Iohan Gueorguiev
Great Divide
Banff, AB - Fernie, BC-Distance ~155 miles As usual there is a crazy story about getting to Banff, here is how mine went: Two days before I just rode out of kilometer 51 on the Yalakom Forest Service Road to the town of Lillooet, decided not to do the planned 1000km+ ride through BC and instead hitch a ride to Banff to start the Divide. Not going to go into detail about the craziness that followed but I reached Banff at 10:30pm and stayed with a friend from the Netherlands. 8 a.m. next day and it's go time.

After doing the GDMBR up to Colorado last year, I really felt that this would be boring and easy. That's where I was wrong, the moment I stepped… err rolled down the trail it was a different feeling, I couldn't wait to get around the next corner. Everything was green and full of life. There were people hiking, biking, running and even pushing baby strollers on the trail.

While getting thoroughly dusted on the Spray-Dorien trail, I really wished for some rain. What do you know, that wish came true, in the form of a thunderstorm over Elk Pass. Rain gear or not, I was soaking wet from the ride up, by the time I was at Lower Elk Lake campground: shivering and cold.

The highlight of day 2 was being terrorized by some free range horses. In seconds I was surrounded, then they began testing which of my gear was edible. One was biting on the bar ends, another scratching his head on my rain jacket and a third bit my Camelback hose! I love horses.

The plan was to ride the Fernie Alternate route, since I did the main in 2014 and also needed to take care of some last minute stuff before leaving Canada for the next 10 months. However, as I looked at the map I saw a road going across the Continental Divide to Alberta. Why not! Ride that, see Waterton and Glacier National Parks and then rejoin the GDMBR, oh if only things were that simple...

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Iohan Gueorguiev

Gear List

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Iohan Gueorguiev
  • What was the genesis moment or inspiration for the upcoming adventure? After starting the GDMBR in mid-October and having to hop out in December at Colorado, I always wondered if I would ever get a second chance. Later I learned of the first bike ride of the Continental Divide Trail and also wondered, how cool that would be. During a rather cold January in Utah I heard about the Blackburn Ranger program, connected the bits and pieces and there was only one logical choice: apply to be on the team and bikepack the CDT.
  • Have your traveled by bike in the past? In 2013 I crashed down a hill on my road bike which left me with a broken collar bone, two broken hands and a 3 month recovery period. To make it through I thought of biking from Vancouver to Ontario. So I did it, then Toronto to Halifax in winter. I was hooked, in 2014 I took time off school and set off to bike from the Arctic Ocean to British Columbia. And then, Alaska to Argentina. I've made it as far as Mexico and am looking forward to riding the CDT and continuing down south as part of the Blackburn team.
  • What is your goal for the route? I have few ideas, most importantly: have fun, stop and smell the flowers (oh yeah - it won't be winter so there actually will be flowers), find out more about the CDT trail hiking community, do as much as CDT as possible, find time to ride the Colorado trail and spend some time in Moab, Utah. I'll also be filming on the way (nothing fancy) and continuing the "SEE THE WORLD" series on which follow my bike trip south. Video is such a great way to try and share the wild and unpredictable story of the open road!
  • What do you hope to get out of this journey? One always has some expectations with trips like these but the moment you set a wheel on the dirt it all changes. I want to see how bikepacking compares to fully loaded touring and see if it's something I can adopt and continue doing for the rest of my around-the-world bike trip. Aside from that - create memories, make new friends and meet old ones, explore and get lost in the Rockies.
  • What's in my bag? Buff, Gopro, Alaska License plate,Turtle (which I had on my first bike trip, and ever since)

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