It’s all downhill from here….or not

Well, we made it over Indiana Pass and on into New Mexico, where it is hot,hot,hot! Marco and I had a very warm day yesterday, with temperatures hitting 43 degrees in the afternoon, and with very little water around.

We’re now in Grants, heading for Pie Town, which marks the start of the final map - we started out with seven in Banff.

The climbs should be lessening in size from now on, but that means that it will just keep on getting hotter as we travel further south. We’ve both had our moments of feeling that we won’t make it, but after surviving the desert, I think we are both a lot more positive now.

More soon, hopefully from Pie Town tomorrow……..

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The end of my journey

[caption id=”” align=”aligncenter” width=”500” caption=”Ollie at Antelope Wells”]![Ollie at Antelope Wells][][/caption]
After exactly thirty days in the saddle I finally made it to the Mexico border at Antelope Wells. The journey started in Banff, Canada on the 18th June.
Over the last month I have cycled nearly 3000 miles mostly following the Continental Divide mountain bike route. There is no doubt about it - its been a hard month. I’ve cycled through snow, desert, drought, high mountain passes, hail and huge lightening storms. I’ve crashed twice, had to have my bike fixed three times and spent the last 16 days traveling alone after splitting up with my traveling companions on the dreaded day 13.
**In summary - I’ve had a blast!** I’m about two stone lighter and sporting a rather fetching beard (with a hint of ginger!).
I’ll reflect more on the route when I get back to the UK but this is just a quick post to thank everyone who has offered support, humour and mechanical advice via twitter, facebook and email over what ...
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Heading to the high point

Marco and I have had a few long days, and have made it to Del Norte, Colorado. Today we face the biggest climb of the whole route, Indiana Pass. Around 25 miles of steep climbing should take us to the top. Fingers crossed the headwind dies down before we start……

More soon

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Eat. Sleep. Ride. The Great Divide.

I was riding along yesterday, with my head down in to the wind, pedalling hard (even on the downhills) just to keep some momentum, the thought occurred to me that I’d much rather be at home watching the cricket!

It’s been a tough few days for me. After the highlight of completing our first 100 mile day on the way to Lima, came the disastrous Day 13. We should have known it was going to be a bad day, but still Ollie and I both ordered Breakfast Number 13 from the menu at the local cafe.

The day started out well and we were making good progress until Ollie stopped for a call of nature by the trailside and then never caught us up. He had a massive puncture caused by a tear to the rim of his rear tyre.

I unhooked the trailer and headed back to find him and then we all helped to change the patched tyre onto the front wheel, where it would bear less weight.

Things didn’t improve much after that. We were getting slower and ...

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The (brief) story so far

Day One was just 43 miles from Banff to Chester Lake Trailhead, thanks mainly to a late start and some problems with the bikes and trailers.

Day Two was much better, as we covered 66 miles on the way to Elkford, but still behind the unofficial schedule we had set ourselves.

Day Three was a bigger day for Ollie and I, as we covered 78 miles, although some of this was on paved roads. Marco was off on a little side trip adventure - check out his blog to find out more.

Day Four was a really wet and cold day which took us over the border and into Montana. We spent the night in Eureka, where we met back up with Marco.

Day Five was a tough day with two big long climbs, and even our first sighting of snow on the trail, meaning that we only covered 68 miles.

Day Six was our longest day of the trip; we covered 90+ miles on the way from Upper Whitefish Lake to Swan Lake, where we spent an entertaining evening with some locals in the ...

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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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Made it to Whitefish

After a bit of a slow start, some nasty weather, a few punctures and a lot of fun, we have made it to Whitefish, Montana. Ollie’s bike is getting a bit of a makeover, so we have a few minutes to spend here in the library.

What to say about the trip so far? It has been hard work - a couple of huge killer hills yesterday but some wicked downhills too. Marco and Ollie have both seen bears, I haven’t yet. We’ve seen plenty of deer and a moose, loads of squirrels and chipmunks, and I accidentally ran over a snake yesterday…..

The scenery has been unbelievable too - snow on the mountains and loads of green hills and trees all around. So wonderful to be travelling through this land. The view seems to keep on changing and I can’t wait to get some pictures up here soon.

Should be quite a flat (ish) day today, with one big climb towards this evening, and then another hilly day tomorrow.

More soon…..

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Live Tracking and Charity

Final preparations are now well under way;  Marco has had his legs waxed and we are almost ready to go!

If you haven’t already had a look, you can now track our progress in real time, thanks to the SPOT GPS tracking device we will be carrying. The device is a little bit difficult to operate, but we hope to have it working well as soon as we set off tomorrow morning. You can follow or progress on the “Live Tracking” tab at the top of this page.

We’ve also updated the “Charity” tab. We aren’t riding for one single charity, instead we are letting you choose your own. If you enjoy reading about our adventure and are able to make a donation to charity, please just leave a comment or send us an email giving the name of the charity and the amount donated, or the amount per mile / kilometre.

Thanks to everyone who has helped us prepare - now I guess it’s all about the bike


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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.

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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