Friday, August 11, 2017

World's Longest Mountain Bike Trail Could Get Even Longer

At 2700 miles (4345 km) in length, the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR) is considered the longest such trail in the world. Currently, it stretches from Banff in Alberta, Canada to Antelope Wells, New Mexico, with about 90% of the route completely unpaved. For long distance adventure riders, it is the Appalachian Trail of mountain biking, luring hundreds of cyclists on an annual basis. Now, if everything goes as planned, it could get even longer.

According to a report from Gear Junkie, the Adventure Cycling Association has begun fund-raising efforts to collect enough cash to extend the trail another 400 miles. The plan is to extend the trail into Jasper National Park in Canada and swing a section of the route into Missoula, MT – home of the ACA.

This move comes as the GDMBR celebrates its 20th anniversary. Way back in 1997 when the trail was first conceived, no one knew that it would take on a life of its own. This year, the ACA hopes to complete the official construction of the route, finishing the last section into Antelope Wells. Up until now, it was unofficially opened and easy to follow, but still requires some trail work.

The GDMBR is also the route followed by the Tour Divide Race, an event we've followed closely in the past. That race pits top endurance mountain bikers against one another to see who can ride end-to-end the fastest. According to Gear Junkie, it takes most people 37 days to ride it from start to finish, but the record set during the TDR is just 13 days, 22 hours, and 51 minutes. All self-supported along the way.

Donations are being taken to the effort awn the Adventure Cycling Association webpage, with all funds taken in by September 30 being matched by the ACA itself. Find out more by visiting that page here.

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