May 16, 2015
This post is part of a series spotlighting Adventure Cycling's Corporate Members. These companies support our mission and programs and do some cool stuff of their own. We've given them the floor and, as a result, have learned a few interesting things about our supporters that we'd like to share with you. The answers below are direct from the companies. We hope that this gives you the chance to get to know them a little better, too. For this post, Corporate Member and owner of Great Divide Mountain Bike Tour, Ryan Correy, shares with us a bit about their brand, their passion for cycling, and why they support Adventure Cycling Association.
Riders atop Elk Pass in British Columbia, 2014
This August we will be running our third annual ‘Hammer Nutrition’ powered Great Divide Mountain Bike tour from Canmore, Alberta to Whitefish, Montana. The inspiration to organize this adventure originated from my love for racing the Tour Divide in 2012 (and returning again in 2015). During those three weeks along the spine of the continent, I often found myself thinking, More people need to experience this – the remote nature, grand vistas, and profound personal challenge. And here we are.
Great Divide Mountain Bike Tour 2013 and 2014 from Edward Kuo on Vimeo.
Building off our first corporate spotlight, I thought that I would take this opportunity to discuss how interest has grown, our respective challenges, and value in supporting “The Tribe” (AKA the greater bikepacking community), as I recently saw us referred by Mike Dion – the producer behind that infamous documentary, Ride the Divide.
The majority of our interest continues to come mainly from the United States, followed closely by Canada, and a few inquiries from the UK. The initial spark for many was ignited with Mike’s film, and/or being inspired by the grand tales of fellow riders. Following a natural progression, we have seen our tour grow as a primer for those seeking to take on the full route. Mind you, not everyone leaves encouraged to pursue the 4,418 km solo. Even in a supported capacity, our tour is a tremendous challenge. “I have a greater respect for amount of climbing and remoteness,” one rider recently commented, huffing atop the Whitefish Divide this past August.
Just one of our cozy campsites, 2014
Tough experiences generate a better sense of appreciation for all things.
The term ‘passion project’ aside, I actually consider our tour to be a genuine public service. In an age of cell phones, cellophane wrappers, sensationalized terror, and never enough time, these 8 days reconnect us with the elemental – campfires, warm stories, wholesome food, the dirt, the trees, the whistling wind, and genuine relationships. I would also go so far as extend the latter to our businesses partnerships.
We take pride in being able to support the mission of the Adventure Cycling Association, for which we continue to owe a debt of gratitude for their mapping efforts. I must also offer up a special acknowledgment to Cricket Butler at the Whitefish Bike Retreat and, of course, Hammer Nutrition (also based in Whitefish). The four of us have found a great synergy in promoting and supporting our respective interests.
A smiling family of crew and riders, 2014
Such a foundation is crucial for weathering the obvious challenges of shifting route logistics (such as flooding in Southern Alberta in 2013), building relationships with local stakeholders (government agencies, campsites, and experienced local trail guides), mitigating liability, and holding public attention. Word-of-mouth amongst “The Tribe” remains the strongest marketing tool in this regard. And top of mind, many are asking, “What’s next?”
Discussions are happening to possibly expand our tour offerings. This will either come in the form of an additional week along the same route, shifting to new sections further south, or attempting the full Divide all in one shot. Interestingly enough, we have also had a few riders ask about private tours for students. This is an ongoing dialogue that we enjoy sharing with our loyal Facebook following – composed of avid bikepackers, veteran riders, newbie riders looking for advice, and hopefully YOU.
Explore your Divide passion at www.greatdividetour.com
In addition to running the Great Divide Mountain Bike Tour, Ryan serves as the Fueling Guru for Hammer Nutrition in Canada. He is also the recent author of ‘A Purpose Ridden’ – a personal story about taking on some of the world’s toughest cycling challenges. Learn more at www.ryancorrey.com
MEMBERSHIP HIGHLIGHTS is posted every other Wednesday by the membership team — Julie, Josh, and Brian — spotlighting the various benefits of membership, our accomplishments thanks to member support, and interviews with some of our most passionate and dedicated members, both individual and organizational.
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