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Messages - bong_crosby

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I answered my own question.  I see the route is off of the Icefields Parkway.  Any beta on the route from Jasper to Banff as far as difficulty?

I've done the GDMBR three times with the last being in July 2017.  I noticed the Canada section starts in Jasper now.  Is route from Jasper to Banff on the Icefields Parkway or does it stay off pavement?  I've always wondered if there was a route off the Icefields, but never could see any other options.

Also, my maps are from 2014.  Are they still accurate or has the route changed?



Myself and a few friends recently did the Banff to Whitefish portion of the GDMBR and had a blast, so much so that they want to do another section next year.  The Banff section is going to be hard to beat as far as mountain scenery and fun but I thought I'd ask, what are the opinions out there as to scenery and fun for the other sections?  The group has already mentioned doing the section from Whitefish to Polaris but I did that stretch in 2015 and don't really remember it being very scenic.  I was thinking about the Colorado section.  Opinions?



Routes / GDMBR from Banff to Whitefish
« on: July 06, 2017, 12:40:34 pm »
Leaving on a section ride of the GDMBR soon.  Are there any closures/detours of the usual route between Banff and Whitefish?  When I rode it in 2015, the section south of Elkford was closed due to a washout.  Is that open now?  Any other info appreciated.

Routes / List of Hot Springs on the IHS
« on: January 30, 2016, 04:54:29 pm »
Anyone wanna do me a solid and provide a list of the hot springs from the ACA maps.  I have the maps but they were "borrowed" and haven't found their way back to me yet.   :-\

Routes / Re: Great Divide Route daily mileage expectations???
« on: November 09, 2014, 04:50:43 pm »
I did a shakedown ride on the dirt roads of Idaho in 2014 for my upcoming 2015 GDMBR ride.  In 20 days I rode 750 miles and climbed 50,000 feet which would equate to 1/4 of the GDMBR.  I found that I rode half as many miles per day on dirt than I did while touring on pavement.  My average daily mileage on pavement on other tours was around 75 miles a day but dirt it dropped down to 40 miles a day.  The biggest reasons are: 

1.  Dirt road are steep and twisty
2.  More tire resistance on gravel and dirt
3.  And most of all, you can't fly down the descents on dirt like you can on pavement, especially with a loaded bike. 

General Discussion / Re: Ideas for winter bike tour
« on: October 26, 2014, 02:14:52 pm »
If you're really feeling adventurous:

General Discussion / Re: Cycling in Alaska
« on: May 11, 2014, 01:20:48 pm »
Some campgrounds are listed on googlemaps.  If you combine googlemaps with the Milepost Guide recommended in the other post, which has a lot of information on campgrounds, you should be good.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling in Alaska
« on: May 11, 2014, 12:56:06 pm »
Thanks for your link. I was wondering is there any map on North Star? I have'nt got any. I have done Trans Ame during 2012 and been to ACA HQ and featured in last years Calendar :)

Any help?

As far as I know, Adventure Cycling doesn't sell a map for the North Star since it's a supported tour.  But you can look at the itinerary and figure out the route they're taking.  Put the names like:  Banff, Jasper, Yellowhead highway, Cassiar highway, Tok, etc. into and you'll have your own map.

General Discussion / Re: Cycling in Alaska
« on: May 11, 2014, 12:36:39 pm »
Like the previous post mentioned, not many route options in that neck of the woods.  For ideas, you can look at the North Star itinerary.

Routes / Re: Rainwear for the GDMBR
« on: May 10, 2014, 02:19:11 pm »
I wouldn't underestimate the importance of good, tested rain gear.  Being from the mountain west, I know how a bluebird day can put a rain storm on you in minutes with temperature drops of 20 to 30 degrees and it might not just be rain, but sleet, hail, and snow.

Gore-Tex is good but bulky and expensive.  And as far as its breathability claims, if I'm really exerting myself, I haven't found any material that can keep up with my glands and doesn't get wet and clammy. 

Yes, pants are necessary.  Not just for the riding part but for staying dry in camp. 

For my raingear setup, I use a vented REI or Marmot jacket with hood.  REI pants.  No helmet cover, I get a size larger than I usually wear to account for extended arms in my riding posture and to allow it to be pulled over my helmet.  Shower Pass zip over shoe covers.  And GORE-TEX shells for my hands.

