[Video Report] Solo CDR by way of North Texas (5600 miles in 3 weeks!)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by monstermashcash, Nov 23, 2019.

  1. monstermashcash

    monstermashcash Riding away from Responsibilities

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    The trip : On September 1st I left Dallas Texas, rode over to New Mexico and rode the continental divide, south to north, from the border of Mexico all the way to the Canadian border.
    The trip took 24 days total: 1.5 days to the start of the trail, 13.5 days on the actual Continental Divide Trail (12 riding days, 2 days off in Jackson, WY). The return trip to Dallas took 9 days (4 days off in Jackson, WY and Driggs, ID to avoid a winter storm). I camped every night except for the one motel to escape that storm in central Wyoming, and also stayed at a friend's house in Idaho.

    Bike : 2014 KTM 690 Enduro R, the only issues I had were slightly tweaked handle bar risers a few times from mostly low speed crashes, and one broken rear brake pedal at the end of the Montana section (bent too many times). My rally raid cam chain tensioner also leaked a little oil at the beginning, but that was probably user error. Somehow I never got a flat or ran out of gas (although I came really close on my way back down through Montana during a rain/snow storm). Also my flatland skid plate lost a front mounting bolt and rattled most of the trip, it eventually rattled the other front mounting bolt all the way through and came off at 75 mph in the Texas Panhandle on the way home.

    Tires : front - IRC TR8, rear - Motoz Tractionator Adventure (both worked great)

    Nav : cheap Garmin Nuvi from ebay, Cannonshot's CDR .gpx file with assorted background/topo maps

    Check out the full video, it took a long time to edit. Hope you guys enjoy, hit me with any questions you have about gear or the trail!

    Attached Files:

    #1
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  2. Double Apex

    Double Apex Been here awhile Supporter

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    Awesome video! Thanks for taking the time and effort to put it together and let us ride along.
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  3. Xyphon112

    Xyphon112 Been here awhile

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    Awsome video. How much rain did you get throughout? I was planning on doing this ride in August of '20. How do you think a big bike would fare on the route you took?
    #3
  4. monstermashcash

    monstermashcash Riding away from Responsibilities

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    Rain is part of the game on a trip like this, I feel like it rains every afternoon in the rockies during the summer. August might be a little better than September, I ran into storms that were rain in the valley and snow in the mountains so they might be slightly warmer and less miserable in August.

    A big bike would be totally fine, although you'll want to skip some of the more technical sections. Luckily Cannonshot's tracks have most of the gnarly stuff marked and usually an optional route around. The roughest stuff was northern New Mexico just north of Grants, and several sections in Montana. I think something like an Africa Twin might be the best bike for the CDR mainly for the comfort advantages over my 690, although I wouldn't want to pick up a big bike like that very much as my loaded down 690 didn't exactly feel light when I was tired hah!
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  5. MotoPet

    MotoPet Been here awhile

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    Great Vid, thanks for sharing.
    I'm planning to do this in 2020 during August S to N on a DR650.
    Any suggestions or recommendations like what to see along the route?
    #5
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  6. BigDogAdventures

    BigDogAdventures Fart Letter Supporter

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    Thank you so much--------really enjoyed it.
    Cannonshot did such a great job with so many options. He used my tracks from my ride way back when --------but added so much more.
    BigDog
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  7. JoToPe

    JoToPe JoToPe

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    Great video. I did half the CDR a couple years ago with a group that Trail Boss organized. Planning on doing the rest of the CDR or a combination of the CDR & BDR’s. Cannonshot has the best resources for us riders. Very much appreciate you taking us along for the journey.
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  8. monstermashcash

    monstermashcash Riding away from Responsibilities

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    Thanks BigDog! I definitely researched your tracks and ride reports as well, Cannonshot made it easy with his meticulous markers and updates for changes to the route. I really appreciate this community and the work you guys have put in so people like me can make rides like this happen without too much head scratching. Hopefully my video can help build on that and inspire a few more guys to get out there and do it.
    #8
  9. RotesHengst

    RotesHengst Adventurer

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    Great job on the video production, very scenic and varied. Good choice of music to accompany your locations. It appears you used at least one GoPro camera (great mounting point underneath the visor). How did you process the video to take out some of the fisheye distortion? You have me drooling now, have an ole itch to scratch! As others have stated, thanks for sharing your journey!
    #9
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  10. KTM Mike

    KTM Mike Long timer

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    Excellent Video Monstermash!

