One month in, 1,000 miles ridden and with Montana in the rearview, Kurt Refsnider shares stories from his progress so far riding the entirety of the Continental Divide Trail. As Kurt tells it, it’s been slow going but he hasn’t yet once questioned his desire to take on this monumental backcountry route.
The Northern New Mexico Continental Divide Trail, or CDT for short, is a popular route for bicycle touring. Singletrack and overgrown double-track compose most of this true-to-form high-country route, where beautiful campsites and natural water sources abound. Yet, it can be a challenge to pick up the route’s thread season after season, as deadfall and weather-related changes obstruct wayfinding. John and a group of six friends recently rode the 93-mile section, and he documented the scenery with his 35mm rangefinder camera and a 35mm focal length lens.
Find the most current, mostly singletrack route of the Northern NM CDT below, along with route notes and a wonderful gallery that captures the vibe of this stunning section of bike-legal trail below.
As you read this, the last remaining dots on the 2023 Tour Divide are probably still trickling towards its southern terminus. Meanwhile, Kurt Refsnider is gearing up for a parallel but far more ambitious adventure of his own. An adventure that only three other humans have ever completed on bicycles. The Continental Divide Trail, like the Tour Divide route, runs from Canada to Mexico and tracks along the Continental Divide. But unlike the Tour Divide, the CDT is almost entirely singletrack.
This article will be the first of many that Kurt will be sharing about his ponderous trek. He starts by outlining the route, telling us where the idea came from, and detailing the years of planning that got him ready to take the plunge. Stay tuned. We definitely will.
On Saturday morning, bright and early, I dropped Bailey and Erik off at Cumbres Pass, on the Colorado/New Mexico border. These two are riding the length of New Mexico on the Continental Divide Trail, bypassing Wilderness areas along the way. Not many people have ridden the length of this segment of the CDT, as it traverses the most remote stretches of the New Mexico back country. I’m not sure how much these two will be updating their Instagram accounts along the way, but give them a follow if you’re into this kind of thing. Oh, and they’re riding it singlespeed (32x22t). Hopefully, we’ll have a story from them when they’re done.
Tailwinds and cold water, you two!
Check out their bikes in our Reportage Archives below…
Northern New Mexico’s section of the Continental Divide Trail is quite the experience and with its popularity, more and more cyclists are coming to New Mexico to ride 70 miles of singletrack over a 90-mile route. One of my friends, Kyle from Outer Shell, recently came through town with his Falconer hardtail to take on the CDT, so I shuttled him to Cumbres Pass and bid adieu. After his trip, I linked back up with him and shot his wild Falconer hardtail, “loaded” for his time on the trail…
With New Mexico’s pandemic protocol still on lockdown and new restrictions rolling in each week, we’ve been looking to our backyard of Northern New Mexico for quick-n-easy jaunts to break the monotony of riding the same ol’ trails in our home town of Santa Fe. Our most recent outing brought a small group of us up to the Hopewell Lake region of the Continental Divide Trail for a short but sweet singletrack ride and fire road climb through tunnels of golden changing leaves. Read on for some notes on beautiful autumn riding…
DISCLAIMER: Travel is limited to New Mexico at this time and there is a mask requirement. This trip was planned before the recent changes and we adjusted to ensure safe distances and to limit any small community contact. Be safe.
Starting at the border of Colorado and following along the Continental Divide Trail, some friends helped hatch a plan to traverse the central highlands of New Mexico by bike over 3 days, covering 100 miles of unbelievably-beautiful country.