Riding the “Great Divide Mountain Bike Route” once in a lifetime is the dream of many cyclists. The legendary route is considered the longest “off-road bike route” in the world and runs for 2,745 miles (= 4,417 kilometers) from Banff, Canada to the Mexican border. The US athlete and filmmaker Ryan van Duzer fulfilled this dream and started the race with his new Pinion Bike Priority 600X.
After his return we talked to Ryan in detail and among other things we talked about how he got into biking, why he is convinced that biking can help to make the world a better place and which was the biggest challenge for him on the “Great Divide Mountain Bike Route”.
He summarizes his adventure in 27 varied and very authentic YouTube episodes!
3 QUESTIONS FOR RYAN VAN DUZER
Ryan, you are an endurance athlete and a well-known YouTuber in the USA. That’s how you earn your money. How did it come about?
Ever since I was a little boy, I’ve LOVED riding my bicycle. It’s the sense of freedom that I enjoy most, and I truly love using my body (fueled by burritos) to explore the world around me. My career has always been as a storyteller. I’ve worked for newspapers,TV stations, as a travel blogger, and now, YouTube. My goal with everything I produce is to inspire people to get off their couches and GET OUT THERE!
Growing up, our family didn’t have the money to travel to far off destinations, so my bicycle was the best way to explore my backyard. I’m very fortunate to have been raised in Boulder, Colorado, and I pedaled my bike as far as I could (but always had to be home for dinner). My first big adventure came when I was 23 years old. I had been living in Honduras for two years as a Peace Corps volunteer, and I decided that the best way to get home would be to ride my bike. It was the adventure of a lifetime and I loved every second of my 5,000km journey through Central America and Mexico. From that point onward, I’ve been dreaming up and completing bike tours all over the world. I’m a true believer in the power of cycling to make the world a better place. Fun fact: I’ve never owned a car, I ride my bike everywhere.
4,417 KILOMETERS ACROSS AMERICA – FROM CANADA TO THE MEXICAN BORDER
The Great Divide is something that I’d had on my adventure list for years, and I’m so grateful that I made it happen this summer. The route was established in 1997, and it’s the longest off-road bicycle route on the planet. It starts in BANFF, Canada, and goes through Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado and finally reaches the border of Mexico in the state of New Mexico. The scenery was stunning, and the people I met along the way were some of the best.
My month on the road really helped me gain an appreciation for my country, and its people. I also got to share a lot of miles with some friends, and even the cutest dog in the world, so all in all, it was one of my favorite bike adventures ever.
What would you describe as the biggest challenge on the road?
The biggest challenges as a bikepacking youtuber are documenting my adventures. I truly love sharing stories with my viewers, but it’s very time consuming to film everything, and keeping all the cameras and batteries working properly. The elements are hard on such delicate equipment, especially drones. If only Pinion made camera gear, I bet they would be super strong 🙂
I can’t complain though, I make a living riding my bike with a camera in hand. My goal is to continue riding, sharing stories, and inspiring others to explore this beautiful world.
The 600x is a hardtail 29er designed with cross-country geometry and trekking in mind. With fast-rolling knobby tires and an all-conditions Pinion-/ Gates drive system, this bike is ready to take you miles into the unknown.
Designed in partnership with adventurer Ryan Van Duzer and built for off-road adventure, the 600x has been tested on the Great Divide and on bikepacking trails throughout the Northeast.
“I’ve long wanted an mtb with Pinion and Gates, it’s my drivetrain of choice. There’s virtually no maintenance. The gearbox is protected from the elements and has a much bigger range than traditional drivetrains !”
” My month on the road really helped me gain an appreciation for my country, and its people. I’m very grateful that I make a living riding my bike with a camera in hand. My goal is to continue riding, sharing stories, and inspiring others to explore this beautiful world.” – Ryan van Duzer