The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route from Canada to Mexico.

Welcome! This site documents a two month, solo, unsupported mountain bike tour of the The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route from Banff AB Canada to the US-Mexican border at Antelope Wells, NM. The trip began in late July and finished 25 SEP 2007. It took 61 days and encompassed 2842.32 miles.

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30 September 2007

Back in Boulder, Photo Galleries Up

"We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with experience and character." ~ Henry David Thoreau

Home at last. Took me some time to get back, we ended up staying a few days extra in Silver City, NM to make sure fellow riders and friends Erik and Christine made it back from the border okay. They decided to make the one day push from Silver City to the border as well. Great job guys!

Much thanks to my parents, Loyall and Ginger, who took time out of their lives to patiently deal with my exploits near the border, helped out Erik and Christine, and helped me get home. Many more folks to thank as well, which I will be doing as I post photos.

I plan to edit and caption most of the photos over the next couple of days, post them as slide shows, and just initially just get them out there. Once I have it all complete....several weeks to maybe months from now, I will post the address for the main site (a functional, normal menued website) which will have the full on journal writeups with embedded photos. Layouts will be by ACA map section to help past, current, and future riders orient to the site.

Note NEW PHOTO GALLERIES menu on the left side bar beneath the "My GDMBR Statistics" menu. All sections are posted.

25 September 2007

Day 61 US/Mexico Border-Antelope Wells, NM

"What fun is it being cool if you can't wear a sombrero" ~ Calvin & Hobbes

Kind of difficult to wrap my mind around it, but I made it to the
border today. I decided to ride it out, over 11 hours, 125 miles.
Pulled out several hours before sunrise, the weather was good...not
too hot and no significant headwind. Didn't see any javalinas, but
almost ran over a skunk.

The folks passed me at the 15 mile out point and met me at the
border...thank you, thank you...

Three countries, two provinces, five states, 500 cattle guards, etc.
Etc. and 2842.32 miles later this section of the bigger journey ends.
What's next? Deal with that tomorrow.

So many folks to be done in another posting. I won't forget you.

Final mileage (according to my GPS): 2842.32.
Divide crossings: 30

24 September 2007

Day 60 Silver City, NM

"The traveler was active; he went strenuously in search of people, of
adventure, of experience. The tourist is passive; he expects
interesting things to happen to him. He goes "sight-seeing." ~ Daniel
J. Boorstin

128 miles to the can be done in one day.
Quick recap of events since Grants. Erik, Christine and I pulled out
of Grants enroute to Pie Town several days ago. The section was very
beautiful, volcanic canyon country with cool rock formations, ancient
lava flows, and natural arches. Although it rained off and on all
day, travel was steady and cool.

Pie Town was excellent, a very welcoming and appreciative place for
divide riders. The pie, of course, was exceptional and in adequate
supply. Erik and Christine liked it so much they decided to stay on
another day to rest, while I elected to head out. I really enjoyed time shared with them and miss their energy. Hope to see them if they come in before I head back to Boulder.

I was rather surprised how rugged the southern NM divide mountains
were...kind of like a pinion/juniper/pine version of the TVD with
sections of alpine desert plains thrown in for fun between climbs.
It took a full three 65-70 mile days to get through it all. I met up
with a professor from El Paso who hooked me up with some bottled
water. Thanks for that! I was running very low. Lots of bugling
elk at night to complement the coyote sounds.

The last day into Silver City started with a series of significant climbs
through a stunning section of the Gila NF. It had rained that night
but the road wasn't too bad. I met up with a great group of Las
Cruces lawmen headed home from a hunting trip up in the Gila. Thanks
for the laughs, encouragement and Food, guys, you made my day! The
food they gave me turned into energy expended when the sky opened up
into a five hour long downpour. Soaked doesn't begin to describe the
state I was in. At least it wasn't real cold.

