Long Way Round the Rockies (LWRR) 2016

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by guavadude, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. guavadude

    guavadude Dirt Nap Enthusiast

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    Long Way Round the Rockies is a 5,000+ mile mostly off-road dual sport ride that started and ended in Santa Fe, NM. Me and my buddy Rob S. (aka "Vapor") rode North to Banff, Canada on the Continental Divide Route (CDR) and returned South traveling through Canada (CAN), the Idaho Backroad Discovery Route (IDB), Best of Montana 2015 Route (BOM) Colorado (CO) and New Mexico (NM).

    We drove a Budget van with the bikes from Dallas area to Santa Fe and then rode from 7/3-16-7/22-16, driving back as well.

    The pre-ride plan is in this thread but I'm going to repost the maps, tracks and some info, if for no other reason, because I spent a ton of time putting it all together!
    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/long-way-round-the-rockies-2016-pre-ride.1156735/

    I started with gpsKevin's excellent CDR tracks since his is a collection of Big Dog's and Cannonshot's tracks for the ride north and used Wansfel's Best Of Montana and route ideas from Steve Farson's "Motorcycling Colorado" book for the ride south.
    Also a huge shout out to eakins from Butler Maps for his master thread on all things CDR.
    So much great info here:
    http://advrider.com/index.php?threads/cdr-adv-routes-master-thread.763745/


    Since I wasn't exactly sure how much we could ride each day, I broke up routes by region and in smaller chunks. That way we could add on whatever we wanted as the day progressed.
    The plans are in one google map layer, then what we actually rode north is a layer, south is a layer and I've added some pics as a layer also.

    Color code for Google map is:
    Blue is planned route South to North
    Dark Blue is planned route North to South
    Green is easier alternate route
    Red is harder alternate route
    Black is a scenic option or short add-on
    Cyan is optional days/routes

    Light Purple is Actual route South to North
    Dark Purple is Actual route North to South
    (so many pretty colors)

    You can change the map type at the bottom of the track list and the sections will highlight if you either select the track in the map or hover over them in the list. Click a pic to enlarge, kinda.

    https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?mid=13rq62jKeO475Z6kKVPYVxO0Zubw&ll=41.88704974561165,-112.61559925097652&z=5

    This is the same google map but not in the My Maps area so may work better on your device. On my iPad it gives me full size view of the imported photos that are on the map:
    https://www.google.com/maps/@43.105...m2!6m1!1s13rq62jKeO475Z6kKVPYVxO0Zubw!5m1!1e4



    Here are screenshots of the actual route we rode and the initial plan.

    Attached Files:

    #1
  2. guavadude

    guavadude Dirt Nap Enthusiast

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    Long story short, if you've been thinking about doing something like this, just go. What you ride, how you ride, what you packed or forgot isn't nearly as important as just loading up and leaving. So do that asap. I can't count the number of times every day that I was just overwhelmed with how beautiful it all was.

    I'm finally getting around to the ride report because I'm working on a repeat for this July, with a few tweaks here and there.

    Since a picture is worth a thousand words, here are a ton of pics and a few videos. Click on pics for enlarged view.

    https://goo.gl/photos/JEBtP4zdpfJu5z6K9

    Attached Files:

    #2
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  3. guavadude

    guavadude Dirt Nap Enthusiast

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    Here are the tracks for the plan

    Attached Files:

    #3
  4. guavadude

    guavadude Dirt Nap Enthusiast

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    TRACKS

    Here is what we actually rode. I left some of the worm trails on the actual tracks to designate where we slept and ate. I also left in all the re-routes and turn arounds, so they tell more of the actual story and might not be the cleanest path from A to B.

    I didn't include all the waypoint data in the actual tracks so it won't be doubled when importing. We both had Garmin Montanas loaded with CNNA and the Regional Topos, although I think we just used the CNNA. They really helped when we needed to re-route and call an audible.

    Attached Files:

    #4
  5. guavadude

    guavadude Dirt Nap Enthusiast

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    Here are .pdf map books, a Google terrain version and the Basecamp version with detailed info. I printed out the Basecamp book and used them on my tank bag but we had the Terrain one loaded on a laptop and our phones. That way if we were off the grid we could still get an idea of what terrain we were riding the next day.

    Click the link and it should wake right up to see the doc. Right-click or control-click to download.
    Long_Way_Round_Rockies_2016_Maps.pdf

    Here are screenshots of the terrain maps in one pdf file. This is what I like to see when trying to get an overview of each leg.
    LongWayRoundRockies2016-TerrainMap.pdf
    #5
  6. CO-or-bust

    CO-or-bust Been here awhile

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    Yo, Guavadude! I followed, and loved your trip planning thread --- tons of details on how you mapped it all out. Now really looking to follow along here in the official RR!

    :lurk
    #6
  7. tarheel rider

    tarheel rider Tight Lines

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    Now that gets the juices flowing, nicely done!


