CDTBike – Statistics and report card



CDTBike 2014

May 12th to September 12th – 124 days
Total mileage cycled/hiked: 3737 miles
Mileage without day rides: 3623 miles
Mileage without resupply runs and day rides: 3260 miles
Moving time: 26 days, 14.5 hours
Elevation Gain: 453,000 feet

Zero days: 26
Average overall travel speed (including zero days): 30.1 miles per day. 1.25 mph.
Average moving speed: 6.1 mph

Notes: Many of our zero days were for work (dictated by trackleaders event schedule) and route planning. We probably could have gotten away with less, but not that many less!

The 450,000 number is likely a little high, since all elevation gain figures tend to be exaggerated. But even applying a standard box filter to remove noise, it still stays well above 400,000. So I believe it to be at or less than ‘normal’ exaggeration (that is, comparable to other figures thrown around).

We spent a lot of time riding off route for resupply or exploring other options! 400 or so miles. I guess we could have hitched, but we didn’t.

green - official CDT; cyan - Colorado Trail; yellow - Great Divide Mountain Bike Route

green – official CDT; cyan – Colorado Trail; yellow – Great Divide Mountain Bike Route; red – CDTbike 2014 route

Route Breakdown

Official official CDT: 1504 miles (51.4% of Official Route). Average speed: 4.7 mph
Official CDT (with alternates 90% of hikers take): 1636 miles (55.9%)
Official CDT Open to bikes: 1847 miles
Percentage of open CDT ridden: 88.4% ( B+ !)
Great Divide Mountain Bike Route: 862 miles. Average speed: 10.0 mph
Colorado Trail Race Route: 346 miles (66% of route)
Physical Divide: 831 miles. Average speed: 4.2 mph

Notes: These are all estimates, based on throwing various GPS lines at a piece of code. I used a threshold of 2km to consider us on a particular route, or not. The routes are not mutually exclusive. For example — some sections are both CDT and GDMBR. Or both CTR and CDT.

The “official official” CDT is the Bear Creek Survey file. Almost no one follows that to the letter in New Mexico, so the second number (1636 miles) is based on including widely accepted alternates like Pie Town, Mt Taylor and Ghost Ranch. These are ‘de facto’ CDT. We also logged some bonus yet-to-be CDT miles (such as west of Silver City and near Butte), but those aren’t included here.

The 831 miles on the actual divide were some of the slowest, not surprisingly. Rollercoaster!

Overall, riding 88% of the open-to-bikes CDT is something we’re very happy with. I wrote earlier that I felt like we had “done the CDT, ourselves and mountain bikers in general, proud.” I’ll still stand by that.

Achieving 100% of the open-to-bike CDT would require ridiculous measures, like riding out-and-back to Wilderness Boundaries. Or somehow riding portions that exit Wilderness briefly but have no access to either end. I would guess we rode 95% of what is actually possible to ride on a thru-ride.

hike-a-bike (pink) and trail along physical divide (white)

hike-a-bike (pink) and trail along physical divide (white)


Time spent moving sub 2mph: 6 days 22 hours moving time (26% of total moving time)
Mileage moving sub 2mph: 154 miles

Notes: The way TopoFusion displays tiny segments (at such a large zoom) means only areas with lots of hike-a-bike show up pink in the map. Still, Colorado is quite pink, as is the MT/ID border. We love hike-a-bike!

lots of climbing


Photos taken (Scott): 4,288
Words written on blog (Scott): 59,300
Thru-hikers met: 82
Hitches: Zero
Rides from friends taken: One (returning to Cumbres Pass from Dave Burdette’s house)
# of times bounce box was shipped: 9
Flat tires changed: 2 — both on day rides in Colorado
Chains replaced: Twice. Salida and Butte.
Tires replaced: Once. In Winter Park.
Brake pads replaced: Twice. Salida and Butte.

4 comments to CDTBike – Statistics and report card

  • Scott,
    You and Eszter rock, a truly epic and ground breaking journey. My daughter, Cassi, and I were section hiking and enjoyed meeting you south of Lemhi Pass. Haven ridden the CT and NM CDT we know what kind of effort it took to ride 88% of the rideable CDT. I did not realize till after we met why you seemed so familiar. I have to credit for getting me hooked on long distance trails in the first place. I enjoyed your blog (especially the pros and cons of riding vs hiking) I am still working our trip report.
    Hope your reacclimation to civilization is going well.
    If you are ever in Fort Collins give us a call,

  • Scott

    Hey Tony — great to hear from you. Thanks for the kind words.

    I was able to dig up your CDT reports from when you rode across NM. That was fun to check out. Wish I could have picked your brain a little before our trip!

    That’s super cool that you can have so many adventures with your daughter.

    We were wondering how the rest of your MT hike went. Drop us a note when you finish up the trip report.

  • Hi Scott,
    Just finished reading your reflections on the CDT, great stuff. You’ve really hit on some universal truths via traveling long distance trails.
    MT is truly the crux of the trail, physically and psychologically. Cassi and I made it to Butte, all set to finish next summer in Glacier. Here’s a link to this years trip click on july and august entries
    Have a great autumn,

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