I just finished my summer tour on the Continental Divide Trail from Whitefish MT to Jackson, WY. It was the biggest adventure of my life. I took my LHT with fatty 2.1 since the trail is 80% fire roads. The route was way more challenging that I thought. This ride is not for the faint of heart. There were many days when I walked my bike up and DOWN hills. Many 2 hour climbs going 4 miles per hour. My bike held up strong and was amazing however in hindsight my joints would have preferred that I took a bike that was not rigid. We saw lots of wildlife but never got that close to a bear. The people of Montana may very well be the nicest people I have ever come across and that include the Irish of which I am one. Without fail when we would emege from 3 days in the woods to a small town some local Montanan would take us in and let us take showers and sleep in or around there house without the fear of bears eating your food. I have countless memories and stories that will never be forgotten.
Eat, Sleep, Ride, Divide
Until next year when I hit the trail again,
luke ocean beach, san diego
I used the stock wheelset that come with LHT complete. The wheels were great but I had problems with the rim tabe moving so I got several pinch flats before I placed cloth rim tape on the rims.
The reason why I had to walk the bike down hill at times was for several reasons. First, I was on a rigid bike and a hardtail would be more appropriate for this trail, I believe. As you can see from the pictures I have an Albatross bar to put me more upright due to a neck/back injury I suffered 5 weeks before the trip. This helped with my injury but may not be the best mountain bike set up. Lastly when you are fully loaded going down an incredibly steep pitch with huge ruts, roots, rocks, and shadows it is difficult to navigate. There were times between Helena and Butte on Lava Mountain that it was so steep it was extremely difficult to even walk up. It was so bad I was convinced we were off the official route, because I could not imagine this being ridable by anyone but the craziest of cyclists. However we were on the correct trail. On that same mountain it also didn't help that at the summit we got caught in a lightning/hail storm. Also on Mt. Richmond near Seely Lake the trail had snow drifts which made it impossible pass. I had my scariest moments on top of that snow covered mountain almost losing my bike then myself down the mountain. After I couldnt even find tracks left by the Great Divide Racers I decided to turnb around and was able to find an alternative.
I would advise anyone doing this trip to have maps of all the fire roads in Montana so you can be more flexible on the trail.