Two days ago, June 4, our buddy Andrew got on a plane to Calgary, Canada. With a one way ticket. And his bike. To ride the Great Divide.
After 11 years of working for the same company, a company he cared less and less for as each year went by, working for people that he had lost respect for, he decided it was time to quit. Although quite honestly, and he will agree, it was probably 5 years or so too late, but still, he quit.
Quitting is hard to do. Especially when you have a job making good money and no job lined up after it. But sometimes you have to quit to be able to move on. Especially if you're living somewhere and working a job that is doing more harm than good. He was miserable. He's so much better than the life he was living.
April 30 was his last day at work. He headed up to Asheville that day to hang out with us, and him and I were PMBAR race partners that weekend. Waiting for him when he got to the house was this delicious cake. It's not often you get to call your local grocery store and ask them to write "Congrats - you quit your job" on a cake. The response from the girl over the phone was, "That is the best thing I've been asked to write on a cake!"
Quitting just to quit because his job was shitty wasn't good enough of a reason for Andrew. This is a guy who knows how to suffer (which is partially why he's an incredible mountain biker and can ride forever). He needed more substantial reasons. And a shove and a kick. He needed inspiration to be able to quit his job. A big project to make quitting worth it.
He's been wanting to ride the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR) for awhile. So he got maps for the GD. Got his gear sorted. Went on some bikepacking trips to test out his setup. Decluttered his house. Drank his kegs. And flew out to Calgary. From Calgary he rode his bike to Banff, to the start of the GD. As I type right now he's hanging out in Banff for the day before hitting the GD route.
Before he left for Calgary he found out that one of the bridges on the GD in Banff was recently washed out. He had to figure out how to get across the river. As luck would have it (good things happen when you're on a bike), he met two women outside the grocery store in Canmore whose friend rode the GD last year and works for park Canada! Andrew met up with the guy, Greg, today so that they could ride the first section of the trail to where the bridge is out and figure out the best place for Andrew to ford the river.
Tomorrow he heads out on the Great Divide. 2,745 miles. From Banff, Canada to Antelope Wells, New Mexico. We are so excited for him! And we want to share some of his photos from his trip so far.
Here's to going after your dreams, being brave, and a new beginning.