Still researching any technical or difficult areas of the route for a crank forward Mt.trike. I keep hearing about Cross bikes, single speeds, pugs, rigid XC bikes. and a route that was designed for heavy touring bikes and wonder how those machines could do it if it is so technical or challenging.
Please point me to any sections where I might encounter an issue so I can research or go check it out in person.
Doc, the TD route isn't very technical.
It is, however, challenging!
Sections that could be considered technical include Fleecer Ridge (unless you're on a DH bike and you're crazy, you ain't riding that - but that's about half a mile), the CDT alternate north of Pinos Altos (11 miles of singletrack, not extremely technical but more technical than the rest of the route) and that's really all I can think of. Maybe add some rough terrain along the Spray Lakes Reservoir just south of Banff, and similar terrain here and there in the Gila Wilderness. Also a long climb (if SoBo) with loose sand north of Abiquiu.
The challenges however are countless:
- The climbs can be really, really long (Indiana Pass for example is a 25-mile climb)
- Some of the climbs are steep. Most aren't, but some are.
- There's a lot of washboard
- There are sections that can be under snow. In 2011, we had two 5-mile+ sections of deep snow. No way you ride a bike in that, you have to push. And it ain't flat.
- You probably will see snow on the ground, but you may also see snow falling from the sky. It happened to me in late June just north of Breckenridge, CO.
- There are sections with peanut-butter like mud. You may have to push your bike. Or carry it. For miles!
- 2 deserts and 1 wilderness section with no or little services. (Wyoming high desert: 140 miles without anything - Gila Wilderness: 175 miles with one Coke machine (may or may not work) - Chihuahuan Desert between Silver City and AW: few services, very, very hot weather)
- Days with lots of wind
- Thunder, lightning, hail! In Wyoming, that can be for several days.
- Cold weather, extremely hot weather.
- Rain. Sometimes lots of it. For days!
- Grizzlies, black bears, wolves, mountain lions, rattlesnakes, scorpions....
- Mosquitoes. You stop a couple of minutes in some parts of Montana and they eat you alive. Forget being eaten by grizzlies, you have a much better chance of being eaten by mosquitoes!
- Dogs. They can be anywhere on the route, but particularly in the south. They can run with you for half a mile. I try to kick them while still pedaling, but I don't know how you do that on a trike.
- Altitude (once you reach the middle of Colorado, you're gonna be above 7,000 ft most of the rest of the way, with summits at 12,000 ft.
- Did I mention lots of washboard? Or climbing?
One thing you can count on: when you get to any kind of difficulty, there will likely be miles and miles of it. For example, you don't just get a mile or two of washboarded road, and then it gets better. You get 40 f*cking miles of it
. The good news is that when you get to a smooth section, it can also be pretty long.