The Divide: A 2700 Mile Search For Answers Info

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Escape Into an Unconventional Adventure

“What the
hell am I doing?” This was the trip’s first question—only 2 miles into
this new world—when Nathan had his first major problem and first major
decision: press on or turn back?

Come along and discover this
world, one of bears, bivy sacks, and mountain weather. You’ll see all of
this and more as Nathan follows the Great Divide, the world’s longest
mountain bike route, stretching 2700 miles along the Continental Divide
from Alberta to the US-Mexico Border.

Allow yourself to sink into a
downy sleeping bag; imagine braving severe rain storms; experience the
natural beauty of the Rocky Mountains. As you read, you’ll feel as
though you’ve crawled into Nathan’s head and know the daily experience
of the route, from the downpours and deserts to the moments of
frustration and elation. You’ll encounter wildlife, ask strangers for
help, and maybe even lose a small measure of sanity. But that also means
sharing the self-discoveries earned along the way.

After reading
The Divide, you’ll have learned the truth about “the red line”
and the difference between “being” and “becoming.” You’ll have seen how
these ideas worked into Nathan’s bike ride, and more generally, how they
can be applied to life. So pick up The Divide and move in
the direction of your inspired self.

See the Packing
List

Planning to tackle the GDMBR yourself? Included are details
on Doneen's tour kit and bike setup. More than a suggestive guide, these
lists include the author's commentary on practical preparations, the
pros and cons of his gear, and his own tour's budget and finances. Be
sure to sample Doneen's hard-earned touring wisdom…or risk the same
mistakes.


Average Ratings and Reviews
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4.29

311 Ratings

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Ratings and Reviews From Market


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Reviews for The Divide: A 2700 Mile Search For Answers:

5

Dec 28, 2014

The travel memoir or narrative has long been one of my favorite non-fiction genres. Part of that is the obvious. I love to travel and since being on the road all the time isn’t feasible, experiencing new places and things vicariously is an alternative. But it’s more than that. A good guidebook or the right internet site can take you to the same places. Besides that, the way you experience a place will be different than how anyone else does. (In fact, in some instances I’ll have been to some of The travel memoir or narrative has long been one of my favorite non-fiction genres. Part of that is the obvious. I love to travel and since being on the road all the time isn’t feasible, experiencing new places and things vicariously is an alternative. But it’s more than that. A good guidebook or the right internet site can take you to the same places. Besides that, the way you experience a place will be different than how anyone else does. (In fact, in some instances I’ll have been to some of the places myself and the vicarious experience is replaced by comparing notes, which was true for much of this book for me.)

Books like this, what I describe as a travel adventure or quest, with a specific, usually difficult goal involved (in this case, riding a bike on roads and trails that roughly follow the Continental Divide of North America from well into Canada to the Mexican border) are also entertaining and interesting to me for other reasons. Getting a feel for the logistics of such an undertaking satisfies the curiosity of my more analytical side as does the problem solving involved when unanticipated problems come up.

However, there is a third item that I find essential for a travel memoir if it is to hit the highest mark for me, putting the journey chronicled in the story into a bigger perspective. What did this experience teach the author about life, the world, and his or her place in it? It’s this area where The Divide excelled. In between the day to day adventure and problem solving, Doneen considers his life thus far and where he wants it to go from there, not unlike a coming-of-age adventure novel. But even better, it’s true.

**Originally written for "Books and Pals" book blog. May have received a free review copy. ** ...more
5

Jul 09, 2017

His ride inspires

Nathan's ride is about so many things: miles, good people, bears, rain, mud, misery and satisfaction. His journey into understanding began and ended at his family's farm, and you will be happy to see it through his eyes.
4

Jun 13, 2017

I saw this book on sale in an ebook daily-deal email. I haven't read much memoir or travel stories, but something about this one's description intrigued me. I'm glad I snatched it up, as I was pleasantly surprised. The author writes well, and clearly studied storytelling (as he mentions in the book) because he paced things in such a way that you felt the ebbs and flows of tension, even building up to a climax and ending that was not immediately obvious, but on hindsight was laid out there all I saw this book on sale in an ebook daily-deal email. I haven't read much memoir or travel stories, but something about this one's description intrigued me. I'm glad I snatched it up, as I was pleasantly surprised. The author writes well, and clearly studied storytelling (as he mentions in the book) because he paced things in such a way that you felt the ebbs and flows of tension, even building up to a climax and ending that was not immediately obvious, but on hindsight was laid out there all along. Great job.

