The great divide route certainly gets right into the money. After being dropped off behind the Banff Springs hotel to start the route we were straight into the wide variations in speed we’ve now (3 days later) become used to. The range is from 4km/hr (and staggering up Elk Pass) to 62km/hr down a dirt road on the 2nd day. The loaded bike quickly drags you to a granny ring the moment up-hill is detected.
The scenery and biking has been far beyond what we expected. Our favourite sections so far have been the 5-10 km from West Spray lake to the Shark Mountain trailhead, and the madly fast downhill from Elk Pass to Tobamorey hut. The grind and determination up Elk Pass was rewarded by un-picked acres of sweet wild strawberries towards the top.
Our trepidations about bear-country weren’t helped when we ended up wild-camping on our first night out. We ended up slinging our food bag over a nearby road sign. Our first night in an organised campsite was at Elkford (complete with hot showers and another “great-divider”).