Ok, here’s a start to this crazy adventure. Even though the adventure has ended, we are still trying to raise money for PSC Partners.org. Click here to make a donation, or here to buy a T-Shirt. They are moving fast!
They say that just getting to the start is the tough part. I guess that’s true. It took much work to be able to get here, but once in Banff, things didn’t get any easier. Now the reality was sinking in. We were at the Y, there were racers everywhere. No turning back now.
As soon as we arrived we started pulling the bikes out of the boxes and re-assembling them. There were boxes everywhere. The people at the Y had set aside a couple rooms where we could assemble everything and leave our bikes. We just assembled ours in the hall way and kept our bikes in our room. The first night we were joined by Marco, an Italian, who’s room wasn’t going to be ready until the next day. So the three of us crammed into a small room with the bikes blocking the door.
The next day we got up and rode over to see where the actual start of the route was. Just behind the fancy Banff Hotel was a small trail. Weird to think that this little path will eventually end down at the US-Mexican border. Before we could leave though we had errands to take care of. I had to get my bike serviced. It wasn’t shifting properly and the tires weren’t holding air. Turned out that the rim strips had a tear in them, but once they were replaced all was good again.
We met local bag-maker Scott of Porcelain Rocket and his partner Naomi at their house and hung out for a while. He had kindly offered to show me how he makes bags, and I was in need of a second top-tube bag so it was perfect. I watched as he explained the process. Trying to remember as much as I could. He let me do some of the sewing on his industrial machine, but it was like driving a huge truck compared to my lil’ machine. Pretty intimidating. At the end though, I had a new custom bag! Awesome! Rob Roberts was staying at Scott’s place so we got to hang out with him awhile too. Rob makes his own bags as well so it was really cool to try and soak in the knowledge. All the bags on Rob’s bike were made by him. Pretty cool.
Erik and I did a shakedown ride with the bikes loaded on Wednesday. We rode the first six miles of the route. It was amazing. So weird to think that we were there. Hard to soak it all in. Before long, we’d be on our way south. Damn.