A few questions that have come up:

So I’ve gotten a lot of feedback regarding my post.  Most of it has been very positive, and I thank everyone for their kind words.


I have also received a few questions about my time spent out on the Divide.  I’ll try to answer them as best as I can.


Could I ask how much weight you lost during your tour?

Yes, you may.

I weighed in at 178-180 pounds when I started the race.  I was strength training on a regular basis, as well as attending yoga classes.  Sometimes I even rode my bike.

I weighed in at about 168-170 when all was said and done. This was at the hotel room in Demming, NM. I figure I lost somewhere between 8-10 pounds.  This is an estimate, mind you, since water fluctuations were pretty common out there.  I believe 8 pounds is a good conservative estimate, though. I am 6′ tall, if that gives any idea to build.

Absolutely amazing write up, I’ve been glued to it. I was also wondering what had happened with the rear brakes, but figured you just hadn’t mentioned it.

Why thank you.  I had this asked a few times, and perhaps I wasn’t as clear as I should have been.

I had to replace my rear wheel after I ground the rim into powder on my way to Rawlins, WY. In Rawlins, the tiny bike shop only had 90s era MTB gear.  I managed to find a newer, very cheap (no name) wheel that would accommodate my 9 speed rear cassette.

However, this wheel did not support a rotor.  So I simply bagged up my rotor, took my old wheel apart (kept the rear hub and shipped it out in the next town) and rode with a single front brake.

This made for a very interesting descent heading towards Steamboat Springs, CO.  There, I managed to purchase a new rear wheel that would fit a disc rotor. I shipped all my unused parts back home and fitted myself with two working brakes again.

However, my rear rotor became badly warped from a crash in the Gila.  I only noticed it was dragging terribly the night before the final day of the race.  I figured I didn’t have any bad downhills ahead of me, so I simply unbolted the rear caliper and tied the caliper to my seat-stay to keep it out of the way.

You mentioned not having done endurance racing, but had you done long 75-100 mile rides or multiday rides in the past? Did you train for this? Just trying to figure out if the average man would have any shot whatsoever at this. Awesome read.


I had never done a multi-day ride.  I had never bike-packed.

The only time I rode a 100 miles at once was on my road bike, and the only reason I did that was because I missed a turn and got lost.

I had only done short XC races and team 12 hour races up to this point.   Can an “average” man do this?  If that average man has the willpower, then yes.

But if I were to do it again, I’d probably do some more training.  Montana damned near killed me.

 Do you have pics of your bike setup and gear?



Not sure you can see much in this picture.  This was one of my “training” rides.  I simply filled the bags up and went and rode for a few hours.

Tires: Maxxis Crossmark, 2.1″ 26″

Frame: Sette Edge, 20″

Wheels: Mavic Crossride UB

Tubes: Slime

Bags: Relevate Designs, out of Alaska

Build: Sram X0

Saddle: WTB Rocket V, Titanium

Brakes: Avid Elixer CR

If anyone has anymore questions about the ride, feel free to leave them in the comments.  If I come across anymore information, I’ll update this posting.



Welcome, Traveler!

Hello there,


My name is Nicholas Kennedy, and above this post you will find my personal experience with Tour Divide, the 2,745 mile mountain bike race from Banff, CA to Antelope Wells, NM.


My perspective is that of a complete “noob”, a “wanna-be”, a “rookie”, and  a “wimp”.  As you read, remember that.   One day I’ll go back and use the lessons learned in the following pages to race again. I completed this race in 2011, when I was 22 years old.


If you’re thinking of racing, touring, seeing all or part, or simply want to know more about the race, please feel free to look this over.  Ask me questions, and I’ll answer as best as I can.


It’s a life-changing journey.  Best wishes to those gearing up for the race.


I’d also like to take this time to thank everyone who supported me during this endeavor. Thank you to everyone who watched and cheered as my little Blue Dot bounce up and down the Continental Divide.  I’d like to thank my friends for believing in me, every trail angel I met for helping me in my times of need, my family for supporting me in this trip, and especially my mother.  I know I gave you more gray hairs than you deserved, and that you didn’t leave the house for the month that I was gone, for fear that I might hit my SPOT emergency button and you would need to fly out to save me. Thanks, Mom.