Divide Riding

I’m back bitches.


Been a bit since the Colorado Trail. Reloaded and back on the adventure train, coming correct from Grenada, Nicaragua.


Recharged the batteries in Vail for a whole minute. It was the longest stint I have spent anywhere since college. Shredded a moderate amount of pow. Made it to Jackson Hole with a beautiful babe. Snorkel riding the entire time. Pretty fortunate on all fronts.


Working, hanging with a beautiful lady, Robin, short trip to TX to visit the entire Zimmerman clan (w/ Robin) and finally preparing for Tour Divide.


Tour Divide (Wiki):  The Tour Divide Race follows the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR), a continuous long distance bicycle touring route from Banff, Alberta, Canada to Antelope Wells, New Mexico, USA.  As of 2010, the route is 2745 miles (4417 km) long.  In this event, the race clock runs 24 hours a day and the riders are allowed no outside support other than access to public facilities such as stores, motels, and bike shops. The record time to complete the Tour Divide in its 2010 routing is 17 days, 23 hours and was set in 2009. The Tour Divide has been raced and completed on both single speed bicycles and on a tandem bicycle. There are neither entry fees nor prizes in either race.





Seed was planted while riding cross country with a couple roudy boys a few years back. I knew i needed to ready my mind, body and machine in order to compete, so that was it.



On my last tour from MN to Vail I rode through Ft. Collins in hopes to meet up with a frame builder. Black Sheep Bikes is 3 dudes who specialize in crazy sick titanium bike frames that lie somewhere between art and bike. Their bikes certainly caught my eye and i really just wanted to meet the guys and see the bikes. Rolled into the shop on Lanny…the 1987 Trek and around 1000 miles a road grime and he dug it. We leveled and a deal was struck to get me on one of their bike. I was stoked and they seemed to be as well. The part of the agreement that sold me on the ultra high end trail destroyer (a little more Gucci than i am used to), was the part that they were going to allow me to come and build the bike with them. Boom. Done. Sold.



Spent a few weeks down in Ft. Collins in October living in the parking lot of Black Sheep in a VW van. Van of my roommate, Chris. Got the van in trade for doing a little work on it while i was down there. Tried to learn as much as possible in my short time down there. Black Sheep was in the midst of creating a run of 10 snowbike frames for 9:ZERO:7 out of anchorage, AK. I was able to help out with production of those…at least earn my keep. http://fatbikes.com/2012-907-titanium.html Didn’t mind at all that I wasn’t able to start on building my own frame. I was happy to spend more time in the shop.



Returned to Black Sheep in early April to start building my own. Turned out sick. Was able to do a bunch of the design, cutting etc. Wouldn’t say that I built it…it’s definitely a Black Sheep, but, apart from welding, I got my hand pretty dirty for another couple weeks.



After riding their bikes I decided to go with what Black Sheep does best…fully rigid 29ers. I also made it with wide enough spacing to accommodate snow wheels. Went a little crazy and picked up a Lefty front end as well. 3 bikes in one? The drive train is a Schlumpf 2 speed planetary gear that shifts with your heel…no cable…super clean. Also set it up so i can select between 4 single speed options because the snow wheel spacing allows for 2 rear wheels…2 cogs a piece. Each wheel is it’s own double single speed or ‘dingle’. So with the 2 speed planetary gear in the crank it’s technically a 8 speed bike although it only has access to 2 speeds at once. Wanted to avoid a drivetrain with a deraileur/tensioner.





FUCKING Bad Ass (snow setup)



2 speed dingle, another 2 cogs in the front. Tool-less swap with the front wheel with a couple master links








Sewed a set of bike packing luggage as well. made from super durable 1 oz Cuben fiber…turned out pretty trick…albeit a little Gucci. The bags a lace up around the bike frame with parachute cord. Spent a few nights up til 4 in the morning to get it all done. Bike with all luggage and gear weighs in at a scant 32 lbs. Doesn’t include a few clothing items, but i suspect that minus food and water the setup should be sub 35 for sure. Stoked.


Tour Divide Rig in front of my home outside of BlackSheep.



32 lbs = Retarded.





Machine dialed, i needed to work on me. Plan is: (Moab for a week, then..) fly to Costa Rica…Chill with Vail kids and Robin for a week then ride back to the southern start of the Tour Divide in New Mexico. Build some mental and physical strenth for the impending race. Had a little too much invested in the Sheep to risk riding in though central america and mexico so I gave Lanny the nod and packed up the Black Sheep to be sent to a bike shop in NM where i will switch them out.


 scenic routs in CR and hit Ometepe, the vulcano island in Nicaragua. Schedule-wise I am a bit behind to make it back to the US in time to race. In the case that i am in fact tardy i wll skip some of the desert in northern mexico with a bus. The week with Vail crew has been sick. Surfing and chilling and repeating. Left C.R. a couple days ago. In Grenada, Nicaragua now. Riding has been hot, but i can feel myself being broken in. A good thing. Loving the peope and culture here. Caught a few snHate to rush any of this, striking a balance. Trying to hit the century mark more than not. Be back in the states in one hot minute.







Central America gear. (Minus dog)






Broke my rack, found a dude that welds aluminium in Rivas Nicaragua. BOOM


boat with vulcano


20 miles of pavers. Sounds cooler than it is?




About cjellmoney

Fucking badass dude.
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2 Responses to Divide Riding

  1. James Watt says:

    Incredible bike and a great story. Thanks for sharing!

  2. D.J. Brickner says:

    Cjell (Taylor): Reading your blog is very interesting! Just as it has been following you on the Divide. You seem like a very interesting young man who enjoys life without causing others (other than your Mom & Dad) issues. (Read the Divide Race Discussion…) Congratulations on finishing the Divide!! I look forward to reading what else you participate in!!

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