Doing some dreaming and scheming about the GDMBR. I know my plans are a bit whacked, but they are not without precedent. My wife and I are thinking about attempting the GDMBR on recumbent trikes. It has been done this way once before--see Heidi's blog on Crazyguyonabike--so we know it's possible. Our particular wrinkle will be taking our faithful hound along if he's fit enough, which seems likely. Our ride is still a full two years away, so this is very preliminary research.
In 2012, my wife, our hound, Django, and I pedaled the Great Divide following almost exclusively paved roads. I tell this sordid tale in my book--Cracking the Spine: http://www.amazon.com/Cracking-Spine-Tricycle-Odyssey-Mountains-ebook/dp/B00LBCHGTO/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1405429131&sr=1-1&keywords=cracking+the+spine.
That was a tough trip for sure, but on the times we got off pavement, we had some serious fun. It was hard, of course, but the virtual absence of traffic and the overwhelming quiet were addictive. We ended up doing about 30 miles or so of dirt between Bozeman and the Yellowstone River and another stretch of dirt leading to Ute Pass, which I've found is part of the official GDMBR. These went well, and our rigs were not customized for dirt, my wife in particular pedaling a trike with 20" wheels--pretty dang low! For a bigger dirt adventure we'd upgrade my trike--currently 26" in the rear and 20" in front to a 29X24 config. while my wife's would be 26X24. We'd use 2+" rubber all around. The dog trailer is the best available, a Cycletote, which we'd likely upgrade to 26" wheels.
So here's my thinking about the route so far:
We'd have to use the now alternate south of Sparwood in BC--the "Fernie Alternate" as "The Wall" seems a no go with trikes? Everyone portages, but the trikes couldn't even be pushed up that from what it seems. We'd be fine on the Fernie route, however.
The next crux comes at Richmond Peak above Rt. 83 in Montana, a section we grew to hate because of the traffic. Instead of Richmond Peak, which Heidi did successfully, here's an alternate I've mapped using Google, so I'd like some Montana locals or other experienced riders to comment:
From satellite views, the route seems to follow consistently well developed logging roads. We'd have to ride SOME of 83, but not much.
The other crux would be Fleecer Ridge. Again, Heidi rode this somehow, but we'd likely do the simple alternate.
From my reading, it seems like everything else is workable, especially on jacked trikes with fat tires. If I had my way, I'd go with a suspended two wheeler, but my wife is a confirmed triker, so this is the way we'd do it. We have insanely low gearing, so I suspect that many stretches that two wheelers push, we'd crawl up steadily on our three wheelers.
Besides the expected--DON"T DO IT, YOU FOOL!--comments, what do you think? Any other sections that have workarounds we should know about?