For years I have been fascinated by the annual Tour Divide race.  The men and women who enter this 2700 mile, 220,000 ft self supported mountain bike race are the true heroes and heroins of the cycle racing world.  Riding 18 hours / day for 14 days solid and covering an eye watering average of ~ 180 miles / day, they do in my eyes, make the Tour de France look rather less impressive.  If you want to read more about this amazing event you can read it here Tour Divide

I have always fancied doing this route, not as a race, but as a solo ITT.  In all reality though, I don’t feel that I have enough remote bikepacking experience to do the whole thing solo, especially, considering it will take me 6 weeks!

So, I have opted for a slightly wimpier and easier option.  I am going to join an organised tour, initially, for 2 weeks.  I will be starting the ride in Butte, Montana and will ride south until either

  1. The 2 weeks are done and I am so beat I just want to get home.
  2. The 2 weeks end and I decide to stay on with the group and finish the ride in Antelope Wells, New Mexico (5 weeks later)
  3. The 2 weeks are up and I decided I want to continue on the ride solo to Antelope Wells, New Mexico.
  4. I no longer feel I am enjoying the ride.

Given the fact that riding 65 miles / day average is going to be tough enough, it probably makes sense to go on the organised tour and have someone else providing breakfast / lunch and dinner each day at the various campsites on the route.  It will also be a great confidence booster and learning exercise as I haven’t done any mountainous bike trips before.  The highest altitude to date has been the South Downs 🙂

Gearing Up