Over a great lunch in Seward, Alaska, this past July while riding
the Kenai Peninsula "Explorer" self-contained bicycle tour put on by
Adventure Cycling Association (formerly Bike Centennial), we (Jim
Nichols, Duane Jardine, and Judy Colwell - all experienced
self-contained bicycle travelers) came up with the idea to do our own
self-contained camping bicycle trip of the Continental Divide, using
the Adventure Cycling maps of this newly mapped route which parallels
the "spine of the continent." Our thought is to do the ride in 2-3
week annual segments over the next 4 years or so, until we ride the
complete North to South route (Canada/Montana border to the New
Because at least one of us knows you and thinks you might enjoy
this ride, we'd like to explore your interest in joining us. We are
organizing this ride in a manner similar to Adventure Cycling rides.
Although, this ride will NOT have a designated ride leader - we are a
group of independent riders touring together - all three of us have
been through Adv. Cycling's leadership training program, and one of
us (Duane) has led many Adv. Cycling trips.
Update Letter #1: 12/03/96
Update Letter #2: 01/09/97
Update Letter #3: 01/13/97: Riders, Addresses, dr-chat list-serve information Updated: 08/06/97
Group Gear List: 06/18/97
T-Shirt Logo for 1997
Route Update from Adv.Cycling: 7/2/97
Trip Journal: Stage I, Montana
There are no hidden trip costs beyond:
your own transportation (arranged by you);
camping fees (we will try to share camping sites for efficient
use of our funds); and probably
group food/fuel (if we choose this option based on the input
we get), for which we will have a group "kitty." (Group food costs
historically have been very modest, usually about $10/day.)
Any restaurant meals and other personal expenses will be borne
on an individual basis.
We will begin riding Monday, July 14th at 8 a.m. from Eureka, MT,
and end on Sunday, August 3rd, in Dillon, MT.
Stage I of this ride will begin at Eureka, MT and end at Dillon,
MT for a distance of 588 miles. (There are major airport "bail out"
options at Helena, MT after 14 days, and Butte, MT after 17 days.)
Every 4 days or so is a day off in a city or town.
The Adventure Cycling "Great Divide Mountain Bike Route" map
(Section #1) is available directly from:
P.O. Box 8308
Missoula, MT 59807
(or call 1-800-721-8719)
The cost for the map is $7.50 (for Adventure Cycling members) and
$10.50 (non-members) plus $2.00 shipping. For your own safety,
Adventure Cycling believes that it is imperative that you carry your
own map (and we agree), an accurate cyclometer, and Forest visitor
maps of the area (further information regarding these maps is
described on the Adventure Cycling map narrative).
Update (Nov. 13, 1996): According to Adventure Cycling, the
Section I map is being reprinted in order to correct some problems
found near the end of the route (logging). It will be available in
March, '97. Our itinerary will be adjusted accordingly at that
We envision a group of 8-12 people for the first leg of this
ongoing adventure. If more than 12 people indicate serious interest,
we will include participants on a "first come first served" basis as
indicated by the return of the attached form.
GROUP GEAR/MEALS (if we choose this alternative):
Jim, cycle touring meal planner par excellence, would aid in
coordinating the group food/meals aspect of the trip. We would have
some "group gear" that we would carry (pots, stoves, water filter,
group food, fuel) divided amongst all of us; we would usually have
group meals, and would rotate through shared chores (cooking,
cleanup, water filtering).
Alternatively, each person would be completely independent and
would be responsible for purchasing, carrying, cooking, all of
his/her own food. With this alternative, there could be occasional
group meals if everyone wanted to do it. (A water filter is strong
recommended any time you are traveling in the back country).
If we decide on the "group meals" option, as the itinerary is
currently planned, there are ample opportunities to taste someone
else's "home cookin'" (e.g. restaurants) in the various towns we pass
It is strongly recommended that you have a mountain bike for this
trip, as much of the route will be on county roads, forest service
roads, dirt/gravel roads and single track (5% of the route is single
track). You will need to allow room in your panniers for carrying
your share of the group gear/food.
Duane's an excellent and experienced touring bike mechanic and is
willing to be the informal mechanical guru for the trip.
None. This is a completely self-contained ride.
TOURING GEAR EQUIPMENT LIST:
If you would like a list of
touring items, it is easily available through Judy's web site:
We'd love to know your thoughts about this. Please contact:
461 Menlo Oaks Drive
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Looking forward to hearing from you.