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Connecting GDMBR to Waterton via Akamina-Kishinena Trail

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Connecting GDMBR to Waterton via Akamina-Kishinena Trail

Old 01-23-21, 09:58 AM
  #1  
TulsaJohn
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Connecting GDMBR to Waterton via Akamina-Kishinena Trail

This is a long-shot but I figure it is worth trying here. I am looking at doing a Tuktoyaktuk, NWT, to Mexico tour in 2022, a mix of pavement to singletrack. While I know at least one or two riders have ridden the Akamina-Kishinena Trail in years past, I am trying to see if anyone has done it recently and/or has a GPX track of it? If you have done it, what were the conditions like east of the bridge at the end of Kishimena Creek Rd. to Akamina Pkwy/Range Road in Waterton National Park?

Here is a what I think the route is from near Butts Cabin on the GDMBR to Waterton National Park. https://ridewithgps.com/routes/35059459

Tailwinds, John
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Old 01-23-21, 12:31 PM
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fascinating and challenging idea there TJohn.

total aside, but if using a rohlof bike, would you ever consider one of those chain cover things made for rohlof setups, a chromoplastic cover that surrounds the chainring, upper and lower chain, and rear cog?
It would seem to me that going over so much dirt road and extremely likely amount of wet, that it would really be an advantage to eliminate or greatly reduce crud from getting all over the drivetrain--so much less maintenance, so much longer life out of stuff.
I always figured these would be a great option for specifically this sort of trip where so much is on dirt and all the ensuing reduction of paste wearing crud on a drivetrain.

can't recall company that makes these, I think its German.
First saw this years ago on cgoab with a couple in South America on rohlof bikes, they loved them and the reduction in cleaning and overall long term advantages with their long trip.
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Old 01-23-21, 03:10 PM
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DJB, I have belt drives on some of my bikes so really don't worry about that too much. The Thorn has a Rohloff chain drive and I don't use that bike that much but may use it for this trip noted above.. While I do not currently use a chain cover, I would seriously consider one as I have met a few riders with them and they love them. The only issue I can think of and have not remembered to ask is what happen when you get a flat on the rear. I do not know how difficult they are to deal with then but other than that, yes I would.
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Old 01-23-21, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by TulsaJohn View Post
DJB, I have belt drives on some of my bikes so really don't worry about that too much. The Thorn has a Rohloff chain drive and I don't use that bike that much but may use it for this trip noted above.. While I do not currently use a chain cover, I would seriously consider one as I have met a few riders with them and they love them. The only issue I can think of and have not remembered to ask is what happen when you get a flat on the rear. I do not know how difficult they are to deal with then but other than that, yes I would.
john, it was this couples blog that I read way back when, and where I remembered them using those chain covers. Its been so long since I read that blog that I dont recall exactly, but it seems to me that either on that trip or other trips they did and blogged, that I read that it wasnt too much of a hassle to unclip and remove---but Im sure you can find out other sources regarding this.

https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/..._id=9693&v=2NC

I know that on my Troll with horizontal dropouts with a rear fender, I knew that if you put the fenders too close to the wheel that it was a pain for a rear flat cuz you have to detach the fender stays to be able to move the wheel back far enough to get it out. I purposely set my rear wheel a bit further back in the dropouts using a spacer thing (Surly "monkey nuts"), but also left loads of room between tire and fender--so I can easily slide wheel out with fenders in place, but also with the idea of possible mud buildup and or putting in knobbier tires if needed somewhere.

I was curious, and found info on the Hebie chainguard made for Rohlofs. Pretty certain it is the one the Kiwi couple used. As always, the internet can turn up good or bad reviews, but this one seems to reflect the times I've read about it.



I'm taking a guess on a timeline for your trip idea--4 months? Pretty darn challenging first part with lots of long distances between any much of anything other than mosquitoes and bears.....

cheers
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Old 01-23-21, 07:16 PM
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DLB, yes it is the Herbie. The riders I have met have all said the Herbie keeps the chain very clean and lubricated. About the time I was going to get one, I came across a belt-drive Rohloff Co-Motion for 50+% off and have been using that mostly the past few years.

