Just had an opportunity to go bikepack the latest miles added to the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route thanks to my Wonderful Staff taking over the Whitefish Bike Retreat for the week!!
I am sure they missed me :)))
Jasper to Banff - 365 miles.
Here is my intel if you are considering riding this section.
The word is GO PREPARED!
Be prepared to ride endless steep ups and downs - no joke - they do not stop.
Be prepared to ride some singletrack.
Be prepared to carry food for long miles with no resupply.
Be prepared for anything Mother Nature can throw at you.
Be prepared for wildlife encounters.
Be prepared to repair your bike remotely.
Be prepared for encountering logging trucks frequently on certain sections. - DUST!
BE PREPARED TO EXPERIENCE SOME STUNNING REMOTE WILDERNESS!!!!!!!!
I rode this section in early August solo - took a week - rode a rigid hardtail 29er with a combination of Ortlieb and Oveja Negra Bikepacking bags so I could have the capacity to carry 4+ days of food. With this set up, I really was able to enjoy the single track out of Jasper - I would NOT recommend the single track for riders with trailers or heavy panniers setups. At times, the single track was narrow and steep and a bit technical. But overall, I DO recommend riding it if you can - even if just a day ride before you start your journey!
The logging activity on the Forestry Trunk Road changes due to where the active logging is taking place - for me it was heavy from Hinton to Robb and then all the way into Nordegg. The logging trucks/oil & gas tankers disappeared south of Nordegg for my ride but the weekend traffic of campers and horse trailers did increase from Nordegg to Banff. If I rode it again, I would try to avoid this weekend traffic as it was heavier than the logging activity at times. The dust is a definite concern so go prepared.
Hinton had great resupply opportunities and the friendliest Bike Shop - Vicious Cycles - this will be your last time for bike supplies until Banff. Nordegg (1.4 miles off route) has a few small cafes (PIE) and a gas station for good resupply - make sure you load up for the miles ahead as the miles do not get easier - there is nothing solid for resupply until Ghost. Ghost does have a small gas station right on route with a small resupply opportunity. There is one remote Cafe you will encounter between Nordegg and Ghost - it is off route and hours may vary so hard to count on. Water is plentiful and most of the established campgrounds have a water well.
As for the weather, even in early August it was quite chilly and rain and even snow. There were a few hot dry days so again just go prepared for anything and everything possible. Need a shuttle? WBR offers custom shuttles to Jasper and Banff as well as scheduled Banff Shuttles during June, July and August - check our shuttle schedules or call to schedule a custom shuttle for your group.
Jasper To Banff Photos
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 starting 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!
Have faith that the paths we go down, the detours we experience, the good, the bad and the ugly and everything in between in our lives have purpose to build us into our own potential if we can just keep the focus.
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!
I just had the parts stripped off this bike and I started to ponder that this bike was responsible for me being where I am in life now. This frame was my very first mountain bike ever! It now hangs over my garage at the Whitefish Bike Retreat (WBR) but this bike had one hell of a life. It took me to some amazing places on the planet. It took me to trails, races and rides where I met some of my best friends. It made me cry. It made me strong. It made me smile! It made me believe anything was possible! It made me fall in love with mountain biking!
Since that first Titus bike, I have gone through many bikes and many life changes. I had no idea what I was doing back in those days but I just keep pedaling forward and I learned new lessons with every rotation of those tires! I still have no idea what I am doing, but I have learned that you just follow your heart and hold on through the tough times and you will be further down the road. My sons are teenagers now and I am way down the road! I no longer race and I now own a place where I get to cater to and take care of cyclists racing and touring through Northwest Montana, just off the Great Divide Route.
My guests at the WBR always ask how the WBR began or about my background. I am nothing extraordinary - I knew nothing about mountain biking or racing or touring or starting a business - I just rode my bike, stayed focused and never quit!
Everyone I meet these days, I see the ability for that person to do anything even if they do not believe. Just look at my road and start believing you can!
Now I get to teach and share what I have learned over all those miles and years! I get to share my passion for bikepacking and mountain biking. I get to empower others with the skills and knowledge to go out on their own and explore with confidence. My road just keeps stretching out in front of me with many more miles to ride :) AND IT ALL STARTED WITH THAT LITTLE TITUS FRAME.
