The Great Divide Mountain Bike Race

In the 1990s the people at the Adventure Cycling Association mapped out a bicycle route running from the Canadian border to Mexico along the spine of the Rocky Mountains. This 2470 mile route zigzags over the divide multiple times with a total of over 200,000 feet of climbing. Ride the length of this route and you've done as much climbing as if you'd gone up Mount Everest more than six times.

The Adventure Cycling Association's Great Divide Mountain Bike Route

Michael McCoy's book that details the Great Divide Route

While most people ride the route in stages or spend months taking in the spectacular scenery, whenever there is a course, someone will think about racing. In 1997 Drew Walker became the first person to ride the entire route, pedaling from South to North in about nine weeks. In 1999 ultra-marathon cyclist John Stamstad set an amazing record by riding the route from North to South in 18 days, 5 hours.
Mountain Zone's report of John's 1999 ride

Outside Magazine's report of John's 1999 ride

John Stamstad's report of his record setting ride

In 2003 Mike Curiak attempted to break Stamstad's record. Various problems forced Mike to abandon that attempt in Colorado.

In June of 2004 Mike set off with 6 other riders in an effort to race the length of the divide. Four riders completed the race and Mike established the current course record which stands at 16 days 57 minutes.

Mike Curiak (and other's) "live" reports from the 2004 race

Steve "Dr. Doom" Fassbinder's report from the 2004 race

Mathew Lee's 2004 race report

In 2005, people will again race the Great Divide Mountain Bike Race. Details are still being worked out but in June of 2005, there will be a race. I know that I'll be racing. Mike Curiak has told me that he won't ride the Divide in 2005 but I know that Steve Fassbinder would like to complete the course. Master titanium fabricator Matt Chester is also considering racing the Divide. And I'm sure there are others.

I've put this page up as a preliminary call to racers, fans and sponsors. I would love it if I found someone else was really organzing the 2005 race but if not we'll put it together ourselves, in much the same way Joel Metz did with the 2003 Raid Californie-Oregon.

Raid Californie-Oregon

As race plans become more concrete, I'll post details to this page. For now, if you think you might want to race, or if you'd like to help with the race in any way, you can send me email at

Kent Peterson
Issaquah WA USA

Of course, ten minutes after I posted this, Mike Curiak gives me the info I need:


I don't know if you have already, but get in touch with Pete Basinger ASAP.  He's taken over 'organizing' the race for '05 (maybe longer, depending on how long it takes him to break the record...).

He's started this site:

You can reach him at:

Let me know if I can help you get ready.


One of the questions I'm often asked is "how can you afford to take a month off to race the Divide?" The answer is that I get by with a lot of help from my friends. You can find out more about them by visiting my Sponsor Page.