I finally made it into Silver City late in the evening after being harrassed by an aggressive group of three dogs through and about three miles
past Hanover. Somebody never heard of a leash. After the rollers into Silver City, I linked up with my folks and had a fat dinner. I cannot put into words how much I appreciate them coming down for the finale of all this. Thanks also to my sister for the card (cool), cookies, and other treats!

I bid for the border very soon. Until then...

Mileage to date: 2729.45

19 September 2007

Day 55 Grants NM

"Few can foresee whither their road will lead them, till they come to
its end." ~ J.R.R. Tolkien

Howdy from Grants, NM! This is where the route intersects I-40.
Yesterday was my biggest day so far...a 104 mile cross desert ride.
Part of the ride passed through a Navajo Indian reservation. The
folks were very nice and interested in what I was doing. The day
ended by setting up camp behind a bar north of Milan.

Less than a week to the border!

Mileage to date: 2472.13

17 September 2007

Day 54 Cuba, NM

"Never tell a young person that anything cannot be done. God may have
been waiting centuries for someone ignorant enough of the impossible
to do that very thing." ~ G. M. Trevelyan

Hello from Cuba! No, not cigar smoking, old car driving, Miami Vice
dressing, Castro Cuba. This is an allright town, plenty of food
joints and a good laundrymat.

Ran into Eric and Christine from Oregon early in the climb out of
Abiquiu and we rode the two day Polividera Mesa section together...all
of us deciding to relax in Cuba for a day. Having a great time riding
and hanging out with these folks. We also met a couple of Divide
hikers from Florida and we are meeting them for dinner tonight.

The last section had a lot of climbing, but the route quality improved
as it went. Scrub desert turned to nice wooded mountains in plenty of
time. Its all been very scenic, but slow going. Weather has been
good, luckily the rain waited till today and should clear tomorrow.

Otherwise all is good to go, I packed in some spare driveline parts
and extra tubes from my bounce box and shipped it forward, hopefully
for the last time.

Mileage to date: 2353.49

16 September 2007

Day 50 Abiquiu NM

Greetings from "The Land of Enchantment." I finally made it to New
Mexico, where the trails are in roughly the same condition as when the
pioneers came through and the road shoulders are brightly and
generously decorated with broken glass. Anyway, the last state of
the journey.

The last four days or so have been among the most challenging
stretches so far. Lots of time hovering (up and down) between 10 and
11000 feet with almost no civilization to speak of...before noon today
it has been the slim jim zone for food since dinner in Platoro on

All in all, weather has been good though, cold at night and seasonal
during the day, no overwhelming extremes. The contrast in the length
of daylight between here and Canada is significant...coupled with the
cold, it makes for much shorter riding days. High elevation riding
should come to an end within the next few days, after that I should
regain momentum if it stays mild and not too headwindy in the NM

Met some fellow riders today, nice folks from Oregon, Eric and
Christina. Had a wonderful dinner with them this evening.

All is good, some minor mechanical issues with the bike but I have no
choice but to live with them...not something I am equipped to fix.
Next bike shop isn't till Silver City.

Until next time...

Mileage to date: 2260.28

10 September 2007

Day 46 Del Norte, CO

"The willing, Destiny guides them; the unwilling, Destiny drags them." ~Seneca

Greetings all, taking a day off in Del Norte, staging for the big
climb up to Indiana Pass (11910 ft) tomorrow. A cold front rolled
through bringing rain and snow to the high elevations last night and
into today..probably tonight as well. Should be smoother sailing

Anyway, trip from Salida was okay, negotiating the WSW, three over 10K
plus pass swing into this area. Weather cooperated and there were no
surprises other than some coyotes yelping away too close to me at
night. Please have some respect guys, I really need my sleep.

BTW, I ran into fellow GDMBR riders Artie and Sherry from Georgia
back in Salida...they left out a few hours ahead of me. Great folks,
they are motoring ahead at a very admirable pace. Also. thanks again
to Sandy for hooking me up in Salida as well. He brought my mail, and
of course, in it was a jury duty summons...yeah, Nice. I was luckily
able to get that deferred by phone today. It was also a treat to see
Gunner (the dog.) Most of my dog experience over the past month or so
has been of the 'chasing Chris down the road' variety.

