Tuesday, June 28, 2016

BOM-2016 GPX Tracks

Only the tracks and waypoints are included in the GPX file.  Routes are something that gets created, tweaked and otherwise adulterated by the end users choice of GPS, map, etc. so the result is rarely the same for different users.  Individual users can create their own tracks, but be aware that they may not match the tracks provided so check your work against the provided tracks and don't complain to if they don't match.

Other than a few stretches which I thought were safely usable without filed observation, the majority of the tracks were field verified and corrected based on captured tracks during the pre-ride.

The structure of the tracks:

Track      Type of                                    Color of
Prefix      Track                                       Track
T              Daily track                             GREEN or RED alternate days
BPALT   Bypass alternate track           YELLOW
BPBB     Bypass for big bikes track      MAGENTA
BPM       Bypass for mud track             GREY
CHSB    Small bike challenge track      BLUE
ST          Side trip track                         YELLOW
"T"  There is one main Track for each day. They display as the colors listed above as either Green or Red and alternate each day, i.e. first day red, second day green, third day red and so on. The full name includes T and 16 (year) the day number (1, 2, 3, etc.) and the day of the week starting with Sa for Saturday, Su for Sunday, and so on. Example: T16-01Sa, T16-02Su, etc.

Day / Miles
Sa   167
Su   178
Mo  184
Tu   146
We  187
Th   130
Fr    184
Sa   146
Su   126

Ride Total:
A bit under 1,500 miles (plus/minus any side trips/bypases etc.)
 "ST"   Stands for Side Trip.  These are legs off of the main "T" tracks that may be of interest. Check them out.  This is an opportunity to "customize" your experience.
"ST Granit Ghost Town" Once a very thriving mining town, some old building remain. 10 miles up and 10 miles back (unless your silly enough to attempt the CHSB Granite Small Bike Down track.)
"ST Elkhorn Ghost Town" Day 2. 10 miles one way out and back for 20 total added to the day. Great old buildings and a visit to the Cemetery is a great commentary to the rough like of the early families in the old mining towns. If you're a real ghost town buff, this one is a must.
"ST Sleeping Woman" is a must if you like scenery and a little challenge for the day.  You don't have to go all the way up into the Canyon. there are some water crossings involved, but not too bad if you want to go all the way up into the upper section of the canyon. The lower entrance is very narrow and then it opens up into a large cirque.  Worth the 12 miles up and 12 miles back. I took the family in an old '65 Black VW Bug up here in the '70s.
"ST Judith Peak" is a must for all. The view from the peak (an old abandon Early Warning Radar site) is 360 degrees to the curvature of the earth. Just four miles up and back.  Nice wide road (if you don't count the loose gravel and washboard).
"ST Fort Maginnis" is another one for the history buffs. Your choice only 4 miles up then back.
"ST Shonkin SAG Dry Falls" Provides a little extra dirt bypass from the regular route on Day 6.  Resqdoc pointed out this interesting geographic site and it's pretty much on the route.
"BPALT"  There is only one track and that is a bypass for the more rugged main trac for the Missouri Breaks Back Road section on Day 5.  Easier than the main track staying largely up high in flatter terrain whereas the main track follows closer to the river and has some steeper and more rugged terrain dropping down into the coulees and up again.  Your choice.  You can always go in a ways on the main track and back track if you see something that disturbs you and take the Knox Ridge route.
"BPBB"  Stands for ByPass for Big Bikes. These are tracks that bypass what I consider a little rougher than a less than average, experienced big bike rider may want to tackle.
The first one, "Brewster" is early on the first day. This segment of the main track is akin to some of the rougher sections of the Lolo Motorway as an example. Definitely doable on big bikes, but it will be a challenge with some unmaintained  loose rock, rock reefs, steep drop offs, and switchbacks.  Again, this is an opportunity to go take a look and turn back to take the BPBB bypass if you don't like what you see.  Just be careful where you decide to turn around.
The second, "BPBB Radersburg Alt Bypass", is on the second day approaching Radersburg. If you tackled the Brewster Ck section on the previous day, you will do fine on this main track to Radersburg. Not as rough, no steep terrain, but the track does deteriorate into an unmaintained two track road which almost disappears at times.
The third, "Indian Ck Road Bailout" is just that.  A bail out at the top of the "Elkhorn Challenge Small Bike" track. If you are crazy enough to attempt the Elkhorn Mtn track on a big bike and don't like what you see, if you get to the top, this is an easy bypass down to Townsend and re-connect to the Main Track for the day.  This also goes for small bike riders who decide to give the Elkhorn Mountain track a try.
The CHSB tracks are for fully experienced small bike riders. So even on a small bike, be sure of your capabilities as well as your machine. The first to be encountered, the "CHSB Granite Small Bike Alt"  is if you take a Side Trip to Granite, there is a return back to the highway from the Ghost Town of Granite that is quite challenging.  It follows down a ridge line, totally un-maintained with some loose material in steep descents. Steep and loose enough in one section you want to have feet down (that SLOW) AND have a foot on the rear brake.  So which do you do? Brake or paddle? Your decision.
The second CHSB track is on the second day after Radersburg. The "CHSB Elkhorn Challenge Small Bike" is highly recommended for a good small bike rider. I would not rule out an excellent large bike rider. It is a 32 mile bypass from the main track for the day, with about half of that being challenging. Again, your ride, your choice.
The third CHSB is the "CHSB Cellar Gulch ATV Trail" on the 8th day between Marysville and Lincoln. A bit over 7 miles. Purely small bike, no big bikes allowed. (My rule).  I only include it as I was tricked by some mean (but well intentioned) ATV riders into checking it out on the Pre-Ride. I made it, barely, thought I was going to have a heart attach.  YOUR choice if you like ATV trails.  One steep hill - don't back off and don't swap sides! Lots of tight, heavily wooded sections that will test your upper body strength. (Experience talking.) Lots of potential downed trees.  Have a good saw.  Your choice.
The BPM tracks are added to provide what should be a better choice should there be some significant rain elements out in the gumbo country. I rode it in June, a wet time and did get caught south of Havre.  You don't want to ride some of those roads if there has been a recent thunderstorm pass through.  You won't get far, its rough on the bike (think mud balling up in the chain guards as well as the wheels and having to sit it out until it dries out (THINK DAYS). 
 If you've read this far you have a feeling for the structure of the tracks. You can stick to the main tracks which should be useable by anyone with some minor challenges just as in years past.  If you want a little more or less challenge, plan accordingly. Take some of the Side Trips and you can claim a good reason for ending up in camp late.
Waypoints include particularly GAS stops that have been pretty much verified. Plan for 150 miles particularly if you get turned back etc. Day 2 from Boulder to the Helena area is probably the longest if you take the Elkhorn Mtns track. Better than 150 miles between gas. If you take the main track through Townsend, no problem. Plenty of gas in Townsend.
Look for the Gas Pump symbol or word "gas" in the waypoint list.
There are various other waypoints including just numbered that aren't particularly import but may have something of interest at that location (like a number of missile silo sites).
If you have questions, please leave a comment and we'll try to answer.