Iohan Gueorguiev
Great Divide
Grants, NM to Antelope Wells, NM-382 miles It was a pretty hot day cycling out of Grants, as opposed to the chilly mornings in Colorado. Not much climbing until I hit the Pietown road. It was pretty much all rolling hills until the town. Sadly the main pie joints were closed and I got one from the small cafe. Pretty disappointing but I don’t think I am a pie person anyway, rather have cake.

By far, New Mexico is the most difficult section of the GDMBR. Fairly remote, no bike shops and rough roads but it is also the most varied as well. One moment you are dodging twisters in the plains, then looking at cows playing in the sunflowers, then climbing up a narrow valley and crossing over a wide open mountain pass. And then... you arrive at the Beaverhead workstation and are desperately searching your pockets for change, as there is a big red Dr. Pepper pop machine!

One more day until Silver City, lots of big climbs on the way. I ran into Adam who runs a unicycle. We climbed up and down for a bit and then I left on a long downhill (his unicycle tops off at about 11mph). Few more climbs and I was at Pinos Altos where this journal ends... for now.

I've decided against bringing the 29er into Mexico, mainly because of availability of parts. I'll be bringing my old bike over from Utah and continuing on it. I had 2 weeks to hitchhike to Utah, rest up and then back to Silver City. Not going to go into detail but it was a good change of scenery and I am excited to be back on the bike.

The rest of the GDMBR has almost no climbing and is super easy if the wind favors your direction of travel. In Hachita I met Jeff who runs the shuttle service for GDMBR and CDT bikers/hikers, has set up water caches for the hikers and is working on making the hachita town house into a place where people can stay. Its people like him that turn lost and forgotten towns into cycling/hiking meccas!

Next day I got to the border. 10 minutes of smiling and nodding got me past immigration and it looks like I got 6 months. Then I took the wrong turn, 8 miles on a dead end dirt road into Mexico. I could turn back or try to bushwhack 1-2 miles to the highway... already love Mexico!

- IMAGES OF THE ROAD -

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Iohan Gueorguiev

Gear List

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Iohan Gueorguiev
  • What was the genesis moment or inspiration for the upcoming adventure? After starting the GDMBR in mid-October and having to hop out in December at Colorado, I always wondered if I would ever get a second chance. Later I learned of the first bike ride of the Continental Divide Trail and also wondered, how cool that would be. During a rather cold January in Utah I heard about the Blackburn Ranger program, connected the bits and pieces and there was only one logical choice: apply to be on the team and bikepack the CDT.
  • Have your traveled by bike in the past? In 2013 I crashed down a hill on my road bike which left me with a broken collar bone, two broken hands and a 3 month recovery period. To make it through I thought of biking from Vancouver to Ontario. So I did it, then Toronto to Halifax in winter. I was hooked, in 2014 I took time off school and set off to bike from the Arctic Ocean to British Columbia. And then, Alaska to Argentina. I've made it as far as Mexico and am looking forward to riding the CDT and continuing down south as part of the Blackburn team.
  • What is your goal for the route? I have few ideas, most importantly: have fun, stop and smell the flowers (oh yeah - it won't be winter so there actually will be flowers), find out more about the CDT trail hiking community, do as much as CDT as possible, find time to ride the Colorado trail and spend some time in Moab, Utah. I'll also be filming on the way (nothing fancy) and continuing the "SEE THE WORLD" series on which follow my bike trip south. Video is such a great way to try and share the wild and unpredictable story of the open road!
  • What do you hope to get out of this journey? One always has some expectations with trips like these but the moment you set a wheel on the dirt it all changes. I want to see how bikepacking compares to fully loaded touring and see if it's something I can adopt and continue doing for the rest of my around-the-world bike trip. Aside from that - create memories, make new friends and meet old ones, explore and get lost in the Rockies.
  • What's in my bag? Buff, Gopro, Alaska License plate,Turtle (which I had on my first bike trip, and ever since)

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