The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever - Continental Divide Trail

Dec 7, 2014
by Scott Morris  
Mountain bikers are relatively new to the long distance trail world. Bike technology has come a long way, and ultralight bikepacking gear has made camping and riding singletrack possible. Only in the last fifteen years have bikepackers started tackling difficult singletrack routes like the Colorado Trail and the Arizona Trail. But one trail remained relatively untouched by bikepackers, and it is the granddaddy of them all - the Continental Divide Trail.

There are three major long distance trails in the US - the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail and the Continental Divide Trail. The first two are summarily closed to bikes. Only the CDT is (mostly) open. It is also considered the hardest and most wild of the three. Yet no one had attempted to thru-ride the trail... until now. It's been a dream of mine to tackle the CDT for years. It was a daunting task, full unknowns and major map work. I figured I would need 4 or 5 months to complete the 3100 miles, due to the difficult terrain and hike-a-bike. It wasn't an endeavor I wanted to pursue alone. Enter Eszter Horanyi, an accomplished bikepacker and my girlfriend. She holds nearly every bikepacking record worth holding, and somehow I was able to convince her that spending a summer pushing our bikes along the divide was a good idea.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris
So we leaned our bikes against the start obelisk at "Crazy Cook" on the Mexican border.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris
At first there is a wonderful singletrack. It lasts about a mile.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris
The route then deteriorates into a non-trail. Sometimes it follows washes.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris
Other times you simply strike your way across the desert, cross-country. Eszter's bike is right on the "trail."

We worried about whether our tires would hold air against the desert plants. We worried that we'd end up walking the majority of the first one hundred miles, where no trail has yet been built. But the thru-hikers in front of us had beat in a nice "trail" in some places. We made the crossing of this remote piece of Chihuahuan desert in just two days, and loved it. We were stoked to reach the first actual singletrack, near Silver City. We were even more stoked that it was *good* riding.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris

We began catching thru-hikers on our way to Pie Town. It was amazing how quickly they accepted us into the trails community, despite not fully understanding what it is we were doing. Yes, we are actually riding the singletrack CDT - not the dirt road Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. We made some great friends out there amongst the hikers.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris

A big challenge for a CDT rider is avoiding Wilderness, but we found a few places where even non-Wilderness CDT is closed to bikes. In this case, instead of riding the CDT as we'd hoped, we took a detour to explore the lava tubes of the El Malpais.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris

We pushed our bikes to 11,000 foot Mt. Taylor, and were rewarded with endless descending and the most refreshing water source in all of New Mexico. With all the information available for CDT hikers, finding water was rarely a problem, though we did sometimes carry multiple full bladders.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris
Sometimes Wilderness detours aren't so bad. Our invented route in the San Pedro mountains led us to a semi-hidden and beautiful hot spring.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris

Sometimes Wilderness detours are bad. We took a chance on a squiggly line on the map - the Canones National Recreation Trail. We found it covered in trees. It took us four hours to cover 7 miles, almost entirely downhill.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris

Luckily our next stop was a retreat called Ghost Ranch, nestled between red rock cliffs reminiscent of southern Utah. We needed the rest for the heinous hike-a-bike that waited behind the ranch. For the next week hikers would ask us, "how did you get out of Ghost Ranch?" "The same way you did - on foot!"

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris
Northern New Mexico was a magic mix of forgotten tracks and explosions of dandelions.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris

Our camping gear was minimal -- no tent and just a small tarp that we only set up if it looked like rain. One pound sleeping bags barely kept us warm, but the upside was that they kept our bikes light for pushing!

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris
If you haven't ridden the CDT outside of Chama, NM, you are missing out. It's prime backcountry singletrack that few travel, but is accessible enough for day rides.

