Author Topic: Is GDMBR worth it if one has done 14K+ moutains and passes in S. America  (Read 1313 times)

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Offline kd_ca

In the last 9 months have completed most of Northern Peru, criss-crossed the passes between Chile and Argentina down to Ushuaia, in the Andes mountain routes and often in the 14K to 16K ft elevation range.

Am thinking of the GDMBR but am curious if anyone has done these S. American routes and how it compares to the GDMBR ?

Offline Pat Lamb

The answer to almost any "is it worth it?" question is another question.  Is it worth it to you?

What are you looking for?  What excites you?  Can you afford it?  Would it be worth a couple months of your time to add "rode the GDMBR" to your bragging rights?

Offline horses60

Hi @kd_ca,
If you want to hear my opinion too, voila.

In South America I did only two days on the Peru Divide (but I want to come back next year) due to illness. I did Carretera and Tierra del Fuego. As well as a 6000 m volcano and the Salkantay Trek. In the U.S. I didn't do the GDMBR, but I visited about 45 states, rode the West Coast, the Southern Tier and the East Coast. In Utah and Colorado many passes with road bikes.

GDMBR vs. the American South? Impossible comparison, I love the West of the U.S., but it can never compare to the beauty of the Andean Cordillera, the culture and the people you meet there.

Is it worth doing the GDMBR? If you don't know where to go anymore, if you want to have a top-notch sports performance, if you want to see among the most beautiful views in North America, the answer is yes.

And with my answer I hope I am not too insulted....
The bicycle is my drugs

Offline kd_ca

Hi @kd_ca,
If you want to hear my opinion too, voila.

In South America I did only two days on the Peru Divide (but I want to come back next year) due to illness. I did Carretera and Tierra del Fuego. As well as a 6000 m volcano and the Salkantay Trek. In the U.S. I didn't do the GDMBR, but I visited about 45 states, rode the West Coast, the Southern Tier and the East Coast. In Utah and Colorado many passes with road bikes.

GDMBR vs. the American South? Impossible comparison, I love the West of the U.S., but it can never compare to the beauty of the Andean Cordillera, the culture and the people you meet there.

Is it worth doing the GDMBR? If you don't know where to go anymore, if you want to have a top-notch sports performance, if you want to see among the most beautiful views in North America, the answer is yes.

And with my answer I hope I am not too insulted....

Not at all insulted.  Thank you for taking the time to provide honest input, as it really helps me make a decision.  I've been trying to inform myself on GDMBR as it seemingly gets the most coverage on social media. Its good to hear input from another with experience in both geographical area.  Looks like I'll save GDMBR for the very end of my biking adventures.  Next stop Tajikistan & Kyrgyzstan. 

I "loved" Northern Peru (Cajamarca to Huaraz, including Huascaran loop and Tablachaca river valley) the best, on my Peru, Chile & Argentina rides. Didn't do any hiking / trekking as my mind tells me you are on ride or a hike but not both.  Part of my gauge is how often I take pictures / video to share with friends & family.  East of Conococha, (Peru Divide),  I was lucky if I felt like taking more than 1 pic a day, especially after having come from the North (IMO, out of this world, not enough SD card storage, and the Quechuan villagers are so Tranquilo).   Will be going back next year, if the Ecuadoran land borders are open again.



« Last Edit: June 05, 2024, 02:56:00 pm by kd_ca »

Offline horses60

If you feel like passing me information, I would love to exchange with you (maybe privately that's better). I am starting the planning for San Diego - Baja California. Then I want to skip Mexico because it scares me. Guatemala to Panama. And after Colombia to Chile. If we are still alive and well (I am 64 years old...) I will fly to Beijing and back to Venice on the Silk Road.

For Equador, best to avoid for now. My wife and I met some refugees a month ago in North or South Carolina. They told us that we whites (read gringos) are easily kidnapped. They clearly told us to avoid.
The bicycle is my drugs

Offline jamawani

I used to beg money from gullible American tourists
when I was growing up in Puerto Rico.

