Here are the steps so far:
- buy the McCoy guide book
- buy a mountain bike
- buy the maps from AC
- post the companions wanted ads on Crazyguyonabike and Adventurecycling
- look in the forums for guidance on getting myself and my bike to Banff
- look for a 800 fill used down jacket
- look into how I will cover my shoes if it is cold or cool and raining
- figure out how to attach a fender to my front fork (it has suspension and a rack attached)
The trail begins right in Banff, behind a hotel that has changed its name. Currently it seems to be called The Fairmont Banff Springs. There is Canada Parks campground called Tunnel Mountain at the edge of Banff. They have two areas, one which seems to be full hookups and one with no hookups. In addition, many sites are first come, first serve and there are also a few walk in sites (probably last to fill). For cyclists, the parks department notes that except for three day holidays, it should not be a problem arriving without a reservation (for those of us who have no idea when we will be arriving). I thought all Canadian campgrounds had a policy of "no refusal" for people arriving without a vehicle, but now am not so sure. BTW July 1 is Canada's Independence Day holiday.
As for getting from the Calgary airport, racers suggest that you take your bike with you on the plane and use Banff Airporter shuttle service to get to Canmore or Banff. Racers seem to glow with enthusiasm about this service.
The links I have collected about the GDMBR and related stuff is located here.