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1  Forums / Trip Planning / Need a partner / Re: GDMBR Southbound, Departing June 24 on: June 21, 2019, 04:43:51 PM
don't know if you are reading this still but i would not worry too much about water this year till you are well on your way. As far as wildlife i also really would not worry as most of the route has great sightline's. Do learn how to hang your food and keep smells out of your camp but don't worry about critters, instead consider yourself lucky to see them. Also 1 lesson i learned the hard way years ago is to keep salty items, gloves clothing etc in your tent and away from all the cute animals that you aren't afraid of- cost me a helmet once.
I might be able to join for a bit depending on timing and live on the route- if you need information about the NW montana part of the route feel free to PM me

2  Forums / Question and Answer / Re: Dirt drop bars, wider with less drop?? on: June 21, 2019, 04:35:23 PM
i believe the far bar is the same as the gary ergo OS which i have used - liked the shape a lot, and the little bend near the ends actually is a great place to rest your hands, a bit easier to work the brakes from multiple positions than a woodchipper. it is a fairly flexible bar which is good and bad - good for shock though.

Went to a carbon woodchipper with the thick lizard skin tape and a carbon stem and my hands are happy.
3  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Tour Divide 2019 Race Discussion on: June 15, 2019, 10:28:34 PM
thanks angler,
I need to get back down to Ovando- i'll try to say hi
4  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Tour Divide 2019 Race Discussion on: June 15, 2019, 08:43:13 PM
well, they are bigger than i thought, anyone want to tell me what i should resize to please?

5  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Tour Divide 2019 Race Discussion on: June 15, 2019, 08:39:53 PM
could not tell who the last guy was from track leaders- said he was from denver
6  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Tour Divide 2019 Race Discussion on: June 15, 2019, 08:33:59 PM
First riders getting to whitefish lake
sorry about the focus
Everyone looked pretty darn good
I haven't done this in a few years - i don't ever remember the leaders passing my house when it was sunny and in the 70's, Usually it was rain or drizzle hi 30's low 40's
7  Forums / Trip Planning / Need a partner / Re: Sparwood to Eureka. Need options and advice. on: April 02, 2019, 10:36:35 AM
that would be fun
Any idea of your timing?
8  Forums / Trip Planning / Need a partner / Re: Sparwood to Eureka. Need options and advice. on: April 02, 2019, 09:34:45 AM
I will never forget the night we spent beside the wigwam , we had been using bikes and skis to scout the route and the day we camped we had seen more bears shit per mile than i have before or since.

Our dogs were with us and they were freaking out the entire night, was not very restful.

There are some great loop rides near whitefish as well so if you have extra days let me know
9  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Tour Divide 2019 Preparation and Planning Thread on: April 02, 2019, 07:36:39 AM
seeing that el nino seems to be firmly under control i would be worried about fires in the northern sections by mid july/ august.
we have had almost no snow/precip in the last 4 weeks, and a lot of sun. Snotels and snow pillows along the route are well below normal in bc and nw mt

you can never really tell about the rate the route will clear, it tends to depend on the late spring weather, eventually the long days and sun take their toll.

For me a few miles of snow beats a lot of miles of smoke or detours.
10  Forums / Trip Planning / Need a partner / Re: Sparwood to Eureka. Need options and advice. on: April 02, 2019, 06:32:32 AM
When are you planning on riding this?

some options:

sparwood to whitefish
If the road over akamina reopens this year: from sparwood, over flathead pass down the north fork left over akamina pass into watertown then down the chief mountain highway to the sun road west to west glacier, then Backroads (let me know if you need/want specifics) to whitefish -  parks, big views, more traffic

polebridge to whitefish
From polebridge enter glacier and take inside north fork rd south to apgar
Park trails and roads to west glacier. Backroads as above to whitefish - inside north fork is closed to cars for the middle 7? miles so almost no traffics couple of steep rideable hills and a push through a brief section where a creek occupies the road add some spice.

Eureka to whitefish-wend your way south through the salish mountains staying west of highway 93, these mountains are more mellow and lower than those to the east with far more road options -very little highway riding is necessary- i can provide some options

I like the route from sparwood over flathead thence over cabin- and back north toward elko- have not been the latter bit since scouting the re-route way back when ( I am the guy to blame for the wigwam wall). I think between the push up the wall and riding brakes all the way down galton I would enjoy the road north more with a tandem. From Elko the original route to eureka west of 93 is quite pleasant and you could stop over by the lake if you chose.
11  Forums / Question and Answer / Re: Quilt Recommendation on: February 23, 2019, 07:02:51 PM
I think that my 2 Katabatic quilts are some of the nicest gear i have ever used. I have also spent my adult life in the outdoor biz so i have seen a lot of gear. One great resource for used lightweight gear are the classifieds at
12  Forums / Routes / Re: Any Mtb dirt route: Stanley, Ketchum, Sun Valley Idaho to Montana ??? on: January 15, 2019, 05:54:37 PM
looks like you could put together a route through Lowman then north to warm lake then cascade, mccall, burgdorf,Dixie, then magruder corridor to darby mt. From Darby either east on rye creek then north to skalkaho east or south to sula then backroads to the big hole then down the big hole valley.

