Riding the GCDR (Less NM due to the pandemic)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by surferbum, Aug 6, 2020.

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  1. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

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    I and four friends will ride the Great Continental Divide Ride route starting Monday. We're using Cannonshot's GCDR tracks except for minor changes. Originally we planned to continue into New Mexico but the 14-day quarantine due to the Covid-19 pandemic rules that out for us. We're starting on the US side at the Canadian border in Eureka, MT. Camping and motels along the way. Here's a one-pager of the planned trip. Will flesh out this ride report with verbage and pics later. 40067031-03C9-401A-A090-A045E41BA557.jpeg
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  2. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

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    #2
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  3. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

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    One of the riders , Bob, hadn't been to Pie Town and this was part of the trip that got scratched due to the pandemic. I've been there when I rode the NMBDR but during my planning was saddened to find out that one of the Pie Town pie shops, Pie-O-Neer Pies, closed for good. The other, The Gatherin' Place, is still open.

    Here's a ride report from a trip 6 months ago Completed XXXUpcomingXXX late Jan Southern AZ
    Include in the RR are links to my other rides too. Hope you enjoy those too.
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  4. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

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    How does our route (hiking/bicycles GCDR AKA Cannonshots GCDR) compare to the REVER app GCDR version? Have four pics for comparison.
    1. Our route is red.
    2. Bicycle GCDR is light blue.
    Note: when these two routes are coincident then the color is brown.
    3. REVER app GCDR is purple.

    As you can see, the Rever GCDR is not close to the actual continental divide.

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  5. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

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    The big picture of the route.

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  6. donnh

    donnh Been here awhile Supporter

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    Hey great meeting you tonight at the hotel. Donn and Deby here. Have a great ride I’ll keep an eye on the RR.
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  7. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

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    Before and after pics (with motorcycle washed). Adjustments.jpg
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  8. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

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  9. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

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    The size of the group changed from the initial idea of doing the ride. Two guys (not me) tossed around the idea of the ride late in 2019. I decided to join the ride but one of the original 2 dropped out. We cast the net for other riders who we've ridden with before resulting in a group of five. Then added a sixth; added two more for eight; these two dropped out and now back to six; then another dropped out resulting in the final riding group of five. These five were me, Bob, Tim, Johnny and Bill. Bob and I are from Scottsdale. Tim is from Florida also with a place in Edwards, CO. Johhny is a Canadian from Cochrane, Alberta but also has a place in Gilbert, AZ. Finally Bill is from Eagle, ID. Reflecting back now, five is the maximum IMHO. I had ridden on BDRs or other multi-day rides with everyone and we had a great time.

    I planned the route with a balance of camping and motels. The original plan was to end the off-pavement riding in Pie Town and scatter from there to head home. This would have had camping out on days 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8 and moteling on days 2, 5. This got changed due to Covid-19 in New Mexico, the need to be in guaranteed cellphone coverage at the start of day 8, and working around the Colorado forest fires. The final result was camping on days 1, 3, 4 and moteling on days 2, 5, 7 and staying at Tims's CO place on day 6.

    The motorcycles rode were 3 KTM 690 Enduro R (2014 and 2 2019s), a 2019 KTM 790 Adventure and a 2017? BMW 1200 GS. One of the 2019 KTMs had a Rade Garage auxiliary tank installed (1.5 gallons) while the other 690’s had a Rotopax 1 gallon and the other had a Giant Loop 1 gallon fuel bladder. Johnny rode the 790 and carried a fuel bladder too but never used it. Even though Bob and I filled our 1 gallon, we never needed it (kinda).
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  10. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

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    I and my wife drove to Eureka, MT for the start. It took 21 hours with us staying overnight in Pocatello, Idaho. Everyone stayed at RiverStone Family Lodge. Nice place and recognized after booking that Tim had a relationship with the owners.

    Also staying there was Donn (ADVrider handle donnh) and Deby who were riding the same GCDR and starting the same day. We ran into them the first day.

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    Here’s some pics of others working their way to the start. Adjustments.jpg

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  11. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

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    My gear is pretty much unchanged from earlier rides such as the CABDR or COBDR except for riding gear.

