March 17, 2014
In 2000, about two years after all of the maps for the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route had been printed, we published a guide to the route with possibly the longest book title ever. Cycling the Great Divide: From Canada to Mexico on America's Premier Long-Distance Mountain Bike Route divided the route, which went from Port of Roosville, Montana/British Columbia, to Antelope Wells, New Mexico, a distance of 2,490 miles, into 61 suggested riding days.
In the intervening years since the original was published, we only made one revision to the book. We'd added a hefty new stretch to the route in Canada, beginning in Banff, Alberta, and winding down to Roosville. The southern half of that routing, now known as the "Fernie Alternate," was relatively tame compared to much of the route in the U.S. and Canada, so a couple of years ago, we added 116 new miles to the Canada route through the Flathead area, an addition pioneered by Tour Divide race organizer Matthew Lee.
When announcing the major route change in British Columbia, Routes and Mapping Director Carla Majernik had this to say: “The Flathead is the last major valley in southern Canada to be completely uninhabited. The new routing fits perfectly with the spirit of the rest of the Great Divide route — challenging and remote.”
We have now prepared an all-new edition of the guidebook that includes the Canadian stretch. The second edition even features a slightly revised subtitle to reflect the fact that not all of the route is in the United States: "From Canada to Mexico on North America's Premier Long-Distance Mountain Bike Route."
The route is 2,774 miles in length, with 257 of the miles in Canada and 2,517 in the U.S. These 2,774 miles are broken down into 70 suggested riding days in the new edition.
Later this month, I'll be appearing at a trio of REI stores in the Rocky Mountain West to celebrate this new edition of the book. I'll show slides of a couple of fairly recent trips I've made on the Great Divide, as well as talk a bit about the original inspiration for the route's creation, which included a five-day off-pavement ride with my wife Nancy in the dark ages (well, the black-and-white ages, anyway), from the Tri-Basin Divide of southwest Wyoming to Jackson Hole. This was in 1985, a time when not many people were bikepacking off the paved roads.
I'll also be happy to sell and sign books and to field any questions you may have about the route that some say is largely responsible for the bikepacking and dirt-road touring movements that have been gaining so much momentum in recent years. I hope to see you in Salt Lake City on March 24, Denver on March 25, or Boulder on March 26.
Here are details for the events:
Monday, March 24, 7–8:15 pm
Where: Salt Lake City REI, 3285 E 3300 S
Tuesday, March 25, 6:30–8:00 pm
Where: Denver REI, 1416 Platte St.
Wednesday, March 26, 6:30–8:00 pm
Where: Boulder REI, 1789 28th St
These are free events and space is limited, so please RSVP to Beth Petersen at firstname.lastname@example.org or (406) 532-2751 by Thursday, March 20.
Also, keep an eye out for April engagements in Portland and Eugene, Oregon.
Purchase Cycling the Great Divide: From Canada to Mexico on America's Premier Long-Distance Mountain Bike Route or the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route book and map set from Cyclosource, Adventure Cycling's online store.
Middle photo by Julie Huck | Bottom photo by Ramon Bolivar
NEWS, NETWORKING, AND NEW MEDIA highlights cool media (articles, videos, photos, etc.) and meet-ups related to Adventure Cycling and bicycle travel. This column is usually written by Media Director Winona Bateman, although Media Specialist Michael McCoy is filling in for a few weeks during early 2014. Writing a story about bicycle travel or Adventure Cycling Association? Send an email to pressATadventurecyclingDOTorg. Visit our media room, view our news releases, or follow us on Twitter.