The video below was sent out November 2012 to Ryan Correy as a request for photos of the property before there was even a shovel in the ground to become
the Whitefish Bike Retreat (WBR).
There is an awesome story here about 2 dreamers with 2 ideas that evolved into something pretty amazing.
It is a real life testament to NEVER GIVE UP on your dreams or ideas
as craZy or unattainable as they may seem.
Ryan was a former Tour Divide racer and experienced endurance athlete and so much more - who had a dream to help others ride the Divide with some guided trips. He was putting together a ride itinerary for that first Divide Tour and it was through a mutual friend that Ryan and my paths crossed. Both of us were just starting out with these ideas we had - both feeling compelled. I had only owned the property for a few weeks and was just stating to formulate what I was going to do with it. Ryan needed a place to end his trips.
"Keith passed along your email. Happy to connect with a fellow Divide racer!
Do you have any information to pass along for your planned Whitefish MTB retreat? I'm looking for a great way to finish a guided tour from Banff to Whitefish next August. I have already been looking at a couple of guest ranches in the area. Shoot me some info when you can." (first email from Ryan C.)
This video is what I sent him and I am still astonished to this day that he booked with basically just my ideas and photos of an unfinished property. He sent me a check within a few weeks as a deposit to save the dates. For me, that was the truest definition of faith. Again, I was astonished - I had my first reservation and not even a Lodge yet. In a way, well actually and this is the key, he really jump started my ideas into action with confirmation of that first reservation. And his first guided trip for the Divide was also coming together.
The next several months were all about construction for me - building this thing that was in my head - this 'feeling' that I wanted people to experience when they visited. Eight years later... eight years of construction, the WBR is still growing. It has been baby steps all along to something more grand than I could ever have imagined - a simple idea that was stuck in my head and never giving up on it when times got tough or losing focus when I felt lost - just like racing but even a longer more intense endurance event! Ryan's tour group arrived in 2013 and we met for the first time - it was meant to be!
Ryan passed away in 2018 at 35 and is now with us in spirit and memories. He inspired so many riders that were part of his guided tours over the years and others that followed his endurance career. He is a huge, huge, huge, huge, huge part of why the WBR is even in existence and he will always hold a special place in my heart!
Ryan was the founder of Bikepack Canada and I am honored to be a presenter at the 2019 Canadian Bikepacking Summit September 26-29 in Canmore. Come join in on the activities and ride the overnighter bikepacking trip on September 26-27. Registration details at Bikepack Canada.
Just a few of the many bikepackers that have passed through the WBR doors since 2013.
I am astonished every single day
that I get to help and spend my day with all these adventurous souls!