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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by luv2lean, Jul 30, 2004.
What a ride! What a report!
GREAT report! The photos Rock
Great job you guys...
Fantastic report! The links to the Advnture Bike site are nice too, lots of waypoints there.
Hey Nate, Thats' funny, My phone must have been busted that day too. I'm sure L2L wouldn't want attempt this adv. w/o his two "wing men".
Great pics as usual from L2L's magic camera. How's that shock?
Better late than never (I hope). Thought I'd include a few more pics from the first half of the ride....
On the first day, David, Duane and L2L at Red Meadows Lake outside of Whitefish, MT. Beautiful spot, but the mosquitos drank blood by the pint!
More ugly countryside....
It was pretty hard not to stop every 50 yards or so to snap a picture. JimC and I both took shots of this little lake.
L2L already mentioned JimC's gymnastics over one one berm on the ride. Here are JimC and R_crabb performing some precise frame adjustments on JimC's F650 at the motel. The maid must have been pretty surprised to find the 3' crowbar on the bed in the morning!
Getting a few miles in during the morning made breakfast taste all the better. Only downside--folks in these towns don't move there to rush. Plan on a leisurely meal if you decide to stop in! David and Duane making the turn for Lincoln, MT.
More to follow (if I got this one right!)
R_crabb, David, and Duane stopped by the footing from an old mining operation. I seem to remember seeing this in the trip report on MT mining towns. I suspect it was the old stamp mill.
Additional proof that riding in Montana sucks!
The obligatory Red Rock Pass picture....
David and I stopped at a turnout in the middle of a burn area. The light wasn't the best and I couldn't capture the scope of this view.
Stream out by Flagg Ranch.
As L2L mentioned, I turned back after encountering a few too many mud holes on the leg over Union Pass. Still being a bit of a nOOb, I figured it was better to turn back at that point than get stuck halfway down this leg. David was nice enough to follow me back on this leg (with his relatively new 950). Unfortunately, the alternate route was quite a bit longer and got us stuck in traffic in Jackson, WY. . This left the rest of the team with ample opportunity for a leisurely lunch at a Pinedale, WY convenience store (sorry!).
Ironically, after Pinedale, WY, the bikes got quite a bit dirtier--Wyoming DOT was doing some construction along the highway and had laid down a thick coat of slime, clay and gravel just before the recent rains. The bike looked like an oatmeal and mocha breakfast.
That's it for my pics--hope you enjoyed!
Any one interested in doing it going north and a little west through the great basin, check out Mex2Can.com
For free GPS routes check out SMTS.info
Anyone interested in doing the ride from South to North or from North to South or in segments should check out the TrekNow.com site. Jim Robinson (site owner) has a CD with the way points for the entire route on it. In both directions and with the alternate sections also on it.
(The Adventure Cycling maps have some sections that they present alternate routes on so you can chose to avoid certain areas).
You need both the GPS cooridnates and roll charts created from the maps, and the maps themselves. You will still lose the way with all of this at times.
I rode the first 1040 miles from North to South but managed to break an ankle just north of Pinedale Wy. the other 3 riders I was with went ahead and finished the ride all the way to Antelope Wells.
There is one very challenging section just north of Wise River MT. you get off of FR 4009 onto 1878-D1. It is listed as a very rough 4 wheel drive road(on the Adventure Cycling maps). (I'm not sure that anyone would try to take a 4 wheel drive up it and down the back side). Anyway 11 miles into it you come to Fleecer ridge and the downhill is listed in the book on the Great Divide ride as "extremely steep" believe it- it is extremely steep.
The CD from TrekNow.com routes you around this very difficult section. We went through it and it took us 2 hours to do the 11 miles.
take care, 12ride.
Thanks for the positive response to the report and photos, and thanks to JimC and the group for all the planning, maps, roll charts, etc. I really didnt have to do anything but pack and show up.
FWIW, here are my observations on the trip:
The ride truly was an adventure through some spectacular scenery, most of which I had not seen before which makes it just that much more exciting. We we blessed with cool weather and periodic rain that made the riding conditions outstanding. I dont think I would have enjoyed it nearly as much if it were dusty, but I'm picky about conditions.
