Friday, 13 June 2014


Friday June 13, 2014
I spent the last 6 months planning and preparing and the last three on my travels here to and in Banff tweaking everything and going over things again and again! I am squirming to start the 4418km 'underground' race called the Tour Divide from Banff to Mexico.

There are 130 cyclists and adventurists taking on the challenge each with different reasons, purpose, expectations, goals, gear, personality, and fitness levels. I am in the YMCA Mountain lodge in. Dorm room with. Fellow from New Zealand, one from Japan, and another from the USA. We also had two young hikers, one from Belgium and Germany.

Presently it is 4:30am and I am writing as the other guys in the room are starting to awake to prepare for the long road ahead. We gather here in front of the Y at 7:30am, get last minute instructions on trail conditions, take a group photo, then bike 10 minutes up the road to the trailhead to start at 8am sharp.

You can follow along at . I've also posted info and pics on Facebook.

Off we go.....

Wednesday, 4 June 2014


The idiom "the devil is in the detail" derives from the earlier phrase, "God is in the detail;" expressing the idea that whatever one does should be done thoroughly; i.e. details are important.[1] (Wikepedia)

I leave in less than a week for Banff Alberta for my final few days of preparation prior to starting the Tour Divide on June 13. It is hard to believe that the day is almost here after 7 months of thought, planning, research, and physical/mental preparation. Virtually every free moment, every quiet evening, weekdays and weekends have been spent focusing on every aspect of this event. It has taken over my mind and I am itching like crazy to get going!

The Training has been the easy part. Getting out on the bike through the winter was wonderful. Have you ever ridden on a bike in the snow, in the snow at night, and through trails in the snow at night? It is adventurous, exciting, and sometimes dangerous yet it develops the senses like nothing else. I've ridden short and in the rain and long on questionable terrain. I've been out at 5:30 in the morning biking through the city and around town when most are sleeping - it is a great way to look around and see what you miss during the hustle and bustle of the day light hours. I've had my butt on the seat for up to 9.5 hours at a time and many many kilometers. I've ridden alone and with friends and enjoy both equally well for various reason - being alone allows for thought and reflection, being with friends encourages sharing and laughter. Being on the bike offers a wonderful sense of fulfilment and freedom and I have enjoyed every moment of it.

Planning for for the Tour Divide has been extremely time consuming and thought provoking. Just when you think you have what you need, or you nailed it, something new pops into the picture and you second guess your choice. I've spent countless hours combing over video from everything on bikes, maps, terrain, weather and travel. I've read personal accounts of others who have gone through the preparation phase and competition and lived it though the thoughts and observations of others. I've been on every bike equipment site and on almost every back packing gear and clothing site that one could imagine. I've ordered on-line, made returns when I've found something better and I've been in stores throughout Halifax, in Moncton, and in Bangor and Kittery Maine, Portsmouth NH, Boston Mass, New Haven CT, and Minneapolis MN looking for equipment and buying supplies. I've bought things I like and threw stuff in a box that I found out I can't really use but may down the road. And yes, as my wife reminds me, I've spent too much money although I shopped carefully.

The final and most important part has been trying to make sure my 25-30 days are covered off here at Home. With a busy wife and four very active kids, our home is often in some form of controlled chaos with people and things going everywhere. Taking the leave my my job and being without pay since April 1 has certainly presented some challenges but I couldn't do this event, and promote the fund-raising aspect, without doing so. Our home is in good shape and I leave knowing that my wife Leslie, whom is simply an unbelievable wife and mom, has things well in hand although she is stressed about it and my absence. My kids are responsible beyond their years and I am confident they will carry on well while I am gone. Making sure most bills are paid, hockey issues are cared for, and there are some funds in the bank to survive on has also been a challenge but are in decent shape and will manage until my return. I will leave for the trip comfortable with our home situation which will allow me to stay the course mentally, emotionally, and physically.

I sit here fairly comfortable and confident that things are well in hand and I have taken care of the details to carry on and complete the journey. The month ahead will be full of excitement, stress, dis-comfort, and some pain but it is welcome. Based on my focus over the last 6 months, I am hoping that the next one will reach expectations and offer challenge, adversity, and ultimately...success!

The Lord only knows (and I do too!) that The Devil is in the Detail.

Monday, 2 June 2014


My Teammates, My Friends, My Family:

It is hard to believe that I am now only 7 days from leaving for Banff Alberta and 11 days from beginning a journey of a lifetime starting Friday June 13, yes…Friday the 13th! My Tour Divide, 4418kms from Banff to Antelope Wells New Mexico, will begin with enthusiasm, confidence, and a strong sense of strength because of you and your support. I believe I have done the work to build a foundation of fitness in which to work from as the miles increase and the route throws all it can at me. I want to finish in 25 days (but must be flexible), requiring consecutive 180km days regardless of weather, terrain, or adversity, but will approach it with the respect required and awareness (of body, mind, equipment, and surroundings) needed to complete the journey. I have a willingness to endure discomfort and some pain and understand that there is a price to be paid to achieve success.

Here are a few items of interest:
1) All my equipment needs have been taken care of.
2) Children's Wish Foundation arranged to have my flight to Banff donated and for my bike to be shipped through a sponsor - thank you Cheryl.
3) Giant Tiger of Halifax and Dartmouth raised $4000 for Autism NS in their round it up promotion and Giant Tiger Canada will donate up to $5000 for 'likes' on their web page for my ride and Giant Tiger Halifax Dartmouth. Thank you Scott, Patty, and Giant Tiger.
4) My 'big brother' and long time friend Phil O'Hara purchased and donated an IPad Mini for my trip pictures and blog updates - thank you Phil.
5) I've completed promotions in the Herald, On CTV Morning Live, with Ray Bradshaw at Global TV, and on radio with Seaside FM and various other local stations, and at local schools.
6) I've logged 1000's of kms of biking over the last 6 months in the snow, rain and limited spring weather along with some long distance single training days over the last month.
7) I've received 100's of commitments from family, friends, and community members to sponsor me and my journey benefitting the Children's Wish Foundation and Autism NS - Thank you so much!
8) I hope I've motivated people to work toward health, happiness, and helping others while strengthening bonds in our community.

Thus far we've raised, through early payments and registered commitments, around $24000. I expect to reach my goal of $27450.00 and I thank all of you for helping make this happen. Many of you have inquired: 'How do I forward payment to sponsor your ride?'…here are three ways:

You can log on to these two sites and donate directly and receive proof of payment:
Children's Wish:
Autism NS:

The third method of payment...If you prefer to send payment to me via cheque (to me or made direct to the Charity of Choice above), you can mail it to the address below along with your full name and mailing address. You can send now or wait until the journey is completed.

Brad Crossley
15 Fiddlers Green
Dartmouth NS
℅ Tour Divide

I will send out one more email prior to beginning on June 13 with a final update, and links to my blog and the site to track my progress via a SPOT Navigation device/link. 

I can't thank you enough! You've given me strength, whether through kind words, by following the journey with enthusiasm, or through sponsorship. I truly appreciate you!

Brad Crossley