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  Topic Name: From Phoenix to Great Divide MBR on: October 24, 2018, 02:50:23 AM
bjn


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« on: October 24, 2018, 02:50:23 AM »

Hi
I am English. I will bike the GDMBR starting Mext may, South to North.
Currently I am booking flights. With a bike I tend to fly BA, as they allow the bike as part of normal hold luggage allowance and I never had any hassles from them. That means flying in to Phoenix and out from Calgary - both nice direct flights to London, direct flights preferred as less loading / unloading means less chance of damage to the treasured possession.
SO
My question is what are suggestions for cutting from Phoenix to the GDMBR? Looking at the map it seems pretty cool, due East from Phoenix there are Tonto and Gila National Forests and some nice looking country. I am half tempted to just burn it on asphalt roads, as I know I will be impatient to clock up some miles, but any suggestions for good dirt road routes heading E or NE from Phoenix would be very welcome...
Thanks!
Ben
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  Topic Name: From Phoenix to Great Divide MBR Reply #1 on: October 24, 2018, 08:34:03 AM
AZTtripper
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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2018, 08:34:03 AM »

Ben

Seeing as you are doing an ACA route anyway it would be possible to just pick up the Southern Tier route and take that east until it hits the GDMBR. Without buying the map I can only guess that it looks good on paper. I do see it going way north right out of PHX, however there is a better dirt route following the AZT course. The Apache Trail segment of the AZT course is all road, no single track, and also quite scenic. The Southern tier seems to go north on the Beeline hwy a wide paved shoulder makes this a safe enough route. The start of the Apache trail is on a narrow winding paved road that sees a lot of traffic at times. The Apache trail becomes dirt and follows a series of lakes and the salt river. It then hits the Southern tier at Roosevelt lake.

Hope that helps
Tim
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  Topic Name: From Phoenix to Great Divide MBR Reply #2 on: October 25, 2018, 02:07:35 AM
bjn


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« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2018, 02:07:35 AM »

Thanks! I picked out this route. Looks more difficult than the GDMBT itself - LOL as the kids would say...

* from phoenix.GPX (910.83 KB - downloaded 61 times.)
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  Topic Name: From Phoenix to Great Divide MBR Reply #3 on: October 25, 2018, 06:24:50 AM
AZTtripper
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« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2018, 06:24:50 AM »

Looks like an interesting route, starting in May things may be hot so getting to some high country is a good idea.

Be aware you've routed yourself onto the San Carlos Apache Reservation http://www.sancarlosapache.com/Permits_Information.htm
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  Topic Name: From Phoenix to Great Divide MBR Reply #4 on: October 25, 2018, 07:14:47 AM
bjn


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« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2018, 07:14:47 AM »

Many thanks for helping with this! And thanks for the info on permits, I would not have known. How does that work, is there an office in San Carlos where you can buy permits? Are they happy with people camping overnight in the back-country north from there?
Cheers
Ben
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  Topic Name: From Phoenix to Great Divide MBR Reply #5 on: October 25, 2018, 08:09:25 AM
AZTtripper
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« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2018, 08:09:25 AM »

Permits can be purchased at stores in Globe, camping info seems limited but this sound promising. http://www.scatrecreation.org/recreation-and-tourism/camping

My only experience is with boating on the Salt river. I know they take the permit thing very serious. As long as you have your permit they are cool, no permit expect to be fined, have your gear confiscated and taken to White River.

I did see that the Salt and Black rivers are considered special area's so no camping there other then that it sounds like you can camp in the back country. Might be worth a call or maybe there is a visitors map you can pick up.

At least you know and can plan accordingly.
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  Topic Name: From Phoenix to Great Divide MBR Reply #6 on: October 25, 2018, 09:53:34 AM
bjn


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« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2018, 09:53:34 AM »

Thanks again, all good!
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  Topic Name: From Phoenix to Great Divide MBR Reply #7 on: October 25, 2018, 12:36:39 PM
AZTtripper
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« Reply #7 on: October 25, 2018, 12:36:39 PM »

Great looks like a nice route. Once your in the area you can always choose to stay on the main hwy, so your good either way.

Best of luck enjoy the trip.
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  Topic Name: From Phoenix to Great Divide MBR Reply #8 on: December 14, 2018, 05:26:17 PM
SlowDave


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« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2018, 05:26:17 PM »

I am a little late on this but I live in Phoenix and we have a guest house we built for cyclists (we are warm showers hosts).  Depending on scheduling I can pick you up at the airport with my pick up truck.  You can put your bike together at our place and relax.  When you are ready I can usually provide a ride up to Globe so you won't risk your life on that nasty road or have to wade through the Phoenix sprawl.  We don't charge any fees for this, it is just my way of pay back a small fraction of the kindness I have received over the years while cycling about.
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  Topic Name: From Phoenix to Great Divide MBR Reply #9 on: December 18, 2018, 01:40:20 AM
bjn


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« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2018, 01:40:20 AM »

Hi!

That is a very kind and generous offer, many thanks indeed! It is certainly a bit of a chore arriving at the airport, assembling bike and then heading off down the shoulder of some busy main road. So your offer of a pick-up is very much appreciated.

I am about to go cycling for 3 months in Patagonia with my wife. We will return to the UK late April. Then I have another 3 months to come to the US from mid-May to late August, while my wife starts a new job. My new job starts in September - lucky times.

My email is bjn000@gmail.com. Maybe we could exchange emails now and then I could contact you again late April? If for any reason you are not able to pick me up in May then of course no worries whatsoever!

