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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
See more photos from the #DFLtheDivide tag on Instagram!