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TAT: What's the difference between then and now?

Discussion in 'Americas' started by WhicheverAnyWayCan, Jun 29, 2020.

  1. WhicheverAnyWayCan

    WhicheverAnyWayCan Deaf Biker

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,793
    Location:
    Seven Springs NC
    I did TAT in 2012 and completed it on first try in 5 weeks. There were some tough sections I didn't like.. but plentiful that I enjoyed.

    Thinking of doing TAT again in 2022.. I was wondering what's the difference between then and now? Perhaps this could become a ongoing thread so riders could come back and compare the difference as Sam continues to update the trail due to several reasons..

    I know I would like to avoid Hancock Pass & Poncha Creek Rd.
    #1
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  2. wbbnm

    wbbnm Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2007
    Oddometer:
    5,951
    Location:
    MN and NM
    Looks like the TAT has changed radically in the past few years. Check out the web site. The main route doesn't even go to Port Orford anymore. It turns east in about the middle of Oregon and goes all the way to the MN/WI border.

    About the time you rode it they switched it so that it turned north at about the UT/NV border and headed north to ID.

    You can take the Marshall Pass road to eliminate both Poncha Creek and Hancock Pass to get from Salida to Sargents.

    My mind is foggy but it doesn't seem like one would take both Hancock Pass and Poncha Creek with doing some detouring.
    #2
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  3. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2003
    Oddometer:
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    Location:
    Mt. Vernon, Illinois
    Also---------he's added a "Wyoming" and "South Dakota" TAT.
    I just got home this morning from riding them.

    I think wbbnm would agree and most people-----------he has continually made them easier (in dry weather). Myself -------------I like the originals better-------------but I was younger then (2007):lol3

    I swear the Wyoming version has more unpaved roads then any other versions of the TAT. 92% unpaved is my guess. If really wet-----------70% of it you need a helicopter. No wheeled vehicle is going anywhere in that mud------but that is true for most of these cross country rides---and BDR's. Luckily we had dry conditions and had no mud problems----------none that would stop you anyway.
    BD

    Easy road.

    DSCF0427 (1024x600).jpg


    [​IMG]
    #3
  4. Blaise W

    Blaise W Long timer Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Yep, the new TAT is easy, especially compared to the original route I did in 2011. I think that is "the" way to do it, but that's just me. We rode the newer route about three years ago and one of the riders had no issues on a brand new and "loaded" Africa Twin, other than on some of the steep switch backs in Colorado. Kind of have to commit in a few spots.... I still want to run the old route again, soon, and wonder what kind of conditions would be found. Some of it was a bit rough due to rain carving up the tracks in northern Nevada. But, Nevada was the BEST! I do need to check out the WY and SD tracks BigDog mentioned! Thinking September.
    #4
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  5. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2005
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    Location:
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    The old section between Green River and Salina, UT was awesome, not to be missed. All of the Nevada route was incredible, the first time I rode it I cut some to make up time, went back a year later to the Utah border and rode the NV section without missing a turn.
    #5
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  6. Davidprej

    Davidprej Davidprej Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Oddometer:
    938
    Location:
    Lafayette, LA
    As someone without much off-road experience, the difficulty of riding the TAT is a concern for me. I can fully understand that someone with a light bike and a lot of off-road experience would enjoy the challenge of a more difficult route. But my question is, does the fact that the route is easier mean that it's less scenic, etc. In other words, is it just the riding that's less challenging, or is the experience (putting aside the riding) diminished? I started riding at 54 and am 61, so I have no hopes of attaining anything but rudimentary off-road skills and I have no desire to be challenged with a situation that could end my trip and send me to the hospital (though I realize that's a possibility anytime I'm riding). So, I'm trying to decide, is the TAT for me or should I pass? Does that make sense? BTW, current bike is a Vstrom 650.
    #6
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  7. Klinc207

    Klinc207 To PERU!