Not being a mountain biker, there were times I found myself skimming the detailed descriptions of the conditions he faced, but that wasn't often; overall he had a good balance of description and narration.

Nathan has much to be proud of, both for the feat of the adventure itself and also for writing a solid account of the internal journey he went through along with it.

Be sure to check out his facebook page to see his pictures! Cool stuff! ...more
4

Mar 04, 2015

Maybe between 3 and 4 stars? I'll read pretty much any book about riding the Divide, so I picked up this one and think it's worth reading if you're interested in the experience. I think the writing does a great job with visual imagery of the route, and describing some of the loneliness and emotional challenges that go along with riding it solo. The author rode it as a way to "find himself" after college and some big life events, and I will admit that I rolled my eyes a bunch of times at some of Maybe between 3 and 4 stars? I'll read pretty much any book about riding the Divide, so I picked up this one and think it's worth reading if you're interested in the experience. I think the writing does a great job with visual imagery of the route, and describing some of the loneliness and emotional challenges that go along with riding it solo. The author rode it as a way to "find himself" after college and some big life events, and I will admit that I rolled my eyes a bunch of times at some of the teenage-type angst, especially when he's talking about his college classes, etc. He's a lot younger than most who ride this, and it shows. But by the end of the book, he has the realization (SPOILER) that it's not so much about FINDING yourself as it is about BEING yourself, and I think he really grows through the experience, which is cool to see. ...more
5

Dec 31, 2014

After being book-depressed for a few months, I started to read The Divide on January 1st, 2015. A new year called for a new book, and it delivered in every aspect. Although I haven't attempted to ride a bike for the better part of a decade, I was gripped from the beginning as the adventure started to unwind. In his writing, the author allowed his journey to teach, impact, encourage, and empower without bias to reader lifestyle. I found myself on my own journey as I read the book; I was more After being book-depressed for a few months, I started to read The Divide on January 1st, 2015. A new year called for a new book, and it delivered in every aspect. Although I haven't attempted to ride a bike for the better part of a decade, I was gripped from the beginning as the adventure started to unwind. In his writing, the author allowed his journey to teach, impact, encourage, and empower without bias to reader lifestyle. I found myself on my own journey as I read the book; I was more introspective, thoughtful, and interested in my own adventures.

This book made me laugh, cry, and left me with a feeling of purpose and empowerment. I recommend this book to anyone and everyone. ...more
5

Jun 09, 2017

The Divide is a beautifully written book filled with great introspection, struggles and deep level of awareness that many of us often lose when going about our everyday life. Drawing his readers in as he relives and find meaning in his experiences were moving. It made me reflect and refocus different aspects in my life, which came at a time as I too found myself in a critical point in my own life plan... His vulnerability, honesty and revealing accounts of his experiences were empowering. I was The Divide is a beautifully written book filled with great introspection, struggles and deep level of awareness that many of us often lose when going about our everyday life. Drawing his readers in as he relives and find meaning in his experiences were moving. It made me reflect and refocus different aspects in my life, which came at a time as I too found myself in a critical point in my own life plan... His vulnerability, honesty and revealing accounts of his experiences were empowering. I was blown away! ...more
5

May 24, 2016

Along for the ride

I loved this book. The author has a wonderful writing style and his vivid descriptions paint a clear picture of his amazing journey. Storytelling at its best.
4

Apr 09, 2015

Good adventure

These are my favorite type of books. Real adventures that almost anyone could choose to take part in. Good recommend to seekers.
4

Feb 02, 2017

Good one. Maybe more of a 3.5 star book, but I liked the guy, so I went up.

