Author Topic: great divide road after Banff  (Read 1467 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline henry63

great divide road after Banff
« on: February 19, 2013, 12:03:19 pm »
I'm looking for what the road is like after the start of the GDT. I want to link up the start of the great divide and the 1st section of the great parks route. The reason I'm asking is that the bike will be a hardtail and rigid fork and a two wheel trailer. From the pictures posted it looks like a go for me. But sitting at home looking at pictures and out riding can be a rude awaking. thanks

Offline CMajernik

Re: great divide road after Banff
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2013, 12:36:16 pm »
Your post is somewhat unclear to me. Do you want to find out what the route is like between Castle Junction (on Great Parks North #1) and Banff, about 20 miles? Or are you asking about the Great Divide Route between Banff southward to Fernie, about 190 miles?
Carla Majernik
Routes and Mapping Program Director

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x218, 406/721-8754 fax
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline henry63

Re: great divide road after Banff
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2013, 05:19:14 pm »
sorry. Great Divide Route between Banff southward to Fernie, about 190 miles, and if possible the condition of the new main route south of Fernie? thanks

Offline newfydog

Re: great divide road after Banff
« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2013, 10:00:39 am »
just look at what the top racers ride in the tour divide---mostly hardtails, with lots of rigid forks.

They all have tires in the 2.0 range.  I suppose a cyclocross bike would work, but it would be painfull.

Everytime a friend with a trailer rides a piece of that with me they return with panniers next year, but they all get the trailer through.

Offline CMajernik

Re: great divide road after Banff
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2013, 05:46:24 pm »
I haven't ridden any of the Canadian Great Divide, but have heard a lot. The gravel roads will sometimes be sandy or washboarded, and the trails will be dirt and possibly rutted. The gravel will be pea-sized up to larger rocks imbedded in dirt. If it's been a heavy snow year the roads and trails can be eroded by excessive runoff.

The new main route south of Sparwood (Fernie is now on the alternate) will be like what I said above. There is a quarter-mile of trail at the south end that is very steep and you will have to unhook your trailer and drag it up separately from your bike.
Carla Majernik
Routes and Mapping Program Director

Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring people of all ages to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x218, 406/721-8754 fax
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline mathieu

Re: great divide road after Banff
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2013, 08:06:13 am »
Generally I would counsel against using a TWO-wheel trailer on the GDMBR! You will have problems on most single-trail sections. These sections are usually short, but you will hate this type of trailer soon.
For the route between Banff and Whitefish, from memory, the first single trail already occurs some twenty miles south of Banff where you traverse the Spray Lakes Reservoir, but you could omit this section by keeping on the Smith-Dorrien Rd east of the Reservoir. I don't remember single trails between the Kananaskis Lakes and Elkford and between Elkford and Sparwood. If I remember well, there are no single-trails in the Fernie Alternate, but the Flathead route would give you problems, especially the section along the Wigwam River and the connector to Galton Pass.         

Offline John Nettles

Re: great divide road after Banff
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2013, 08:19:35 am »
Henry,

You should strongly consider Mathieu's words as he is one of only a few who has done the entire route more than once, and one of a handful who has done it both ways.  What he did not mention is that on his first trip he took a BOB trailer and on his second trip he used panniers, primarily due to safety http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=57&page_id=310026&v=2h.  I am not trying to tell you about the route or if to take a trailer or not but just to seriously consider his suggestion that the GD is not a place for a two-wheeled trailer.

For a good and informative read, read his journals on the GD (over on CrazyGuy).  His first includes incredible pictures by one of his companions Auke.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2013, 08:21:14 am by John Nettles »
Happy trails and may the wind be at your back!
John

Offline pmac

Re: great divide road after Banff
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2013, 05:01:21 pm »
I did Banff to Whitefish section last summer.  I used a 1-wheel farfarer trailer which is a little different from a BOB in that it attaches at the seatpost and it is a little lighter.  I second Mathieu's concerns about a 2-wheel trailer.  A tracking 1-wheel trailer like a BOB or farfarer works fine on single track and rough surfaces, but there are several sections between Banff and Whitefish where you would regret dragging a 2-wheel trailer behind you.  You would be alot better off with either a 1-wheel trailer or panniers.  John's comments about Mathieu's blogs are also spot on.  If you're going to ride the GD you can glean some really good information by reviewing Mathieu's blogs.