An amazing journey!

Colorado - day 25
As far as I can remember from all the travels I’ve done and experiences I had, this one goes in the top 5! When I’m looking back where it started, it makes me smile and remember me how incredible it is to travel and to meet people.

I liked this trail very much because it gave me a total different view of the USA and the people living there. We went through small towns most of the time, places where you wouldn’t go and visit if you were coming from Europe for sure. I could appreciate how friendly and helpful the people are. I know now why they have these big pick-up trucks: to pull their huge trailer anywhere in the mountain. The food isn’t great and it’s not going to change I think, we struggled to find pasta in restaurants all the time. It’s really a burger & food chains land, no doubt! But the USA are big, huge, it’s a big sky country with amazing landscapes, reason why I came back with more than 1300 photos ...

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Last miles of gravel road on the way to Antelope Wells

It’s a short video I did while biking to show the scenery around us for those last miles of dirt road. The speech is in French but due to the wind you can’t get most of it anyway ;-) enjoy the landscapes !!!

[Great Divide - La fin du voyage][] from [Marc-Aurele Brothier][] on [Vimeo][]. Le dernier bout de chemin en gravier avant les 60 miles sur route pour aller √† Antelope Wells [Great Divide - La fin du voyage]: http://vimeo.com/5778825 [Marc-Aurele Brothier]: http://vimeo.com/user655055 [Vimeo]: http://vimeo.com more ...


Final ride !

We are in Silver City, around 120 miles to go to Antelope Wells so we will be done by tomorrow. It’s sad it’s so soon the end but at the same time I’m happy to think I’ll be able to do something else than just riding every day. I have to catch up with sonme many emails, and you’re all waiting for the pictures which I never forgot to take every single day! Even if I’m riding fast ;-) I’m taking pictures all the time so they could catch up with me …

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Pie Town to Silver City

Simon had to get a ride today to Albuquerque since he had different problems with his bike. I don’t know the details since we weren’t biking together (I was trying to make it to Pie town before 3pm to get some food… which I did). So we will meet again in Silver City tomorrow evening or the day after.

I found a new challenge for me, to make it to Silver City in one day… 180 miles and a few climbs of course. Stay tune on the live tracking to see if I’ll make it or not ;-) I’ll start early tomorrow morning in the dark with the food I have left…

The story of how I got the news about Simon in a town without any mobile reception, is simply: the Spot device! Simon’s dad contacted different people here to forward me the news when he spotted me in Pie town, looking for the shops & services next to where I was. I was really starting to wonder where¬†Simon was…

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New-Mexico = tough

Since I started the trip I mostly enjoyed every day without suffering much compared to Simon (and Ollie for the time he spent with us). But New-Mexico is something different! I left Simon who wanted to make a shorter day for his calf muscle after Platoro and I biked all the way up to La Manga Pass, arriving at the top before 9pm. I spent the night with a family camping a mile out of the road who offered me beers, chicken, hot-dogs… A dream night before what I can call my hardest days!

The day afte started with a turn I missed and ended up doing a few extra miles and climbs for “free”… Then I had to push my bike a few hundred meters for the first time.. grrr I was upset! And then, with the rough road my bike computer reset itself twice in the middle of check points on the map. It was such a bad day… I was so angry! And for the happening of the day, I biked hard to make it to El Rito for the night ...

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Biking, biking and biking

Yeah I know, I signed for it. I can’t say I didn’t know… It was just to tell about two long days we had, one to get to Swan Lake, and the next one to Seeley Creek.
To Swan Lake, we arrived there around 9.30pm after a long day of lots of up & down all the time and a last long hill to climb. We thought first to camp somewhere but couldn’t really find a spot and the mosquitos were sooooo bad! No way! We ended up at the campground before it got dark at least.
The second day, we just made it before it was completely dark… We left a bit too late Swan Lake and with the last hard climb before Seeley Creek, we only arrived at 10.15pm there. Campground again, but no one would serve us food, all kitchens were closed :-( So we had to cook our “emergency pasta” on the ground, with our headlight and we were pretty tired (some more than others of course, but all starving and sleepy). This day we made almost ...

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My crazy solo days

The Great divide route changed this year with a new route to avoid a long part of Highway. We heard from the racers that it was even harder then they thought. I was really willing to do it, so we split and I went on my own to the Flathead valley in Canada, just after Sparwoods. The valley is really wild. You can see the difference and feel that there is nothing close to you. Just bears, moose, deer…
When I left Simon & Ollie, it felt a bit strange to be on my own and to bike into this wild & remote spot… After a few heavy rain showers I found a cabin (Butts cabin) where I could crash for the night, warming up with the stove and drying the wet stuff from the previous camping night. It was a good start!
Later during the evening it started to rain again, and it kept raining until 4.30am when I woke up…. grrrr… I had a hard time to get out my sleeping bag! But by 6.30am I was out, in the rain and ...

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Riding test day #2

Welcome to BanffFirst thing this morning was to sort out what we will get rid of. I was almost gonna send my big Canon camera but it was too hard and I will carry it in my backpack instead. We also put the flags on :-)
At the post office, we sent a box of 3.9kg! The trailers felt so much more easier to tow. Definitively it makes a big change! After some pasta in Canmore it was time to head to the trail to get to Banff to get some taste of the off-road of the Great Divide. We climbed up the Spray Lakes road and Simon had a kind of disfunctional cycling problem… no more energy in the legs! So he also trained to push the bike & trailer wearing his bike shoes… But he didn’t complain. He was mad at himself to not having any energy in his body.
 ![IMG_2660_1][]![IMG_2662_1][]

After the climb comes the downhill (or almost should I say) to Banff on the Goat Creek trail. It was a nice feeling to be i nthe forest biking with the trailer ...

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Riding test day #1

Bikes and TrailersHeavy trailer Tuesday morning we were before 10am at MEC to hopefully get the trailers. We were crossing our fingers, and finally they were here! We unpack everything right in front of the main door and assembled them in half an hour. Then we had to get back home to send 43kg of gears down to Phoenix before being able to leave. But yeah, there it started… Putting the trailer on the back of the bike was quite…. how to say… surprising! It’s heavy!!! It’s really heavy… How are we gonna do it. But let’s give it a try for the first day to Canmore on a paved road.

We left Crystal & Shannon who hosted us during almost one week (thank you so much for your hospitality and all the good time & parties we had!) and started cycling toward Canmore on the 1A. About an hour later we got a huge rain with thunders…
Biking in the rain
It was raining so much that someone stopped and asked if we needed a ride somewhere ;-) Thanks but we have to go through this rain and to Canmore on ...

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Shopping day

[caption id=”attachment_135” align=”aligncenter” width=”571” caption=”Simon & Marco with their bikes”]Simon <span class=& Marco with their bikes” src=”/images/2009/06/2009-06-10-18h44m52.JPG” title=”Simon & Marco with their bikes” />[/caption]

Simon bought his bike today! So we are almost set, just missing the trailers which are supposed to come on Monday. We also bought a lot of different things to have some spare parts for the bikes, clothes, accessories for the bikes. It was a full day for Simon VISA card who paid everything ;-)

Simon also discovered the pros & cons of using cleats as everyone does on the first ride… But the bike doesn’t have any scratch, neither Simon!

Simon will be riding a Specialized Stumpjumper Aloy Hardtail M5.
I will be riding an Orbea Alma Team Carbon.

J-9 … not many days left!

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