It’s 2013 Tour Divide Time!

by Andy Amick on June 12, 2013

in Bikepacking, Cycling

It’s Tour Divide time!  The 2013 Tour Divide starts this Friday, June 14th in Banff Alberta.  From there, it’s a measly 2700+ miles to the finish at the Mexican border in Antelope Wells, New Mexico.  This is an exciting time for followers of the race and probably a very nervous time for the competitors.

Tour Divide Views

Photo courtesy of

For the first time, I will be following a few people that I know through online conversations.  It’s great to have a connection to some of the races to watch their progress.

Scott Thigpen of hails from Alabama and has dedicated 2 years to prepare for the race.  In thos two years, he has lost a lot of weight, gotten healthy, and transformed himself into an endurance nut.  Already this year, he has logged over 5000 miles to prepare for the Divide.

Alex Mangini, a 19 year old web designer/developer superstar is riding the Divide as someone who is fairly new to cycling.  He has to be one of the youngest racers this year and probably one of the youngest to ever compete.  Visit his site to learn more and also to see the great site design he has put together.

Follow Along

Photo by Eddie Clark

During the race, you can follow the progress of all of the readers in a couple of ways.  First, the leaderboard shows the location of riders based on their Spot transmitters.  This is a good way to visualize the progress of riders.  You can click on a rider and look at their progress over the last several days.  It even shows when they stopped for the night to sleep.

This is also an interesting site to see just how spread out the field gets after a week of racing.  Riders will be hundreds of miles apart by that time with some in Montana and others into Colorado.  If you’ve ever driven between those two states, you can understand how much distance is between the front racers and the rest of the pack that are riding their own race.

A second way to follow along is through the MTB Cast call-ins.  Joe Polk runs the site and allows riders to call in as they are riding the Divide to give updates about their ride, their bike, and their condition.  This is a great way to learn about how tough the Divide is on gear and riders.  It’s also a way to hear directly from the riders as they are in the middle of a multi week race.

More Tour Divide Resources

Ridie The Divide – First of all, this is a great movie.  Second, it has been the inspiration for several of the riders doing the Tour Divide this year.

‘The Way of the Mountain Turtle’ by Kent Peterson – Kent’s articles and website were the first time I read about the Tour Divide.  This is his recount from his first ride of the race when there were only a handful of racers and he set the singlespeed record.

‘be brave, be strong’ by Jill Homer – My favorite writing about the Divide and also one of my favorite adventure books.  Jill completed the Divide back in 2009 and held the women’s record until last year.  Right now, it’s only $2.99 for the Kindle edition, which will be one of the best three bucks you spend.

The Cordillera book series – Eric Bruntjen has compiled several volumes of stories from riders who have taken on the Divide.  These books are good to get the perspective from a number of different riders and to read about the highs and lows they experience on the route.

Adventure Cycling – Map and GPS resources for the official route.

2012 winner Ollie Whalley’s Gear List – Scott Thigpen from Driven2Divide interviewed Ollie after his win last year and gets the rundown on gear selection.

Kent’s Bike Blog – In 2010, for his second ride on the Divide, Kent detailed his ride to the start, his progress through the race, and posted a ton of wonderful pictures.

Jill Outside Blog – This is Jill Homer’s personal blog and she has posted numerous articles about her 2009 ride where she set the women’s record.  These are great reads to understand the mindset and again their are some great pictures.

Aaron Teasdale’s Blog – Last but not least, Aaron’s blog has a few posts about taking his family out on the Divide for several weeks.  This isn’t about racing the Tour Divide, but the story and pictures are worth including.  There’s a tandem, a family with 2 kids, and a tag-a-long.  How could that not be a good read.

Good luck to all riders

It’s a very exciting time for all those involved.  By the lack of posts and Facebooking from some of those involved, it has been a very busy last few weeks too.  Getting final gear dialed in and deciding exactly what to take is a grueling process before the grueling 2700 miles even starts.  Good look to everyone and have a great ride!  We’ll be following along.


About Andy Amick
A little bit nutty in general, a lotta bit nutty about bikes. Each of his boys received a bike helmet for their first birthday and the three of them have been biking together ever since.

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