Tour Divide: 27 Days, 27 Photos

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.

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 6:00 p.m. (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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  • julie says:

    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.

  • Dave says:


    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?


  • Simon Kennett says:

    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.

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  • 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,

    • Felix Wong says:

      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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