Impossible Route: Death Valley

The Impossible Route: Death Valley is a 7-day, 761-mile, stage-race style inspired, cycling expedition along the California Backcountry Discovery Route; a course originally charted for dual sport and adventure motorcycles. Can bicyclists match the distances covered by moto riders and survive the grueling demands of the southern California desert, or will the challenge prove impossible?

The Bikes

The riders selected Canyon Grail bicycles for the sandy gravel miles of the Mojave Desert and Death Valley. Rugged gear was a must, and maximum water-carrying capacity was key to their setups.

Canyon Grail bicycle

 

The Fueling

For the Death Valley expedition the riders were challenged to complete each day's route self-sufficiently, carrying what they'd need or relying on "trail magic" along the way. This challenge is modeled from the rules of mountain bike stage racing. The riders could only get support at the villages or camps that punctuated the otherwise unthinkable desolate deserts. The riding would be about 110 miles a day, over sand and rock, through heat and cold, and under the burning sun. For this challenge, fueling would be critical to success... and even survival.

Journal

Impossible Route: Death Valley rider Jeremiah Bishop chronicled his experience in a 9-part blog.

Two cyclists ride close together in the desert