Preparing to Cycle the Great Divide and The Art of Packing

It’s now June and less than a month until we leave to start cycling The Great Divide from Banff in Canada to Antelope Wells, which is in the middle of nowhere, in New Mexico.  Its taken a while to get to this point because, lets face it, how many people can just take three months off to go cycling.  We are hoping to raise some funds for ShelterBox during this trip and I seem to have spent more time creating our on-line presence that cycling which is something I am going to pay for in sore legs during the first week of the trip. ShelterBox provides emergency shelter and vital supplies to support communities around the world overwhelmed by disaster and humanitarian crisis.  If there are families in need of emergency shelter, ShelterBox does everything it can to help them rebuild their lives. For example, ShelterBox has recently provided shelter for 15,000 in Nepal and has sent shelter aid to other disaster areas such as Chile, Niger, Cameroon and Vanuatu in recent months.  We hope that you will help support this great charity in any way that you can.  The money raised will be put towards:- £55 warmth and protection – Thermal blankets and groundsheets help people stay warm once they have lost their homes;  £230 shelter for a family – The disaster relief tent is custom made and is designed to withstand extreme temperatures, high winds and heavy rainfall; £590 a new start – A complete ShelterBox will provide a family with the shelter and other vital equipment they need to to rebuild their lives after a disaster or humanitarian crisis. The thing I really hate about preparing for a trip is packing and deciding what not to take.  I have seen photos of other cyclists kit list which are always neat and precise.  I have tried, I really have, but this is always the result.

The Art of Packing for Touring
The Art of Packing for Touring

Somehow, 2 hours before we leave something ends up stuffed into our panniers and it generally seems to be what was needed.  This approach did lead to us cycling round the Lake District recently without a pump which could have been a bit drastic. It is not as if we don’t have lists from previous trips its just I hate packing.  It probably has a name, packaphobia. The fun bit, deciding on where we are going, has been done for us on this trip by the Adventure Cycling Association as they have published a turn by turn map and directions.  But I am sure we can still indulge in the enjoyment of getting lost and meeting new people in the process. We have had some offers of help on the way.  So we would like to thank the member of the Breckenridge Rotary club who has offered to receive and store our parcel of bike spares we are sending on.

Amazing how the spares bag is heavier than the bike
Amazing how the spares bag is heavier than the bike
End of the Trip
“Feral” ?!* Nooo …….. We’re Cycle Tourists!

We have also received an offer of accommodation at the end of the 3000 miles by a brave member of the Rotary Club of Tucson, this will be much appreciated!

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