We all have our dream rides, the bike tours that top our list of places to go next.
One of our dreams is the 4,400km Great Divide mountain bike route that traces the spine of the Rocky Mountains in North America. When we cycle this route, we’ll take it slowly. We’ll meander our way from valley to peak, following the ACA maps. We’ll swim in the lakes and camp in the woods. It might take the whole summer.
So it was with great anticipation that we sat down to watch the Ride The Divide movie; a documentary that follows an unsupported mountain bike race along the same route.
Set to the backdrop of stunning scenery, we meet people like Mary, who fights off injury as she attempts to be the first woman to complete the race. There’s also Super Vegan, who roams the small shops along the route, trying to find healthy food to eat, and Matthew Lee, someone who’s done the race several times.
We’d never go as hard-core as these racers do (they regularly ride 100+ miles a day), but we still came away inspired by the Ride The Divide movie and we picked up some useful information for bike touring along this route.
It’s clear the weather can be fickle. In June, it’s still possible for some of the higher passes to be covered in snow and this forces some of the racers to lift up their bikes and walk for miles at some points. We’ll start a bit later, and perhaps pack lightly in case we have to carry our bikes!
There’s also a very real possibility of encountering a bear (the racers have several close encounters with wildlife) and the movie shows how spread out the towns are sometimes. When we ride this route we’ll need to plan our food supply points carefully.
What we really liked though are the small-town characters that the film features along the way. This movie isn’t just about racing, it’s also about kind-hearted and sometimes quirky people that add so much to every bike tour.