The Fun/Suffer Divide: Bikepacking the CDT
Mountain bike access to our remote backcountry trails is becoming more and more challenging. In this new short film, three riders set out on a stretch of the Continental Divide Trail between Montana and Idaho in the hopes of shedding some light on this issue…
The Fun/Suffer Divide follows Chris Shalbot, Scott Rinckenberger, and Justin Olsen as the trio bikepacks a stretch of the Continental Divide Trail between Montana and Idaho in hopes of showing that an act of participation can in fact be an act of conservation. Through the film, they also wanted to shed some light on this beautiful stretch of wilderness and inspire others to explore by bike. Rewarded with views, memories, and most importantly a sense of accomplishment that will last a lifetime, the crew proves that a pathway to preservation exists through discovery and use.
One of the great benfits of covering big mileage is the opportunity to move through multiple landscapes and ecosystems in a single adventure. Our trip began in a forest killed by wildfires, trees strewn across the trail from countless blowdowns. Eventually we found ourselves in the alpine, making our way along ridges and dropping down to re-supply and make camp at water sources. The southern leg of our journey found us transitioning out of alpine terrain, and into long rolling ridge lines with endless views. Watching the show of light and shadow rolling across the landscape with the movement of the clouds was one of the most iconically Montana moments. Trail surfaces varied as much as the views, with everything from massive boulder fields to rolling singletrack through well-spaced trees, to old roadbeds, dinner sized plates of shale and everything in between.
I wanted to put together a trip to show that the simple act of participation can truly be an act of conservation. – CHRIS SHALBOT
You get into this mode where everything in your world becomes really simple. It comes down to covering the miles you need to cover, making sure there’s enough food and shelter. And all the distractions you’re used to all kind of fade away. – SCOTT RINCKENBERGER
View the full photo feature over at Evo.com. Also, learn more about the bikepacking and the CDT from Ezster Horyani’s five part account here: 1/2/3/4/5. Also, make sure to check out Dylan Kentch’s story about riding it two summers back.