We began encountering deep snow in Colorado, which wasn't too much of a surprise. It was early June. The solutions hikers came up with ranged from walking lower roads, to "flip-flopping" up to Wyoming in order to return to Colorado later. We wanted to keep the trip continuous, and also had to detour for the massive San Juan Wilderness, anyway. So we dreamed up an off-road route from Pagosa Springs to one of our favorite towns, Durango, CO.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris

We spent almost two weeks there, riding locally, working on our laptops, and waiting for snow to melt. Our route out of town was clear -- the Colorado Trail! The trail to Silverton is perhaps the quintessential Colorado bikepack.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris

After Silverton we rejoined the CDT for a segment called Cataract/Coneys. We found deep snow and even a few new snowflakes as we traveled through this otherworldly and very high landscape.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris

Our favorite night of the trip was spent in this yurt, right at treeline. It was the perfect remote refuge from the brewing storms and ripping wind. The next morning dawned bright, and we took a gamble on another squiggly line that we had no beta on. The Camp Trail was our best option to resupply in Lake City, and it turned out to be perhaps the best descent of the entire trip - techy roots and Star Wars gliding through the aspens.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris
Traveling on the divide means camping on it, which usually leads to impressive views and perfect locations for sunset watching. We were privileged to witness a number of fiery ones.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris

This was one of our highest nights, spent on the 'other' Monarch Crest trail. Few people ride this section because it's steep, rocky and barely rideable. Luckily the miles before this were on the real Monarch Crest trail, and they were pure bliss.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris

Making our way through the Collegiate Range and central Colorado was a treat for us. The Colorado Trail is familiar ground, and we got to visit with many of our friends. Some even joined us on the trail for a day or two.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris

While the CDT shares some length with the Colorado Trail, it's different enough that it felt like a CT+ route. We climbed a number of extra 12,000 foot passes and even spent some time just above 13,000. The climbing above treeline is always worth it, but it did start to wear on us.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris
The daily threat of thunderstorms also started to weigh on us. A few nights we went scrambling for roofs to stay under rather than rough it out in the rain.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris

Meet the guardian of Parkview Mountain. We shared the summit with a group of thru-hikers from the UK. Other hikers we met had encountered the same goat at the summit - with varying levels of 'shear' on his coat. There's no trail down Parkview - we descended the ridge immediately behind the goat, but it's open tundra or rock and is almost entirely rideable! Even still, this was probably the hardest day of the trip. Despite a dawn-to-dusk effort, we failed to cover 20 miles. Piles of downed trees stalled our progress, storms pinned us in the trees and we had to use our feet for most of the climbs.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris

The onslaught of hike-a-bikes, big mountains and daily storms eased up as we reached Wyoming. Through the Red Desert the divide actually splits, meaning that water that falls in the Great Basin reaches neither the Pacific or the Atlantic Ocean. It's one of the most desolate, and most beautiful, places you can imagine.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris

Our bikes were finally starting to do more than weigh us down and get stuck on branches. We were riding, and passing thru-hikers left and right. What took hikers 4 or 5 days took us less than two. Only in a few places, where the 2-track became too sandy to ride, did we wonder if it was wise to be following the hiking route, not the wide dirt road route of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris

We fought our way through an incredibly difficult stretch of the CDT between the Wind Rivers and Yellowstone National Park. The trail was rarely signed, all but forgotten, and difficult to ride. The views of the Tetons and Pinnacles of Togwotee Pass made the effort seem worthwhile, but my favorite part was this encounter was with these horse riders. We found ourselves riding in line with them, chatting about long distance travel. They loved that we were riding the entire trail and told us that there's a trail where they live that we should come check out. That trail? The Appalachian Trail!

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris

We decided to brave the busy park roads, making our way through Yellowstone and staying closer to the divide and the CDT. It was a good break from singletrack, and the geysers and colored pools are well worth the visit, by car or bike. Some of the roads are reasonable enough, but others are downright dangerous and full of RVs. It's too bad that the Park Service is so behind the times when it comes to embracing bicycles and getting people out of their cars. That said, we did manage to find a couple dirt roads and even some boardwalk and brief singletrack that are open to bikes, and it was a much needed break from the stress of RV dodging. We sighed in relief when we safely arrived in West Yellowstone, set to rejoin the CDT. Riding through Yellowstone was probably the most dangerous part of the trip. I'll take my chances in the wilds any time.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris
Our introduction to Montana was sublime. The trail scales over 10,000 feet, to the Lionshead, but it does so with well graded switchbacks and beautifully benched trail.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris
We counted 49 switchbacks on the descent, and I was able to get my bike around all but one of them without unclipping. Beautiful.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris

