Great Divide Redux – Pre-trip

This is post #2 of a narrative riding a section of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route eight years after the original trip. This multi-part account is posted chronologically and Part One can be read here. Great Divide Redux 2023

Saturday August 12th, 2023

Our plan to ride a portion of my beloved Great Divide Route was cemented a few weeks ago, and since then there has been building excitement and a bit of anxiety. Let me say it’s not the type of anxiety to say “What the hell am I doing?” Keep in mind I’m primarily a solo backpacker, and the only one that depends on me is me. Now being one-third of a team, where my presence and performance are paramount, is causing some angst. I don’t want to let anybody down if things fall apart.


My top point of anxiety is the altitude where we will be riding. When this route was my life eight years ago, I had a month to acclimate as the route altitude gradually increases to its ultimate in Colorado. This time we will be riding the day after we arrive and let’s face facts… Altitude sickness is common for people arriving in Colorado even if you’re intention is to be sitting on your arse relaxing. I’m worried my body will rebel at the lighter air and the entire trip will have to be negated because I’m simply physically unable. 

And More Angst

As stated in the previous post, anyone that knows me is aware that memories of my 2015 ride still come to me daily. What very few people know is these memories sometimes come with emotions.

This is my other point of anxiety… Not only will I be revisiting the origin of all these emotional memories, but our starting point, Kremmling CO, was the time/place of the lowest physical and mental state I had ever experienced in my life. Just thinking back on that time brings up strong emotions, so what the hell is going to happen when I ride past the restaurant where I sat soaking wet, exhausted, looking up the best way to get the Denver airport? 

On Route To The Route

As Martin and I drive from Michigan to Colorado with our bikes and gear neatly stowed away behind us, we effortlessly tick away the miles sharing stories and other banter. Martin’s native English accent and terminologies have me nearly calling for stops at the next ‘petrol station’, commenting on the condition of the ‘tarmac’, and using other shitty English colloquialisms.

Part three coming soon.

Pre-dawn MI departure. Fully loaded with bikes, gear, and the absolute best travel snack pack ever… Provided by Joanna Kinsella.
Martin and I arrive at Emily and Josh’s apartment, nearly 19.5 hours later.
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