Looking for alternate route advice
So all spring I am scheming of this tour where I connect a bunch of National Parks and go up the Great Divide to Alberta and return to California via British Columbia and the Pacific Coast. My journal is here, if anyone cares http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/journ..._id=35165&v=6h
Currently I am in Moab, Utah, and I am uncertain if I want to do a extended tour on dirt. The plan was to take the Kokopelli trail to Fruita and then hook up with the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route somewhere past the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park. Washboard and loose gravel and sand suck when you are on a rigid bike with 26x1.5 slicks at 90 psi. I already ate it once on the Burr Trail. I am hoping it is a more comfy ride when I get some big, knobby balloons instead of high pressure Armadillos, but I doubt it will make a huge difference. And there are the nagging doubts of touring alone in somewhat remote areas for days at a time.
So I am gonna get some knobbies and do some of the local rides here for a few days while I think about things for a bit. Anyone got any alternate route advice? I think I still would like to hit the Tetons, Yellowstone, Glacier/Waterton, etc and return down Pacific Coast. Otherwise I just might Mapquest it and hit avoid highways or whatever.
Just read your journal at CGOAB. Great write up and photos.
You will find the riding much better on the bigger air volume tires and using lower air pressure. A wider tire on the BOB if possible will help you float a bit better too. The major hassle on the Kokopelli is adobe mud from snow melt and/or thunder storm rains. Carrying lots of water is #2. Some bike n hike sections too.
I rode the Divide alone on a rigid bike with 700x1.75 tires without problem from Banff to Breckenridge, Colorado in 2003. Just more consistent climbing and descending 3 to 5K feet every day. A great variety of climates terrain and vegetation always changing. Your camera will get a workout.
Solo off-road touring requires a different mindset- no unnecessary risky choices about bombing downhill or over obstacles along a cliff edge. You are never really alone for too long. I regularly met up with other tourists most every other day if not daily. Local ranchers and other residents appeared regularly too.
Services on the Divide were more frequent than the McCoy guide book indicated. I free camped most all of the way without a problem. I recommend the Divide Ride as a main route. There are plenty of interesting side route extending from it too.
Ride safe. I look forward to reading more of your journal and viewing more pictures.
The Adventure Cycling people (formerly Bikecentennial) in Missoula, Montana Have the Great parks route that stretches from near Fruita to up past Glacier-Waterton park in Canada. Three routes from the Rockies to the west coast, and a route from Canada to Mexico. Play off their paved routes against the dirt routes.
got some 26x2.1 knobbies
thanks for the responses!
been doing a few dirt rides and i feel a lot more optomistic now. gonna load up on water and give kokopelli's a shot after i visit arches and isle in the sky. if that works out well, gonna probably do the original route as planned. also got some poofy padded bar tape. i will look into an extra wide bob tire if i can find a fat 16" knobby in town. if an extended solo dirt tour isn't for me, i will definitely give the northern parks loop a look