Alternate Routes: Cuba to Grants; Grants to Pie Town Road (through El Malpais)

There have been e-mail and phone calls to me over the past 36hrs as to why Matthew then Ardie appear to be off route btwn Cuba and Grants, NM. I wanted to let everyone know there are 2 alternates permitted during the race, according to the rules. If you see the blue dots veer west of the main route at Cuba, or south of it following Grants, (along El Mapais National Monument), it only means that the racers are taking both alternates which run back to back. It may be dangerous for racers to take the regular route if there is wet weather as the flooding is possible through the numerous arroyos crossings on the main route.

The two alternates are:

Alt. 1) The 116-mile section between Cuba and Grants, New Mexico
Alt. 2) The section between Grants and the Pie Town road, through El Malpais National Monument.

The alternates are paved. Alt. 1) is .3 longer; Alt. 2) is 17.9 shorter.

The racers do have the option to take the main route; however, if there is any risk of bad weather, its not recommended.

Sherry O.


Thank you

Thank you for the clarification - safety is a very important concern, especially with the weather the way it has been!
Does anyone know if there is a payphone available in Antelope Wells?



Don't recall a payphone at the Antelope Wells customs station. There is probably one in Hachita.
You might check with Gila Hike & Bike in Silver City: 575-388-3222.

final call in

There's no payphone at Antelope Wells. However the border guys will let you use their phone to make a call if you get there while the crossing is open; which is 8am to 4pm. Antelope Wells is in the middle of nowhere, and the guys out there are really friendly to the racers.

Tour Divide

For those who made it and those who didn't and especially for the guy at the back of the pack still out there somewhere working the pedals.

Tour Divide

Listen my friends and you shall hear
A lone mountain bike in the granny gear.
You started in Banff seventeen strong
But this is a tale of things that go wrong

Achilles tendons and drifts of snow,
Grizzlies, big cats, nightmares-to-go.
Miles to go before you sleep
And all those promises to keep.

With lagging spirits and constant grief,
Utter exhaustion with no relief,
Wet, hungry, legs like concrete
Can’t feel your toes, can’t feel your feet.

Lugging your stuff, not to mention your bike
On this Rocky Mountain obstacle hike.
Some say that it was just never clear
They would need the skills of a mountaineer.

Swarming mosquitoes and one sore butt,
Mud everywhere, your wheels in a rut.
You’ve climbed 200,000 feet
And endured the desert’s relentless heat.

Emotional ups, emotional downs
Mysterious maps, vanishing towns,
Swollen ankles, fever and chills
Slippery paths and a hundred spills

Awesome country these racers have seen -
Canada, Mexico and all parts between
from Banff in Alberta to Antelope Wells.
Each rider enduring their personal hells.

The prize isn’t money, nor is it glory
It’s just being part of an epic story.
It’s you, your bike and your winning smiles.
You made it through nearly 3,000 miles.

It’s meeting the challenges, seeing it through
Knowing the one who endured it was you.
Knowing you triumphed on this awesome ride -
Knowing you conquered the Tour Divide.

By Diana C. Gleasner
Copyright 2008

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