow a bucket, and take the old oil off my hands when I'm done.

    20170728_130026.jpg
    #87
  8. Romero

    Romero Been here awhile

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    Epic ride, epic photography.
    #88
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  9. MizzouRider

    MizzouRider Long timer

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    Cool video of the "drop". I just got back from riding that section. I was on a loaded 1200GS Adventure. I was going to go look at it, but didn't even get to the base of the drop. I stopped at a seep with the trail going up in the woods on the other side. Alone, on a heavy bike. I bailed out. Looking at your video, I'm pretty sure I would not have tried it. It looked pretty tough.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    #89
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  10. bigwespig

    bigwespig Adventurer

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    Fleecer was crazy. The tavern the night before had a little too much influence. The only thing that carried me up that ridge was that tractor motor. At one point I almost stopped and then burned that clutch in a lil to get her going again. I decided at that point I need a regear. Haha the photos and video do little justice to just how crazy it is. That one was fun.
    #90
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  11. chudzikb

    chudzikb Been here awhile

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    Again, the drone footage is simply amazing.
    #91
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  12. LewisNClark

    LewisNClark Long timer

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    Familar with Mesa Falls and Two Top Mountain....been snowmobiling there many times. Amazing places...but so different in the winter. Was literally attacked by a moose off of Mesa Falls Trail....large moose and elk population along Mesa Falls area. If you are interested you can load your gpx file into Google Earth and see Mesa Falls and hiking trails down to Mesa and Snow Falls -

    :raabia Loving this RR. (And a bump). I'm sure you probably know you went right by Gravely Range.....but you cant cover everything on one trip.
    #92
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  13. Cannonshot

    Cannonshot Having a Nice Time Super Moderator

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    Love the drone shot of Fleecer. Gives people a better picture on things.
    #93
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