Checkout that the Titus frame had a Montana sticker on it way before I ended up here in Montana - ummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....... Meant to be :)
Tour Divide Racers are a unique breed!
Once you get the idea of the Tour Divide Race in your head - you are cursed!
It is a GOOD curse though! The challenges you conquer, new life-time friends made, the level of fitness you will achieve, the places you will experience, the food you will eat, the pain you will overcome, the beauty you will see.... it is worth every mile!
They ponder the race for years sometimes - they pick a year for their race and then they start going over every little detail in their heads - they weigh everything and they consider the use of every single item they have on their bikes - do they need it or not - can this item be used for more than one purpose to warrant its place on a bike heading for Mexico? They ride and ride and ride and ride and ride and ride to prepare! They go over the route so many times they have it almost memorized - they research other setups and race strategies - it is never ending the details!
WBR can help with getting you and your bike and all your gear safely to the start without hassle!
The 2018 Tour Divide Race Starts June 8th
WBR will run a shuttle for TD Racers on
June 5th, 2018
From Whitefish, Montana to the Banff YWCA
WBR can pick you up at the Kalispell airport (FCA) - shuttle you to the WBR - you can grab a bunk or room and stay for a few days to get your bike ready with a few shake down rides - then take the TD Race Shuttle to Banff on June 5th
Then All You Have To Do Is Race Your Bike To Mexico
See I raced the Tour Divide many years ago before it was cool & I know the planning issues all racers struggle with - WBR is here & dedicated to help my fellow TD Racers!
(At this time 1 shuttle is planned - if interest is there, we will run additional shuttle times to get racers to Banff)
Todays ride was 5 lakes, 2 dogs, endless sunshine and blue skies, 17 miles of hard pack roads and open single track, country music playing in my ear buds (no judgement), a beautiful ridge deck view at the WBR and one hell of an ending when you can ride right up to a comfy lodge to finish your ride!
I am truly blessed that this is my backyard - but the thing is - I am more blessed I get share this beautiful place with our guests and visitors. I fell in love with Montana when I was a young child and its beauty never left my heart. Now I live and work here! You to will fall in love with all Montana has to offer - especially on days like this!
Remember checkout our events page to find details on our Winter Fat Bike Clinic with Jay and Tracy Petervary this February. A chance to ride with and learn from these two winter fat biking experts in the beauty of Montana - well it is a dream come true!
SLEEP - WAKE - FAT BIKE
Dreams Do Come True!
Fat Biking AND The Whitefish Bike Retreat AND The Petervary's
ALL IN ONE PLACE FOR ONE INCREDIBLE WEEKEND!
WBR is getting ready for winter. Winter in these part is quite stunning!
For the first time ever, WBR will be grooming a 33" track for fat biking around our property. Our trails can also be used to access the Beaver Lake Recreation Area and the surrounding frozen lakes and this environment is a great stomping ground for learning techniques on how to ride your fat bike and prepare for winter riding.
This is an incredible opportunity to learn from and ride with experts in winter fat bike riding and adventure, Jay and Tracey Petervary. JayP and TrayP are partnering up with the Whitefish Bike Retreat to share their tips, tricks and knowledge for riding in the snow.
All Riding Abilities Welcomed - For Women And Men!
If you are curious about learning more about fat biking and looking to venture into the world of winter riding OR if you have been fat biking some and want to learn more advance techniques to increase your ride range in the winter, this is the place to be. How to dress, moisture management, tire air pressure, how to read the snow, how to handle the bike on the snow, gear suggestions, bike setup, safety and many more topics and questions to be covered.
What we have here ladies and gents is a whole bunch of knowledge and experience in one hell of a beautiful place - This weekend is all about you and your chance to ask any questions and learn from one amazing adventure couple!
Event Details Listed On Our Events Webpage - TAKE A LOOK!
WBR is getting ready for winter. It took a week with Dave Harris and his master carpentry skills along with Keith Brodsky and myself as "Dave's Minions" to construct this one of a kind wood-fired sauna to keep our winter guests toasty after their winter adventures! WBR will be closed from October 10th until we re-open our Lodge for the Winter Season on December 20, 2017.
Winter in these part is quite stunning!
