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Old 10-01-09, 11:53 AM   #1
pasopia
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How isolated isthe Great Divide?

I'm trying to decide whether I should follow the Great divide route for my solo pan am trip, or if I should ride the pacific coast. I would be riding it in July and August. How often do you see other riders/ people on the route, if you do don't ride it as part of the race?
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Old 10-01-09, 12:26 PM   #2
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Riding the CDN GDR this year we saw only one group of two other riders on the Flathead Valley reroute. Sections of the reroute were totally remote and I wouldn't expect to see anyone or get help. Other sections were a little more used so you'd expect someone to come along in a vehicle during the course of a day.

On the rest of the main CDN GDR we saw 3 groups of riders [1 solo, 2 pers and a 4 pers group] and a lot more vehicle traffic.

Since I had a friend with me I really enjoyed the solitude and great scenery of this route. Relatively few vehicles to deal with as well.

If I was riding solo I'd do the Pacific coast route as I'd prefer some company on my tour. I wouldn't tackle the GDR solo. I wouldn't enjoy it alone.
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Old 10-01-09, 04:26 PM   #3
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Along the Divide Ride in July and August the number of other riders varied widely daily. As VIK said the Canadian portion has some new remote sections that can last a day or two and the Wyoming Great Basin desert section feels really remote but resources exist even there. Other contacts involved local residents and ranchers in their vehicles on remote roads. The locals were generous with their knowledge and voluntarily acted as trail angels at times.

I met fellow cyclists in the oddest and most unexpected places. It is really hard to generalize. I did not feel isolated just enthralled by the whole experience that varied greatly in terrain and weather as you climbed out of one watershed into another.

The Pacific Coast is beautiful but I prefer to limit my exposure to cars these days and the Divide Ride fit the menu well. You will like either one and can always come back to do the one you missed this time.
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Old 10-01-09, 07:31 PM   #4
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I've been on sections of the Montana sections. I wouldn't hesitate to do it alone, but I would also carry the necessary gear and have contingency plans.
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Old 10-01-09, 09:13 PM   #5
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I did the first 900 miles from Glacier Nat Park to Jackson, Wy in July 0f 2008 and did not see any riders the whole time. Actually I saw the GDR racers the first day and never saw them again. The route is really remote. You come across a small town about ever 2 days. It was so remote that for the first time in my life on a tour I was actually pleased to see a car to know I wasn't lost.

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Old 10-01-09, 09:19 PM   #6
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i rode from columbia falls to rawlins this summer. i met 4 southbounders in bannack state park. i think i met about 6 northbounders. it's a small sample size, so take it for what it is. i don't think you will meet too many people on the gdmbr, but i think it is better than the pacific coast route. you will meet lots of folks on that route, but it's just highway. imo, ride the gdmbr if you got the time. fewer cars, fewer people
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Old 10-02-09, 08:30 AM   #7
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Thanks for the input. I'm leaning towards doing the GDR. I think I can handle the extreme isolation. The downside is I probably need to get a new bike for the trip. I currently have a cross check, but it seems like most people prefer to have front suspension for the divide. I was thinking about going with a Thorn Sterling
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Old 10-02-09, 09:19 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pasopia View Post
Thanks for the input. I'm leaning towards doing the GDR. I think I can handle the extreme isolation. The downside is I probably need to get a new bike for the trip. I currently have a cross check, but it seems like most people prefer to have front suspension for the divide. I was thinking about going with a Thorn Sterling
If you want to chat about a Thorn Sterling I have a frame that I built up and then stripped for parts [trip didn't happen]. I can answer any questions that you might have and not get sorted on the Thorn site. It's a very nice frame and would be great on the GDR with the right fork.
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Old 10-02-09, 09:22 AM   #9
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Thanks Vik, I'll probably take you up on that at some point.
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