Absolutely not. If you can pedal a bicycle and keep your balance, you can ride the Great Divide.
70 % of the of the GDMBR is on quiet gravel roads with very little traffic. These are mostly country roads that traverse Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management land.
Just 5% of the route is on more difficult terrain such as unpaved four-wheel drive tracks and single
tracks. In the most difficult sections, there are alternative routes that are less physically demanding.
Around 25% of the route is actually PAVED.
Every now and then you’ll bump across a challenging section, but most days will be grinding the gears on gravel (not PUSHING).
You don’t need any advanced map reading skills to tackle the Great Divide route. If you have a normal ability to read a map and can operate a GPS, it is very unlikely that you will get lost.
You should be at least moderately fit before attempting the ride. Distances between services can be long and there is a lot of climbing to do. You do not need to be a top athlete, if you do regular physical activity and have a determined spirit, you will succeed.
The route travels through remote bear country, but you are unlikely to have any unpleasant encounters if you follow basic safety measures. Don’t keep food in your tent (hang it in a tree) and do your best not to surprise a bear (make noise to alert a bear that you’re in the area).
Of course opinion varies, but many riders say that the northernmost section of the GDMBR is the best, The Great Divide Route in Canada and Montana passes through stunning terrain and is the perfect combination of soaring mountains, rocky roads and remote terrain. Plus the added excitement of rolling through Grizzly country.
Reasonably fast riders can complete the Great Divide route in around 45 days, averaging 60 miles per day. Compare that to the record of the Tour Divide race which is 13 days, 22 hours, and 51 minutes and was set in 2016 by British endurance racer Mike Hall. Those wanting to cycle at a gentler pace and toss in a few rest days and detours should be able to easily complete the GDMBR in 60-90 days.
If you plan on staying in motels and eating in restaurants and only camping and self-catering when absolutely necessary, you should probably budget at least $70 per day. If you mostly camp and self-cater, $40 per day should be enough on the GDMBR. Extremely thrifty riders can get by on $10 per day.