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The Divide: a 2700 mile search for answers

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  267 ratings  ·  30 reviews
After leaving university, Nathan Doneen wasn't satisfied with the direction of his life. He had questions…he had doubts. So he began his search for answers along the Great Divide, a 2700 mile mountain bike route that traces the Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico…and he set out alone.

Cycling through a world of erratic weather, cramped bivy sacks, and overwhelming so
Kindle Edition, 249 pages
Published September 28th 2014 by Nathan Doneen
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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Dec 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kindle, read-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 t ...more
Diana Anderson
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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.
Rob Vitaro
Jun 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
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 al ...more
Stacey P
Mar 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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 intr ...more
Dechie Sumampong
Jun 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
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 ...more
Bill Rogan
May 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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.
Taylor Douthit
Apr 15, 2018 rated it liked it
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 clea
May 19, 2017 rated it liked it
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 reco
John Matney
Jun 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Not a bad way to spend the summer

I like travel books that include a little struggle mixed with the sublime. I liked the author's description of the thoughts running through his head. Occasionally, he would include a strange comment because of its unbelievability. For example, when he naps in a F250 and suddenly realised he has seen one of these truck before, "oh yeah on his family's farm." Other than that I enjoyed the book.
Steve Bera
Apr 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is not a book for many readers. Just for us backpackers and bike tourists. I enjoyed it even though no life or death adventure or historical information here. A young man graduated college and before going to work rides a mtn bike from Canada to Mexico on the continental divide trail. This book tells you what you would have to know to make this trip, which the author did in 41 days.
Denzel L Struchen
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Chuck Miller
Nov 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
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.
Richard L
Apr 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have probably read over 100 travel/adventure books and this is one of the better ones I have read. So I am now starting his 2nd one about a race across Peru on what I would call a Tuk-Tuk and the book calls a MotoTaxi.
Dan and Jess
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great read

Great read. The author intertwined his own quest for purpose while he struggled along the Great Divide Mountain Bike route. Both impressive and inspiring.

Recommended for anyone interested in travelogues and outdoor/adventure.
Misty D Raines
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.
Domenica M Grant
Feb 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: done
I really like to ride bikes and adventure. So this book is both of those. This is a really good book
Jerry Goodwin
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Quite a feat and some interesting insights emerged.
Anna Balch
Apr 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Highly recommend

A very well written, easy to read book that has provided loads of insight into my life. I highly recommend this book to any adventurer.
Brian Kurzweil
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
WoW! I really enjoyed this book.
I wish the Kindle version had pictures to go along with it.
David Webber
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Chris Gregory
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. Congra
Twin Opinions
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Marilyn Wgen
Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
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.
Sandra Lopez
Nov 19, 2014 rated it it was ok
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.)
D E Bricker
Mar 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing

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.
Myra L Rice
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
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!
Feb 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
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.
Shane Grier
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Good adventure

These are my favorite type of books. Real adventures that almost anyone could choose to take part in. Good recommend to seekers.
Marty Nicholas
Apr 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Riding solo Doneen's perspective is often turned inward. For cycling buffs and equipment nerds it's not a top selection. Read Metcalfe's "Dividing the Great" right after "The Divide." An interesting contrast between the two.
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Nathan Doneen grew up on a wheat farm in the Palouse Region of Eastern Washington. After graduating from Eastern Washington University with degrees in Biology and Environmental Science, Nathan rediscovered his passion for adventure and for writing. He is currently pursuing both...

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