That said, cyclists are not just affluent outsiders to South American villagers.
Many communities along the GDMBR are struggling, too.
Butte, Rawlins, Walden, Saguache, much of rural N.M.
In stark contrast to Whitefish, Jackson, Crested Butte, and Taos.
The natives are friendly, I hear, but skeptical.

Offline kd_ca

If you feel like passing me information, I would love to exchange with you (maybe privately that's better). I am starting the planning for San Diego - Baja California. Then I want to skip Mexico because it scares me. Guatemala to Panama. And after Colombia to Chile. If we are still alive and well (I am 64 years old...) I will fly to Beijing and back to Venice on the Silk Road.

For Equador, best to avoid for now. My wife and I met some refugees a month ago in North or South Carolina. They told us that we whites (read gringos) are easily kidnapped. They clearly told us to avoid.

Rooting for Ecuador to stabilize by next year, just so that the selfish me can ride my bike there.  I did meet some Argentinians last month that had come through Ecuador and said they didn't have problems. I couldn't reconcile how they came through with the border situation.

Seem like you are undertaking an epic trip from Beijing.  Doubt I have the tenacity and patience to put up with the Chinese control of foreigners in their country, from all the accounts I've read.  You can't even bike within X miles of their borders, must travel on bus.

Last year I met a German couple (in their early 80s) in Middlegate NV doing the Western Express. Anyone who has done the Western Express likely remembers Middlegate on Hwy 50 in NV .  So don't give up hope just yet !!
« Last Edit: June 05, 2024, 04:11:46 pm by kd_ca »

Offline BikeliciousBabe


Many communities along the GDMBR are struggling, too.
Butte...
The first time I spent a night there I noticed flyers posted on poles warning visitors to lock their car doors and not leave valuables in their cars because of drug-related petty crime.

The next year I did Cycle Oregon.  Last night on the road was spent in Klamath Falls, OR.  As we entered town, I looked around and said to my partner, who had been with me the previous year, "I never thought I would ride into a town that made Butte MT look nice."

A MT native I met in the park in Twin Bridges called it the "armpit of Montana."

OK. Enought hating on the home town of Evel Knievel.  I actually enjoyed my three stays there.

Offline horses60

If you feel like passing me information, I would love to exchange with you (maybe privately that's better). I am starting the planning for San Diego - Baja California. Then I want to skip Mexico because it scares me. Guatemala to Panama. And after Colombia to Chile. If we are still alive and well (I am 64 years old...) I will fly to Beijing and back to Venice on the Silk Road.

For Equador, best to avoid for now. My wife and I met some refugees a month ago in North or South Carolina. They told us that we whites (read gringos) are easily kidnapped. They clearly told us to avoid.

Rooting for Ecuador to stabilize by next year, just so that the selfish me can ride my bike there.  I did meet some Argentinians last month that had come through Ecuador and said they didn't have problems. I couldn't reconcile how they came through with the border situation.

Seem like you are undertaking an epic trip from Beijing.  Doubt I have the tenacity and patience to put up with the Chinese control of foreigners in their country, from all the accounts I've read.  You can't even bike within X miles of their borders, must travel on bus.

Last year I met a German couple (in their early 80s) in Middlegate NV doing the Western Express. Anyone who has done the Western Express likely remembers Middlegate on Hwy 50 in NV .  So don't give up hope just yet !!

Yes epic trip, if I can make it.... For now I'm just dreaming of getting to Chile, that would be an achievement already.
For China I'm relying more on my Italian passport, traveling there with a Canadian passport doesn't really appeal to me.
In any case, dreaming costs me nothing
The bicycle is my drugs

Offline kd_ca

The answer to almost any "is it worth it?" question is another question.  Is it worth it to you?

What are you looking for?  What excites you?  Can you afford it?  Would it be worth a couple months of your time to add "rode the GDMBR" to your bragging rights?

Thank you for adding the perspective of "bragging rights". Helps me now add it to my considerations when I am considering routes.