Overall the terrain was not as difficult as I expected. Most of the the dirt roads were in good conditions and would be fun on any big DP bike. Knobbies would be good, but I used Avon Gripsters on my GS and only had minor trouble in a couple of mud sections. We rode hiway speeds over several long dirt sections. If you are riding any distance to get to the trail like we did, and are packing a lot of gear, the big GS may be the way to go for overall comfort. Unless your riding a much smaller bike and carrying little gear you'd probably be wise to route around the most difficult sections like we did anyway
On the other hand camping is fun, economical, and convenient to pitch a tent anywhere if you have the gear, but it sure would have been nice to be traveling a little lighter and do the more difficult sections. We didnt have any problems finding reasonable motel accomodations without reservation, except in Whitefish MT. I would give serious consideration to moteling it all the way without reservations to tie you down to a specific schedule. The only drawback would be the off chance that you would hit a local event and not be able to find accomodations.
The route was difficult to follow at times, particularily when we had to route around a closed or difficult section. The bicycle book directions were good, but it did contain some errors. The GPS really helped in letting us know we were off course. It did seem the GPS users spent extra time trying to find the route on GPS versus the roll chart ( but I had no GPS and dont use one).
I think at least 10 days would be needed to do the whole trail, 2 weeks would be better, and you could easily burn 3 weeks or more sight seeing and exploring some of the side routes.
The most important lesson is never, ever ride with a group of F650s!
HA HA just kidding, I was quite impressed with the range of use those little girly bikes had.
And it was very nice meeting you too GYRO.
The dirt novice has to chime in here--L2L is a damn good dirt rider... or so my other friends on the ride told me , so your mileage may vary. He definitely didn't seem to have any trouble (when he was close enough that I could still see him), using Gripsters, but I found my TKC-80's a big help compensating for my limited abilities with traction management. And there was at least one place where I thought R_crabb's Karoo's looked pretty nice!
Okay, I wasn't gonna give you a bad time about the enormous BMW roundels on your saddlebags, but after that remark....
Dang, I was afraid that the deer on the trip were going to use those big things for target practice!!!
It was great riding with everyone on this trip. When I got home I did some scouting work for a club poker run and was drooling over all of the trails I saw branching off the roads around Iowa Hill, Sugarpine Res, and Foresthill.... I went home and printed out a map of the Foresthill trails. Some of these "insane" ride reports look a heckuva lot more interesting now. I guess I better start saving up for more spare parts!
The prior owner must have really liked those LARGE Roundels, but they're not growing on me either. One more comment like that and I'm peelin em off!
BTW, I gotta commend Skwerl on the progress he made in his dirt riding skills during the trip. It looked like he was making some pretty good dirt speed half way through Montana on an overloaded Grly bike. You need to come out with and do some DP with the Sac RRRiders.
Fantastic report and pics guys.
Thanks, I knew I could count on you to rub it in.
are we going...when is the next ride...I am ready, just give me 10 minutes.
Hey, L2L did you guys go around that Mount Fleecer portion, the abandoned railroad track portion south of big springs to mesa falls. Did you bypass all the "trail" sections as indicated on the Adv. Cycling Maps? Did any of you guys fish? I'm going to leave Helena, MT and do 5 days worth heading south Deaprting the 18 of Aug. If anyone out there is bored and needs something to do, I'd like some company! Thanks for the great inspiration and report!
We went around Fleecer Ridge on pavement to Wise River based on recommendations to avoid that section if any. We didnt go into any non-motorized sections, but did a few sections of trail and 4WD road. A lot of what is shown in the book as trail is actually 2WD dirt road. Jim took a pole, but didnt have time to use it. We saw a few fish in montana and heard some big fish stories in Wyoming
Any time, Nader!
Definitely! When's the next one? There appeared to be a bunch of trails around Buck's Lake, off Oroville-Quincy Hwy, that Phil and I saw last Friday. Time to explore.... There's also the Cherry Lake Road-Cottonwood Road area around Tuolumne....
I'm thinking of a dust ride from Forest Hill to Soda Springs on 8-14-04. I'll post more info soon.
There is one very challenging section just north of Wise River MT. you get off of FR 4009 onto 1878-D1. It is listed as a very rough 4 wheel drive road(on the Adventure Cycling maps). (I'm not sure that anyone would try to take a 4 wheel drive up it and down the back side). Anyway 11 miles into it you come to Fleecer ridge and the downhill is listed in the book on the Great Divide ride as "extremely steep" believe it- it is extremely steep
We were one day ahead of Jim C and crew with better weather. This section was a real bear and we had to turn back near the top. Didn't make it to the "Lava Mountain Trail #244" which we heard from guys on bikes and a tow truck driver (another story), was a hand over hand, bush to bush downhill "cliff."
Our group, me on '03 GS Adv, Rich on a F650 GS and Alan on new R1200GS had a ball, also. I'd do it again in a minute.
I hope this works as it's my first login and response.