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    Aug 26, 2015
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    Up here or down there.
    Start riding it, if it is too difficult- jump on the road.... :beer
    #7
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  8. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    Work up to it. Try the Continental Divide first. Start at the north end so you're dialed by the time you reach New Mexico.
    #8
  9. Davidprej

    Davidprej Davidprej Supporter

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
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    Thanks for the suggestion. I hadn't heard much about the Continential Divide trail.

    Just watched this video about riding it. Yikes, that looks pretty intense to me. I'm sure it's not all like that, but I'm thinking a smaller bike and riding buddy might be the smart move for me for either trail.

    I'm retiring at the end of the year, so will have more time to get some off road experience and judge the limits of my capabilities.
    #9
  10. larryboy

    larryboy Stable genius.

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    Black Bear Pass isn't even on the Divide. You don't have to ride Fleecer Ridge in Montana and they showed the three marginally difficult places in 2500 miles multiple times. They made that video to impress somebody and I'm not. The divide is a basic gravel road ride with a couple of minor water crossings. That video is a total misrepresentation.
    #10
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  11. Davidprej

    Davidprej Davidprej Supporter

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    Thanks. Great info. I also found this site with "green" (easier) and "red" (more difficult) route options.

    https://sites.google.com/site/gpskevin/adventurerides/great-continental-divide-ride

    I'm back in! I've ridden around 50k miles in my 7 years of riding, but have never camped off my bike or done more than a few miles on unpaved roads. And haven't been out west at all. So I'm really looking forward to having the time to explore these routes. (After retirement.)
    #11
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  12. Blaise W

    Blaise W Long timer Supporter

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    I have a friend with a V-Strom and he does amazing, really amazing, things with it, but he's not new to this. Good skid plate, and pack light! All these routes are OK for you (not the old TAT, and you probably can't even get the tracks for it now) but be prepared to do just a few go arounds if something appears too difficult. You won't be alone in this. Scenic, yep, the new TAT is definitely scenic, and fun! Again, pack LIGHT (use light weight back packing camp gear), be able to pick your bike up, even if you have to unload it first, be able to fix a flat, and carry tools and at least a front tube and good pump. Take a friend! Age no impediment by itself (I'm 72) so just take it easy and go enjoy. You don't want to miss doing these rides! I have a great fireside tale of a good buddy (sorry Mr. P) who, on his first adventure ride, I made send home about 40 pounds of stuff before we hit the trail on the Western TAT. You should have seen his stuff spread out in his motel room. I almost had a heart attack! Fun tale though, and lots of laughs since then.....
    #12
  13. squidchief

    squidchief Long timer

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    Hey Brother. After you retire and if you decide to come out to Northern Nevada to ride, drop me a line. I'm in a similar situation. I'll ride with you.
    #13
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  14. PittsDriver

    PittsDriver Fuse lit.... Supporter

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Annapolis, MD
    I'm not sure I'd say the latest version of the TAT is easy - but there has been a gradual redesign of the track away from some of the more challenging bits. When we rode it in 2015 we felt like the track through Utah and Nevada was a challenge but worth every mile of it. It's one of the most memorable parts of the TAT for me being out in the middle of the desert in all that soft sand; or, riding through Black Dragon Wash; or, over Hickley Summit; or watching the human powered land speed record attempts in Battle Mountain; or a burger and shake at Fields Station - you get the idea. I asked Sam about why he moved the track to go up through Idaho and he said he got a lot of negative feedback from people who hated riding in all that sand. I have to admire Sam for constantly tuning the route to keep the epic scenery and sections while making it accessible to more and more riders of modest skill. I'm sure that takes a lot of work. And, if you're a more adventurous and skillful rider then you probably know how to make the ride your own and ride those sections that are legendary from times past.

    But, there's nothing easy about being gone on a dirt worthy bike for several thousand miles riding into every kind of terrain found in the USA.
    #14
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