Kurt Williams
Great Divide
Pre-Ride I suppose what comes to mind when I think of “pre ride” is the mental preparation for a trip of this magnitude. There’s always this bit of excited anxiety right before you are about to embark on a trip that will be your life for the next few months, no matter how experienced in adventure you are. There are so many unknowns, which for me is what keeps me coming back to doing these exciting adventures every year.

It’s funny the questions you get from peers, what are you going to eat? What are you going to wear? How many miles will you do in a day? I try and find a good answer for any of these pre-ride questions but only seem to come up with one honest answer…..I don’t know!? If I’ve learned anything from past bike tours it’s that you can’t predict how your ride will go. What feels right, is to get on your bike and see where it takes you.

For me, I try and keep bike tours as non-goal oriented as possible and let the wind of opportunity fill my sails, allowing me to more easily meet new people, and see unexpected areas. What would happen if you didn’t run out of water and had to divert off your route? If I didn’t get a flat in Mexico would I have stayed in that town and met those amazing folks? I feel like bike touring is about adventure, meaning unknowns, not knowing what will happen in a day, and isn’t that how life is? Or shouldn’t life be this spontaneous? Embracing the day as it comes to you, instead of you trying to dictate it.

I’m super thrilled to be doing this ride for these reasons and also because I’ll have the company of my good friend Sam. He’s fun, down for anything, and always positive. We’ve connected rapidly over the last year after climbing a lot. It’s comforting knowing that he shares a similar attitude when it comes letting the trip unfold in front of us. One really exciting aspect of this trip is that we will be bringing our climbing gear, as to not miss any cool rock features along the way. I’ve been wanting to attempt a multifaceted adventure, combining biking with climbing for some time now and thanks to Blackburn’s support, this dream is coming true! It’s really empowering to have support when trying to attempt a new idea in a trip.

So what am I doing in preparation for the Great Divide Route? Nothing much different than I have for other trips, pack the stuff I need to enjoy the outdoors and see where my bike will take me.

I suppose I will leave with one last note, one that is tattooed on the leg of a good friend of mine, which reads P.M.A. = Positivity Mental Attitude, meaning more specifically “PMA is the philosophy that having an optimistic disposition in every situation in one’s life attracts positive changes and increases achievement.”

I think with enough P.M.A. both Sam and I are going to have a really fun summer on bikes. Thanks Blackburn for all the help!

-Kurt Williams


Great Divide's profile picture
Kurt Williams

Gear List

- My Blackburn Gear -

  • FLEA 2.0 FRONT USB $29.99 Buy Now
  • FLEA 2.0 REAR USB $29.99 Buy Now

- My Bike Specs -

  • • FRAME-Salsa El Mariachi Frame size: M
  • • CRANK-SRAM S1000, 26/39T, GXP (make, model, length, chainrings) BOTTOM BRACKET: SRAM GXP
  • • SHIFTERS-SRAM X-7 Trigger
  • • TIRES-Front Continental X-King Rear WTB Nano both Tubeless (front and rear, make, model and size)
  • • STEM-Salsa
  • • FORK-Salsa Fargo Forks
  • • PEDALS-Cheap flat pedals with straps
  • • BRAKES-Avid Elixir 5
  • • SEAT POST-Salsa
  • • HANDLEBAR-Salsa Pro Moto 2, Salsa Juegos de Fuegos (aerobars, grips, bartape, etc)
  • • HEADSET-Cane Creek
  • • CASSETTE-SRAM 12-36T
  • • WHEELS-29”, Formula Hubs, Stans Arch: (size, hub, rim)
  • • SADDLE-Brooks
  • • SPARE PARTS-Chain, tubes, shifter cable, spare bolts, patches
Kurt Williams's profile picture
Kurt Williams
  • FROM: Jaffrey, New Hampshire
  • DOB: 1986-02-11
  • Single
  • OCCUPATION: Dirt Bag
  • What was the genesis moment or inspiration for your upcoming adventure? A few years ago I was touring through Central America and through the internet heard about the Great Divide Route. Since then I always wanted to do it, but it wasn’t until I ran across the Blackburn Ranger Program that I started to take it serious. I figured why not apply and see if it was meant to be.
  • Have you traveled by bike in the past? I have, done a few shorter bike tours in Oregon. Then, one trip from Denver back to Portland, OR. My most ambitious trip was a few years ago when I biked from California through Central America to Panama, that was a pretty eye opening trip to see where a bike can take you.
  • What is your goal for the route? To have fun with my buddy Sam!
  • What do you hope to get out of this journey? I hope to successfully bike tour with climbing gear and to use the bicycle as a means to get to climbing locations. A climbing trip completely fueled by bike touring!
  • What’s in my bag 1. Cat food alcohol stove - Always works, fuel is super easy to find in any location.
    2. Giro long sleeve button up shirt - Super excited to have this, I’ve always bike with a casual shirt. Versatile and also makes you not look like a cyclist, which helps you connect with people along the route.
    3. Blackburn Oversized Bottle Cages - Really happy to be using these prototypes! Forget the racks, use these!
    4. Tobacco Pipe - For lookin’ cool.