Scenery through this area has been predictably phenomenal...the dawn
of the fall foliage change is readily apparent and will intensify as I
progress into the high elevations of northern New Mexico in the coming
week. Overnight temps are getting cold and frost is more likely than
not in areas over 9000 ft. The cold weather gear I have been lugging
over the last 2000 miles is getting some good use!

Otherwise, all is well...physically, mentally, electrically,
synergistically, and mechanically. I have completed several
audiobooks along the way, among the best: "Lone Survivor" by Navy
SEAL Marcus Luttrell (God bless our troops!) and "The Long Walk" by
Slavomir Rawicz. Both written by or about cats a lot tougher than I'll
ever be. Another really good read was "Rant" by my fav author Chuck
Palahnuik. I still have about six more books to go.

Thanks to all for the continued support and greetings to the class of
school children back in hometown Texas who have taken my trip on as a
Social Studies/Writing project. Until I found out about Melissa's
class, I wasn't sure if I had communicated my trip goals and intents
effectively...but I have been pleasantly surprised otherwise, again.

Due to isolated areas ahead, probably a long time before next post,
until then... "So it goes." (~Kurt Vonnegut, "Cat's Cradle")

Mileage to date: 2057.31

06 September 2007

Day 42 Salida Colorado

Colorado continues! I have been gradually making my way south since the last post...making brief cameos in Silverthorne and Breckenridge. Nice to travel through some familiar country. Breck was interesting, as I was just there in a different capacity two months ago.

Things have been going relatively well, got hammered by an extended thunder and lightning storm just south of Hartsel, Colorado yesterday evening and had to set up camp early. Rolled into Salida about mid-day today in a huge headwind and my bud Sandy came down from Boulder to have dinner with me. He even brought the dog, Gunner, which was Super Cool! Thanks to Sandy for all the support along the way.

Moving on tomorrow, the next section I actually toured last I am familiar with the terrain. The fall change is starting and colors are coming alive! Will be in New Mexico by the beginning of next week. Some remote sections in NM...posts will be pretty thin and far betweeni

Mileage to date: 1904.81

02 September 2007

Day 38 Kremmling, CO

Day 38

There's a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things
out. ~Lou Reed, "Magic and Loss"

Hello all! Good to be back in Colorado and passing (at least
horizontally) the ultimate begin point of the trip. About 11AM today,
I actually passed the exact location I discovered the GDMBR two years

Travels since Rawlins have gone well. I passed back into Divide
country with actual trees about 20-30 miles south of Rawlins. I had
never seen the country between the WY/CO border and Steamboat Springs
before and it was well worth it...very stunning.

I came into Steamboat in a thunderstorm, but it at least cleared
before I made camp. I didn't loiter too much in Steamboat and pushed
out mid morning after a very nice family from Carbondale (near Aspen)
shared their breakfast with me. Thanks and best wishes to them! They
endured the singing campsite drunk all night just like I did.

The ride up Lynx Pass was interesting, through the Stagecoach
Reservoir area and up. Then the statistically impossible happened.
Five GDR riders, not knowing it would happen, all converged at the
same campsite within an hour or so of each other. Two were riders
from back east who had linked up and started riding together in MT,
and the other two were a couple from Georgia. All of us were
"thru-riders" who had started the trip a significantly different times
in Banff. For me, this was the first time I had encountered other
riders since Seeley Lake, MT and it was one of the highlights of the
trip thus far to swap stories and meet like minded folks. We all
resumed our own rides again this morning and may cross paths again
down the trail.

All is well, equipment is good and everything is on track. I'll be
glad when the holiday is over and the backcountry traffic mellows back

Mileage to date: 1733.14