Amanda Delcore
Great Divide
Banff, AB July 26

First things first, this place is gorgeous. Secondly, exploring by bike affords one ample time to look around at the slowly changing landscape. The mountains are bigger than I could've imagined, the water is a blue color that awkwardly resembles the color of Gatorade Frost, and the air is so cool and crisp that it only makes sense to be outside. It's hard to explain the magic of this place. You might just have to go yourself.

Day 1 of the trip was a little rough.  In the first nine miles there were three adjustment stops to play with straps and tuck in loose items. You learn really quickly riding on dirt and gravel trail how tight everything needs to be packed. I threw stuff out, cut my toothbrush in half... you know, things that people do when they're exasperated. Anyway, I re­packed everything on the second morning, and found that all the gear held a LOT better... even as I cruised down some pretty gnarly trail.

The scenery was amazing, but it wasn't all smooth sailing.  About 15 miles on a VERY dusty Smith­Dorrien road left a thin film of gray dust all over myself, the bike, and inside my nostrils. It was a love/hate relationship. The mountains were so beautiful, but the road was so painfully dry and dusty.

I'll be state¬side in a day or two, but for now, am really really enjoying the wilderness of Canada.

- IMAGES OF THE ROAD -

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Amanda Delcore

Gear List

- My Ride -

- My Blackburn Gear -

- EQUIPMENT LIST -

- CLOTHING -

- GIRO CYCLING GEAR -

- BIKE GEAR -

- BIKE SPECS -

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Amanda Delcore
  • Genesis moment for the trip I was visiting the Radavist website and I saw the Blackburn #outthere banner ad. Congratulations… the marketing worked. I was probably at work, day-dreaming, like most outdoor enthusiasts. I had always wanted to hike the Continental Divide in Colorado… Prior to learning about the Blackburn Ranger program, I even blocked out a month in my work calendar to hike the CDT in a sort of act of defiance. Seeing the Blackburn Ranger program got me thinking… why not bike it? I did some research, I admittedly didn’t contemplate the consequences, and started scheming furiously about how to make a killer application video.
  • Have I traveled by bike in the past? Yes I bike toured parts of Maine and New Hampshire solo. I biked from Portland, Maine to the White Mountains of New Hampshire; I camped, did day-trip summits in the morning and rode to the next spot in the afternoon. I also bike toured the Blue Ridge Parkway in early spring.
  • Goal for the route? I’m not one much for goals. I shy away from formally setting goals, because I find that reward is fleeting and there’s not much else to do but set a new goal. And in units of time, the route to achieving a goal is almost the entirety of the experience. For me, the real reward is the process of following an interest or a curiosity. I am interested in inspiring other females to bikepack; to this end I’m running a Women’s Bikepacking Series in my hometown of Philadelphia. I am curious to see if I can replicate this series in some way during the tour. I am also keen to ride with friends and make new connections in the cycling community; as a start, there are at least three different people riding with me during different parts of the trip.
  • Hope to get out of the journey? A deeper understanding of myself and my capabilities. I hope to learn how to endure the extremes of nature and everything in between. I think much of our lives are setup to spend most of the day indoors, and we miss out on how pleasant and how ugly nature can be. On this trip there will be mornings that are cool, clear, and sunny, but there will also be afternoons of thunderstorms or intense heat. I hope to gain an appreciation for the full spectrum of nature and the patience to roll with it.
  • What’s in my bag? I’m not there yet in my packing…. : / I think they are going to be my lumbar pack, a thumb piano or another tiny musical instrument, a bandana, and ??? I’ll try to figure this part out in the next week and a half.

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- Great Divide Milestones -