It wasn't long before Montana started to show its teeth. The route follows the divide and the border of ID/MT very closely. It's a mishmash of singletrack, forgotten roads, game trails, fence lines and open meadows. One thing is constant - if it isn't going steeply up, it's going steeply down.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris
It's known as the 'divide rollercoaster' by the hikers. The other constant is the presence of jaw-dropping views. You're up high, and usually higher than everything else around.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris

We leap-frogged with these hikers for a few days of the rollercoaster. We had just scrambled (sans trail) to the top of the peak they are heading to, and were in the process of picking our way back down. The community that arises on the trail every year is an incredible thing, and one we were very lucky to be a part of.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris
This was my favorite flower of the trip, a giant sego lily of some type, found in the Centennial Mountains.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris

In the Big Hole Valley the cumulative effect of our months on the trail finally started to catch up with us. It was hard to muster the motivation to push our bikes up yet another unrideable hill. It was tiring to sleep on the ground with minimal gear. We were having to tie food at night and worry about bears too. Plus, it wouldn't stop raining. We were blessed with good weather for New Mexico, Colorado and Wyoming. But in Montana, our luck ran out. Fortunately the trail was often indescribably beautiful. Much of this area is slated for cap "W" Wilderness designation, and it sure feels wild, remote and unlike most places mountain bikers are currently allowed. Hopefully these places remain open!

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris

This was the moment that CDTbike was closest to being a failure. Eszter had reached her tolerance level. She had had enough. Enough bike pushing, enough eating crappy food, enough of being tired. It didn't seem worth it any more, and I couldn't really blame her. The long term effect of fatigue on the trail had been deeper than we had expected. For some reason, we had data service here, and I was able to rally social media for encouragement. Within a few minutes dozens of friends had chimed in with words of encouragement and support. We got back on the trail and rallied over the pass just before the next thunderstorm attacked it - People are awesome.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris

I'm so glad we continued on, because it meant we got to ride the brand spanking new CDT sections near Butte. These are built to high standard and meant we spent far more time riding our bikes than walking them.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris

After Butte the trail regained its normal character, throwing all sorts of challenges at us, but we could sense the end. A huge collection of Wilderness and National Parks meant that we were done with the bike-legal CDT at the town of Lincoln. We weren't to Canada yet, but the end felt near. As we neared Lincoln, we dragged our bikes up the ill-visited Black Mountain, setting up camp on its flanks. A winter storm moved in overnight, and we had the pleasure of watching it develop and interact right on the divide. The wind tried to blow us to the Atlantic Ocean while the snowstorm was dumping towards the Pacific. Eventually the blizzard broke over the divide, and we hurried for the warmth of lower elevations and the comforts of town. We had finished the bike legal CDT, but a few hundred miles yet remained, and winter was bearing down us. We had to hurry.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris

We took our longest stretch on the Great Divide Mountain Bike route, and luckily it is one of the best. When we tried to deviate from it to explore more singletrack we quickly found that our minds had quit when we exited the CDT. Hike-a-bike was intolerable. The views were not worth it. Canada was calling and winter was right on our doorstep.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris

We pedaled through Glacier National Park and made it over Logan Pass before the cold front hit. But the east side of the divide was socked in with a storm, and the storm dumped over a foot of snow. Even though we had mostly roads to go, we were unprepared to ride through such conditions and camp out in it. We waited for clear skies while watching bad movies in a little motel room in Babb, Montana.

The Longest Singletrack Tour Ever Images by Scott Morris

The sun did rise, and begin to melt the early snowfall. We crossed into Canada and pedalled into majestic Waterton National Park. From the townsite of Waterton, we stashed our bikes and hiked the four miles, southbound, to the official terminus of the CDT. Four thru-hikers came up and we all celebrated our incredible journey together. It had been four months to the day for us. We'd covered some 3700 miles and climbed nearly a half a million feet. We're still recovering from the journey, but feel incredibly lucky to have had the time, ability, opportunity and company to pull it off. It was a hell of way to spend a summer!

Trailforks.com

For more, head here for full journal entries, photos, GPS data, statistics, et cetera!


