Iohan Gueorguiev
Great Divide
Loma, CO - Montrose, CO 244 miles The Kokopelli trail is named after the native flute player carrying a backpack of songs. There is no water along the 140 miles of dirt, jeep roads and singletrack. I figured if I work hard, I should be able to get through the trail in a day and a half so I packed 11L of water rolled on. It felt odd to wake up to frost in the morning and then ride into the searing heat of the McInnis Canyon.

The trail proved to be challenging and at times, quite the upper body workout. Steep rough sections meant pushing the bike both up and sometimes down. I managed to puncture one of the 2L bottles on the cargo cages at the front while trying to sneak through some narrow spot. The heat was bad, like nothing I've had to ride through before. I felt alright but at the 60 mile mark there was a problem: it was 3pm and I only had 3L of water left.

A short detour to the town of Cisco was nothing but an abandoned bunch of houses. No luck and filtering the Colorado river water did not seem like a good idea (it's very silty). So I carried on through Castle Valley to Moab with the intention of getting an early start on the White Rim. As the day progressed it became clear that I do not like heat. Wrapping up a 110 mile day in Moab and looking for a spot to camp in the dark I decided to leave this area for another time.

The ride from the bottom of the canyons up to the La Sal mountains was long and uphill but at a very gentle grade. It felt good to be riding pavement, it's been a while.

On the way up the Uncompaghre Plateau, few hunters pulled over.

"Why are you going that way? It's all uphill from here."

I couldn't think of an answer and just laughed. We all did. They were here hunting for bears, I kind of hoped to see one too but no luck. But I did see some Canadians here on a "hut trip". The San Juan Huts is a popular spot where you basically day-ride (no gear) for up to 10 days. Food and water is supplied at each hut.

With all this heat, I am definitely looking forward to some cold weather on the Colorado Trail. Maybe even some snow, who knows it's September 13th!

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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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