The European Divide Mountainbike Route (EDMBR)
Planning of a long distance mountain bike route across Europe
Riding the Great Divide MBR for me was a unique experience. Since then, I wonder if it is possible to have a similar tour in Europe. Of course, Europe has not much wilderness or deserts. But there are many fascinating landscapes and mountain areas. This is the attempt to find a route for mountain bikes across Europe.
The European watershed
Why a route along a watershed? Because a watershed usually means mountains and that is where a MTB rider wants to go. Europe is crisscrossed by many watersheds. For the EDMBR the East-West connection seems to be the most interesting. Here the main watershed of European comes from Russia crossing Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, France and Spain to the Strait of Gibraltar. Wikipedia has a good overview.
After two months of finding and evaluating routes the main watershed no longer appears as well suited as a guideline. Therefore, the route will be more oriented to landscape and demands of bikepacking in future. Perhaps it will soon become a Transcontinental Bikepacking Route instead of a Divide Route.
The route to be defined should be similar to the Great Divide in America: a nature experience, technically easy, ridable for trekking and mountain bikers of all ages, ridable with a trailer, no more than 1500 meters per 100 km on average. There should be alternatives or bypasses for the very demanding parts of the route. An average bicyclist should be able to complete it within 60-90 days. Eventually it should be possible to race it within 2-4 weeks.
With the Bikepacking Trans Germany we used the plans for the German section to create an event for summer 2016. Follow the link for more information.