The Great Divide Memory Ride

Jun 14, 2015 View Comments by

The Great Divide Memory RideA Journey with a Purpose –

Great rides are always significant. However, the one I am taking this June is monumental to me. It is a benefit ride that honors my father and his valiant battle with Alzheimer’s / dementia. He was the man who taught me life lessons in his kind, quiet way. He was the man who lived life with a smile and a simple joy. He was the man who, despite his fatherly trepidation, allowed me to buy that first ratty motorcycle. Simply put, he is the man after whom I try to model my life.

A ride along the Great Divide has been a personal goal of mine for years. I will begin the solo 2,000-mile trek on the border between Canada and Montana. My journey south from there will trace the length of the Great Divide through Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and Colorado. The tour will end at the border between New Mexico and Mexico, which defines the southernmost point of the Divide in the U.S.

My plan is to embark on a semi-freeform route that allows daily map study and consultation with locals. There are plenty of detailed Great Divide routes out there, but rigid planning and adherence to a schedule is not what I want on this ride. My only requirements are that I span the entire U.S. portion of the Divide and crest the highest and most beautiful passes along the way. I will be on my BMW R 1200 GS so both paved and dirt roads will be part of the equation, and I plan on camping most nights.

I will chronicle the ride down the backbone of the country in this RoadRUNNER blog space. My hope is to do the journey justice with nice photography and some insightful text, so I hope you’ll follow along.

Most importantly, the ride will directly benefit the Alzheimer’s Association and its fight against the ravages of the disease. There is symbolism in the journey’s title, “The Great Divide Memory Ride.” Those of you who have watched a loved one battle Alzheimer’s know exactly what the great divide is. Please take a look at my donation website below. The Alzheimer’s Association is a top-notch charity and every penny raised goes directly to them. If you feel compelled to help, there is an easy donation link on that page. The donation is direct and tax-deductible.

For more information on “The Great Divide Memory Ride” and to donate, please click on this link:

By Tim Kessel


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