TD Course Change For `09
Up to ~2745 Miles Now?
Tour Divide is keen to collaborate with cartographers at Adventure Cycling Association to pilot a GDMBR route change at the 140 mile mark in Canada. The reroute will not be made official until a 2010/11 printing of the ACA maps but the general idea is to avoid the dangerous Hwy 3 segment between Sparwood and Fernie, BC by sending riders down the Upper Flathead Valley.
In anticipation, TD is poised to race the proposed reroute for the 2009 edition. It's important to preempt the change for the sake of future racing comparisons.
For the first time since 2004 all Divide racers (TD + GDR) will be competing on the same course. The reroute trades 65 miles of mostly pavement for ~105 miles of virgin dirt, but most significantly it carries riders through the primeval upper Flathead Valley. Headwaters to the very same Flathead River known as the North Fork of the Flathead once it crosses into MT, in 2004 the NY Times declared it the wildest river on the continent. The upper valley is also famous for it's wildlife populations, often referred to by biologists as the "Serengeti of North America".
- Blue + Aqua + Orange Segments = Proposed Reroute (total 104mi).
- Red Segment (30mi) marks a potential future exit from the Flathead Valley over the Galton Range. If realized, it would circumvent ~35 miles of paved Hwy 93 riding. The .9mi Yellow segment overlaying the red segment highlights the missing link of FSR necessary to complete the route. Anyone know if there is hiking trail on the west bench (marked in yellow) of the Wigwam River?