Mentions: @trailforks




127 Comments

  • + 126
 I'm so impressed by this massive endeavor! I am truly inspired by the mental toughness it must take to keep going. I'm inspired and impressed that someone would have this idea, have someone else that is down to go with you, and to follow through and accomplish the goal. My hat's off to you guys, I really can't find the words to express how much I respect you two for doing this. Besides the actual experience, you are blessed to have these kind of memories that will last the rest of your life. Thanks for sharing your photos and story!
  • + 18
 Thanks, ChampionP -- you are right about how lucky we are that it all came together!
  • + 2
 If anyone is interested in riding this route with someone who knows the trail you should hit up my buddy Ryan Correy, i did my WFR with him hes a great guy and f*cking insane on a bike.

Look up his company: great divide tours
  • + 10
 I am super impressed with this butt killing ride. I must say I am in aww. You 2 rule and mad props for you effort and ability to push on. You keep hope in the minds of the rest of us as what is possible with a bike.
  • + 24
 I'd read this over an article about riding downhill any day
  • - 10
flag MojoMaujer (Dec 7, 2014 at 19:41) (Below Threshold)
 Not cool to pick flowers
  • + 2
 1/2 Million Feet Climbing?! Wowza! & still found the impetus to take some great shots too. Thanks for sharing your journey!
  • + 21
 That's incredible! Good on ya both for sticking it out.
  • + 19
 truly deserving of the words epic and awesome , what a massive ride,well done to the both of you,
  • + 2
 When we going then?
  • + 2
 Not sure a 93 year old on a trike should do this Razz
  • + 1
 I'm free next weekend :-) .... and I thought the West Highland Way was an 'epic' . Great stuff.
  • + 15
 This is frankly amazing. Love the way interactions with the horses and hikers were problem free. Hopefully showing we can all get along
  • + 10
 Yep. Also, we met over 80 thru-hikers and had zero negative interactions... with thru or day hikers!
  • + 1
 pretty darn inspirational bud!
  • + 4
 Despite all the negativity I hear about, I'd say 99% of my encounters w/hikers, bikers, equestrians have been excellent.
I give'em a bell ring once I get within earshot (which has overwhelming approval by them), and always exchange a few kind words. Hikers are usually amazed to see someone on a bike - whereas I'm amazed some sucker hiked that far!

Every now & then we've come across the disgruntled hiker - strolling along grumbling w/his head down. We always make sure to give those types extra smiles & encouragement.
  • + 3
 I cant agree more. I have a spot I frequent that was essentially developed by equestrians over the last 50 years or so. The bitter rivalry was obviously present at first but it has such low MTB use its just common sense to be as kind as you can. So what if you have to alert them and even dismount now and again to ensure the horse that you are not a predator. What we have to realize is its based out of fear that they can be so bitter since the horses are animals and can be unpredictable as to how they react to us. Its just a matter of educating everyone on all sides, the more respectful MTB'rs we have out on the trail the better for everyone. It shouldn't matter how you get out to enjoy Nature just that you do. Its there and it should be appreciated by anyone that is capable of discovering it. The world is far greater than the concrete jungle that most are content with stagnating in. Keep breathing in the fresh air!
  • + 12
 [ "It's too bad that the Park Service is so behind the times when it comes to embracing bicycles and getting people out of their cars."]
- Yeah riding a bicycle through Yellowstone in the summer is VERY dangerous due to narrow roads and RV's. And riding a fatbike in Yellowstone in winter is illegal, while snowmobiles are allowed. The Park Service really does have its head up its ass.

["Much of this area" (in Montana) "is slated for cap "W" Wilderness designation, and it sure feels wild, remote and unlike most places mountain bikers are currently allowed. Hopefully these places remain open!"]
-Ride in the beautiful Lionhead while you still can! It will be a REAL bummer if this place gets closed to bicycles.

