Basinger rides to fastest known time in 1,570-mile Baja Divide

January 10, 2018

Pete Basinger

The Fastest Known Time for the 1,570-mile Baja Divide mountain biking route has passed from one Anchorage native to another.

After 11 days, 11 hours and 20 minutes, Pete Basinger completed his epic ride on Jan. 4 in San Jose del Cabo on the southern tip of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula. He started near the U.S. border in Tecate on Dec. 24.

Basinger, an Anchorage native now living in Durango, Colo., finished 1 hour and 42 minutes faster than Lael Wilcox of Anchorage rode in March, 2017.

“Prior to the ride, he had never seen the Baja Divide route and had never been to Mexico,” Nicholas Carman wrote on Facebook. Carman and Wilcox researched and developed the route in 2015-16.

According to the website, the Baja Peninsula is a mountainous desert and 95 percent of the rugged Baja Divide route is unpaved, ranging from graded dirt roads to rough, sandy jeep tracks (and countless cactus thorns).

Basinger narrowly trailed Wilcox’s times through the first four checkpoints. He reached La Paz, the fifth checkpoint, slightly ahead of Wilcox on day 11 and held that advantage to the completion of his self-supported adventure.

Among his many ultra endurance riding feats, Basinger, 37, completed the Iditarod Trail Invitational every year from 2002-17. He has six wins and 14 finishes in the 350-mile ride from Knik to McGrath and twice rode 1,000 miles (winning once) from Knik to Nome. However, he is not registered for 2018.

“I hope you enjoyed this ride more than a classic bike push to McGrath,” Carman wrote. “Congrats, Pete, what a great ride!”

– By Matias Saari, Alaska Sports Blog Contributor