BRAN 40 or 41?

Missouri John
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:55 pm

Re: BRAN 40 or 41?

Post by Missouri John »

That sounds like a good plan Bill. The year I raced the Tour Divide it was a very heavy snow year and there was a 5 mile section between Slater and Clark that I had to push my bike because of deep snow. You are mostly on a bike trail in Steamboat Springs and because of snow melt it had flooded. I rode in water that went over my bottom bracket a few times. There is a section south of Steamboat where you ford a creek. Normally it's no big deal but in 2011 it was high and swift. All the racers ahead of me took a detour, but I walked upstream and found a place where I thought I could cross. I wadded across to see if it would be possible and had a bit of trouble stay upright in that waist deep current with the rocks rolling under my bike shoes. I debated a bit then lifted my bike over my head and wadded across. :) The bike trail between Silverthrone and Breckenridge has always been a bit confusing to me, especially getting through Frisco. I don't recall Boreas Pass as being too tough. I rode up it while chatting with that years female winner and I'm sure that helped some. Shortly after you get over that pass the Tour Divide route puts you on a single tract for 10 or so miles. I am not sure if the ACA Great Divide route uses this. As I recall, the rest of the way to Salida is just a gravel ride. You know as well as I do every year is different, but since you are planning to ride it in the Summer you should be okay with either bike. I believe that the single track section is mostly down hill so you'll just need to take it slow. Interesting story about that rider you met. I certainly experienced many emotions on the route but boredom was never one of them.

Missouri John
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:55 pm

Re: BRAN 40 or 41?

Post by Missouri John »

A couple more thoughts on your planned Colorado ride. The descent down to the Colorado River is very steep and has many blind curves with long drops offs so you'll need to be cautious there, also you should plan for lots of mosquitoes between Kremmling and Ute Pass. It you can keep your speed above 10 mph you can stay ahead of them just remember to breath through your nose. :wink:

gif4445
Posts: 28
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:07 am

Re: BRAN 40 or 41?

Post by gif4445 »

Thanks for the info and recommendations John! Having started this whole cycling thing later in life, my experiences have been limited mostly to road biking. I've done gravel, mostly to the extent of what's between the farm and the nearest pavement, plus Gravel Worlds a few years back. But no real mountain biking. So I assume there are sections where I would be over my head. Having recently done the whole separated shoulder/broken clavicle thing, I really don't want to repeat that. But I'd like to try a portion and see. Not getting any younger! One part of this section I am very familiar with, is the Silverthorne to Breckenridge route. I've pedaled that area several times.

I don't know about you, but I'm looking for different ways to keep me focused on cycling. I tend to gain weight if I don't have a ride to look forward to. In the event that the usual rides have to cancel again, I want to have some solo stuff on deck to keep me engaged. Hoping that BRAN and others can make a go of it!

Missouri John
Posts: 48
Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:55 pm

Re: BRAN 40 or 41?

Post by Missouri John »

When I started cycling mountain bikes didn't even exist. I discovered the Tour Divide in 2008 and became fascinated with it. I didn't acquire my first mountain bike a hard tail until 2010 and probably should have just bought a frame since I replaced nearly every thing on it. Like you, I've always been a roadie and I just couldn't get use to the flat bars so I replaced them with drop bars. I found the bobbing of the front suspension forks to be quite annoying when out of the saddle on a climb so I replaced them with carbon forks. Fortunately the Tour Divide route only has a few sections that require technical mountain bike skills. The worst section for me was in New Mexico where you are actually riding on the Great Divide hiking tail. When the trail was beyond my skill level I had no issues with just pushing my bike.

I am very fortunate in that I have no issues with staying active even during these times, but like you I always like to have a cycling adventure to look forward to and will hope we all can start enjoying them next spring.

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