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Old 07-30-2004, 08:03 PM   #1
luv2lean OP
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The Great Dirt Divide on GSPD

A few months ago I was invited to participate in a 2 week ride from Sacramento to the Canada/US border and down the Great Divide Mountain Bike trail as far south as we could make it, and back to Sacramento. I had heard of and even seen sign of the continental divide, but what the heck was the Great Divide TRAIL? I was told it was route put together by mountain bikers on the US continental divide from Canada to Mexico and a few nuts have done it on motorcycles, in fact some famous guy named something like Salvatore Clement had done it and called it the best ride he'd ever done. I also read an account of 2 guys doing the trail last year, but was still not getting a clear understanding of the adventure we were about to attempt and pretty skeptical this route could be enjoyably navigated on a motorcycle. I couldn't make a decision on whether to attempt this trip or not and didnt commit to the plan until just a few days before leaving Sacramento. The convincing factor was the other riders commitment and enthusiasm for this trip.

The plan was to meet the other riders at the BMW rally in Spokane. Since i was pressed for time at work i made that 900 mile trip alone behind the other riders who left a couple of days earlier. Unfortunately, I had trouble on the way to spokane, when my 95 GSPD decided to become a thumper rather than a twin. No BMW dealers in Walla Walla but after much fiddlin and anxiety I was able to finally figure it out. Turned out to be a long HOT 4 hour delay in Walla Walla Washington caused by some grit clogging one of the air passages in the right side Bing carb. What a relief! I was having major ride failure depression!


Thanks a lot to this guy who spent a lot of time trying to help in Walla Walla(more to follow)
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Old 07-30-2004, 08:28 PM   #2
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I arrived in Spokane in time to spend about an hour at the rally and get a good nights sleep before leaving for the Canadian border with advriders JimC
(aka Capt Nemo) on a F650, Skwerl on a F650 and wannabe advriders David on a KTM950 and Dwayne on a tricked out R80GS. Advrider RCrabb joined the gang the first night in Whitefish Mt.

Here's my old GSPD ready to roll out of spokane


Here we are at the Canadian Border port of roosville


Now this is where the fun begins Dirt Doggies. The route is 80% dirt from here to Mexico. Sorry I'm not a GPS guy and dont have those fancy smancy e-maps to post (maybe Jim can do that). But we did have GPS points to follow and roll charts for us simpler riders. Thanks to RCrabb and Dwayne for putting together the roll charts out the the bicyclists books. Not too
far out of Roosville we were approaching our first dirt pass just west of Glacier Park


and shortly thereafter we passed Red Meadows Lake on our way into White fish Mt


(more to follow)

luv2lean screwed with this post 07-30-2004 at 10:21 PM
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Old 07-30-2004, 08:29 PM   #3
Dysco
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It's been almost 30 minutes! You suck at this!

EDIT: Ahhh, you are quick-like-bunny when I'm grousing about your posts, aren't you? Photo not found thigees, though.
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Old 07-30-2004, 08:31 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dysco
It's been almost 30 minutes! You suck at this!

EDIT: Ahhh, you are quick-like-bunny when I'm grousing about your posts, aren't you? Photo not found thigees, though.
A dial up guy Fershur!
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Old 07-30-2004, 08:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2lean
A dial up guy Fershur!
You're killing me. That's the last time I heckle a ride report!

probably not
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Old 07-30-2004, 08:50 PM   #6
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We spent the night in the State camp ground in Whitefish (which is about 6 inches from a major railway and not recommended for those seeking serenity)
It rained pretty good that night, in fact it rained nearly every night and occasionally each day. The unusually cool and wet weather made the ride conditions near perfect, but did cause us to rethink our camping plans in favor or motels

Here we are ready to leave the first camp with Skerl and Dwayne running from the camera .


The road heading south out of whitefish was just unbearably ugly


And then we came to our first PROHIBITED ZONE - no motorized vehicles OH NO!. I was quickly admonished by the group for looking up this trail. We had to route around this section which caused delays trying to rejoin the trail past the no motor zone. Fortunately there were very few of these sections on the trip.


