Thanks for joining us on our little adventure. When David "Mr. Bestrest" Petersen invited me to join him on this epic ride I had no trouble deciding to go. I had read about this route along the Continental Divide from our southern border to Canada and knew it had to be a spectacular and challenging ride. My bike is up to it, my riding partner is very experienced and well equipped, so let's get going!
TO view the excellent collection of photos taken on this trip by my riding partner David Petersen, please go to http://www.bestrest.smugmug.com/gallery/5409113_CPUta/59#P-1-16
David has more pictures taken of me and I have more taken of him of course so check out both collections.
This is an overview of the whole route.
Antelope Wells N.M.to Pietown N.M.
Thanks to the Adventure Cycling Association for the use of these maps. The best detailed maps of The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route are available from the Adventure Cycling Association. I purchased the complete set of maps for the route from them for about $60.00 here is the link: www.AdventureCycling.org
Pietown N.M. to Platoro CO.
Platoro, CO to Silverthorn, CO
Silverthorn, CO. to South Pass City, WY
South Pass City, WY to Polaris, MT
Polaris, MT. to Roosville, MT.
This is the contents of my left pannier bag. Tools and spare parts as well as repair kit items for tires and electrical. Ready for almost anything. Not shown is a spare alternator belt,Innertube for emergencies and air cleaner. The BestRest Cycle-Pump and EZ-Air guage are on the left below the Proxxon tool set.
Ortlieb is sponsoring us with the Rack Pack bags. This Medium bag has a roll top edge with stout buckles to hold it closed and waterproof.
This medium bag holds my tent, fly, ground cloth, poles, pegs, thermarest mattress, sleeping bag, reflective vest, extra leather gloves, neck gaiter and dual-line QuadTrack stunt kite. There should be room in there for my Keen Newport sandals also.
The Large size Ortlieb bag holds all my clothing
We need to be prepared for rain and snow as we will be travelling at elevations in excess of 8000 feet for quite a few miles with some passes over 10,000 feet ASL.
This is the contents of my right pannier bag. Mostly kitchen gear like stove and fuel bottle, cookset, utensil bag, snack bar case with coffee press. The black bag holds the GoPro video camera and moto mount set with SD cards and batteries.
David strapped the bikes down to a sheet of 3/4" plywood. Solid as a rock all the way to Tucson
Loaded and ready to roll out of Edmonds
A brief stop to view the Hoover dam
David and the dam
Loading up in Tucson. It took the both of us 26 hours to drive to the Phoenix area, where we got a hotel room. The next morning we drove to Tucson to unload and ride to the border to begin our ride.
on the road to the Mexican border
late afternoon brought a pleasant ride. No other traffic except for the numerous border patrol vehicles arriving for the night activities.
Rattler in the road to Anrtelope Wells
Thorms in the areas bring rainbows
a wider lens would have captured the whole rainbow.
At the Mexican border. Reset all odometer, tracks and head for Canada.
David comparing helmets with another "divide rider" he met on the road.
the cleanest this bike will look for a long time
David rolls north, beginning the ride.
The Catholic Church in Hachita, NM
After a night in a Lordsburg motel to escape the thunderstorms, and roving drug and human smugglers known to frequent the area, we set out north of Separ, to begin the first dirt portion of the route
A brief stop to adjust air pressures down for more traction on the sandy roads of southern New Mexico
When I hit the first section of soft sand, my top heavy pig of a bike got away fom me and down it went. No harm done.
photo by David
The thunderstorms from the night before caused some flooding of the local arroyo's, creekbeds etc. so we had some muddy crossings to deal with.
One at a time we managed to ride the bikes across the muck
The next mile brought us to a riverbed, still wet from the flash floods the night before. Rather than wait a few hours for it to dry out, we rolled on across.
..Steve falls for the second time. Like riding on sticky grainy muck, this stuff is difficult to ride on when weight is not distributed correctly. David pointed out the importance of keeping my weight back on the rear tire so the front wheel doesn't dig in and throw the bike. In a couple of days of riding, I had it figured out. photo by David
Off and away, the roads for the most part on Sunday were pretty good.
Uh..well, there were a few places where we had some difficulty. We each laid the bike over at least once. New Mexico throws the most challenges at you road-wise, the summer monsoon season doesent help any.
We just rode downhill on this slippery mud. Such fun
North of Silver City NM
A rest stop at a campsite in the backcountry, brought us to this pretty waterfall.
A herd of abot fifty elk crossed the road in front of us and headed up hill through these trees
If you look close you can see the remains of an old cliff dwelling in the rock in the distance.