Solo Continental Divide: The Hard Way

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by Mountainman13, Oct 29, 2020.

  1. Mountainman13

    Mountainman13 Been here awhile

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    Videos and more information for this will be posted as I start getting to them. From mid-August to mid-September I traveled a route which followed the Continental Divide and Continental Divide Trail as closely as possible. I did this vs the more common Great Divide route as I wanted more of a challenge, the GDR is relatively boring in some of the areas it goes through, and I wanted to see how much of the CDT I could actually get close to. I had GPS tracks for NM from a former ADVrider member, I had my own knowledge of CO trails, and worked on routes through WY, ID, and MT which attempted to be on or as close to the CDT as was legal.

    The route lived up to expectations, difficult double and single track in all five states, several dozen miles on the actual CDT, temps of 104 to 27 degrees, altitudes of just under 3000ft to over 13,000. I did have to turn and divert around locked gates a few times. I will post my GPX files for each state as I work through my posts for that part of the trip but I'll say it now. This is not an appropriate route for a large adventure bike. My 690 was about as big as I would have wanted to take and in many areas a larger/wider bike simply would not have fit down the trail. Given that I was by myself I was also doing what I could not to get hurt or stranded. I was on two track and single track for significant portions in each state and I would describe the difficulty of many sections as being more difficult than anything on the AZ or CO BDR's. A 450L would probably be the perfect machine to take this route on if that gives you any idea.

    Overall I had a blast and look forward to sharing my trip with everyone.
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    #1
  2. eemsreno

    eemsreno Super Tenere Rider.

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    690s are not a small bike on single tracks, looks like you did great on the trails.
    Looking forward to the full R.R.
    #2
  3. JoToPe

    JoToPe JoToPe

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    Always wanted to do this and a 450L seems to be a better ride. Will be checking out your RR.
    #3
  4. overlander

    overlander Gravel Travel Tours Supporter

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    I'm I !
    #4
  5. Scribe

    Scribe £Bob£

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    Awesome!
    #5
  6. disabledvet

    disabledvet Adventurer

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    thanks for sharing.i was set to ride the divide this summer.with all this virus stuff i backed out i'm missing 1/2 a lung from the service .i'm really jealous glad you had fun.i like solo riding ....just a man and his thoughts
    #6
    mntdawg likes this.
  7. Blaise W

    Blaise W Long timer Super Supporter Supporter

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    :lurk
    #7
  8. LApilot

    LApilot Been here awhile

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    Los Alamos, NM
    I retire in 2 weeks and want to start planning a CDR trip for next year. Mind if I pull up a chair?
    #8
    Blaise W likes this.
  9. breeno

    breeno Adventurer Supporter

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    hell yeah! that is one cherry looking 690, sir
    #9
  10. Bonnie & Clyde

    Bonnie & Clyde Wishing I was riding RTW

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    That sounds like a trip worth following
    #10
  11. Comrade Arturo

    Comrade Arturo Working stiff

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    Looking forward to the next update!
    #11
  12. RozzyCat

    RozzyCat Bleeds orange Supporter

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    Nice warm up! I'm in. I'd also like to hear about your camera/drone gear if you would oblige. Several years ago when I did the CDT I saw a guy on a UNICYCLE in the middle of nowhere! He didn't look too happy though. :-)
    #12
    Foiler likes this.
  13. Zubb

    Zubb he went that-a-way... Supporter

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    In! You do a nice job of camera/editing work. Looking forward to more.
    #13
  14. Mountainman13

    Mountainman13 Been here awhile

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    Basically my tank bag was all my electronics/camera gear. This let me charge things on the move and it is waterproof so I didn't have to worry much about frying my gear. Head cam is a Sena 10C Pro, GoPro Session for on the bike stuff (the low wheel shot etc), but after a crash on the Monarch Crest Trail I broke the mount and couldn't use it, Gopro Hero 7 Black for vlogging and walk around stuff, Gopro Max for rear facing camera, Sony A6500 for pictures and some video, DJI Mavic Air 2 for drone shots.

    I didn't run into as many people as I expected, mostly bike packers going the other way once I got into Wyoming. Only about 5 motorcycles doing the CDT (I was on different routes most of the way). The bike packer towing her dog was definitely the high point, she seemed like a trooper. Pretty much any time I ran into hikers I was the first motorcycle they had seen on the trail, quite a few of them wanted to take pictures of ME because of the novelty of seeing a bike.
    #14
  15. Blaise W

    Blaise W Long timer Super Supporter Supporter

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    That's a lot of cameras!! Looks like I have to add this to my ride list, along with the Southern TAT, Grand Canyon North Rim, Pacific Crest, and more. Time is getting short!
    #15
  16. mpusms

    mpusms Been here awhile Supporter

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    In!! This is exactly the type of ride/track I've been looking for. Bring it on !!!
    #16
    PoorSSJ likes this.
  17. svtride

    svtride Been here awhile Supporter

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    I'm in! Been thinking about the CDR for some years..Have the time now.
    #17
  18. disabledvet

    disabledvet Adventurer

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    now that is crazy
    #18
    Foiler and RozzyCat like this.
  19. chardog1971

    chardog1971 Adventurer

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    I'm looking forward to the Montana segments as I live near where you would have been. Thanks
    #19
    Andyota likes this.
  20. liv2day

    liv2day Life is about how you handle Plan B Supporter

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    Most definitely in for this RR @Mountainman13! Fantastic job on the trailer vid; I know how much time it takes to capture, sift, and then edit all that footage...and I'm only mixing GoPro footage with drone footage. Can't believe you grabbed all those angles man - well done.

    The CDR has been on my bucket list of rides to do since coming across an outstanding report done by @dbradford back in '17 (Great Continental Divide Ride 2017)

    I'm looking forward to following along and reading your story. The type of riding you describe is exactly what I enjoy - technical stuff that gets you to places with incredible scenery. Been thinking hard about switching from the little mule to the 450L, but just can't get past Honda's miss on service intervals (especially compared to my WR).

    Great opener - looks like a seriously epic ride :thumb :thumb
    #20
    Ginger Beard likes this.