Divide Stats: Canmore, Canada to Santa Fe, New Mexico
Two Canadian Provinces: Alberta and British Columbia
Five US States: Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico
Favorite State: Wyoming, with Montana coming in as a very close second
Favorite Province- I’d like to go back to both Alberta & British Columbia, TBH. Fernie was really really cool.
2000 miles ridden
4 weeks of travel
109,842 feet climbed
15 lbs lost
4789 average calories burned each day.
Average Whoop Strain 20.2
Five Pizza dinners
Three freeze-dried meals
Seven Mexican dinners
Best dessert: Pinon toasted chocolate torte in Abiquiu, NM
Loaded Bike Weight- 75 Lbs with a full load of food and water.
Broken or Replaced Equipment
Two water bottle cages
One Fred Bar (Both King Cage And Fred Bar were super responsive on the failures, with the Fred Bar owner offering to send another bar ahead of us)
One Rene Herse Fleecer Ridge rear tire ( plugged and re-plugged for seven days and finally discarded in Pinedale for a Vittoria Mezcal)
Set of chainrings
Two new chains
One new cassette
Four sets of brake pads
One heart rate monitor strap
Grizzly Bear cubs on porch
Loon calling across the lake in Montana.
So many cows, including being in the middle of a cattle drive in the Centennial Basin with real cowboys on horses moving everything along.
Shout Outs To Things and People That Did Exceptionally Well
Derek at Roaring Mouse built me an absolute bomber set of wheels. SON dynamo, White Industries, DT Swiss XM481 rims. I carried four spokes and never needed them.
Zealios Betwixt Chamois Cream and Sunscreen. We had quite a regimen of care after riding 10-12 hours a day with alcohol wipes and dabs of benzoyl peroxide on any folliculitis that popped up. We carried anti fungal and diaper rash cream but never needed it.
A Scrubba wash bag. Washing a chamois every night was critical. A few drops of Dr. Bronner’s soap and maybe some hot water from the stove killed the bacteria that ruin trips.
The ACA maps and One Of Seven spreadsheets. I printed and laminated the main spreadsheet into 5 x 7 cards and used them with the maps. People rely on phone apps a lot these days, it was great to have an analog backup.
A CNOC water bladder. Being able to gravity filter water is a huge time-saver, as you can do other things while it works. Also does double duty as water storage during long Basin crossings.
Squirt Chain Lube. My buddy used other products for the first week and had dirty, crusty chains every morning. He then picked up a bottle of Squirt and was a happy dude for the rest of the trip.
Trek Albuquerque – they helped us get shipping boxes, gave us cold bottled water, lent us tools, and stayed late while we boxed our bikes in their air-conditioned store. The whole staff was stoked and chatted with us. Absolute rockstars.
Both our bike fits with aerobars , me on the Otso Fenrir flat bar bike and my buddy on his Salsa Cutthroat. We spent a few weekend days in my fit studio iterating bars and saddles, and we felt great beforehand, but there’s nothing like a month of riding 10-12 hours a day to uncover any issues. We also both ran flat pedals after much debate, which worked really well and allowed for small changes in position over the day..
A couple of takeaways
I could go on and on about each day, but this would get waaaay too long
My biggest memory is all the PEOPLE we met. We often stopped and had an hour long conversation with someone in a random town or on a road in the middle of nowhere. We also met a bunch of fellow travelers that all had a story if you were willing to spend some time riding with them or drinking a Bubly Water in front of a gas station in the middle of nowhere… I will remember those times forever.
Interestingly, the trip wasn’t that hard. Maybe occasional physical difficulties and some mental frustration on slow days into a headwind from the south, but for the most part it never got excruciating .
There’s an ancient Japanese concept called Misogi which is being co-opted by the “get tougher and more resilient” movement and writing in the Western world. It basically means do something very hard but don’t die. We skipped Southern New Mexico in August, so maybe that would have been where our misogi challenge was. But we might have violated the second rule, which is don’t die.
If you got this far, thanks for reading! I’m slowly resetting and re-connecting. A special thanks to my wife for helping with zillions of issues remotely and to my coached athletes for their patience over the last month. To their credit, I let everyone know nine months ahead of time I was planning on taking this time away (and originally planned on a possible two-month absence) and only had one athlete decide to go elsewhere. If anything, I got huge support and encouragement. I deeply appreciate each one of you!