DFL the Divide: A Group Tour in Celebration of Adventure Cycling’s 40th

DFL the Divide: A Group Tour Celebration of Adventure Cycling’s 40th
Words by Spencer Harding, photos by UltraRomance, Mark Reimer, Locke Hassett and Spencer Harding

It all started over beers in Colombia last fall. We had just crossed the pass over Nevado Del Ruiz and we were on our way to Medellin and of course we got to talking about what the next adventure was gonna be before the one at hand was even over. Kurt really wanted to get to Missoula for Adventure Cycling’s 40th celebration and he thought we should ride the section of the tour divide from Banff to Seeley Lake. I was pumped because I missed riding that section with him a few years back. The plan was set, get to Banff on July 5th and get to Missoula by July 15th.

Photo by Spencer Harding

We sent out a rally cry through an Instagram direct message, one thing led to the next, it snowballed, and then we were in Banff with 20 some-odd people. Some of these people I had met before, but most were about 1 degree of separation away, mostly people you see on the internet and you think “they look like they would be fun to ride bikes and camp with for two weeks.” Turns out those people are just as rad as you think! Finally SOCIAL media was actually social, this Instagram thing actually works sometimes. Hell, Oliver didn’t really know any of us, he just happened to run into four separate people who were coming on the trip a few weeks prior and decided it was fated for him to join.

Photo by Spencer Harding

I had always dreamed of bike touring with a huge posse, though never having ridden with more than 3 people, this was a little daunting. We planned for about 50 miles a day, which could be veto’d at anytime by Poppi or Rat if a desirable camp spot was spotted before then. The days were chill, rarely on bikes before 10am and usually in a comfy spot by 7 or so each night. We would usually congregate on whatever bridge or pass of the day for lunch and have quite the picnic between all the humans.

Photo by Spencer Harding

My trip had to be cut short because of work so my story stops around Whitefish; the rest of the gang rode down to Missoula and partied for the 40th all weekend. I could write a short book with stories from this trip, but I’m not going to. This was a really special trip with some incredibly special humans and here is my photographic perspective on the whole ordeal. If you want more stories come find me and we can have beers and ride bikes about it.

Photo by Spencer Harding

In summary; invite the internet to go bikepacking, they’ll probably show up and you’ll have some amazing new friends. Shut up and get rad.

Photo by Spencer Harding


See more photos from the #DFLtheDivide tag on Instagram!


  • Looks like a blast. Glad to see someone wet a line along the way!

    • Ed Simpson

      so glad i brought the fly rod along

      • The only thing better than biking or fishing is bike fishing

  • Adam Sklar

    Montana is nice.


    Can someone please tell me what ” DFL” stands for. Maybe i’m an idiot, but I can’t seem to figure this out.

    • Dead F’n Last!

      • Mark Reimer

        Or if you like Biohazard, Down For Life!

        • Aaron Amin

          Aswell DNF for ” Did not finish” or my favorite “Duke Nukem’ Forever!”

      • CTDSAC

        Ah Ha! the ole “Lanterne rouge” if you will. Thank you!

  • YoungG

    #78 NSFW
    P.S. – Is that you, DCT?

  • Ryan

    What am I doing with my life.

    • Patrick Murphy

      right there with you man

      • ok so where are we riding

        • Ryan


          I wish I lived closer so I could do it by tier. I’ve taken 8-10 days to drive the coast from Seattle to Big Sur several times over my life and never gotten to go into the Cascades. This would be trail would definitely be a big deal bucket list kind of thing considering my budget/family/job/life.

  • #29 – heart eyed emoji x3

  • How did I not DLF, FML.

    • Right? SO BUMMED it happened during Sweden.

    • spencer harding

      I TOLD YOU

  • Robert Mead

    I love to read every article you write. There is something special in every picture or word, a passion for cycling that you can not find anywhere else. Although it may be just a “butt”, but it’s still something vulgar. It’s not a good thing

    • Sorry to have offended you.

    • spencer harding

      I editing out Benedict’s testicles, I figured that would be enough…

    • What is vulgar about the human body?

  • AkGandalf

    The pic of you on the hammock with your bike leaning against a tree speaks to the joy you had on this trip. Your words are also really fine and help the geek in me understand the details I would otherwise have missed. Bummed I missed this.

  • Area45

    So rad Spencer and crew! Definitely a missed opportunity. Such an amazing place to pedal.

  • Brett Cronje

    What a great trip and gallery!!!

  • Kyle Deven

    If I had to come up with one complaint about this site… it’s that there aren’t butt photos in every gallery. Butts forever. <3

    • AdamBike99

      Hooray for tushies!

  • Harry

    I like this very much.

  • Kerry Nordstrom

    Whoever is riding the $200 MTB in #64 is really living the dream…

  • Andrew Wade

    anyone know what the tarp setup is in #5 & #59?

  • The best boarder crossing of my life. The only thing the custom agent asked me was. “Your doing the divide on slicks? Good luck. “

  • Will Ashe

    Hell yeah Spencer!

  • Nico

    Fantastic trip report and photos! Passed through the same stretch about a week ahead of this crew. We had a very similar pace and approach… stop and swim in every lake, fish every stream, lounge in every tree-lined meadow… fantastic way to spend a week! Soooo ready to go back and do it again!

  • StevenRojas

    Can I come with you guys next time?! Serious question.

  • Olly Roberts

    Thats a long way to ride in a flannel shirt and denim shorts! Goddamn hipsters.

    Thats a surly instigator is it not? ….and thats a butthole!!!

    Love the Radavist.