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Cycling the Great Divide: From Canada to Mexico on America's Premier Long Distance Mountain Bike Route Paperback – June 1, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: Mountaineers Books (June 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898866987
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898866988
  • Product Dimensions: 0.6 x 5.3 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #502,209 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born in Wyoming amidst the cowboys and sagebrush, grew up in Iowa surrounded by soybeans and corn, and graduated from the University of Wyoming with a degree in anthropology. Several summers of archaeological research led me to the far corners of Wyoming, Montana, and Mexico; then a cross-country bicycle trip led me down a new, unexpected career path when I went to work for the Adventure Cycling Association in Montana. My most recent cycling-related achievement was mapping Adventure Cycling's Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, a 2,700-mile off-pavement "bikepacking" route that follows the Continental Divide from Banff, Alberta, to Antelope Wells, New Mexico.

I've also worked as a ranger at Devils Tower National Monument and as a wildlife researcher in northwest Montana's Kootenai National Forest. There my duties ranged from the prosaic, such as counting piles of elk droppings, to the far more exciting -- like helping to relocate orphaned grizzly-bear cubs from Glacier National Park.

I've explored every national park and monument, national forest, and national wildlife refuge in the Northern Rockies. I've covered -- by car, foot, bicycle, horseback, or cross-country skis -- more than a million miles in the region during the past 35 years. This I've concluded: I like it here.

My guidebook Montana: Off the Beaten Path is in its sixth edition, newly branded as part of Globe Pequot's "Insiders' Guide" series. It's threatening to reach 50,000 copies in sales. (Of all those thousands of readers only one person hasn't liked the book, and he posted a review at amazon.com!)

My book Journey to the Northern Rockies, which is part guidebook and part travel narrative, has garnered thumbs-up reviews from a broad range of publications, including Navy Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Bloomsbury Review. And Classic Cowboy Stories, for which I served as compilation editor, was a featured item in the holiday 2005-06 Sundance Catalog.

My advice on travel in the Rockies has appeared in Sports Illustrated, Outside, USA Today, Elle, Business Week, the Washington Post, and many other publications. I've also discussed travel on the air on CNN and ESPN.

In addition to my books, I've written for dozens of other publishers and magazines, including the National Geographic Book Division, Fodor's, The Discovery Channel/Insight Guides, Men's Journal, Runner's World, Northwest Airlines World Traveler, Midwest Living, American Cowboy, Canoe, Mountain Living, Historic Traveler, Bicycling, Mountain Bike, Montana, and The Iowan. "The Year of the Outback," a story I wrote about a South Australia mountain biking adventure, was an award-winner in the Outdoor Writers of America's 2004 writing competition.

That's more than enough about me. Cheers to you, and safe travels!

Customer Reviews

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If you are riding the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, you MUST have this book.
Michael Cline
My wife and I rode entire length in the summer of 2000, and we carried this book on the outside of our packs in a plastic bag at all times.
J. Hearn
This looks like an excellent book to get a really good idea of what this great adventure entails.
Dave

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. Hearn on January 18, 2002
Format: Paperback
Whether you're planning on riding the whole thing at once or just just doing a section of it, I'd strongly recommend getting this book. My wife and I rode entire length in the summer of 2000, and we carried this book on the outside of our packs in a plastic bag at all times. We referred to it at least once every day. Like in any guide-book, there are a few confusing spots, but on the whole, the author (one of the original trail planners) has done a great job. He not only keeps you on the right path, he also points out various places you should visit, gives some historic perspective, and more. The book will surely make your experience more enjoyable.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By alys culhane on March 27, 2003
Format: Paperback
Michael McCoy's Cycling the Great Divide: From Canada to Mexico on America's Premier Long Distance Mountain Bike Route is an essential item for those who are planning to bicycle or hike all of the Adventure Cycling route.
As McCoy notes in his well-written and informative introduction, this isn't an easy trek. Uneven terrain, adverse weather conditions, and a lack of water and essential services are often the norm.
As I found, having the book on hand better enabled me to plan ahead. For instance, my discovering that the climb over Indiana Pass would be long and difficult prompted me to begin my cycling day early, which in retrospect was fortuitious in that had I dilly-dallied, I would would have been caught in a late-afternoon snow-storm.
One the book's many strengths is that it includes a much-needed daily route synopsis. Though I am directionally challenged, I did not miss a single turn, not even in New Mexico, where many of the roads and trail heads are unmarked.
Sightseeing, points-of-interest, and photos have been included. I was often glad of this -- as I remarked to some onlookers, if McCoy hadn't pointed these things out to me, my trip would have been more of a slog than it was. For instance, if he hadn't mentioned that the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad passes through southern New Mexico, I would have missed it.
The historical information is also a plus in that it will appeal to both tenters and armchair readers. There was many an evening when (because the sun set early) I was glad I had this book on hand.
The material in this book also complements the Adventure Cycling maps. In retrospect, my trip was without incident, in part because I had both on hand.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Michael Cline on December 12, 2002
Format: Paperback
If you are riding the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, you MUST have this book. This is an awesome route - Mike McCoy and the gang did a great job of researching it. One comment on the writing though -- when he uses the word 'steep', he means 'extremely steep', and when he says 'extremely steep', he means 'don't even try to ride your bike up this with a fully loaded bike'. A 'respectable climb' is really a lung-buster. Just expect everything to be a little harder than he makes it sound, and then you wont feel angry because it is not as easy as he makes it out to be. I think he must have either rode it without being fully loaded, or he is a very strong man! Anyhow, if you ride the Great Divide, you will have fun.. I guarantee it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By User on January 14, 2007
Format: Paperback
I rode this trail in the summer of 2006, from Banff to Mexico. I found this book very helpful in planning my daily rides. It briefly described potential camping spots, designated and undesignated, water sources, and trail conditions. To conserve weight while on the trail, I tore out the pages as I completed them.

It is definitely well worth the money to buy for planning and for using on the trail.

This book does not include any info on the Canada portion.

With some help from this book I only needed 40 days to plan everything.

Note: This was my first bicycle tour and I did it solo, self supported.
Cheers!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. R. Ransom on January 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is very informative and well researched. The author provides a very thorough guide to riding the Continental Divide Trail. Only downside, the maps, which are sketchy at best. Author suggests buying detailed maps from his sponsoring organization.
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By Richard on February 14, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Seem a little dated but the information it contains i feel is still relevant and worth the spend and it not all about racing the Great Divide
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