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Thread: Dirt Touring

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    Dirt Touring

    So, I've got myself a Surly Big Dummy, and I'd like to eventually ride most or all of the Great divide Mountain Bike trail. I ride alot, but have never gotten around to doing any self supported touring. So I need to work my way up to something that epic. Anyone have suggestions for tours that are off road or on dirt roads? The bike really handles great on stuff that's just a bit too rough on a normal touring rig.

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    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    I think the Big Dummy is ideal for dirt tours. The long wheelbase is very stable and the fact you sit in the middle of the bike attenuates the jarring from rough roads quite well. Obviously the frame is tough and can handle the beating it will take.

    Around here we have lots of logging/service roads that are rough and [usually] lightly traveled. For short 1 day trials you could look for some double track MTB rides in your area.

    When you are ready for a longer dirt tour what about tackling a portion of the GDR that is close to where you live? Maybe try a week long tour to validate your equipment and gear.
    safe riding - Vik
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    Only things to keep in mind is that as listed the frame and fork weigh 7 kgs without the extracycle components. Also a long wheel base isn't good for climbing in dirt though people are starting to deploy these things and so far everyone is happy. Just saw one on the road in southern New Brunswick the other day.

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    This is Shangri La MTBMaven's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxwell View Post
    So, I've got myself a Surly Big Dummy, and I'd like to eventually ride most or all of the Great divide Mountain Bike trail. I ride alot, but have never gotten around to doing any self supported touring. So I need to work my way up to something that epic. Anyone have suggestions for tours that are off road or on dirt roads? The bike really handles great on stuff that's just a bit too rough on a normal touring rig.
    Where are you located? What kind of distance or number days are you looking for? Are you looking for dirt roads or singletrack?
    I thought of that while riding my bicycle. ~ Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity

  5. #5
    cyclopath vik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1 View Post
    Only things to keep in mind is that as listed the frame and fork weigh 7 kgs without the extracycle components. Also a long wheel base isn't good for climbing in dirt though people are starting to deploy these things and so far everyone is happy. Just saw one on the road in southern New Brunswick the other day.
    Where did you get that weight from - seems awfully high...I didn't weigh my bare BD frame, but I moved it around a lot before I built it and I'd be amazed if it was 15.4lbs just for the frame/fork. [update: apparently that is in the ballpark as one BD owner with a 16" frame/fork weigh his at 14.4lbs]

    I haven't had any issues climbing dirt roads wet or dry...I'm getting loads of traction....what issues do you think the long wheelbase will have when climbing dirt roads on tour?
    Last edited by vik; 08-03-08 at 12:51 AM.
    safe riding - Vik
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1 View Post
    Only things to keep in mind is that as listed the frame and fork weigh 7 kgs without the extracycle components. Also a long wheel base isn't good for climbing in dirt though people are starting to deploy these things and so far everyone is happy. Just saw one on the road in southern New Brunswick the other day.
    I'm not racing, so I'm not worried about the bike being heavy. It handles so much better loaded than a short wheelbase bike. The long wheelbase is actually great for climbing steep dirt, handles great, as long as you've got some load in the back you get plenty of traction. The only thing the bike doesn't handle too well is a sharp switchback.

    The Riding The Spine guys have pretty much proven the bike works for the divide route and more.

    So, as far as something easier, I've heard some of the rail trails back east are a little rough, like Pittsburgh to DC. I have an aunt that lives near the route in Colorado, so that would be a good jumping off point to do a section of the GDR. I saw Vik's account of the Dempster highway, that'd be one for the to-do list.

    Any other ideas?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBMaven View Post
    Where are you located? What kind of distance or number days are you looking for? Are you looking for dirt roads or singletrack?
    I'm in southern california, so I'll probably do some two or three day trips locally. If i'm gonna travel, it'd be cool to find some routes that are at at least the better part of a week of riding. Just looking for anything off pavement, singletrack if it's not too technical.

  8. #8
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    The northern end of Death Valley NP entering from Big Pine, Ca.along the DV/Saline Valley Road in late Fall or Spring offers lots of loop options including the Eureka Dunes and the Racetrack areas.

    You can connect to the DV/Saline Road via a more difficult and high altitude rock and dirt track from Independence, Ca. -the Mazurka Canyon Road to Badger Flat 9000' Then over the crest to Andrews Mountain Loop which connects with the DV/Saline Valley Road in Death Valley.

    Find a copy of Mountain Biking Southern California's Best 100 Trails by Don Douglas for more details and other options.

    You could link this route with the Bristlecone Pines Reserve just to the north of hwy 168 where you have Silver Canyon and Wyman Canyon for some great down hills after some serious high altitude travel in the dirt. You will have to carry all of your water needed as there is none in each of these areas.

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    Cool, I'll have to look into those trails. I've ridden through death valley on a couple events, would definitely be cool to tour the north end of the park.

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    Caffeinated. Camel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arctos View Post
    The northern end of Death Valley NP entering from Big Pine, Ca.along the DV/Saline Valley Road in late Fall or Spring offers lots of loop options including the Eureka Dunes and the Racetrack areas...
    -When I drove through Death Valley NP I thought it looked to be a great area to test out an off road/off trail set up for Tibet. It would give a safe enough "out" by riding near the roads. In case of equipment failure you could just hitch.
    mmmm coffeee!

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    I just want to know how well the blender works.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by CardiacKid View Post
    I just want to know how well the blender works.
    safe riding - Vik
    VikApproved

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    Quote Originally Posted by vik View Post
    I need to make one of those! I'm not so into into paying three bills for one.
    Last edited by Maxwell; 08-03-08 at 09:48 PM.

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