At 3,084 miles, the Great Divide Mountain Bike Ride (GDMBR) is the longest off pavement route in the world. Adventure Cycling Association (ACA) provides detailed maps for cycling routes all over the country and recently they added a 300 mile segment from Banff to Jasper that extends the route. Check ’em out. They are an incredible resource for bike travelers.
With over 220,000 feet of elevation gain, a rider who completes the GDMBR rides the equivalent of almost eight times the elevation of Mount Everest. The route travels up and over the divide 32 times and rarely strays more than five miles away from the divide. And the road surface? It’s divided very unequally between dirt, single track and pavement.
Approximate miles in each country/state are:
Canada: 558 miles
Montana: 710 miles (Dang did we ever spend a lot of time in Montana when we road across it in 2018. Looks like we are going to end up criss crossing this state on bikes in our lifetime. What a stellar state to do it in.)
Idaho: 72 miles
Wyoming: 489 miles
Colorado: 545 miles
New Mexico: 710 miles
In August 2019 a group of men will ride the divide to raise money for Warrior Expeditions. The video below shows a schematic of the terrain and route with some pretty solid photos of their route.
Highlights of the route, terrain and logistics can be found here on the ACA site.
The most impactful statement on the page for me? “As a rule, if you’re not riding uphill, then you’re headed downhill.”
Hills. Hummmm. Not my strength. Oh well. If you only do what you know you can do you, you don’t do very much.