January 9, 1997
The reason behind this ride, as we envision it, is for friends to tour, to enjoy each other's company, to be a support group when/where necessary. It is not the goal to be a tightly controlled group with little flexibility and lots of structure. Sometimes we may have to, or want to, "wing it" regarding camping, or whatever. Maybe you will want to "do your own thing" for a day or two. That's what this trip is all about.
Although this ride is promoted as having no leaders, in reality it is Leaders Three.
Jim is the food/group-gear leader. His major work will be during the ride, but he will have put in significant work prior to the ride regarding the logistics of keeping our calorie count up and our tummies happy.
Judy is the "serious organizer," itinerary planner, researcher, webspinner, communications coordinator, and a host of other chores that might need doing as the ride comes to fruition and completion.
Duane is the on-site navigator, money man, bike guru, logo creator, and anything else that appeals to his talents and interests that may need attending to.
(And, not to be left out...Alan, who was the first to sign on to this crazy adventure with us and has given much useful input in the planning, creation of trip memorabilia [luggage tags, ice scrapers and other useful items] and general good humor.)
Best of all, we are a team of friends working together to make this ride fun, so you may see any one of us trading our areas of expertise back and forth.
The itinerary includes a bit of information regarding leaving the ride. Any information we come up with about getting around within Montana, we'll all have a chance to share with each other through our email chat set-up [coming soon]. You are on your own regarding how best to get to Montana. Perhaps you can arrange some kind of transportation pooling with other riders.
Although the ride begins in Eureka, the US/Canada border is the "real beginning" of this trip. Some of us will ride from Roosville (the border) on 7/13 in order to say "We did it from the beginning." Others may want to join in also. We can arrange this as we get close to the departure date.
We will meet at a pre-selected place (pizza parlor?) on 7/13 at ___ o'clock for dinner. (Place/time to be announced.) And, we will meet at designated place on 7/14 at ___ a.m. to begin ride (with first stop for breakfast out, and following that, a grocery store). (Time/place to be announced.)
If you want to stay in motels as we pass through towns, feel free to make those arrangements (our itinerary, posted on the web page, indicates towns that we stay in). Nothing is written in stone that we all have to camp together at every opportunity. We expect that we'll generally leave more or less together in the mornings (except, of course, for those riders who enjoy sleeping in and don't mind leaving camp by themselves....) and ride at our own paces, regrouping at a pre-determined town or at camp that afternoon.
Meals in town are not group meals...this is your opportunity to "eat local." A chart will be included with the itinerary showing when we have group meals, and when we don't. Also included will be Jim's determination of when/where we need to buy food.
Group breakfasts/dinners; on your own for lunches (as currently planned). This will mean that you will be carrying personal food on those days when we don't go through any commercial areas around "lunch time."
In the interest of individual rider flexibility (for any possible excursions from the group for a period of time), please consider whether you might want to bring your own stove, pot, fuel, and water filter. Jim has already begun the process of determining what kind of group gear we need. You'll get this information and a perhaps an opportunity to lend the group some equipment that you might have.
Everyone MUST have their own map(s). We won't have any extras with us. (Adventure Cycling's "The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route" Section 1; the little bit of the ride that is on Section 2 can be seen on any good road map.)
Everyone should have enough pannier space to carry their share of group gear/food. (This may seem obvious, but I've been on tours where riders came with minimal pannier space and caused unfair distribution of group gear/food.)
Cooking/cleaning/water filtering chores...I don't know about any of you, but I find the Adventure Cycling "chore chart" nearly impossible to understand. Perhaps we can come up with a better one. Anyone have some suggestions about this? I think it would be good to have this worked out prior to arriving in MT so that I can bring copies of The Chore Chart with me .
In order to maintain maximum flexibility regarding group funds, and yet try to maintain some semblance of sanity regarding group money, we may work out some kind of daily money pool so that if people funnel in and out of the main group for a meal or two, or night or two, it won't be too difficult to keep track of. Any suggestions out there on how to do it to make it easy and efficient?
Unlike Adventure Cycling trips, all meals out, lunch provisions, and non-group camping expenses will be borne individually. We won't have group funds for any of those expenses.
We won't have a designated sweep rider, although one of us (Jim) seems to naturally gravitate to that position. We will decide, amongst all of us at the beginning of the trip, how much time should pass before we backtrack for a late rider.
Since none of us has scouted out this route, and we are relying on information from a variety of sources, I don't know how often "real showers" occur. I, for one, am bringing a SunShower, optimistically planning on having a hot shower every afternoon.
Things to See and Do:
Does anyone have any contacts, friends, useful information about our route, things to be sure to see and do? People who want to entertain us in town? :-) I have done a lot of research regarding "what to see/do" by scouring various travel books, but individual experiences are always more useful.
Any riders planning to ride for only two weeks?
Any strict vegetarians?
Last Updated: January 9, 1997
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