While I am not a biker, I do run long distances so I know what it can be like out there, feeling the highest of highs, and the lowest of lows. I felt he did a great job showing both sides.
4

Jan 19, 2017

Nathan's bike ride from Canada to Mexico

Very interesting and well written account of a 2700 mile bike ride on the Great Divide trail! The author was alone most of the time which allowed him to do what he needed to do which was rely on himself! Good job, Nathan!
5

Mar 18, 2016

Excellent.

The author seemed a bit to wrapped up in his own emotions at the beginning of the book. By the end, I understood why. Quite an accomplishment, and kudos to him for sharing both his outer and inner journeys. Well done.
5

Nov 05, 2014

Knowing the author, I was prepared to like this book... I was not prepared for the way it reached out and grabbed me. The book is one part physical journey and one part emotional/philosophical journey skillfully blended in a narrative that not only chronicles the author's trip but the life events leading him to it.
2

Nov 19, 2014

The story progressed slowly, highlighting the events of a lost young man that led to a series of thought-provoking questions that can’t be answered. Why am I not happy? Why do I do what I do? Why are we here? And that’s what got him on a treacherous bike trail to nowhere.

From then on, it became a long journey of endless contemplation. There was really no story (or not much of it anyways.)
4

Mar 08, 2015

A well written story of a young man's quest to find answers during a 2700 mile mountain bike journey down the Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico. Being a cyclist myself (although I am one of those much-hated road cyclists) I was inspired by this story, and the detail of what the daily grind was like along the way. An excellent travel adventure story, but a more feeble attempt at the end when writing about how this adventure ultimately helped him answer his questions -- although some detail A well written story of a young man's quest to find answers during a 2700 mile mountain bike journey down the Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico. Being a cyclist myself (although I am one of those much-hated road cyclists) I was inspired by this story, and the detail of what the daily grind was like along the way. An excellent travel adventure story, but a more feeble attempt at the end when writing about how this adventure ultimately helped him answer his questions -- although some detail was given, it is more like a 'coming of age' story. ...more
0

Apr 23, 2015

Wonderful adventure

This a a wonderful, first-person account of a fantastic adventure riding the Continental Divide - covering that great expanse on bicycle. It's well written and deeply personal.
But the most amazing aspect is that the author, a recent college graduate, didn't major in English, Language Arts, nor Journalism. He's a Biology major!

This is such a personal, exciting, and well written ebook that I believe it should be put into print, perhaps through CreateSpace here on Amazon. Wonderful adventure

This a a wonderful, first-person account of a fantastic adventure riding the Continental Divide - covering that great expanse on bicycle. It's well written and deeply personal.
But the most amazing aspect is that the author, a recent college graduate, didn't major in English, Language Arts, nor Journalism. He's a Biology major!

This is such a personal, exciting, and well written ebook that I believe it should be put into print, perhaps through CreateSpace here on Amazon. Congrats to Nathan Doneen, job well done! ...more
4

Jul 06, 2015

I was asked to read this by the author and as soon as I read the synopsis I was in. I was so busy at the time, I just could not fit this into my schedule. I recently had the time to read it and now I am wishing I would not have waited. This was such and inspiration. The whole journey is amazing. I know any reader would be inspired by such a journey. Nathan Doneen did a wonderful job. He takes you on his journey and you feel like you are right there with him and discovering the Divide along side I was asked to read this by the author and as soon as I read the synopsis I was in. I was so busy at the time, I just could not fit this into my schedule. I recently had the time to read it and now I am wishing I would not have waited. This was such and inspiration. The whole journey is amazing. I know any reader would be inspired by such a journey. Nathan Doneen did a wonderful job. He takes you on his journey and you feel like you are right there with him and discovering the Divide along side him. A great inspirational read! ...more
4

Sep 24, 2017

A Good Read

I enjoy reading travel stories and memoirs. The topic of this book was not one in was familiar with or would want to attempt, but it was a good read.
4

Nov 03, 2018

A great read by Nathan Doneen! One of the best books I've read this year. It kept my attention throughout even though I was unfamiliar with many of the locations mentioned. He offered some very good insights and provided an enjoyable reading experience overall. Kudos!

