Guest Blogger, Matt McLoone, shares about his 2,765 mile mountain bike adventure down the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route with Brett Ziegler’s, which put their Kitsbow gear through the test.
Ever since we met in photo school over 8 years ago, we have talked about an epic adventure. Having the idea in the back of our heads for so long, we finally just had to get out and do it. So on August 19, we arrived in Banff, Canada, and set about putting our bikes together and gathering last minute supplies. That day we would embark on our grand adventure, The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. We had our fully rigid Surly Ogres packed with the bare essentials- sleeping bags, tent, cookware, camera equipment, food, water, and clothing. Even though we packed light, compared to most we met along the way, we were still pushing over 70 pounds. Once we left civilization, nature opened up and we were greeted with stunning views. Wildlife was abundant and the mountain air was crisp and clear. There is nothing more freeing than traveling on your own accord in some of the most remote and pristine reaches of land in the country.
So for the next 5 weeks we pedaled 6-10 hours a day, slowly traversing down the Rockies through all types of climate- from the lush forests of Banff all the way down towards the upper reaches of the Chihuahuan Desert. We saw grizzlies, wolf, moose, and dozens of speeding Pronghorns. We had moments of pure joy, agony, and defeat. The time spent on the road was both some of the most intense and amazing times of our lives. The people we met, the landscapes we saw, made us really appreciate life. The thrill of the adventure is something to seek. Ever since returning home, full well knowing how much pain we experienced, we can’t help but miss it and want to go back.
As for our choice of kit couldn’t have been any better. The quality of Kitsbow held up in the toughest conditions we could throw at them. We quickly discovered that for the chilly days, the A/M Pocket polos paired with the adjustable Shorts worked wonderfully. The shirts were well made and the blend of material was super comfortable. The ventilated shorts were also amazing and surprisingly light and stretchy. We ended up riding in them every day and even after the trip, the shorts are still in great condition. You would think that riding in a pair of thin shorts 8 hours a day for 5 weeks would wear them down; not these. Once it got warmer, down in the southern section of the ride, we swapped our polos for the Ventilated Jersey paired with the Ventilated Base and Over short. This combo was a match made in heaven for the hot, dry conditions. Very breathable, very comfortable and best of all it never got smelly. This worked for us, as we were presentable when we stepped into a restaurant or store to eat and shop. The comfort of not being an eyesore and feeling awkward in full kit was a bit of relief.
Overall we were beyond impressed with the quality and fit of the Kitsbow line.You would think for something so light and comfortable they would be delicate, but these were tough. Kitsbow is going to be our first choice for all of future touring.
Follow Matt and Brett on their blog to watch the adventure from two wheels.
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