Sam Harney
Great Divide
Pre-Ride Riding my rusty Huffy further than Rusty's Saloon down the street hadn't even crossed my mind a few months ago. It was the farthest I had ridden in the last 2 years and I was quite content with that. I certainly didn't expect to be in the place I am now, only hours away from leaving home, riding a distance that would take years to complete pedaling back and forth from that old dive.

When the deal was sealed a couple months back, I began preparing

for a style of riding I hadn't the faintest idea of. I've done a fair bit of road touring but had never ridden a mountain bike and couldn't image where to begin packing one for a tour. The term "bikepacking" was completely foreign to me and the concept of touring without racks or panniers seemed pretty far out.

Everything started coming together when I arrived at Blackburn’s Whiskey Off-Road Ranger camp in Arizona. This was my first look at real bikepacking setups and introduction to the gear used for it. From here I got a solid idea of what it was going to take, equipment wise, for a tour. This event also brought me to my first ride off-road and what would prove to be the hardest 25 miles I had ever ridden.

Reaching camp at the end of the day brought up serious concern that I had signed up for something completely out of my reach.  Although what may have been pure agony with every stroke of the pedal, I woke the next day filled with pure inspiration to pursue the Divide. The feeling of experiencing new country via new means of transportation drove me well beyond the point of passing up the opportunity.

I don't want to know what lies in my future. I don’t want to know what to expect on this trip. I have purposefully avoided reading ride journals and route itineraries to avoid a comparison of the way others have approached the ride and how we plan to pursue it, which is without much of a plan at all.

My training regimen leading up to this tour simply boils down to a ride I took last week to the end of my driveway. With an open mind and no set time frame we are left with a great deal of room for this event to take a variety of shapes no matter our pace. The people I've met and the places I’ve seen will always stand out to me far more then how hard I pushed myself riding that day.


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Sam Harney

Gear List

- My Blackburn Gear -

- My Bike Specs -

- My Personal Items -

- My Technology/Climbing Gear -

- My Riding Gear -

- My Clothing -

Sam Harney's profile picture
Sam Harney
  • What was the genesis moment or inspiration for your upcoming adventure? When Blackburn took us under their wing. We were only half serious about doing the ride beforehand and would not have done it at all this year without someone to report to.Thanks guys for the inspiration!
  • What is your goal for the route? Have a better time on the road then I could have possibly had if I had stayed at home. I was having a pretty good time at home!
  • Have you traveled by bike in the past? Yes. Pacific NW, SF-Palm Springs, Trans AM, Portland-Panama
  • What do you hope to get out of this journey? A contact list full of new friends and some remarkable tan lines on my rippling thighs.

My Must Haves

  • AK-47 keychain
  • Stubbs Spicy BBQ Sauce
  • Portrait of my buddy Taylor
  • Big Buck Hunter

- Great Divide Milestones -