Cycling the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR)

Dale Campbell - Bent Fork Chronicles Editor

The primary reason that Dennis sent me the note was to mention they might have something for the next edition of the Bent Fork. He stated that they had just ridden “a little segment of the Great Divide MB Trail 2 weekends ago (New Mexico)…. The trip was relatively uneventful (the best kind).” Not immediately remembering what the Great Divide MB Trail is, I of course Googled it and quickly came up with a wealth of references.

Just in case you didn’t know, the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR) is a continuous long distance cycling route, beginning in Banff, Alberta, Canada and terminating in Antelope Wells, New Mexico, USA. As of 2010, the entire route covered 2,745 miles. Riding the full length of the route, a cyclist will tally up over 200,000 feet of elevation gain and loss. The Adventure Cycling Association (ACA) developed the GDMBT, with its inauguration in 1998. About 90% of the GDMBR is on unpaved roads and trails, requiring basic off-pavement riding skills to complete. These unpaved sections of the GDMBT range from high quality dirt or gravel roads to a few short sections of unmaintained trails, which will challenge even the best riders.

Taking a look at the posting that Dennis provided in his email, I realized that in three short days over the February Presidents Day weekend, he and Terry rode north over the section from Separ, NM (just south of Interstate 10) to the Tyrone Mine (just south-west of Silver City). As the posted photos indicate, that section of the GDMBT covers some arid landscape. The travelogue indicates that at a point about 3 to 4 miles away from Highway 90 - a paved road leading to Silver City - the elevation is higher and the trees are big enough to start providing shade over the road.

BFC April 2011 Issue - Vol 4 Issue 2, 1 April 2011

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