Making Plans – Riding The Tour Divide 2020 #RidingTheDivide

The Tour Divide Mountain Bike Route
It has been on my Bucket List for as long as I can remember... the birthplace of bikepacking, and the most iconic dirt road touring route in the world. I have decided that 2020 will be the year that I take on the Tour Divide — 2745 miles with 50,000 metres of climbing; from Canada to Mexico, off-road down the length of the Rockies.

To date, my unsupported tours across the European continent have been beautiful eye-opening experiences; from the highest peaks of the Dolomites and Pyrenees, to the sub-zero fjords of Norway and rugged coastline of Scotland. These trips have taken me to amazing and unique places.


Yet, ever since I first strapped panniers to a £50 steel road bike and went touring through the mountains of the Pyrenees and French Alps more than a decade ago, I have dreamed of riding the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route — it is one of the most diverse and challenging cycling routes in the world.

The dream of Riding The Divide has never faded. I have never visited the States, but this route provides a perfect itinerary to experience the most rugged and beautiful parts of the country. From the snowy peaks of the Canadian Rockies, to the vast desert flats of New Mexico; this is the as extreme mixture of terrain as you could ever dream of encountering on a bike ride.

The Tour Divide is the official event along the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. Race entrants do not pay a fee, and there is no prize for finishing first; but there is the camaraderie and company of having many others out on the trail with you. The 2020 edition begins with the Grand Depart in Banff (Alberta, Canada) in June 2020.

My ambition is to ride the 2745 mile route in 21 days. This equates to 131 miles per day (215 kilometres) off-road. The target is based purely on a personal goal: to ride fast, but to experience the route in all its beauty. The route record is held by Mike Hall (UK) in a time of 14 days — I have no hopes to challenge that (at least not on this first ride); I want to be able to ride all day, but see, experience, and capture every moment of the incredible journey.
The target is based purely on a personal goal: to ride fast, but to experience the route in all its beauty.

I will ride a custom steel 29er bike built around a Kona Unit X frame-set, and with components from iconic British, American, and Canadian brands (such as Ritchey Logic) — it will be a bespoke rig for the 'American Adventure'. I will publish more details on the bike as the build begins to take shape.

Riding The Divide. This adventure will undoubtedly push my body, mind, and equipment to the limit — but it will a challenge with the most beautiful backdrop; through a wilderness that I have long yearned to explore.

Follow the adventure on #RidingTheDivide

Tim Wiggins Tour Divide Route

Tour Divide Route – Credit:

Tour Divide Route – Credit:

Tour Divide Route – Credit:

Tour Divide Route – Credit:

Tour Divide Route – Credit:

Tour Divide Route – Credit:


  1. Hi Tim
    I live and cycle on the Isle of Wight. I've watched a few films about the" Divide"
    Would love to have a go myself one day. Would you publish your kit list, I'm also interested in what cycling shoes you choose and pedals too.
    I imagine you will film the ride too.

  2. You have a great blog - I will look forward to your account. I will be fronting up for number 5 this year. It's a great experience and for many of us - once is not enough.. Enjoy the planning:-)

  3. John Keller and Barbara Nye8 May 2020 at 19:29


    If you do ride this summer, please consider staying with Barbara and me just 25 miles south of Lincoln, Montana, right on the GDMBR. Here's a search link where you can find more information about what we do:

    I hope that COVID-19 hasn't curtailed your plans!


    1. Dear John,
      That would be amazing, thank you so much. Can you connect with me on Facebook and we can discuss? It looks almost certain my plans are postponed to 2021, but I am still very certain I will ride the route.
      Looking forward to hearing from you


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