Afterthoughts · The Great Divide


You might ask, what makes you want to ride 2700 miles and climb Everest 6 times along the way? What’s the motivation and what’s the payoff? Those are good questions and I have been wondering myself about that before and after the ride.

Before the ride, I looked at this as a challenge. It’s there. Not sure it has been done before on a recumbent. And even if so, it was a challenge for me. Could I do it? I had an inkling about the daily routine: bike, eat, sleep. That simplicity had an appeal.

After the ride, I can say, yes, it can be done on a recumbent and I could do it. There is some pride in that. However, that’s minor. I found a quote by Gary Fisher, one of the inventors of the mountain bike, who found the words to describe best the attraction of adventure cycling or cycling in general:

The body, stronger. The mind, sharper.

The air, cleaner (Ed. Maybe not in a Montana wildfire). The grass, greener.

The pretzels, crisper. The beer, colder.

The weekday, shorter. The weekend, longer.

The sun, brighter. The sky, bluer.

Life is better, when you ride a bike!

Gary Fisher

I believe, this sentiment is true for anything that requires effort, endurance, patience, and maybe sacrifice. The feeling of accomplishment is so much sweeter. There will be memories and appreciation for moments that cannot be repeated. Call it happiness.


Cheers, Gary

The Great Divide

Rest does a body good

After 36 days of riding and camping I have decided to give the body a rest. I rode into the small town of Del Norte this afternoon, last stop before New Mexico. 

KimAnna and Michael have built a wonderful little retreat, which they call the Divide Rider’s Hostel. This is where I will put down my head tonight. 

Cozy, isn’t it?

Tomorrow is Labor Day. The end of Summer for most Americans. School is back on, holidays are over for most working families. 

I have about 700 miles more to go. The highest pass and a lot of desert. 

Got to go, laundry is calling. 

Shine on. 

The Great Divide

South Park, CO

Blue skies in the morning, fancy ski resorts, and wide open spaces: Welcome to Colorado. I have climbed my first pass over 10.000 feet. I have slept in the finest place of all: the Satellite Emplyee Parking Lot, which is probably the last flat gravel lot in Breck. I also was shopping at 9 AM at Patagonia and found a long-sleeve pullover that I liked and kind of needed. I have been riding in the same shirt for about a month…

Nowhere between Breckinridge and Hartsel

Today I was looking forward to a good lunch in Como. Spaghetti, saltimbocca, and some Lambrusco, but the Grand Hotel in Como does not serve food anymore. That’s a funky town. About 100 houses, no groceries. I got a soda in the post office. The owner of the hotel showed me the inside of the old railroad hotel. Amazing, the bar, the dining room, but the beer taps were dry. 

So, I kept rolling. 29 miles later I ended in Hartsel. Who has ever heard of that place. It also had a hotel once and hot springs! Apparently they are now on private property, which is for sale. Instead of a relaxing soak I had a blue cheese buffalo burger, the first burger in weeks. 

Tonight, I am camping right behind the restaurant. There is a picnic table, grass, and mosquitos (it’s been a while). 

I think tomorrow I will ride to Salida, maybe rent a room (first time on this trip), do laundry, clean up and take it easy. 

Two big passes are waiting, including Indiana Pass, which is the highest point in the Divide. 

Shine on.