long way but would be cool
13  Forums / Bikepacking / Re: Canal de Deux Mers France on: September 21, 2018, 05:00:54 PM
I didn't really see enough of it to give a worthwhile answer. The area is quite nice, i imagine that you could get away with some stealthy camping though i believe that it is technically illegal. Sorry i can't offer better advice. I also have found it hard to predict where i can readily find workable campsites in Europe.
14  Forums / Bikepacking / Re: Canal de Deux Mers France on: September 20, 2018, 04:03:29 PM
I thought that canal was the canal du midi?
Anyway if it was we rode a small section of it during a trip to the Languedoc region years ago, not sure the whole thing would be my cup of tea but using parts of it and some rural roads could be fun, Terrain there seems conducive to riding as well. Lots of winery action with good cheap wine
15  Forums / Question and Answer / Re: Cyclocross Bike for Cross-Washington Route? (Newb ques) on: June 04, 2018, 08:52:09 AM
I have read that there are a few sections with very large gravel/ballast, I would try to inquire of the state park and check out ride reports. I believe that there is a closed section east of the columbia as well.
16  Forums / Routes / Re: Interesting / Fun stops along the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route on: August 18, 2017, 06:10:18 PM
i agree on Bannack, not only is it interesting the campground looks pretty good and there is a good source of water there, park is quite close to the route too

as far as Glacier side trips two possibilities are:
1 cross into the park at polebridge a couple of miles south of the turn up to red meadow pass, ride the inside north fork road (closed to cars for a lengthy section) then route yourself to apgar then west glacier , when leaving west glacier head west on the bike path paralleling us 2 then turn right on Belton stage then  eventually right on Blankenship rd  and left on the North fork rd, this will take you to columbia falls to rejoin the route.

2 when in the upper flathead instead of turning west toward cabin pass you can head east to akamina pass and then into alberta and waterton park.
after leaving waterton head through the chief mountain customs  and south toward st mary's. At St mary's head east on the going to the sun road ( in this direction the bicycling restrictions don't apply till you are down along Lake Macdonald. At apgar you can either do as above and head to ward columbia falls or take the inside north fork rd to pole bridge and then head north from pole bridge on the outside north fork rd to rejoin the main route at the red meadow rd.

The back way to the bike retreat would be a bit stiff loaded and strictly speaking that crossing is private property though i have not heard of anyone having an issue, there is an alternate route that is much less steep and takes dirt roads but is harder to navigate. Too, from the Retreat to whitefish is an un friendly stretch of highway 93. In a couple of years the side trip will be much better with a section of the whitefish trail to be built and a new bike trail to parallel 93 to be installed.
17  Forums / Question and Answer / Re: Salsa Cowchipper, Dajia Far Bar? on: May 25, 2017, 08:51:50 AM
They work well enough for cable brakes, but I have discovered the stock pads wear very quickly on steep descents - so much that I run out of lever travel. I'll be looking around for a better pad once the originals wear out. Also I found that the stock rotors cause a lot of vibration and I've replaced with a set of less wavy discs.

I would love to go hydraulic, but the price of S700 lever and brake sets is outrageous.

I switched to semi-metallics and have had good results with the kool-stops and swiss stops
18  Forums / Question and Answer / Re: Salsa Cowchipper, Dajia Far Bar? on: May 25, 2017, 08:50:16 AM
i like that diagram- my dream bar would have a longer straight section on the tops, flare and hooks  like the cow chipper but more sweep like the wood chipper- i would make the tensions shorter though aiming for the same overall widths but taking the length off the ends and adding it back to the top cross area.   Ohh, and carbon for strength width absorption
19  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Black Hills Expedition or The Adirondack Trail Ride? on: May 25, 2017, 08:41:04 AM
not sure where you are from, but if you've been to the black hills and not  adirondacks it seems like an easy choice. The Adirondack region is unique in the USA in the way it is organized and controlled. Though none of the mountains are big they can be steep and there are tons of lakes and rivers. If you were to do the TATR i would recommend going in Sept, possibly later than the grand depart syncing your timing to the fall colors.
20  Forums / Question and Answer / Re: Salsa Cowchipper, Dajia Far Bar? on: May 24, 2017, 06:22:33 AM
interesting, thanks for the info. looks like a good addl option
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