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81 MIN READ TIME

The Great Divide

WORDS BY JENN HILL // PICTURES BY JENN HILL & MIKE RIEMER/SALSA CYCLES

Leaving Del Norte under cover of darkness, we spin out of the desert towards the mountains. Cacti and sage brush give way to pines, packed dirt to loose gravel, and we start to climb as the sky reddens behind us and the horizon resolves into morning.

The gradient is harsh and my legs refuse to wake.The strip of grey rubble breaks what little resolve has crept back into the reserves over night. I walk stretches where the steepness increases the hurt beyond what is sustainable. Start riding again when the walking twists my calves into coils of tight wire.

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