The Plan Evolves

When you’ve spent nearly 2 years cycling through Africa, the 4,400km Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR) doesn’t seem that far. A relatively short cycle through the US, from north to south.

The Great Divide trip was supposed to be a ‘holiday’. A break from work between Big Adventures. (Yes, I have another big trip in the pipeline).

But already, this vague ‘holiday’ plan has evolved. It has warped and grown and shifted, into something bigger and better and well, Greater.

From now I’m calling this ‘The Greater Divide‘ trip.

Not happy with just using a bike as a means of travel, myself and Lars will be strapping to our bike racks a packraft each and a rucksack. Why should we be restricted to roads and tracks? Trails and footpath, rivers and lakes are all now fair game.

Who knows where these detours will take us?!

The GDMBR starts in Banff in Alberta, CA and finishes at Antelope Well, New Mexico.

‘The Greater Divide’ Route however, starts in Vancouver. From there it’s a 500km cycle north across Vancouver Island to Port Hardy, where we will take a ferry to either Prince Rupert (520km) or Bella Coola (260km) back on the British Columbia mainland west coast.

Only then will we start the journey south.

Well, south east, towards Jasper and then Banff, where The Greater Divide Route meets the traditional GDMBR.

You cannot, and would not want to, plan out every last detail of a trip. You have to leave some things to fortune, chance and opportunity. (This is my excuse for not have planned past the first country, if you can call 30 minutes on google maps ‘planning’).

So exactly where or when along the GDMBR we will be hanging up the bikes and taking off on two feet rather than two wheels, with only packraft, tent and each other for company and food for thought (and sustenance), I don’t yet know. But there are plenty of National Parks en route with great trails and rivers, so the problem will be spending too much time off the bikes and not enough progress south.

But fear not, we will make it to the Antelope Wells, NM, before our visas expire. Afterall all, some people race the GDMBR in as little as 14 days. That gives plenty of leeway and playtime.

And it is at the Mexico border that the GDMBR finishes. But will we?

Lars intends to pedal on south.

Me? We’ll have to wait and see. It will depend on whether the temptation to continue pulls harder than the pursestrings…