For those of you who haven’t had chance to read our last post, Dan (who works in Chess’s Corporate division) and his best friend Carl, took part in the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. The route criss-crosses the United States Continental Divide from North to South, starting off in Alberta, Canada and finishing in Antelope Wells, New Mexico.
It’s not for the faint hearted, 90% off-pavement featuring wild river valleys, remote mountain wilderness, open grasslands, high desert, and snow-capped mountains.
The route in total is an eye-watering 2700 miles, which the duo managed to cover 1000 miles of in just 11 days. Due to treacherous and swamp-like conditions, Carl’s bike ended up in a very bad way. This meant a difficult decision had to be made for the twosome:
‘We were warned about the area, but to say it was worse than anticipated is a serious understatement. We rode through the wettest season locals claimed they had ever seen and unfortunately the mud got the better of Carl’s bike. Carl was left operating with just one gear and with uphill rides of 45,618m it wasn’t possible to go on. With the nearest bike shop being 300 miles away, we had to make the decision to go off route which took 3 days out of our strict plan — then came the forest fire which meant further re-routing, adding days to our journey.’
With Carl’s bike suffering a certified fender bender and days added to the journey, they stayed true to their British roots and with a stiff upper lip, took the detour, got the bike fixed and travelled as far ahead as they could. But it wasn’t all doom and gloom:
‘The scenery was stunning; amazing mountain trails, snow covered peaks and trees as far as the eye could see. But what made it for me was the people. The locals were so friendly. The route was tracked by GPS so whenever we went into a local convenience store (which were few and far between) people knew our names and wanted to do whatever they could to help us.’
As well as it being an obvious test of endurance both mentally and physically, we asked Dan what he had taken from the Great Tour Divide:
‘If you keep doing the right thing every day, eventually it’ll pay off, keep trying and never stop, you’ll get through it’.
Good advice Dan – and an amazing achievement to both of you. We look forward to hearing all about your next adventure.