    My sleeping gear is a 1-person 3-season tent (Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL 1), inflatable mattress (Exped SynMat 7 Air Pad with Pump & Schnozzel Pumpbag), sleeping bag (Kelty Coromell 25 Degree Long), Coghlan's Tent Peg Mallet and pillow (Trekolog ALUFT Comfort Ultralight). I pack everything in a 35L Sea to Summit dry bag. I tried some new meals (not shown) from Stowaway Gourmet which were very tasty. Also tried Amazon brand Happy Belly Instant Oatmeal which I enjoyed too. I decided to only carry a single diet coke and gatorade (rather than what's shown) and just replenish at gas stops. A very tragic problem was that I forgot to bring my favorite Evan Williams Honey bourbon.

    Camping gear is G4Free camping chair, Jet Boil, 2 1-liter stainless steel water bottles, 7” folding camping saw, collapsible glass/bowl/spork, lighter/matches, survival blanket, TP and wipes, nylon rope, insect repellent wipes, Tylenol/Aleve, sunscreen, lip balm, external power bank battery, various flashlight & lantern, misc. charging cables, spare reading glasses, misc. toiletries, misc. Band-Aids/tape, protein bars, beef jerky, gum and hard candy, Feetcity Mens Water camping shoes (pack flat), Salomon Speed Cross shoes, spare socks, shirt/shorts, sweat pants/long sleeve shirt.

    Bike gear includes Garmin Oregon 600, 1 gallon Rotopax gas container, misc. tools, spare 21” tube, compressor, Al wire, 6 22” Spare Cuff Disposable Restraints, tire repair kit and gauge, spare oil, Blue Magic QuikSteel, JB Weld, spare ROK straps, SAE/alligator jumper cable, 15' nylon tow strap, Enduro Star Trail stand and Adventure-Spec Magadan Panniers MK2. I replaced my helmet headset with the Cardo DMC/Bluetooth Packtalk Bold with JBL speakers. This replaced my old Sena gear (shown in pic). I listen to music while riding and this worked good. Other riders also bought this Cardo but we never got around to forming a mesh group for on the trail communication. ... Next time.

    Here’s a link to my bike setup.

    I got new riding gear from Motoport using their Marathon Air Mesh Jacket Yellow/Black and Ultra II stretch Pant black. The jacket is fitted with a kidney belt, CamelBak 100oz pocket/bladder, inReach pocket plus jacket/pant liner. This worked great and was cooler and lighter than my Klim gear. It is also much better in case of a crash (thank goodness I didn't test this out ... yet).

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  12. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

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    Had a great pregame meal Sunday night at Trapper’s Saloon.

    So we start. All-in-all it'll becomes an adventure because of 2 flats, 2 crashes, one dead battery, one forest fire, a couple of tickets and a number of long days.

    Packed the bikes for an 8 AM start and rode 6 miles and had breakfast at Cafe Jax (great too!). This would become SOP for the ride. Fed, gassed up and aired up we started.

    NOTE: The time is turn-on Rever app to turn-off Rever app (which is more than our driving seat time).

    Day One - Monday (Aug 10)
    10:25 hours & 233 miles

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    We’re saddling up after breakfast.

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    Some slab and then we hit dirt.

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    Some signage and mileage.
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    And 4 of 5 riders on a bridge over a moving stream. The water was present most of the rides.
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    Here’s an important sign to Polebridge and the Bakery & Mercantile famous Huckleberry Bear Claws. Tim lent a helping hand to some girls in the parking lot installing new windshield wipers on their car. Maybe the Mercantile sells them?

    While we were there, Donn and Deby pull in.

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    Johnny’s enjoying his.
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    Another great small lake along the way. Say cheese Bill.