Cheers, and thanks again,

Ben
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  Topic Name: From Phoenix to Great Divide MBR Reply #10 on: February 24, 2019, 09:22:43 AM
Inertiaman


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« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2019, 09:22:43 AM »

Personally I would recommend you forego the riding and get a shuttle to the border.  There is a cheap daily shuttle, which for reasons I've never understood, has not been well promoted in various GDMBR info sources.  For about $50 you can get a ride in a van, with your bike in the attached enclosed trailer, directly from central Phoenix to the Antelope Wells border crossing in less than 6 hours.

I used this service to return from the border to Phoenix after completing the GDMBR north to south.  You'll most likely be packed tight in a 12 or 15 seat van with no English speakers, so it might be a tad boring if you don't speak any Spanish.  But the drivers are courteous and professional and the trip is very deterministic.  Shuttles leave from Phoenix at about 6am daily. Contact Transportes Lozoya at 602-253-0843 or at 2208 N 16th St, Phoenix, AZ 85006.  Try to have a Spanish speaker call them if you're calling . . . the person answering usually speaks very little English.  Their shuttle business is largely based upon the many families that go back/forth between the Chihuahua region of Mexico and the Phoenix area.  Its sort of a random convenience to bikepackers that the path of this trip is through the Antelope Wells border crossing.

I'm sure its a romantic temptation to ride to the GDMBR start, but personally I would recommend seriously considering just getting a shuttle.  The temperatures in your timeframe are not great for cycling, and you'll have enough challenge just getting north from Antelope Wells up the GDMBR to higher elevations and cooler temps.  No need to add several hundred miles of additional high temp riding. 

With a noon to 1pm ish arrival at Antelope Wells, you'll have ample time that day to ride north 45 miles to Hachita.
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  Topic Name: From Phoenix to Great Divide MBR Reply #11 on: February 24, 2019, 04:03:55 PM
bjn


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« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2019, 04:03:55 PM »

Thanks for this suggestion, much appreciated. Sounds good! I am currently cycling in Chile so Spanish is slowly improving! I will look into the shuttle. However, if the aim is to reach high country asap is it not better to head NE from Phoenix directly? All advice gratefully received! Ben
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  Topic Name: From Phoenix to Great Divide MBR Reply #12 on: February 24, 2019, 07:53:33 PM
SlowDave


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« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2019, 07:53:33 PM »

We had some guests here a few weeks ago and they are posting details on their route on crazyguyonabike.  Their names are Jordon and Makenzie.  They are in Texas right now.  They went south from Phoenix to Tucson then further south and headed over to Animas, Hachita, Columbus and on to El Paso.  It sounds like a nice route and it avoids I10.  It also avoids that nasty hill and tunnel going to Globe. 
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  Topic Name: From Phoenix to Great Divide MBR Reply #13 on: February 24, 2019, 09:03:02 PM
Inertiaman


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« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2019, 09:03:02 PM »

However, if the aim is to reach high country asap is it not better to head NE from Phoenix directly?

As a bit of a purist, I'd say heading NE from PHX would be short-cutting the route.  Not that any bikepacking overlords are going to disqualify you.  But even from a purely practical perspective, why bother adding the complication/logistics of determining a viable route and cycling from PHX to intersect (somewhere) with the GDMBR, if you have an easy shuttle directly to the end point?   The GDMBR is a great route, so my advice would be to embrace (all of) it.

One other unsolicited suggestion:  if you're intending to ride the "updated" full route (which now goes 400 additional miles north to Jasper; great riding which I'd recommend if you have the time) then you might consider another alternative for return to London:  there is a daily train directly from Jasper to Vancouver, BC (and onward via easy connection to Seattle if desired).  You can take un-boxed bikes on the train.  I'm actually surprised there are direct flights from Calgary to London.  Maybe more/cheaper options from Vancouver??
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  Topic Name: From Phoenix to Great Divide MBR Reply #14 on: March 16, 2019, 11:55:25 AM
bjn


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« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2019, 11:55:25 AM »

Hi. Sorry for slow reply. Yes I get your point! Maybe I can ask another question. I usually ride 2inch schwalbe marathon Mondial tyres. My frame will not take wider. I read about scary puncture vines in SW USA. Are these a big problem? I can switch to thicker tyres that are bullet proof - schwalbe marathon tour plus, but these weigh a ton. Any thoughts? Thanks!!!!!!
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  Topic Name: From Phoenix to Great Divide MBR Reply #15 on: March 16, 2019, 12:53:07 PM
Iowagriz


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« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2019, 12:53:07 PM »

You do need to be aware of the thorns in the SW USA.  But, as long as you stay on the major part of the trail or road, you should be fine. However, do not let your guard down. I've ridden all day without problems, but then walked my bike off the road to the campsite and gathered up several thorns. 

Going tubeless?  Or, with tubes? I'd suggest tubeless if at all possible.
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  Topic Name: From Phoenix to Great Divide MBR Reply #16 on: March 16, 2019, 02:25:44 PM
SlowDave


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« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2019, 02:25:44 PM »

If you are tubeless it is rarely a problem as long as you pay attention and don't do anything stupid.  The bigger tire hazard is actually wire fragments from truck tires when you are riding highway shoulders.  I have ridden thousands of miles in the Southwest and since I started using Stans I have only had a couple of flats and if I recall correctly one was a stem failure and the other was a rim tape failure.  People using tubes seem to have lots of issues here.
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