When we finally got back on the dirt Jim C was so pumped he endoed his little F650 on a HUGE water bar and ended up buying a crow bar to fix it at the nearest motel.


BTW, please bear with the low res images, they get better later in the trip--------
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Old 07-30-2004, 09:12 PM   #7
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The next day we left Seeley Lake Mt headed for Lincoln Mt for Breakfast. Another dreary day of sticky dirty roads passing lakes full of fish and surrounded by flowers


And the clouds were just so depressing.


That we all had to stop and cry


But finally a little glimmer of sun through the clouds


Still in Montana, this place was so depressing that some people just up and left -a long time ago.


In fact we passed many of the ghost towns that were profiled in a recent advrider thread

But Montana truly is BIG sky country


We passed through Helena and spent the night at about 7000Ft in the Park lake campground. That's where I discovered my front Jesse bag mount was just barely hanging on. Fortunately I was able to back track to find my footpeg mount and go into Helena for the rest of the hardware needed to fix it.

luv2lean screwed with this post 07-30-2004 at 09:59 PM
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Old 07-30-2004, 09:52 PM   #8
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We had our second major mechanical problem the next day when Duanes R80 cylinder stud pulled out of the motor block causing him to truck it home. We were all sorry to see Duane leave the ride.
Although we didnt have a set schedule or time table, a few of us wanted to make it at least to New Mexico within the 2 weeks including the 2500+- trip to and from Sacramento. The first few days had put us behind schedule mainly due to mechanical delays and trying to stay on trail while staying out of the no motor zone and impassible terrain. We averaged about 150 miles the first 3 days, but had anticipated doing about 300. The pace would pick up later.

The maps were great, but did have a few errors that also caused delays. This is where the GPS really came in handy to let us know we were off course.

Still in Montana, here's a shot heading south towards Lima.


And another image traversing the high plains of Montana near the continental divide.


This is the day we met up with 3 KTM950s and a KLR near Wise River M. They were from Texas that were also headed for New Mexico on the Great Divide. This image was taken on a mountain pass in the Beaverhead National Forest


Shortly thereafter we were back in the high plains of the Big Sky Country. The dirt roads were getting smoother and faster




But I was so sad that my hairhead was getting dirty


The scenery kept changing. On our way into Lima we headed into a few canyons




More to follow---------

luv2lean screwed with this post 07-30-2004 at 10:10 PM
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Old 08-06-2004, 10:13 AM   #9
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Thanks for sharing, nice photos and story. One day I will do it as well. From the photos you included the terrain looked pretty easy is this true and would you do this ride two-up?

Quote:
Originally Posted by luv2lean
A few months ago I was invited to participate in a 2 week ride from Sacramento to the Canada/US border and down the Great Divide Mountain Bike trail as far south as we could make it, and back to Sacramento. I had heard of and even seen sign of the continental divide, but what the heck was the Great Divide TRAIL? I was told it was route put together by mountain bikers on the US continental divide from Canada to Mexico and a few nuts have done it on motorcycles, in fact some famous guy named something like Salvatore Clement had done it and called it the best ride he'd ever done. I also read an account of 2 guys doing the trail last year, but was still not getting a clear understanding of the adventure we were about to attempt and pretty skeptical this route could be enjoyably navigated on a motorcycle. I couldn't make a decision on whether to attempt this trip or not and didnt commit to the plan until just a few days before leaving Sacramento. The convincing factor was the other riders commitment and enthusiasm for this trip.

The plan was to meet the other riders at the BMW rally in Spokane. Since i was pressed for time at work i made that 900 mile trip alone behind the other riders who left a couple of days earlier. Unfortunately, I had trouble on the way to spokane, when my 95 GSPD decided to become a thumper rather than a twin. No BMW dealers in Walla Walla but after much fiddlin and anxiety I was able to finally figure it out. Turned out to be a long HOT 4 hour delay in Walla Walla Washington caused by some grit clogging one of the air passages in the right side Bing carb. What a relief! I was having major ride failure depression!


