By JulieAnna Reinhardt; photos courtesy of Andy Amick
Hitting the open road will never look the same for one Castle Pines resident who took to it on the saddle of a mountain bike! They call it the Great Divide Ride, a 2,745-mile journey from Banff, Alberta, Canada across the entire United States to Antelope Wells, New Mexico. Few have attempted this ride, and Castle Pines resident Andy Amick is among those who have set out on this adventure of a lifetime and succeeded.
On any normal day, Amick, who lives with his wife Kristi and their two sons Tyler and Logan in Tapestry Hills, would head off to work as a software developer. But on June 13, Amick departed Banff, Alberta, Canada on his mountain bike, hitting the longest off-pavement cycling route in the world.
At 2,745 miles, the Great Divide Route tasks its riders with an overall 200,000 feet of vertical climbing ... equivalent to summiting Mt. Everest seven times from sea level! Coupled with harsh weather conditions, including snow and hail, Amick and 130 other riders set out on 16-hour days to achieve the goal of not only finishing the route, but finishing it in less than twenty-five days.
The Great Divide Ride is known as an underground race, and has been attempted by fewer than 700 riders – ever. Of those who have attempted this ride, fewer than 100 riders have completed the course. Amick is among those winners, completing the route in only 23 days.
When asked why he wanted to tackle this feat, Amick said he got bit by the bug in 2010 when he saw an article in a cycling magazine about the Great Divide Ride. He said, “It was my ultimate dream adventure to see all of America by bicycle, and I just had to do it.” With the support and encouragement of his friends and family, Amick spent the next several years training to achieve just that. And on Monday, July 7 at 3 a.m., Amick achieved that personal goal and rode across the finish line in New Mexico.
What’s next? Well, now that this one is checked off Amick’s bucket list, he hopes to ignite the fire in his boys to cycle and enjoy the years to come exploring with them, in the saddle. But first, a two-week vacation in Maui is the best medicine for having achieved this once-in-a-lifetime adventure ride, said Amick. With his family by his side, Amick will rest, relax and relish over his incredible Divide Ride.