I anticipate the trip to take about 4-5 months depending. I am also considering starting in Prudhoe Bay then ride around Tuk, then south as above which would take to about 5.5. Problem with that is that I would be a bit on a time crunch due to weather (I hate cold wet weather). I am currently piecing together the route segments but very well may only do parts of the GDMBR as I want to do a bunch of high altitude segments (Gravelly Range Road in MT; Mirror Lake Hwy & Skyline Drive in Utah), elsewhere that I probably won't do as I have diminished lung capacity so in a few years, 10k+ foot elevations may be out of the equation; especially since I have already done most of the Colorado GDMBR passes. After 45 years of touring, I tend to use my own routes as I have done most of ACA routes.

Tailwinds, John
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Old 01-23-21, 07:44 PM
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hear you on hating cold wet weather, I can put up with lots of stuff but cold and wet is particularly blah.
all the best with putting together what bits that work, no matter what, it will be quite an adventure.
I know I go on about low gearing, but this would be one trip I'd want to have the rohlof as low as is safely possible gearing wise combos.
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Old 01-24-21, 11:21 AM
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For what it is worth, mention of Rohloff hubs and the Dalton/Dempster Highways have me recall 2016 and my travel on the Dalton that year.

I don't have a Rohloff or direct experience. What I did encounter on the Dalton was a type of mud I'll call "adhesive paste". Unlike "peanut butter" mud it really seems to stick to everything. I encountered some of the adhesive paste north of the Yukon River after a wet period on my way down. Before I knew it, the paste had stuck to my drive train and I had torqued off the derailleur on my Trek 520. No derailleur hanger and no desire to try the shorten your chain trick - I got to civilization through a mixture of walking, a ride with a German couple in their camper and charity of a driver of a tourist bus for tours to the Arctic Circle.

A few miles into my walk, I passed two Swedish cyclists. They had been done in by the adhesive paste as well. In their case, the paste had gotten into their Rohloff hubs and they were now sitting and trying to hitchhike. I passed because I was walking while trying to hitchhike.

I have seen one other case of mud causing problems for a Rohloff and that was in Tanzania in TDA. In that case, my fellow cyclist was somehow able to get things cleared out enough to keep his hub working.

I have also had one two other cases of mud being enough trouble to cause problems on my cycle trip. One was on the Dempster Highway in 1996. This was nearer to the MacKenzie crossing. Higher up, the road was rocky enough that rain/mud was obnoxious but not a real problem. Lowland areas closer to the river the road degenerated into more muddy conditions. However, fortunately the mud type was more peanut butter than adhesive paste. I did a ride for a short distance to Fort McPherson since I was otherwise walking anyways. The other instance of mud was in Siberia while the main road was under construction but before it was paved. That was also more of a peanut butter viscosity/texture. In that case, we just decided to camp and wait for a day and conditions were much improved.

So there may not be a huge amount to keep mud from going inside the Rohloff - but lesson I picked up is to leave a little bit of slack in any schedule to camp/wait on the Dempster/Dalton if you do get into adhesive paste conditions - ideally give some time for rain to subside and things to harden back again.

One question I would have on any chain cover and mud would be whether there was any possibility of mud getting stuck inside and jamming things up. For both the Dempster and Siberia roads, I had that issue with fenders and mud. In Siberia, I eventually ditched my fenders and left them on a road sign. On the Dempster, I repeatedly stopped and cleared out mud to keep the wheels turning. That might not be the case for the chainglider since it comes differently but mud would be a concern for me.

Last edited by mev; 01-24-21 at 11:29 AM.
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Old 01-24-21, 04:52 PM
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Thanks for the info! Yes, I always plan on about 15% rest/makeup/sightseeing days on average. Once I get the route worked out, I will get a more detailed ideas as to how many days to include but have heard enough stories about "mud-delays" on the Dalton & Dempster to factor in an extra 2-3 days each minimum. Plus I have to get back to Dawson from Tuk which could take a while. I will probably bum a ride from Tuk to Inuvik then fly back to Dawson.

Do you by any chance have journals or blogs on your trips? I would be interested in reading about it.
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Old 01-24-21, 05:19 PM
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Peanut butter mud
adhesive paste mud
Great terms, ones to remember.
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Old 01-24-21, 07:24 PM
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Originally Posted by TulsaJohn View Post
Do you by any chance have journals or blogs on your trips? I would be interested in reading about it.
Tuk should be great to visit, I am intrigued on the new road.

Dempster (1996): The Dempster Highway
Dalton (2005): Dalton Highway
Dalton: (2016) including mud: https://www.scc2ush.com/countries/usa/alaska/

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Old 01-24-21, 08:53 PM
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Take the "s" out of your https web address as it will be rejected "because the authenticity of the received data could not be verified." I deleted the "s" and it connected.
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