Marty and I met a year-and-a-half ago, that’s when I first heard of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route and of this whole notion of bike camping. He was planning on going the summer of 2018, but instead helped me train (and ride my bike correctly…) for my first triathlon. A few weeks after my race, I went on my first ever bike camping trip.. it didn’t hurt that it was a gorgeous overnight on Lopez Island’s Spencer Spit campgrounds. A few months later and we did a 5-day trip on Vancouver Island. I was hooked!
Only still a roadie, I started considering the idea of actually joining Marty on his backroad, gravel path bike adventure. When he got the go ahead from work, I knew I would have to ask mine. We ordered the Adventure Cycle maps, bought new touring bikes and started getting gear. All major expenses that we justified with “an experience of a lifetime”, “we’ll do even more trips”, and “once bought, we don’t have to buy again”. We relied a lot on YouTubers, local bike shops, family, and Adventure Cycling for advice on what to bring and how to prepare. I’m relying a lot on Marty’s extensive experience. He’s probably relying on me to discipline my snacking.
We’ve done quite a few weekend bike camping trips around the San Juan Islands, Vancouver Island, Skagit, Bellingham, Port Townsend, Kitsap Peninsula, Seattle, and the Olympics up to now; but this will be my first ever Epic ride. I have never averaged 70 miles a day, day after day, nor have I biked more than 58 miles in a day! I’ve been anxious about my abilities, the wildlife, the weather, weirdos, etc… But now, we’re one week away from beginning our adventure and I’m just excited to even attempt it!