Why The Divide? — Motivations for The Tour Divide 2020

Tim Wiggins Tour Divide
The Tour Divide is an undeniably long bike ride. 2745 miles from Canada to Mexico, off-road down the backbone of the Rockies. It is feat of endurance just to complete the ride, let alone to race it. Yet, my motivation for taking on this monument of bikepacking routes does not stem from competitiveness or a love for herculean efforts; my attraction to the Great Divide lies far deeper within…

In December 2019 I announced my intention to ride this year's Tour Divide—starting on June 12th in Banff, Canada. Read the announcement blog post here: 'Making Plans – Riding The Tour Divide 2020'

To date, I have extensively toured the European continent by bicycle: across the mountain ranges of the Alps, Dolomites, and Pyrenees; through the forests of Germany and the heat of Southern France; around the fjords of Scandinavia, past the lochs of Scotland, and down Ireland's Atlantic Coast. The journey has shown me many things, but also taught me many lessons…

The first lesson is one of love, companionship, and community. That may seem a juxtaposition in the context of solo bikepacking tours. However, these tours—the #7Countries7Passes, #RoadsFromRome, #CoastsandCols, and #CelticCrossTrail—have made me realise how important a community of friends, family, and strangers are in life's trials and challenges.

While undertaking my past trans-continental rides I undoubtedly experienced some of the hardest days of my life—both physically and mentally. Yet, great strength came from the community that developed around the ride; linking up friends and family across Europe, being taken in and cared for by strangers and Samaritans along the way; even getting to know shop keepers and café owners as I passed through their homes and villages. The beautiful thing I realised on these tours is that companionship comes in many forms. Even on a "solo" bike ride, you can always find strength and support in the community of friends, family, and strangers that you develop.

It was this realisation that created one of the greatest draws to the Tour Divide. This event brings together riders from the four corners of the world and is followed around the globe; it has a community far greater than any other event I have seen. Riders meet out on the trail to share hardship, accommodation, and stories; communities along the route open to embrace weary souls as they pass through; around the globe, 'dot-watchers' (friends, family, and strangers alike) follow and support every rider's progress.

The Tour Divide has a community so great and so special—it is one I very much want to be part of.

My second realisation relates closely to the first: it is an understanding that one of my greatest motivations and joys in life is hearing, experiencing, and sharing inspiring stories.

I have always loved hearing stories of adventure. I also relish the opportunity to experience and tell stories to others, in the hope that they might be inspired to have a go at doing something slightly similar.

The Tour Divide presents one of the most interesting communities, and with it the most fantastic range of stories. Riders take on the challenge, and in doing so share their ride and experiences with each other and a wider following. Every rider has a unique and interesting story to tell—I wish to hear those stories, to be part of those stories, and to share my own story.

For me, the Tour Divide has an undeniable draw. More than any other cycling event in the world this race and route create a community and have a diverse and captivating story to experience and narrate. These two things are my motivations for the 2745-mile journey – let us experience it together.

Follow the adventure on #RidingTheDivide

Tim Wiggins Tour Divide Route Komoot

Tim Wiggins Tour Divide Route Komoot

Tim Wiggins Tour Divide


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