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
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  8. Moto Vaquero

    Moto Vaquero Trail less traveled

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    Wow! You put a ton of work into this. Really looking forward to your story.
    #8
  9. _trogdor_

    _trogdor_ Been here awhile

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    Seconded.
    #9
  10. TripleDubYa

    TripleDubYa Intrepid Explorer

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    Reviewed the pictures and videos on Flickr...some damn nice terrain you encountered. I really liked that grizzly video.
    #10
  11. Moto Vaquero

    Moto Vaquero Trail less traveled

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    That bear and the elk were both STUDS! Neither looked concerned at all about the scrawny humans watching them.
    #11
  12. Sherwin84

    Sherwin84 Adventurer

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    Wow. This is going to be good!!
    #12
  13. guavadude

    guavadude Dirt Nap Enthusiast

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    DAY 0

    Now that we have all the maps and tracks out of the way, let's get rolling.
    I'm going to add a few select pics inline with the report. The google map has a few pics placed by gps data and the Flickr link has a ton of pics.
    I personally enjoy maps and pics...hopefully Rob will jump in with some touchy feely stories and share some of the sarcasm that he seems to enjoy so much.

    I should probably admit right now that up until last year I didn't even know what the Continental Divide Route was. Rob mentioned it in passing that he really wanted to ride it July of 2016 and I figured I should do some research since I immediately replied "In"! Holy crap, people ride bikes on this thing, how hard can it be.

    I started with Cannonshot's, Big Dog's and gpsKevin's excellent ride reports and info. I really enjoyed seeing their different perspectives and I started gathering every waypoint and track that I could find and organized them in Basecamp. Since we had decided on 3+ weeks of riding, I didn't see any point in just backtracking the CDR on the return when there are so many amazing roads. So I then started gathering all the BDR routes, Best of Montana routes and all the great Colorado tracks I could find. A plan started to come together but I had no idea how much of this we could actually accomplish or how many miles we could average each day. I err'd on the side of having plenty of tracks loaded and ready because it's much easier to deal with the data at home than it is on the side of the road. We did bring a laptop with Basecamp loaded as well and used it to see what the next day had in store or re-route if the weather encouraged us off the chosen path. Neither of us had a real desire to possibly fight the NM mud by heading south to the border, the only real sacrifice being Pie Town, so we started in Santa Fe, NM.

    Since we live in Dallas and summer SUCKS in Tejas we rented a Budget truck instead of riding to Santa Fe and Rob built these great palette bike mounts. We stashed them at a friend's house in SF and used them on the return trip as well.
    IMG_0034.jpg IMG_0035.jpg

    On the way to SF we hit a major storm, crazy high winds. Budget trucks aren't very aerodynamic but we were glad to not be riding in the storm.

    IMG_0042.jpg
    #13
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  14. guavadude

    guavadude Dirt Nap Enthusiast

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    The Bikes

    We got a little bit of a late start after returning the truck but it felt great to finally be off and running. I ride "Natasha the Goat" a 2009 Bmw G650gs with Racetech suspension and a good amount of protective hardware, which I apparently feel the need to test again and again. Rob is on "the Beast" or is it "the Flying Pig", it's a 2012 Tenere and it's big. I think he is using the stock suspension but I know he's done a few mods.... the clutch and usual farkles including a Rigid light bar that is awesome.

    We both had Garmin Montanas and I highly recommend that unit. It was great just beaming my tracks over to his Montana if needed and there's no way we could have done some of the re-rerouting on the fly with just paper maps. I printed out the Basecamp pdfs of each day (from the link on the first few posts) and I kept them in
    the plain paper sized map pocket from Wolfman that fit on my Wolfman expandable tank bag. That worked well and I like have a paper map of the day since it's hard to get an overview on the Montanas.
    http://wolfmanluggage.com/products/map-pocket-plain-paper

    I sent off for each state's free map and travel guides and I found the Rand McNally "Western United States" regional map at the local bookstore. I used a highlighter and drew the planned route on this map. Whenever we'd meet someone and talk about the trip, it was awesome being able to pull out that map and show them the whole route. It was also a good way to remind us how far we had to go and to keep moving.

    I received my Mosko Moto R80v2 a couple of days before we left so I unfortunately never even had a chance to do a ride with it loaded. Not ideal, but I was very glad it shipped to me in time. Rob used the Wolfman panniers. Both systems worked great but the Wolfman bags were definitely quicker to get on and off the bike.

    We used Sena 20s headsets and for the most part I loved them. The ability to communicate with more than cryptic hand gestures is a good thing. I do wish the range was better though.

    Just before we left we scored a deal on some Klim Badlands jacket and pants. Bombproof and waterproof. It was so nice to just pull over and zip up and keep riding, not having to mess with rain gear. We also both have Gerbing heated jackets. I used mine occasionally, especially in Canada and Rob had his on every day set to "hug".

    Rob ran Shinko 804/805s and I used TKC80s aired up firm so they'd last.