WBR will be grooming a 33" track for fat biking around our property. Our trails can also be used to snowshoe or classic ski up to the un-groomed Whitefish Trail or access the Beaver Lake Recreation Area and the surrounding frozen lakes or just go hit Whitefish Mountain Resort for some World Class skiing. WBR will have Fat Bike available for trailside rentals so there is no lugging around the bikes to find some hardpack tracks!
Spend your day doing whatever your winter love is and then you can return to our cozy Lodge and stoke the wood-fired sauna for some end of the day heat!
WBR online reservations for winter is open or give us a call.
No matter where in the world you're coming from, we can help you figure out the easiest way to get to the Whitefish Bike Retreat. If you are coming from overseas, across the border, another state or from downtown Whitefish, our WBR staff will help you get here with all your gear!
The Amtrak stops in Whitefish as part of the Empire Builder Route traveling West and East. It is an easy and affordable way to reach the Whitefish area with your bike and gear. There are train cars on this route where you can easily roll your bike onto the train and put it in a special bike rack compartment, so there's no need to box up your bike. Call Amtrak for pricing and details at 406-862-2268. The video above shows how easy it is to use the train to get to WBR.
Fly into Kalispell (FCA). Give us a call to let us know your flight details at least a week before your arrival so we can schedule a shuttle pickup. Our shuttle service picks you up when you need us, and will get you out to WBR to settle into your room or campsite.
Head out from Whitefish on Hwy 93 towards Roosville. At milepost 135 (about 6.5 miles from downtown Whitefish) turn RIGHT onto Beaver Lake Road. Go 1.4 miles up the gravel road and turn RIGHT just past our mailbox. Proceed up the road and follow the signs to our office to check-in.
From the Roosville border crossing, continue on Hwy 93 to milepost 135 and turn LEFT onto Beaver Lake Road. Go 1.4 miles up the gravel road and turn RIGHT just past our mailbox. Proceed down the road and follow the signs to our office to check in.
From downtown Whitefish, you can ride a bike path out of town towards Roosville along Hwy 93. Follow the signs to the Lion Mountain trailhead for the Whitefish Trail (dirt road that parallels Hwy 93). Ride onto the Whitefish Trail and stay on the main trail until the trail junction for the Beaver Lake Trailhead on the Southern Loop. Take the LEFT split at this intersection and ride about .5 miles to the intersection with WBR Connector trail (log bench and sign on you left). Take a LEFT off the main Whitefish Trail into WBR and follow our signs to the Office to checkin. You can find a map of the Whitefish Trail here.
Shipping Bike And Gear:
Our guests can ship their bikes and gear to WBR with no hold charge. Just give us a call so we can add the package to our hold list and it will be here waiting for you in a secure room when your arrive. We have a bike work room with tools available for building up your bike, or taking it apart and cleaning it after your adventure. Shipping your equipment home is just as easy. Guests will need to arrange package drop-off or pick-up with the shipping company and then contact WBR staff for delivery or pick-up dates.
We offer free town shuttles that run 3 times a day between WBR and Glacier Cyclery for our guests.
The shuttles only run when there are scheduled pick-ups or drop-offs so please call our office for run times and to reserve a spot in advance.
Airport and Amtrak Shuttles:
We run shuttles for our guests to and from both the airport and train station. You must call our office to schedule times prior to your arrival. Airport shuttles are $75/party and Amtrak is $45/party.
At WBR it is all about the bike!
From above you can see all we have - the Lodge, the Campground, Trails, Skills Area, Pump Track, Ridge Deck, Office/Camp Store and the woods we call home! Guests stay in our Lodge or Campground and can ride right onto the trail on our property or onto the Whitefish Trail System to enjoy all that surrounds us. The WBR Crew is here to help you find your way when you visit our neck of the woods so you can get out and ride or explore right away and get the most from your visit here.
Or if you want to venture further out - you can plan a Bkepacking adventure - we have mountain bike and bike bag rentals so you just bring your gear and sense of adventure and we will help you pack a bike and find a route to go explore!
Or come visit us for the day if you are in the area - bike rentals trailside to ride on the Whitefish Trail without having to transport your bike to a trailhead. Then when you are done you get to hang out a with us at WBR. Share a pint of Sweet Peaks Ice Cream and recover in the hammock! Day Done!
SLEEP - WAKE - RIDE - FIND PEACE