Great Divide Redux 2023

This time last year my youngest child, Emily, moved to Colorado with her fiancée Josh. Was not happy that she was moving 1,200 miles away, and God bless my baby girl for attempting to put a positive spin on the move. She told me, “Now you can check out Colorado.” To which I replied, “Sweetie, I rode a bike through it, I’m good.” 

Earlier this summer Emily and Josh made a trip back to Michigan and during that visit, we made plans that my summer vacation will be visiting them in Colorado. Then suggested that I drive out to bring my bike so that Josh and I can do some riding together. AND… Since it’s in the neighborhood, how about we do a day ride on a section of my beloved Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR)?

Josh was in and sounding quite excited about the prospect. I blew the dust off my GDMBR maps and spread the Colorado sections out on my dining room table. I explained to Josh there are two sections of the GDMBR that I bypassed, they are both in Colorado, and I’d like to ride one of those sections when I visit. Showed him the first section on the map that I skipped between Kremmling CO and Silverthorn, giving him the whole story of why. Read that story here The other section I didn’t ride, is between Hartsel CO, and Salida/Poncha Springs. That story starts at the end of this post

After going over the logistics, Josh and I decided to tackle the 40 miles from Hartsel to Salida during my visit.

With a pending trip to Colorado now energizing my adventurous spirit, ideas were brewing. Didn’t take long for me to formulate a new and improved plan that I hoped Emily and Josh would entertain since they will need to be my shuttle. Only a couple of days after they were back in Colorado, I proposed to them…  “What if I brought all of my bikepacking gear? You two drop me off in Kremmling and I do a one-day ride to Como. Camp overnight, then Josh and I meet up there and ride the 70 miles to Salida?”

Without skipping a beat, Josh said, what if we both do the two days? Wait… What? “You would ride from Kremmling to Salida with me? Even camping???” He responded with an enthusiastic, “Yep! Let’s do it!” I was surprised as I’m sure he doesn’t own a bike bag that can carry anything more than a toothbrush, let alone gear to do an overnight ride. This means a decent investment in gear to make it happen. 

Great Divide Mountain Bike Route – Southern Wyoming / Northern Colorado Section.
Adventure Cycling Association

The new plan is in motion… Josh and I will ride for two days on the GDMBR. But wait!!! A very cool twist has been added. The next day Josh called to say, “Dad wants to join us.” Josh gets his biking acumen from his dad, Martin, and he wants to be a part of this adventure too. Martin has always been interested in my biking adventures and I’ve often thought he would be a great bike travel companion. 

In a matter of a couple of days, my revisit of the GDMBR has taken on a whole new life… Awesome riding amigos to share the adventure.

A lot of planning messages have been going back and forth and I’ve been doing my best to guide them on gearing up for a two-day ride in the Rockies, which includes camping in the wild. There are several items they will not need to worry about that I will be carrying such as bike tools, first aid, cooking gear, and water filter. I’m also setting them up with some gear, such as my two-person tent, bike bags I no longer use, and ultra-light sleeping bags and pads borrowed from my friend Blair.

The plan, as it stands now, Martin and I will drive from Michigan to Colorado with our bikes and gear. A day after we arrive at Emily and Josh’s place, Emily will be our shuttle driver to Kremmling where the three of us will camp overnight. The following day we load up our bikes and ride. 

If all goes well, in two days we will cover 163 miles of the GDMBR, and ascend three mountain passes crossing the Continental Divide once.

I am very much looking forward to my first revisit of the bike route that left such an indelible mark on my life eight years ago. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t have a random memory from that ride. Occasionally evoking some emotions of missing it like a passed-on family member.

Not quite sure what to expect. One-half of our route will be on trail I have ridden before. While the other half will be just as new to me as it will be to Martin and Josh. One thing is for sure… We’ll have fun and there will be plenty of stories, pictures, and videos to share in future posts. Be sure to check back in a couple of weeks.


Part two: Great Divide Redux – Pre-trip

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5 thoughts on “Great Divide Redux 2023

    1. Scott Post author

      Thanks for letting me know. Very interesting because the plug-in that performs all that stuff is completely missing from the website. 🤔


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