    Here are the girls so clean and fresh still
    IMG_20160703_163101.jpg
    #14
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  15. Mofrid

    Mofrid Been here awhile Supporter

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    Sweet Guavadude.
    I am in!
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  16. mattomoto

    mattomoto 2 wheels rule

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    Good stuff Guavadude!!! I'm looking at doing something similar this fall when my work season is over. Sept should be nice and I can start out of the Denver area head north and loop around south.
    Thanks in advance for the write up.
    #16
  17. kneesels

    kneesels Adventurer

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    thanks for taking the time to do this, looking forward to the read.
    #17
  18. guavadude

    guavadude Dirt Nap Enthusiast

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    GARMIN BASECAMP MAPS

    I've seen in other ride reports where it's often asked how the maps are being printed and imported into Google and ride reports. Here's a quick tutorial, mostly to remind myself how to do it next time. Also a few gps and Basecamp tips.

    Tracks, routes and waypoints will quickly turn into a craptastic pile in Basecamp if you don't organize them. I create folders for each state, region, ride, etc. and then I create various lists of tracks with waypoints or just tracks by themselves because Basecamp doesn't have a way to quickly hide waypoints when you just want to see the tracks without the clutter of waypoints.
    As I mentioned, I collected a lot of CDR .gpx data from the interwebs and then copied, tweaked, reversed the tracks into the ride plan. I kept the original files in their own list and duplicated the tracks and info into new lists.

    *** To duplicate data (waypoints, tracks etc) from one list to another, you MUST use the COPY and PASTE functions. On my Mac, option+drag creates a copy of data in every app EXCEPT Basecamp! What's f'd up is that in Basecamp opt-drag LOOKS like it's creating copies. It even adds the little green "+" sign and everything as you drag a track from one list on top of another....but they lie!! It moves the selected data instead of copying. I repeat....you MUST select, copy and then paste if you want duplicates. You can quickly trash all the work you've put into a list by forgetting this. DAMHIK.

    Come up with some sort of title shorthand and stick with it. I like to have ride/state, track number/order, mileage and start and end point names. The more info you can see on your little gps screen, the better.

    For the map book printouts, I just take screen shots after I highlight the track for that page and print as a pdf. I combine all the individual pdfs into one large pdf for ease of passing around and printing.

    This is what my world looks like in Basecamp:
    Basecamp folders overview.png


    Here's a list without waypoints cluttering up the tracks:


    Basecamp folders no waypts.png
    #18
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  19. guavadude

    guavadude Dirt Nap Enthusiast

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    GOOGLE MAPS

    There are several websites like Furkot.com where you can create routes using Google's map info. I've found it easier to keep Google maps open while creating routes in Basecamp and then converting those routes to tracks so they stay consistent regardless of the map set or gps that's being used. When I'm done creating the tracks in Basecamp, I export (using Export under the File menu) the entire list like "LWRR ALL Tracks Only" as one big .gpx file. Then I import this as a layer into Google maps so I can use Satellite, Map or Terrain View. So here's how to do that because they sure don't make it easy.

    One of the reasons you need to create one large .gpx file is because Google will only import ONE FILE per layer. You might have to convert your multi-track .gpx file into a .kml file using https://gpx2kml.com/. Note, the file must be under 15mb. I had to split my South to North route into a separate layer from the North to South to make it fit. When exporting your .gpx file in Basecamp, you can just select the tracks you want in the track list and "Export Selected User Data" (under File Menu). This way it's easy to create .gpx files for each Google map layer organized by each state, each direction, each day...whatever you want. You can also export selected waypoints and create a camping layer or a gas layer like this excellent example I found on eakins CDR Masterlist thread:

    Continental Divide Motorcycle Route - https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1RDAQY9zn71powozw9mxjJL1U-QI&hl=en&usp=sharing

    Or this one from gpsKevin:
    Great Continental Divide Ride - https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=16d53Fpc-ubhhfA797ohHbSeY1rg&hl=en&usp=sharing

    After having a particularly rough day's ride, we'd study up by using the laptop and the Satellite view of our trip. We'd "walk" down the route to make sure we weren't going to kill ourselves before lunch the next day.

    Once you have your .kml file, you need to create a Google user account if you don't already have one. Go to Google maps, under the pulldown "Your Places", then Maps tab and at the bottom CREATE MAP. Click Import and select or drag your .kml or .gpx files here. I might have only need to import the .kml because the .gpx file was too large and the .kml of the same data wasn't. Anyway, play with it and you'll sort it out. You can change the color of the tracks and the icons on the waypoints and set a default view for the map.

    You can also import photos as a layer. If they are geotagged, they'll drop right in place. If not you'll have to place them where you like. The easiest way I found to do this was to import the photos into Google photos, select what I wanted to use and then create a New Album. When you import into the new layer, you'll see the options to Upload, Use Google Drive or Photo albums. Select the photo album you created, select the photos by dragging over them and then import. Now you should see all the photos in your new layer!

    I like to make screen shots of each day's track with Terrain view. If you select the track in the list before you take your screen shot, it will be nicely highlighted.
    Impress your friends, be an internet sensation!

    Google pic example.png
    #19
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  20. Wansfel

    Wansfel I'm not lost! The world is just a bit misplaced.

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    All sounds familiar. Have you tried "filtering" in Base camp to get the GPX files smaller? 500 points per day track will still supply reasonable granularity.
    #20