Eddie O’Dea just became the first person to finish the Eastern Divide Trail, the longest bikepacking route in the world, which runs some 6,000 miles from Newfoundland to Key West. Learn more about his ride and see photos from the finish here…

Eddie O’Dea set out from Cape Spear, Newfoundland, on the Eastern Divide Trail back on August 1st, hellbent to finish the massive 6,000-mile ride and raise money for a Georgia youth mountain biking non-profit. It was a long and arduous journey for 46-year-old Eddie, who dodged hurricanes and scouted unknown reroutes before the EDT was fully completed. On the night of Tuesday, October 18th, Eddie pedaled into the southernmost point in the Continental US at Key West, becoming the first person to finish the route self-supported in one go. Eddie completed the route with an official time of 78 days, 10 hours, 59 minutes, and 36 seconds (78d:10h:59m).

For the entirety of the route, Eddie ended up going through 10 pairs of brake pads, seven tires (three in front, four in back), six tins of Chamois Buttr Ultra, 14 CBD Stat Muscle Rubs, and around 30 pounds of Torq Nutrition. From the last time I talked to him here in western North Carolina, he only had one mechanical, but it was a big one. He was on Taylor Ridge in western Georgia when a tire puncture in the front caused a crash. He said his handlebars turned 45° and he hit the ground, bending his light/GPS mounts and rear hanger.

Eddie O'dea finishes Eastern Divide Trail

According to Eddie, “Climbing in north GA felt pretty easy after NC. The waterfalls were all flowing well and were beautiful. And Bear Creek has had some work, and it rode better than it has in many years.” He had mostly tailwinds from Georgia to Florida as well. I asked him whether he saw any impact in Florida from Hurricane Ian, and he responded, “I had to reroute around Orlando and a bit south due to flooding, but I didn’t see much damage.”

When I spoke to Eddie on the phone yesterday, he was happy but generally speechless, admitting, “It’s kind impossible to sum up in words all that I’ve gone through to finish this thing.” At that point, he confirmed that he had already eaten four pieces of key lime pie and added, “but I still have a few hours left here.” After that, he plans to sleep for a while and take it easy until another adventure piques his interest.

Congrats on an amazing accomplishment, Eddie! And thanks for contributing to this project and providing the valuable beta to help complete phase one of this massive project. Learn more about the route and Eddie’s rig in the links below.



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