Chasing the perfect photo (and winning races) on a No. 22 Great Divide
He's clicked off 20,000 miles and Arkansas's Jared Hall's No. 22 Great Divide still looks factory-new. Given his hard-nosed racing style, and multi-terrain training, that's a win in and of itself.
Ride: No. 22 Great Divide
Started cycling: 2011
Residence: Bentonville, Ark.
A former baseball player at Central Arkansas University, Hall quit college ball after his sophomore year and was introduced to cycling through his dad’s friend, with the tactics and appeal of the Tour de France being the catalyst. Soon after, Hall was riding on his first bike, an aluminum frame.
However, Hall's foray into cycling was abruptly stalled three months in by a collision with an oncoming vehicle and subsequent treatment of tears to his MCL, ACL and meniscus. During his rehabilitation, Hall decided to relocate to Northwest Arkansas, where local cyclists convinced him to come out for group rides. Then, he was talked into racing, which led him to purchase a No. 22.
Hall was first acquainted with No. 22 Bicycle Company through a friend and says he instantly fell in love with the “clean lines, polished look and the timelessness of titanium, not to mention the handling and sturdiness after I first began riding one.”
Few people in the area owned titanium at the time—and he is still asked about his No. 22 on a regular basis—which further motivated Hall and he received his bike within 10 days thanks to a Great Divide of his size having already been built for NAHBS (North American Handmade Bicycle Show) and other shows, he says.
With a modest population of 47,000, Bentonville, where Hall resides, is a cycling hub due in part to the influence of the Walton family, the founders of Walmart. Tom Walton (grandson of founder Sam Walton) is a massive cycling advocate and helped spearhead the creation of a widespread trail system for mountain biking and supports numerous other cycling entities in the area.
A talented crit racer and sprinter, Hall has put the No. 22 Great Divide to the test. In 2017, Hall won the category 3 Friday race, a damp one, of the three-day Oklahoma City Pro-Am Classic, and has been a regular on the West South Central United States racing scene since 2014. “I’ve put the bike through the wrecker and the titanium still looks like it came straight from the factory,” he says explaining the hard-nosed nature and unpredictability of crit racing and regularity of crashes, of which he is no stranger. Hall adds that he’s replaced various components of the bike, including the derailleur hanger three or four times, yet there’s no signs of aging on the Great Divide. (In case you're curious, North America's continental Great Divide, the model's namesake, cuts north-south just west of where Hall rides.) "If you inspect the frame, there are no marks, or even scuffs," he says.
"I fell in love with the clean lines, polished look and the timelessness of titanium, not to mention the handling and sturdiness after first riding a No. 22."
Hall says he’s in the market for a gravel bike and is eyeing the highly-versatile Drifter. (Hall’s friend owns the Drifter, thanks to his referral.)
Hall's No. 22 Great Divide
The one item Hall brings on almost every ride—with few exceptions—is his camera, a Sony A6500 (but sometimes his iPhone will do), either strapped to his back or mounted on his handlebars. It shows too; his Instagram account features stunning landscape photos and clean angles—not to mention everything cycling—forcing one to continue scrolling through his feed.
Over the course of four years on the Great Divide, Hall has racked up serious mileage. His most memorable ride is a undulating trip through the Ouachita Mountains—including numerous category 3 climbs through the Ouachita National Forest on deserted, freshly-paved asphalt roads—beginning in Talihina, Oklahoma, a stop he makes as often as he can when making the six-hour drive north on the return trip from Dallas for racing.
In 2018, Hall is donning a Visit Bentonville Racing team jersey. That's in addition to his hours spent training, all while balancing a full-time career in the financial industry. Oh, and if you ever see Hall at a race, or training for that matter, inquire about his Great Divide. He's used to it by now.
Action shots by Jared Sorrells Photography