On 8th June 2018, Martine sat on her mountain bike ready to embark on the greatest challenge of her life the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR) the longest, off-road cycle route in the world.
The GDMBR is best known for the Tour Divide, a 2,725 mile solo cycling challenge starting in Banff, Canada and finishing in Antelope Wells, New Mexico, following the spine of the Rocky Mountains. In this annual, self-supported challenge, the clock runs 24 hours a day and riders aren’t allowed any external support other than access to public facilities. Not only do riders need to be prepared for 16+ hour days in the saddle but also be confident in navigating the unmarked and circuitous route.
The route follows the Continental Divide from north to south and is 90% off-pavement, using a variety of dirt roads, trails and unmaintained tracks. The challenge covers a distance of 2,725 miles with over 200,000 feet of elevation gain, making this the ultimate test of endurance.
Martine cycled through the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, then through the US states of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and Colorado before finishing in New Mexico on the USA – Mexico border. The landscape was vast and diverse with remote mountain wilderness, wild river valleys, open grasslands and desert.
Here’s a breakdown of the route in more detail:
1. Banff, Alberta to Roosville, Montana (256.6 miles)
2. Roosville, Montana to Polaris, Montana (542.3 miles)
3. Polaris, Montana to South Pass City, Wyoming (510.4 miles)
4. South Pass City, Wyoming to Silverthorne, Colorado (403.9 miles)
5. Silverthorne, Colorado to Platoro, Colorado (316.5 miles)
6.Platoro, Colorado to Pie Town, New Mexico (430.1 miles)
7. Pie Town, New Mexico to Antelope Wells, New Mexico (307.8 miles)