This year, Adventure Cycling’s Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR) — the longest mapped, off-road cycling route in the world — is turning 20. To celebrate, bikepacker, musician, and poet Ben Weaver is cycling the full-length of the GDMBR with his instruments strapped to his bike, performing free concerts along the way.
Nearly 3000 miles long, the GDMBR stretches from Banff, Alberta to the U.S.-Mexico border at Antelope Wells, New Mexico. For the past 20 years, people in the communities along the route have supported riders from all over the world as they pass through. They leave water out in the desert, cook food, open their homes, and even set up cots in their garages to offer riders respite and comfort. The Music for Free project will honor not only the anniversary of this incredible route but also all the people who live along it and the irreplaceable support they continue to provide riders. Ben encourages riders of all abilities to help celebrate the generosity and thriving spirit of these individuals by joining Ben at any of the scheduled performances for a free concert.
To ensure the stories of the people reach a large audience, Ben is collaborating with Adventure Cycling, Salsa Cycles, and Osprey to make a documentary with filmmaker Keenan DesPlanques. Keenan will ride the entire route with Ben to capture the stories and landscapes the two encounter as they make their way south to the border. Folks can join the Music for Free tribe and follow along digitally through Ben’s weekly journal starting May 29. His weekly musings will mix in a bit of music, storytelling, and hands-on “how to” while riding the GDMBR.
June 8, Ben will join the Tour Divide Grand Depart in Banff. From there Ben will ride the nearly 3000 miles to Antelope Wells, New Mexico including the newly finished spur trail into Missoula, Montana. Currently, Ben is scheduled to give 15 performances, and more impromptu shows will be added along the way. Start planning a bike overnight or day ride to meet up for a free concert at any or all of the listed venues below:
June 7 | Banff, AB | YWCA
June 11 | Whitefish, MT | Whitefish Bike Retreat
June 14 | Missoula, MT | Art Park at Adventure Cycling HQ
June 14 | Missoula, MT | Top Hat Restaurant & Bar
June 15 | Ovando, MT | The Stray Bullet
June 17 | Helena, MT | Great Divide Cyclery
June 22 | Pinedale, WY | Sublette County Library
June 25 | Slater, CO | Brush Mountain Lodge
June 27 | Steamboat Springs, CO | Orange Peel Cycles
June 28 | Silverthorne, CO | Silverthorne Performing Arts Center Lawn
June 29 | Salida, CO | Subculture Cyclery
July 1 | Del Norte, CO | The Mystic Biscuit
July 6 | Pie Town, NM | The Toaster House
July 8 | Silver City, NM | Gila Hike and Bike
July 9 | Antelope Wells, NM | Antelope Wells Border
Interested in learning more about Ben’s Music for Free project? Then check out the three-minute video, follow his weekly journal, and download a free song at adventurecycling.org/musicforfree
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Adventure Cycling Association inspires and empowers people to travel by bicycle. It is the largest cycling membership organization in North America with more than 53,000 members. Adventure Cycling produces cycling routes and maps for North America, organizes more than 100 tours and leadership courses annually, and publishes the best bicycle-travel information anywhere, including Adventure Cyclist magazine. With over 46,000 meticulously mapped miles in the Adventure Cycling Route Network, Adventure Cycling gives cyclists the tools and confidence to create their own bike-travel adventures. Phone: 800.755.BIKE (2453). Web: www.adventurecycling.org.