On Day 8, when I encountered Mike Dion taking a breather under the only tree in southern Montana for miles, I couldn’t help withhold my excitement.
“You’re the first person [from the Tour Divide] I’ve seen in a week,” I exclaimed. We chatted and rode together for about 10 minutes before I took off, only to see him one more time later in the evening in Lima. If I had known he would be the last Tour Divide racer I’d see for the rest of the race, I might have stayed back just to talk with him longer.
While it is true that riding along the world’s longest mountain bike route (2,700 miles) of which >85% is off-road entails more periods of being alone than not, thank goodness I wasn’t completely isolated from human beings.
Below is a photo gallery of the folks I encountered along the journey. All of them offered words of encouragement, and some of them outright saved my butt during various crises. To all of them: thank you!