www.montanamountainbikealliance.com/static/Outside%20Bozeman_Lionhead.pdf
  • + 2
 Yep, Lionshead and the west Big Hole in particular are in danger. There are good guys in the MT advocacy scene working on this, but the time is definitely now to get out and ride the CDT, especially in Montana...
  • + 5
 truly inspiring. In a world where humans have come to be such fine tuned machines mastering every corner of the possible universe very constantly, it is hard for some things to really amaze me as much as they would have if I saw the simpler innovation of previous generations. BUT WOW! This is truly a feat! Makes my dream of biking the colorado trail seem almost small in comparison but now I'm even more motivated to do it!!
  • + 5
 So glad you're were able to ride the Montana CDT sections before they get shut down. The Lionshead area is the most remote feeling, awesome riding that I've ever done. Also I think sometime you'll find Alpine #7 a lot more ride-able without bike-packing gear and all those miles in your legs. Wink
  • + 1
 why are they getting shut down?
  • + 1
 Yeah, I would really like to get back and try Alpine again. What we saw looked incredible, just too much for us at the time. Lionshead was the best! I am surprised more people don't make that a destination ride.
  • + 7
 Definitely it is the MOST EPIC adventure I've seen in years! I'm so freaking jealous!
  • + 7
 That s MOUNTAIN BIKING !!!! Period.
  • + 3
 I too am jealous, but newly retired with all the time in the world, you have gotten the wheels a turning....inspiring article. If a day of single track is cool and a week in the chilcotins is great....what is two months of riding the continental divide? It looked friggin awesome and I dare say, its going to be great.
  • + 4
 i have seen the trail head in Manning Park Canada. The marker was hollow and full of letters describing the experience. Thank you for sharing your adventure. Pics are stunning!
  • + 1
 thats the pct
  • + 1
 You are correct sir. Gave me the same impact of considering the effort involved traveling by bike from Canada to mexico.
  • + 6
 Amazing. What a beautiful trail and what an achievement ! Fascinating to read.
  • + 2
 Well, according to FOX Shox service website there is NO mountain biking in the Rocky Mountains:
"Select Region: Pacific Northwest--California--Southwest--Midwest--South--East Coast--Alaska--Hawaii"

www.ridefox.com/service.php?m=bike&ref=footer
  • - 4
flag properp (Dec 7, 2014 at 8:52) (Below Threshold)
 FOX ha ha what a joke ROCKSHOX for life
  • + 14
 Can you imagine riding the new Fox fork on this trip and having to service it every 30hrs.
  • + 0
 Why I'd be riding rigid-all the rebuilds necessary would be infuriating-parts wouldn't even last and the fork would die
  • + 6
 Wow....... Just. Nothing more needs to be said, epic...
  • + 2
 exactly! Nuff said!
  • + 2
 I'm actually planning on doing this exact trip in a few years. Definitely gonna ride hardtail 29er though, I've done enough bike-packing and touring to remember the feeling of climbing on a fully loaded bike.
  • + 1
 Awesome. Let me know if you want any info on routing and what is and isn't open to bikes. Or if you want it to be a big unknown adventure, I say have at it! Cheers and good luck!
  • + 3
 Well done. don't know how you manage to get your vital kit list + food/water down to such a small amount and into those few little bags.
  • + 8
 These guys should do a feature just on how their bikes were packed. I love the line when they said they were barely warm enough at night due to minimal sleeping bags. Very cool to hear how fine the line is regarding warmth off the bike and a bike that is still fun to ride.
  • + 3
 Yeah, it can't be overstated enough on a ride like this -- if you carry too much you just can't ride trail and the hike-a-bike factor will skyrocket. The downside is... camping is more like bivying than camping.
  • + 1
 I just read your kit list on your blog, your clothing system is too minimal/hardcore (maybe even crazy) for me. 4 months of sleeping in the clothes you ride in every day!!! were you relying on them to keep you warm at night? if so, what do you do on wet days?
Anyway congratulations once again.
  • + 1
 Thanks for the congrats. Eszter had a spare shirt, but, yeah we kept it minimal and did our best to avoid getting too wet!
  • + 2
 Great meeting you guys in Ovando. Your adventure is such a huge achievement. We managed to finish the Great Divide in early October without any major hassles. Already planning for the next one!
  • + 1
 Hey, the S. Africans! Great to hear from you and congrats on wrapping it up.

You guys were having the most fun of *anyone* we met out there....
  • + 2
 Hey Scott,

Here's a link to the blog I put together during the trip
rockymountainhighboet.blogspot.com/2014/08/ghost-riders-in-sky.html
  • + 3
 Dreamy adventure guys!

