Tour Divide: 27 Days, 27 Photos Felix Wong

Here are photos from the Tour Divide, the 2,700-mile self-supported Canada-Mexico mountain bike race hailed as “the most difficult cycling event in the world.” As it took me 27.5 days, here are 27 30 photos representing what I remember most from each of the days.

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Day 0: At the YWCA in Banff, Alberta, Canada (211 miles north of the U.S. border) before the start of the 2,700-mile race.Day 1: Riding mostly uphill by the Canadian Rockies with fellow racer Kevin Hall (shown).Day 2: A pleasant day through British Columbia. (June 14, 2008)Day 3: Into Montana... and snow!  Hiking and pushing required. (June 15, 2008)Day 4: Through the land of fallen trees. Between Days 4 & 5, I had to dismount about 100 times for them. (June 16, 2008)Day 5: Death trap -- traversing a crazy, highly exposed section of snow piled up at a 45 degree angle without an ice axe for at least half a mile. (June 17, 2008)Day 6: Montana mellowed out -- but only for a day. (June 18, 2008)Day 7: Lava Mountain: one of the most challenging and techical sections on the entire Continental Divide Mountain Bike Route.  I also got lost in the forest. (June 19, 2008)Day 8: Phew... pavement (never mind it was a major interstate highway).  And into Butte, Montana, the largest town encountered in the entire race (population: 33,500). (June 20, 2008)Day 9: Into no man's land -- the Medicine Lodge area and big sky country of Montana. (June 21, 2008)Day 10: Finally made it to Idaho.  Gorgeous! (June 22, 2008)Day 11: Entering Wyoming and the Tetons with lots of snow, mud, and the most vicious mosquitoes I've ever encountered. (June 23, 2008)Day 12: No better luck with the mud and snow; took 2 hours 40 minutes to go 4.5 miles around Brooks Lake. (June 24, 2008)Day 13: Some pavement again and a 125-mile day through Pinedale and Boulder to Atlantic City, WY. (June 25, 2008)Day 14: 134 miles through the treeless Great Divide Basin, WY and suffering badly from hyponatremia.  Happy birthday to me. (June 26, 2008)Day 15: This is more like it.  Aspen Alley, WY, less than 20 miles north of Colorado. (June 27, 2008)Day 16: Back into my home state of colorful Colorado around Steamboat Springs. (June 28, 2008)Day 17: More pretty mountains between Steamboat Springs and Silverthorne. (June 29, 2008)Day 18: Through Summit County, over Boreas Pass and into South Park. (June 30, 2008)Day 19: Up the long-but-gradual Marshall Pass in southern Colorado and into the beautiful San Juan Mountains. (July 1, 2008)Day 20: Super long and steep Indiana Pass, with freezing rain at the summit.  Came down with hypothermia and had to bail for the night at 6:00pm. (July 2, 2008)Day 21: Through southern Colorado and almost to the New Mexico border -- but then my cyclometer broke! (July 3, 2008)Day 22: Extremely rocky and rutted trails through northern New Mexico on the 4th of July after resolving the cyclometer crisis. (July 4, 2008)Day 23: A 5.5-hour climb over lava rocks and through cougar country, but felt phenomenal and still managed 100 miles that day. (July 5, 2008)Day 24: Screaming descent into Cuba, NM, with more highway down to Grants.  A 170-mile day! (July 6, 2008)Day 25: No pie in Pie Town.  Major food crisis on the way and had to resort to begging for food later that night. (July 7, 2008)Day 26: It didn't get any better: monsoons, mud, steep climbs, horrible chainsuck, and multiple flat tires through the Gila Wilderness.  But I'd only stop after it got dark and I literally crashed. (July 8, 2008)Day 27: After bonking all morning, I finally reached civilization -- the progressive town of Silver City, NM (population: 10,000).  Unfortunately, the monsoons wouldn't stop and rivers were soon flowing down the streets. (July 9, 2008)Day 27.5: More sand, monsoons, and demoralization due to thinking I was lost (I wasn't).  But then 70 miles of pavement to the Mexico border came... (July 10, 2008)27 days, 10 hours, and 37 minutes after I started: Made it!  Antelope Wells in 6th place.  A lonely finish, but thanks to all for the moral support! (July 10, 2008)

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7 comments on “Tour Divide: 27 Days, 27 Photos

  1. Comment by julie

    Beautiful photos, Felix! I especially love the shots of Day 12 and Day 15. What beautiful country… now I have to add a bunch of stuff to my “Places I Must Visit” list.

  2. Comment by Dave


    I followed your race on MTBcast. My helmet is off to you! All the crap you went through and you continued on.

    going to try it again?


  3. Comment by Simon Kennett

    I just stumbled across your photos, Felix. Very fun viewing. Well done!

    I often wondered what happened to you in the Hila – I got some pie in that cafe you photographed (they were inside baking for another rider who never showed up) but it was a long hall to Silver City from there. That was nasty weather in the Hila – very scary lightning! By the looks of it, I was very lucky to get out of Silver City before the rain the next day.

    Pedal on.

  4. Comment by Rob van Beurden

    Hi Felix,

    As an inhabitant of the ‘lowlands’ (the isle of Texel, the Netherlands) I thoroughly enjoyed your pictures. Hope to ride the Divide next year, though 27 days might be a bit to steep…:-)

    Happy trails,

    • Comment by Felix Wong

      Hi Rob. Thanks for stopping by my blog and for your comment. Hope you can ride the Divide next year; it is truly a beautiful and one-of-a-kind experience.

      Good luck with training and happy cycling!

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