Thanks a lot to this guy who spent a lot of time trying to help in Walla Walla(more to follow)
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Old 08-06-2004, 10:20 AM   #10
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Dang, after reading all these replies, I'm really disappointed that we didn't get a chance to ride Fleecer Ridge!

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Old 08-06-2004, 11:52 AM   #11
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"Up Fleecer Ridge"

We met this couple at Elkhorn Hot Springs the day after we came down Fleecer. They told us they had a website and one of the riders with me on this trip found it.

Here is a view from two peddle bike riders who thought they would ride up Fleecer.

Oh looks like they went around Lava Mt. Trail #244 (not sure but think they would have had to carry up it too.)

http://topofusion.com/fusion3.61/comments.php?id=169
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Old 08-07-2004, 08:46 AM   #12
Dysco
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ride
We met this couple at Elkhorn Hot Springs the day after we came down Fleecer. They told us they had a website and one of the riders with me on this trip found it.

Here is a view from two peddle bike riders who thought they would ride up Fleecer.

Oh looks like they went around Lava Mt. Trail #244 (not sure but think they would have had to carry up it too.)

http://topofusion.com/fusion3.61/comments.php?id=169
12ride
Sweet Jeebus! 1100 feet in 1 mile?? I wouldn't even walk that.
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Old 08-07-2004, 08:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12ride
We met this couple at Elkhorn Hot Springs the day after we came down Fleecer. They told us they had a website and one of the riders with me on this trip found it.

Here is a view from two peddle bike riders who thought they would ride up Fleecer.

Oh looks like they went around Lava Mt. Trail #244 (not sure but think they would have had to carry up it too.)

http://topofusion.com/fusion3.61/comments.php?id=169
12ride
Were you the guys we let into the bathroom, or the group of two we chatted with the previous evening?

I generally believe I can ride up anything... until I prove to myself otherwise (which is often the case and definitely the case with Fleecer). Downhill on Fleecer would be a nice little challenge, but not so bad.

We did not go around Lava Mt Trail. It was one of the best sections of the GDMBR. I was able to ride (with Bob trailer) all but the very first steep/bouldered pitch. We ran into another group of moto-guys right at Lava who told us the next 15 miles were nasty like that. I don't think they were following the directions correctly because it got easy very soon.

Interesting to see so many friendly moto-guys out on the route. If you're riding in the many waterless sections please check with any cyclists to see if they have enough. Things can get desperate at times when you only have your legs to power you.

I saw there is a page with GPS data and such from someone's trip. I will have to check that out. Mine is in progress (we ride slower, so we put pages together slower too) :

http://www.topofusion.com/divide
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Old 08-08-2004, 09:26 AM   #14
Wes Weber
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L2L and crew -

Excellent report, ride, and adventure! It's now on my to-do list. My wife's family lives in MT, and I have always wanted to veture from home (Golden, CO) up there via dirt. Now I just have some more motivation to do so. Great job of linking so many dirt roads. Very, very coooool.

This looked really familiar, and not in a good way...



On our way down to Ouray my bro Wayne and I crossed the same goo. I remember standing in it to check consistency and slowly sinking past my ankles. Ewww. Glad you made it across!
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Old 08-08-2004, 09:52 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottMorris
Interesting to see so many friendly moto-guys out on the route. If you're riding in the many waterless sections please check with any cyclists to see if they have enough. Things can get desperate at times when you only have your legs to power you.http://www.topofusion.com/divide
You might be surprised at how many of us are present (or former) MTBers. Furthermore, I would expect you earned a fair bit of respect from the moto guys regardless if they are pedalers at home. I always did. "You rode your bike up here?!"

There are also a couple who are motors in organized races & charity rides.

With all this connectivity, it might be possible to convince moto-folk to cache water out on the trail for pedal-folk on a given trek. Pie in the sky maybe, but there is a lot of helpfulness to be found around here.


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