One could include this picture as well though zenondirt.files.wordpress.com/2014/08/20140829-201012.jpg Smile
  • + 1
 Thanks. I actually have no idea where on the trail that was taken. So many cool spots out there along the divide.
  • + 2
 Yeah, I can imagine how constantly epic that journey was (picts from your and Eszter's blogs are in great help with that Smile )

(btw accordint Eszter's blog that pict was taken on day 98 somewhere near Butte MT)
  • + 3
 Thank you for posting your adventure. I bet if you wrote a "How to the CDT" book on your experiences it would sell. I would jump at the opportunity to take that challenge.
  • + 4
 Great work and thanks for documenting it. Having only ever done 2 day trips I'd be interested in your kit list
  • + 7
 Eszter wrote up what we were carrying during the trip. It's here: zenondirt.wordpress.com/2014/06/04/gear-list-and-opinions
  • + 1
 Awesome, thanks!
  • + 2
 Scott That writeup by your partner totally deserves a separate story in and of itself. Its so efficient
  • + 5
 I get tired after 2 hours
  • + 4
 dont know what to say, this is truly inspiring, riding with spirit and soul. congratulation to you guys.
  • + 3
 I hope Eszter feels like you couldn't have done it without her. Sounds like you were close to giving up as well.
  • + 2
 What an inspiring journey. I live just east of Pie Town in Socorro NM and give you guys a lot of credit, that terrain is gnarly and unforgiving. Cheers.
  • + 2
 Even if the AT was open to bikers, I'm almost certain it is not bikable. From my experience, most sections would be much to rugged and dangerous, especially in NE.
  • + 2
 yup, some parts of AT even hard to hike with heavy pack. I can't even imagine doing this CDT trip. Absolutely heroic with minimal gear! A tarp and 1 pound sleeping bags?!? Next level athletics. wow.
  • + 1
 Great meeting you guys in Ovando. Your adventure is such a huge achievement. We managed to finish the Great Divide in early October without any major hassles. Already planning for the next one!
  • + 2
 Wow! @ScottMoris and Eszter, amazeballs! Great reading, love this type of content on pinkbike, this is the best! That is so epic, I would love to do this someday! Thanks!
  • + 2
 For whatever reason the picture of the dandelions in Northern New Mexico just sounded the _Call of the Wild_ for me. Primal. Irresistible.
  • + 4
 Just amazing, what an accomplishment to share.
  • + 1
 Incredible. Huge respect to both of you. What did you do for food? Did you take any extended breaks in between? Surely a warm shower was warranted somewhere in there!
  • + 1
 Gas station food mostly -- oats for breakfast, salami and cheese, rice and pasta dinners for dinner when we could find them. We definitely took a bunch of zero days. We actually had laptops that we shipped general delivery from town to town so that I could run my tracking business and Eszter could write while we rested here and there.
  • + 1
 Hey Scott-
There's a bicycle PCT(called the 'PCBT') which runs parallel to the PCT, so the Continental Divide is NOT the only one you can ride bikes on.
  • + 1
 That looks like a great paved road tour. But for any long distance trail you could come up with a parallel paved (or unpaved) road tour. That doesn't make it accurate to say the trail is open to bikes, and for some of us touring roads is emphatically not the experience we are looking for.
  • + 1
 Yeah, I want to do a ride like this. Not as long; maybe the Colorado Trail. But for sure some distance rides are in my future, road and mtb.
  • + 1
 I read your journey in nthrope before, and again in pinkbike, still found it really amazing.
Just wondering how did you train up your gf to handle such epic journey?
  • + 2
 No need, she's tougher than me.
  • + 1
 WOW!!! what Memories and soreness to the body Hats Off to you Both for a great experience and LOVE the Pics i def. wouldnt try it myself but that is one hell of a Trip
  • + 1
 My first thought when reading this was 'shit, they're going uphill the whole way' I really need to stop taking maps so literally
  • + 4
 5kk?
  • + 2
 thats a pretty amazing adventure. I have no doubt that there would a lot of high points and low points.
  • + 2
 Amazing journey!
What were the most vital pieces of gear? How many sets of tires did you go through?
  • + 2
 GPS and phones with CDT maps were the most vital -- it's a hard trail to follow sometimes! We changed all 4 tires once, right in the middle of our trip. Panaracer Rampages. So, 2 sets of tires. And we only had 2 flats in 4 months!
  • + 1
 Are you serious about only 2 flats? That's amazing. How many chains did you break?
  • + 2
 Yep, only two. We refilled sealant a few times between tire changes. No broken chains. Went through 3 chains each during the trip -- trying to be vigilant with preventative maintenance.
  • + 3
 yep, 'some' people truly are Awesome! Fantastic Smile
  • + 3
 for those of you who haven't been, lake city is the best town in the world
  • + 1
 what`s the difference between the Continental Divide Trail and the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. ? i tough the continental is for hikers only. i dream of doing it
  • + 1
 I think the GDR is mostly dirt roads whereas the CDT is mostly singletrack. Lots of sections are off limits due to Wilderness Areas, but most is accessible on bike.
  • + 2
 Yep, that's right. The two run parallel, with the CDT singletrack and GDMBR dirt roads. The CDT is almost always open to bikes outside Wilderness, as lubes17319 said. Both are amazing adventures and highly recommended!
  • + 3
 i`m want(thinking,dreaming) to do the gdr. read about it in ``adventure cycle-touring handbook 2nd edition by stephen lord``. ever since, it as always been on my mind. `still can`t believe there is a race!!!!! tour de france is for sissies compare to THAT!!!!!
  • + 3
 hope u had a gun in Montana.
  • + 3
 Why, I ride here all the time without one. Even though I've seen grizzlies, wolves, and mountain lions the biggest threat I have had is rattlesnakes while riding the Missouri river breaks.
  • + 1
 I assume you just need a carry permit?
  • + 3
 All of a sudden I want a fatbike, some packs and a shitload of mapping!
  • + 3
 That looks like an epic ride.
  • + 2
 Speechless. I'm quiting my job.
  • + 1
 Yeah, me too. Great ride!
  • + 1
 Thanks so much for sharing Scott! You two are very inspiring and great pictures!!!
  • + 1
 I'm curious what you did for food and resupply with such small packs? Sticks of butter?
  • + 2
 We could carry ~4 days food maximum. In reality we preferred to carry no more than 2.5 to 3 days worth -- just due to the added weight and corresponding increase in hike-a-bike.

