RIDING GOALS WINNER
Having moved to British Columbia three years ago, cyclist Mel Webb’s bike was essential in making new friends and exploring her new surroundings. But after breaking her leg last January, Mel was told that she would never do endurance sports again. Not one to give in, Mel fulfilled her 2021 riding goal of bikepacking through Alberta’s Rocky Mountains from Fernie in the Elk Valley, up to the turquoise waters of Lake Louise, and back again with a little help from Rapha.
“The route was nearly perfect, created using a combination of books, published routes like the Great Divide and my love for clicking on maps. Out the door, we rolled along flowy singletrack into the backcountry on silky gravel with stunning views around every corner. Of course, not every moment could be perfect.
By going all-in, you expose yourself to completely unravelling. Nothing you experience on the road lasts forever, so you just have to roll with it. On day one, what was meant to be a challenging mountain pass was completely unrideable, both up and down. It turned into a 5-hour hike, emerging from the woods at 11pm and 50 kilometres behind schedule. On day two, I pushed to make up those 50 kilometres and had my most challenging day on the bike. The silver lining of hitting my absolute limit was breaking through to a new level I didn’t know possible and the feeling of accomplishment that came with it.
“I bonded with other bikepackers along the trail but found myself craving the company of other women. I only met one all week. After taking some time to rest, I’ll be back clicking on maps, scheming a way to get more women out on the trail with me.”