Trip Overview

This blog will follow two totally inexperienced bikepackers, Geoff and Cam, and their journey from Banff to Mexico via the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. The route follows the Continental Divide, exposing riders to high altitude, diverse wildlife, and solitude. To learn more about the route, check this out. Randy will be the official bookie so get in touch with him if you'd like to place a wager on how far we will actually make it.

In the mean time, you can track our progress here thanks to our SPOT device.

This will be a site where we will try our best to post some pictures and stories along the way. Happy reading!

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Day 36 - Stables to Salida

POuuweeeeee. One of the best days of the trip. No question.  We woke up to Geoff grazing on the grass outside the stables.  We then biked 15 miles to a town called Hartsel for breakfast.  Our arrival was quite serendipitous - we got there just in time for the yearly festival/parade.  For a town of under 100, it was quite the spectacle.  Everyone from the county showed up dressed in traditional clothing from an old western town.  As we sat and ate breakfast, we were showered by firehouse water and old muskets.  We took off after the parade for Salida.  As we were sitting roadside, another cyclist approached us and stopped.  Here we met Bruno, a Belgian lad trekking the route solo. He joined the three of us for the remainder of the ride into Salida.  It was a tough and unexpected climb to 10 000ft before hitting the downhill into town.  Fortunately, Salida is nestled in the foothills of giant mountains.  It's elevation is a mere 7,000 ft, which made for a 12 mile, 3000 ft descent into town.  The descent was the best yet.  The gravel road curved around the edge of the mountainsides making for spectacular views.  The pictures speak for themselves.

We made it into town without pedaling once for the last 12 miles.  We immediately went to the bike shop for some tuneups and advice on local lodging.  The mechanic recommended we stay at the hostel for the night.  There the four of us met up with a fellow French rider, Sofiane and a number of hikers doing the Colorado trail.

It would be unfair of me not to give a little background on Sofiane.... When we first met Sofiane we didn't believe he was doing the divide.  He had a small Ti cross bike with a mere 12 pounds of gear stuffed in one bag atop his rear rack.  That's it.  He didn't have a helmet or even sunglasses as they were "too heavy".  He didn't even have a mapset - just a GPS. All in all, his entire bike when packed weighed about 35 pounds.  Less than half of ours.  The reason being is that he is training to race the route in two years.  He averages over 100 miles a day...

Anyways... Sofiane, Bruno, and the three of us had a blast at the hostel.  We stayed up late cooking dinner and chatting. We parted ways the next morning, surely never to see them on the route again as they were both biting off bigger chunks than us.

Forgot to mention this!! This day of riding was in South Park county, Colorado.  A nearby town, Fairplay, was where the creaters of South Park (TV show) were born and raised and where the show is based on.

Valley riding
Big Papi

American Beauty
The Hartsel Parade

Microsoft Background

The crew + Bruno the crazy Belgian on our descent into Salida!

Cam doing the YMCA 

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