Gas station food mostly -- oats for breakfast, salami and cheese, rice and pasta dinners for dinner when we could find them.
  • + 1
 Do you think this could be done on (long travel/All-Mountain) Hardtails, ie. Kona Honzo, Canfield Nimble 9, etc.?
  • + 1
 Sure. I recommend a lot of suspension, just shy of making your bike too heavy. I ran a 6"/5.5" inch travel bike.
  • + 3
 You guys are my Heroes !
  • + 1
 Currently working with a guy that walked this. Such an epic journey!
  • + 1
 Bloody hell!

How long did it take him ?

And did he grow a beard during it ?:P
  • + 1
 5 or 6 months. Yeah im sure he did, he had an epic time.
  • + 2
 Wow
  • + 1
 Belle r√©alisation, f√©licitation du Quebec!
  • + 2
 beautiful
  • + 2
 Wow!
  • + 2
 So incredibly inspiring.
  • + 1
 i scrolled to the bottom and saw the map and immediately said "holy f*ck"
  • + 1
 Do you have the .gpx ? I'm free the next week-end Wink
yes epic adventure
  • + 3
 Make it happen! Definitely have GPX ready for anyone.
  • + 1
 So jealous of your amazing trip...
  • + 1
 Fantastic achievement, well done.
  • + 2
 epic.
  • + 1
 Mindblowing and inspiring. Thank you for sharing it with us!
  • + 1
 Awesome journey, Thanks for sharing it with us all.
  • + 2
 AWESOME
  • + 1
 amazing epic ride/trail 100kms for 55 days.
  • + 1
 Love the Mountain Goat photo!
  • + 2
 Far out!!!
  • + 1
 I give up just looking
  • - 1
 I want to do this but have a full team of sherpas carrying my gear because I'm a pussy.
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