The person who says it cannot be done
Should not interrupt the person doing it.
Well preparing for another ride. Again heading south, this time back to the Great Divide, which I did in 2011 and 2012. As a recap here is the synopsis of those rides. Both rides were self supported, meaning we carried our own stuff rather than someone carrying it for you.
2011 – Wanted to do the whole ride but timing was not right. So I rode solo from Banff to my sisters house in Columbia Falls, Montana 8 days 250 miles (400km) of wilderness and back country. Great ride with a few adventures.
2012 – My friend Joe, wife Jeanne, and I started the entire ride again in Banff, where I had started the previous year, although on day two Jeanne took a fall and fractured her ankle which required surgery and Joe and I skipped the Canadian wilderness part which I had done the year before. After making sure Jeanne was good, Joe and I took off. The trip lasted a total of 71 days including 10 rest days (4 in Columbia Falls with Jeanne and my sister) and 2700 miles (4000 kilometers) It was amazing and I love self supported rides as one can stop when one wants to, and go when one wants. But it means carrying all your gear and on the divide the food is the best you can cook supplied by gas station grocery stores along the way. Awesome. But I learned as I have over and over, although it never seems to sink in, one rides (or does anything) one day at a time. Thinking of the entire trip is too daunting ,so just go day by day. After we initiated that attitude it was a great trip.
Those trips were such a meaning to my life I ended up writing a book about it before I discovered this blog thing. It was in an electronic book self published via Smashwords (Memories of the Great Divide) and on Apple iTunes. Whoopee, if I remember right 2 people read it. But has served Joe and I well to remind us of what who how when and where. Memories are such skittish things.
But currently in the throws of getting ready for another ride. I was taught many years ago one should be ready to go anywhere on 5 minutes notice, and I have tried. And I could, but I have found as one gets older it takes longer and perhaps there is more to do, although I do not believe that is it, although the former seems true. As our friend Jim Howard told me when I was pondering the earlier Great Divide rides (“Do it now, as every year it just gets harder”) It seems it is not a good time, the house needs work, the garden needs tending, ski jumps need work, next week my fingernails might need clipping, or whatever excuse comes up. And the usual one of “oh, I could never do that” (without even trying). And too easily the opportunity passes.
So the opportunity arose and our friend Nancy Brady and husband James wanted to do the Great Divide and hence the invite is there. It may not happen again. When the timing is there, one has to grasp at what one can. Life can pass by. I suppose it is like having a child, the timing is never right, but you just have to begin and it seems to take care of itself. I would rather have memories than things, although the accumulation of stuff in our house might testify otherwise.
And so the lists are being created of things to take, and things to leave behind, but have access to if needed. I had been working at the ski jumps (my latest passion) but have had to stop in order to get this stuff done. I can still go watch the kids jump and who knows maybe take a jump or two, before departure next week.
As with a packing a pack, time seems similar. You will fill up the space available. The trick is figuring out what is important. Every item needs to be tested and checked. Bike riding, I have discovered, is a lot more fun if the bike is not getting thrown around by weight, scattered about. Several trips have involved checking things down to the tens of grams. Last trip on the divide we carried 21 pounds (9.5 kg) which was bags stove, fuel, sleeping bag, tent, extra clothes plus the bike,food and water. I felt we were comfortable and lacked in nothing. Someone called it the luxury of not having anything.
This time we have support, hence a vehicle to carry the stuff. Sweet! Still, must be ready to depart on own if the need arises. Contingencies
I must remember this is a different trip. Different people, different stuff, different weather, different time of year (three weeks earlier). I will try and let new stories be created and not relive the old ones.