However, I will say that my favorite book about bicycling across the U.S. is Biking Across America by Paul Stutzman, author of another great title, Hiking Through. Both are highly recommended reads.
5

Jul 26, 2018

Amazing Story of one Man's Journey by bike

The writer takes great care to describe the joys and sorrows he encountered on the ride. The included back story helped round out and provide definition for the reason.
3

May 19, 2017

I generally like this kind of story. Part travelogue, part journey of discovery, this book chronicles the events that led to the author's decision to ride the CDT and what happened on the way. However, he tells it in a jumbled fashion, switching between the actual ride and events of the past. This wouldn't bother me except that it didn't make sense how the two were related. Whether it was because of the order he chose to tell things or...I'm not sure, but it was distracting.

Doneen fills the I generally like this kind of story. Part travelogue, part journey of discovery, this book chronicles the events that led to the author's decision to ride the CDT and what happened on the way. However, he tells it in a jumbled fashion, switching between the actual ride and events of the past. This wouldn't bother me except that it didn't make sense how the two were related. Whether it was because of the order he chose to tell things or...I'm not sure, but it was distracting.

Doneen fills the recounting of his journey with descriptive language that is often quite beautiful. Other times, the prose seems like reading a guide book. I really liked how he appreciated the people he encountered, especially when he was surprised by their kindness. Sometimes travel writers are dismissive of the people they meet simply because they are different, but Doneen seemed to be able to find the good in almost everyone he met.

Overall, I'd say this was a good effort on his first book. (I think it's his first), but he definitely has room to grow. I'd like to see how he treats a fictional story as well. ...more
3

Apr 15, 2018

Nathan is a great writer, that's for sure. "The air had lost its brisk edge, and my breath was once again invisible." Usually in a thru book, you'll just get a "Eh, it was pretty cold."-- not here. Nathan goes the extra mile to put you on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route with him. The days of rain seem truly miserable and the climbs seem like hell, which is a lot more fun to read about than it probably is to experience first hand.

Not only is the writing good, but the editing process was Nathan is a great writer, that's for sure. "The air had lost its brisk edge, and my breath was once again invisible." Usually in a thru book, you'll just get a "Eh, it was pretty cold."-- not here. Nathan goes the extra mile to put you on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route with him. The days of rain seem truly miserable and the climbs seem like hell, which is a lot more fun to read about than it probably is to experience first hand.

Not only is the writing good, but the editing process was clearly not overlooked. With flashbacks, dialogue, and some driving themes, this feels much more like a story than a series of journal entries, which is hard to find in the thru-hike/thru-bike genre. The backstory Nathan gives into his life and his family/friends keeps you motivated to continue reading beyond just the desire to see if he finishes the route.

The book is also filled with quite a few laugh-out-loud moments, like when he coins the term "grizzly bear snack sack" for his bright orange bivvy, or when he recommends using chamois creme as a lotion substitute to stop nose bleeds-- Kindle note: "U did wut m8?!". That's right, chammy up the nose, hah!

A couple things I didn't like about this book are a bit of personal taste, but I'll still include them here. I wish he had more encounters with others on trail. It's fun to hear about newly met travelers , but this book only has a handful of those. To Nathans defense, he did do this route for the solitude and self-reliance, so I get it. Another thing, I did pick up on some moments that'd make the front page of /r/iamverysmart. If you don't know what that means, basically, I picked up on a bit of a "I am much smarter than you" vibe. This didn't bother me too much, but it was there.

All in all, this book is a solid read. It was my first GDMBR read and I feel like I now have a good sense of what the trail entails. I recommend you pick it up, but perhaps not before some of the other trail books I've recommended. ...more

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