The boys at my local bike shop, City Bike Depot, have nearly finished building up a Black Sheep Bike for one of their team riders, Arran Pearson — who is also one of Australia’s top endurance cyclists. He’s going to race it in the 2013 Tour Divide, a 4,418km trek across the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. I managed to steal it away for a shoot before it was given a final breakdown and prep.
The Tour Divide is a premiere 20-day endurance cycling event, wending it’s way through the dirt roads and jeep trails of the Continental Divide of the Northern Americas. The route travels through the eastern states and a finishing rider will complete an elevation equivalent of climbing Mt Everest from sea-level seven times. Grizzly bears and mountain lions will be present to cheer him on.
Arran’s belt-driven, 29er Black Sheep is an offered model built to his personal geometry, with minor tweaks to the 800mm-wide bars and the custom racks that will weigh less than his dry bags. He’ll need to be completely self-sufficient whilst on the ‘road’, needing to find shelter each night or bivouac trail-side. A Supernova light system will be a constant companion, powering his Garmin and iPhone.
At this state, Arran was able to give the Black Sheep a test ride, before the City Bike Depot crew break it down, ti-prep every bolt and waterproof the electricals. It’ll be a dream bike for a dream ride: albeit single-stage, solo, self-timed and observed. You can follow his progress via his website, and learn more about the challenge on the Tour Divide site.