Don't forget a wicking base layer for arms and legs.

There's nothing more enjoyable than riding in the rain, warm and cozy and nothing more miserable than riding in rain and sleet without proper gear.

Routes / Re: Hot Springs Route Idaho - sandy roads??
« on: May 07, 2014, 08:10:48 pm »
I live in Boise and rode some of the route you'll be taking, I went from Ketchum to Featherville to Boise.  There is no sand.  Some rocks.  Lots of washboard or corrugated road is what I think they call it in Europe.  If you need a place to start your tour, we're near the airport and close to highway 21 which would be a convenient place to begin your tour.

Routes / Re: Idaho Hot Springs Mountain Bike Route
« on: March 01, 2014, 12:43:19 pm »
By chance, I did parts of this Hot Springs tour this past Fall.  I did a write up with photos: 


A couple things I'd throw out there about this route:

1.  The road from Atlanta to Boise can have heinous washboard.  It gets a lot of traffic since it's very close to Boise and a popular weekend destination for people escaping the city so it usually has washboard as big as hay bales (I might be exaggerating, but they're big and annoying).  Of the 700 miles we rode, this 60 mile stretch was by far the worst section of the trip and the only portion I'd never ride again.  It's too bad because the canyon is very pretty and the hot springs outstanding. 

2.  I've lived in Idaho for 15 years now and the fire season seems to start earlier and last longer.  Even checking with local agencies wasn't enough to keep us from blundering into areas that were closed due to fire.  Before leaving Ketchum we asked about the status of the road and were given a green light all the way to Featherville.   Half way to Featherville, we were stopped and berated by a Forest Service employee for riding on a closed road.  Luckily the quickest way out of the closed area was our intended route.  Had she caught us a couple hours earlier, we would have had to backtrack and then find an alternate way to Atlanta.  Not sure how detailed the ACA maps are but you'll definitely want to have a way to find an alternate route if your intended is blocked.

3.  Warm Springs road out of Ketchum was torched in Summer of '13 in the Beaver Creek Fire.  Warm Springs creek is heavily silted and the hot springs not very appealing.  Not sure how long the silt will last, but riding up to Dollarhide Pass it didn't look very promising.  I'll be surprised if there aren't a lot of wash outs this Spring since there is very little living vegetation all the way to the pass.

Just my $.02.

Gear Talk / Re: Tent - One Person and Freestanding?
« on: January 08, 2014, 08:28:35 pm »
A little more info would help.  What's your budget?  How many consecutive nights are you looking at sleeping in the tent?  What part of the country will it be used?  Stuff like that.

So, with that said, if you're planning on spending more than a couple weeks on the road, then like others have said, a 2-person would be the way to go.  Having a place to spread out at the end of the day or when the weather turns is worth the weight penalty.  Big Agnes is a quality company and you can get a 2P that weighs less than some 1Ps, but they are spendy.

If you're going to be using the tent in a humid or wet environment, check reviews to make sure it's well ventilated and dry. 

Tim, many thanks for your contribution to the discourse here on Adventure Cycling. You said "back home to Boise" so I assume Idaho is not new territory for you.

Traveling the backroads of a sparsely populated, fiercely independent and weirdly diverse geographical region is fraught with risk from the first pedal stroke: weather, animals, ignorant motorists, mechanicals, and you may not see another human on some of those primitive roads for several days. But you and your bike may also be intruding. Folks have been exploiting and extracting Idaho for a l-o-n-g time. Hunting, logging and mining are well-established industries and they enjoy protection and favor. The shepherds have been moving their flocks through the Stanley Basin for 100 years. No one blades the old mining and logging roads. Springs vanish in the summer. Severe thunderstorms kick up out of nowhere and, while they rarely last more than a few hours in the mountains, they can really mess stuff up, testing you and your gear. Roads wash out. Trees fall down and landslides can change the courses of streams.

Self-contained mountain bike touring is easily researched and there are a few books available. A few backpacking weekends in the mountains you plan to ride over will prepare you for your bike journey and give you practical experience with your camping equipment. Idaho has many thousands of miles of single track and jeep trails you can ride.

Thanks again, Tim, nice work.

I don't understand your reply.  I can't tell if you're chastising me, patronizing me, or praising me.

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