    I second what monster said about big bike doable...absolutely. Just keep your pace reasonable, dont push your luck. I rode the CDR from Banff to Mexico two up with my wife. As we were riding from Michigan, and limited time off each year, we split it up into 3 trips. The first two legs (Banff to Colorado) we did on a Vstrom 1000, final leg we did on a KTM 990. The worst we found was in Northern New Mexico like monster did. Nasty gumbo mud as we were about 1 day behind some big rain. Some stuff in Montana we by passed, like Fleecers Ridge and took a couple of Cannonshots alternate routes to by pass. Do the ride it is amazing!
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  11. monstermashcash

    monstermashcash Riding away from Responsibilities

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    Scratch the itch, it's worth it! And you're right, I used 2 different gopro cameras - the helmet cam one is a hero 5 black and the other one is an older hero 3+. The 5 is awesome, super smooth and it has the ultrawide setting which I used. It's a really wide frame but doesn't look as fisheye'd as the older gopro wide angles. I lost part of the mount for the other camera which is why there aren't nearly as many shots from that angle. I cobbled something together for those final shots in Glacier NP
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  12. WilsoDRZ

    WilsoDRZ Been here awhile

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    Loved it! I did the same ride a few years back, so awesome to re-live it. Lots of similarities: from texas, solo, got my butt kicked by fleecer. Your video is well done, I appreciate the time it takes to edit.
    #12
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  13. Polebridge

    Polebridge Adventurer

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    Nice. I cycled the Continental Divide via the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GMBR) this past summer, and recognized many of the places in your video. The GDMBR and CDR share much of the same route, and I did run into a few CDR riders while I was on my bike.
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  14. monstermashcash

    monstermashcash Riding away from Responsibilities

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    Thanks man! Yeah I was bummed I didn't make it up fleecer... oh well. Gotta save something for next time

    Cycling it is hardcore! I met a bunch of guys and gals on bicycles and gave them my respect every time. I can't imagine attempting a lot of that on a push bike, you definitely have to hike it up a ton of those super loose rocky hills
    #14
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  15. Tricepilot

    Tricepilot Bailando Con Las Estrellas Super Moderator Super Supporter

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    Great job on the video!
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  16. ct-ktm

    ct-ktm Long timer

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    Great video and trip, thanks for sharing..
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  17. Echo Sierra

    Echo Sierra n00b

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    Blake,

    Your video is beyond inspirational. I bought a KLR in November 2020 and knew I wanted to do some type of epic ride. I just didn't know what as I was new to the adventure riding and a returning to riding after several decades. I came across your video and at one of the shots of your incredible campsites, I paused the video and said, out loud, "I've got to do this." You did such a good job with the video! Shooting, editing, music - it's all great. I've watched every CDR video I can find. Most are OK. A couple are good. Yours is next level. It really engages the viewer with you and your experience. Fantastic, fantastic work on your part.

    So I plan to go this September, S-N, round trip from LA. I have since upgraded to a KTM 890 Adventure R and have proceeded to blow my kid's minimal inheritance upgrading it.

    One question, what speed were you carrying on the smooth gravel roads? I couldn't quite tell from the video but it looked like high 50's to low 60's sometimes. Most of the time it looks like you were on it! Neither my riding nor my videography are in your league.

    Thanks again for sharing your experience with us. And thanks to all the inmates who share their knowledge and encourage the rest of us to go for it!
    #17
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  18. BLucare

    BLucare What could possibly go wrong?

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    Awesome video! Thanks for putting it together :thumb
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  19. monstermashcash

    monstermashcash Riding away from Responsibilities

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    Thank you! Your words mean a lot, I really appreciate the positive feedback and it makes my day to know I helped inspire at least one other rider.
    I was in a similar situation as you before I decided to do the CDR; I had watched all the videos I could find while I was researching the route which made me realize there weren't any videos out there yet that were comprehensive and not a million hours long. I was inspired to do the ride, but also to document it so that other people in my position would be able to get a feel for the whole adventure and have a better idea of what to expect. My trip worked out really well, I feel lucky that most things fell into place for it to turn out like it did.

    As far as my speeds on those gravel sections, it depended on the road and the situation. Some of those sections had really nice grading and small gravel so the bike felt super stable and I definitely got up to reasonably high speeds at times, but the surface and terrain is always changing so I adjusted accordingly. I did get up to 90 on gravel once just for fun, but most of the time I kept the speeds a little lower and at a level where I felt comfortable but still tried to make good time - probably averaging between 45 and 60 mph.

    Your 890 might be the perfect bike for the ride, minus some of the really technical sections. Most of the time I was happy with the 690, but I definitely could've used a slightly bigger and more comfortable bike for the higher speed and longer mellow sections. You really can't go wrong with bike choice though, I feel like the CDR is easily doable on anything from a 250 to a gs1250 depending on your level of masochism haha.

    Also yeah big shoutout to Cannonshot and the other guys on here that posted extensive ride reports and shared super detailed tracks. I wouldn't have been near as confident without the work they put in.
    #19
  20. Imachimper

    Imachimper Shunpiker Extraordinaire

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    I have watched this video about a dozen times, thank you for putting in the time to record it and the hours and hours to edit it. Great choice of music and love the fade in and out with the epic sound of the 690. I will be leaving north of Seattle solo Sept, 3, 2021 and hug the Canada border east to Glacier, then head south with quite a few side tracks. Don't have to be back until 4th of Oct.

    Anything that you regret not experiencing on this trip? Anything that you thought was overrated?

    Two thumbs up!
    #20
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