Crazy and the Great Divide

Some people think I’m crazy… crazy to quit my job so I could cycle through Africa. The same thought, albeit fleeting, went through my mind before I actually set off.

But craziness, like many things, is relative.

So that when you’ve just cycled 25,000km through Africa, the idea of cycling 4,400km through the US, seems like a holiday.

But when I mention that I’m going to cycle the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, an off-road route that crosses the continental divide some 80 times, and I’ll have to pedal or push up so many hills that by the end I will have effectively scaled the height of everest 7 times…. people still say I’m crazy.

But even I have my limits, and the borderline for craziness to me is cycling that same 4,400km route as a non-stop race. Yes, that’s 4,400km with all those hills, cycled in about 3 weeks. Now why on earth would you want to do that?! Well, several people do want to do it. And they do….

Well, actually I do understand – it’s for the challenge, to physically push yourself to the limit, to see what your body can withstand and it’s to satisfy the mildly masochistic nature that lies within some of us and drives us to undertake such seemingly pointless trials and adventures.

The Tour Divide, the race, is currently underway. It started on the 10th June. Of the 66 riders who started, two have already finished and 14 have dropped out. The others are still racing. The winner made it in just 15 days! (I shall be taking much longer…)

You can follow the rest of the crazy racers on the Tour Divide website ( and see a map of the route which I’ll be following later this year.

The craziest of all, have to be the three men on single speed bikes. I have no idea how you cycle up the hills with only one gear. I’m just glad I don’t have to!





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