Katie & Laura
Great Divide
01 Days before departure! Katie:

I made it back to my parents house just in-time to watch the opening ceremonies to the 2016 Olympic games.  At first I was annoyed that I would not get to enjoy more of the Olympic events since I will be out riding.  However, I soon realized that there are few things as inspiring as the Olympics, and that watching the opening ceremonies right before I take-off was actually the perfect send-off.  I get to watch world-class athletes from around the world come together to show the world what they are capable of, and in a sense I am hoping to do the same -- minus the world presence, cameras and gold medals.

I grew up being inspired by athletes like Mia Hamm showing girls everywhere that they could accomplish anything they wanted. I have lived my life believing this and want to show everyone I know this is true. As the lines from the Fort Minor song Remember the Name say, “ 10% luck, 20% skill, 15% concentrated power of will, 5% pleasure, 50% pain and 100% reason to remember the name.”

Though I am no Olympian I know that in order to achieve greatness you have to want something bad enough that you will work for it.  No matter what others say you will fight for it, and more than anything you have to believe your dreams and in yourself.  Be willing to step outside your comfort zone and step into the unknown.

These last few weeks have been a bit of a rollercoaster preparing for the upcoming ride. I can say I’ve shed my fair share of tears as I have left the comfort of my current home and friends in California and now prepare to say goodbye to my family.  I have a hard time getting ready for any big changes in life, but have only good experiences to show from this in the past. So here’s to the unknown in the next few months of the Great Divide!


Laura:

Woah this past week has been a blur! I got home from Whistler earlier in the week, did laundry, packed up all of my things/clothes in boxes, organized all of my GDMBR gear, ran errands, saw friends, biked in Santa Cruz, saw my new favorite movie (“Hunt for the Wilderpeople”), had some good deep talks with friends, and flew to Calgary!

My mom, dad, and sister joined me out here in Banff to say bye and Katie’s mom joined her so for the past couple days it's been a super fun time. My dad will be joining Katie and I for the first couple days -- I don’t blame him for choosing the beginning of our ride because this place is EPIC and basically looks like a postcard everywhere you look!! I’m grateful the trail isn’t gnarly technical so I’ll be able to look up and enjoy the scenery. #lifelesson LOOK UP.

Currently: I’m sitting on my bed in Canmore watching the Olympics and can’t believe that we begin our ride tomorrow!!!! As with most other epic events in my life, it doesn’t often hit me until day 3 or 4. Haha so I’m looking forward to writing my thoughts/feelings later this week. Knowing myself, my level of stoke will be just as high and I’ll probably have some updates on my gear/bike packing packing feedback.

By the time this is read, Katie and I will be saying bye to my dad and continuing on. We are so excited for all of the experiences that we will have and for all of the people that we will meet! If you see us out there give us a holler and maybe we’ll give you one of our limited edition watercolors (yes, we are bringing little watercolor sets) or I’ll make you a friendship bracelet :)

TO THE DIVIDE!!!!



- PRE-RIDE PHOTOS -

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Katie & Laura

Gear List

- My Ride -

- My Favorite Blackburn Gear -

- Complete Gear and Bike spec lists coming soon! -

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Katie & Laura
  • What was the genesis moment or inspiration for your upcoming adventure? When Laura called me on the phone and said, "Hey I found this Ranger program while I was on the train today and I thought that you'd be a good PIC (partner in crime)."
  • Have you traveled by bike in the past? Yes -- a couple of smaller bike packing trips
  • What is your goal for the route? Our goal is to morph all of our random outdoor skills into a successful ride of the Great Divide!
  • What do you hope to get out of this journey? I see this as a soul-searching adventure for 2 months. I want to be able to get away from my normal 6am-3pm job and be on an adventure that separates me from life's distractions. I want to share my experiences with various biking communities along the route and hope to learn from them as well.

- Great Divide Milestones -