Philip Benningfield
Great Divide
Living on the Great Divide Route It came to me this morning as I contemplated a ride before work. Living on the GDR offers so many opportunities to connect classics close to home and world famous mountain bike rides. And the route itself is nothing short of endless expanses through the hidden woods and parks of magnificent Colorado.

If I head east I can ride to Breckenridge in a day or two and play on the Colorado Trail or a plethora of fine singletracks in Summit County. If I stay closer to home I simply cruise along forest roads enjoying some of the most far-reaching mountain vistas Colorado offers, without a care for car traffic.

If I head west the real gems are met from Marshall Pass. The Monarch Crest Trail goes due north, part of the Colorado Trail and Continental Divide Trail. If I feel like it I can point the wheels south and do some of the finest singletrack along the Colorado Trail then plunge back down to the GDR along Silver Creek and the Rainbow Trail or the lesser known Starvation Creek, which is the definition of classic singletrack.

If you are lucky enough to use the GDR as a connector to fine trails then you understand the advantage of living close to the route. If not, pack up your car, or better yet just your bike, and head to Salida or Steamboat Springs or Missoula or Pinedale or Grants or Banff…



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Philip Benningfield

Gear List







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Philip Benningfield
  • What was the genesis moment or inspiration for your upcoming adventure? Have your traveled by bike in the past? My motivation comes from some instinctual need to see what lies over the next mountain pass, to see a pristine meadow flushed with wildflowers or filled with stoic elk, or follow a never-ending ranch fence line in as obscure a place as possible.
  • What is your goal for the route? What do you hope to get out of this journey? Any undertaking along the GDR is tempered with as little expectations as possible. I find no need to try and experience the trip beforehand as the actual ride far surpasses any expectation. The goal each and every time is to get away from the busy world and witness, with as minimal a kit as I can survive with, the peace found out in the middle of nowhere!


  • Tattered warm Pearlizumi gloves
  • Sleeping Bag Feathered Friends Hummingbird 20-degree sleeping bag
  • Marmot 650-fill down coat
  • Jagged Edge skullcap

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