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    Then our first glitch. Bob has a flat front tire and we’re less than 4 hours into an 8 days ride. He had never had a flat before but I’ve had a few and he was a good student.
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  13. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

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    Our plan was to camp at Seeley Lake that night, but the word was that the Seeley Lake Campgrounds were very busy and might be full. The flat tire, huckleberry bear claws and 230+ miles conspired against getting to the campgrounds early. We split into two groups: slower - Bob and I; faster - Tim, Johnny and Bill. We slabbed it to the campground while the other guys took the dirt route planned for the day. We got to Seeley Lake first and the campgrounds in the area were full. We quickly rode around looking at different places to camp. We found the last spot available at Lake Inez Campground. Bob and I set up our tent and then got a phone call out of the blue from the other group. We connected up with them and ate a great steak dinner at Lindsey’s Prime Steak House. When we got back to the campground we found that the group next to us had left and left us with a lot of firewood which we burned for the first fire of the trip. My Instafire (as seen on Shark Tank) fire starting ability was a little rusty but finally got it going. Montana is bear country and we had bear bags for our food, etc. We couldn’t hang the bags and there were no bear boxes but the campground was next to the highway so we took a chance and fortunately no bears showed up that night.

    And road construction delays didn’t speed up the trip. Both groups caused trouble with the crew and pilot car.

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    Zzzzzzz
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  14. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

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  15. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

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    Here’s a missing pic from the Sunday evening dinner. What a bunch of studs.

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  16. swimmer

    swimmer armchair asshole

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    Thanks for sharing. Might nice of your wife to haul you up to the start.
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  17. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

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    The first of many days of making/breaking camp. Bob and I eat some freeze-dried breakfast and coffee while packing tents, sleeping bags and deflating air mattresses. Then we eat again as a group 10 miles down the road at Pop’s Place. Good food.

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    Plus some fast gravel.
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    Leads you to Ovando, MT.
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    As is always the case, you need to do dust-management.

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    I was enjoying the ride so much that I blew right past our gas-up point in Lincoln. Of course we’ve failed to put gas in our 1-gallon containers!

    Before I recognized this I road up a gnarlly road to see Granite Butte Lookout Tower.

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    Pano from the tower.
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    Well we regrouped and recognized the gas screwup. Bob's bike is very likely to run dry and we would have to use the shaker siphon. We go into max fuel economy mode with even throttle and coasting down hills. Our bikes have a 3.2 gallons capacity. Bob pulled into the gas station on fumes. Somehow he got 3.227 gallons into his tank (not counting the overflow). Mine got much better mileage which we speculated was due to Bob’s bike’s richer ECU tune. Total mileage on my tank was 141 miles and low fuel light just turned on. Needless to say, we filled up our gas containers too. IMG_8161.jpg

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    We stayed the night at a motel in Butte and had dinner at a forgettable Mexican restaurant. IMG_8162.jpg
    A couple of pics along today’s ride. This is an abandoned railroad trestle on Bridge Lane west of Corbin.
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    #17
  18. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

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    Here's stats:

    Day Two - Tuesday (Aug 11)
    10:24 hours & 217 miles

    This day has an additional addendum in a later reply (#40). See that for route change recommendation. The planned route took you through alittle deep sand (no issue) than up a verrry steep, long, off-camber, Rocky section which is best suited for 350 CC, unloaded dirt bikes. Johnny made it up the initial section. Next was Tim, who started okay then had a bad crash where he tweaked his shoulder hitting a big rock. Scouting the next 1/4 mile showed no let up plus could be more miles after that. We found a workaround which we took that had a few miles of pavement but didn't knock anyone out.

    See comment #40 in this thread for more details.


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  19. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

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    Onto Day Three - Wednesday (Aug 12)
    8:03 hours & 214 miles
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    #19
  20. surferbum

    surferbum Been here awhile

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    I screwed up my hotel reservation in Butte for day 2. Told the others that I’d booked at the Butte Comfort Inn and they had reservations. Unfortunately I'd booked at the Quality Inn Went to check-in at the Comfort Inn and had no reservation. Couldn't find my confirmation email (it had been a long ride) and thought either I or Comfort Inn had screwed up so I checked in. Well ... subsequently got a charge on my credit card from the Quality Inn for an unstayed night when I got home after the trip. Both the Quality Inn and Comfort Inn are part of the Choice Network but am getting no help (other than NO) from Choice or GM Amy of Butte Quality Inn.
    #20