by Tom Alker
July 25, 2013
In the third episode of our look back at stories from past issues of Singletrack (all still available in the MagArchive, we join John Metcalfe on his ride of the Great Divide trail, from Canada to Mexico.
By the end of the first day it was glaringly apparent that I was out of my depth. As I lay in a stifling tent – pitched on the side of a trail somewhere in Montana – I had the rest of the evening and the whole of the night to reflect on my folly.
For the best part of a day John Kelly (JK) and I had wrestled our bikes up an improbably steep climb under an improbably hot sun. We were forced to call it a day after only 40 miles, which I lamentably calculated as being less than one-tenth of one percent of our intended journey. The journey in question being the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route.
The GDMR is a 2500-mile off-road ride along the spine of the Rockies starting at the Canadian-American border and finishing in Mexico. Adventure Cycling heralds it as America’s premiere long- distance mountain bike route, indeed it is the longest unbroken mountain bike route in the world and it was recently included in National Geographic’s list of the 50 most amazing places on earth. Considering what else is out there, these are fairly bold claims.
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By John Metcalfe