Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Divide

A few weeks ago, I posted this on bikepacking.net

"Old and slow may I be, but I plan to be at the starting line in Antelope Wells as a NorthBounder next June 13.  WooHoo !!

Can't wait !!"


Training - Some Dirt Road Backstreets

So with that, my hat is officially into the ring to ride my bike in TourDivide 2014, from the New Mexico/Mexican border all the way up the Cordillera, the great spine of North America, to Banff, Alberta.   I think it's about 2700 miles and something crazy like 198,000 feet of climbing.   The plan is to finish in about 26 days.  The course is mostly dirt road, some of it good, and some of it abysmal, a couple hundred miles of single track and a couple hundred miles of paved road.  There are places where I will fly down the road on my bike and other places where I expect to scrape mud off as I push the bike along, lifting it over fallen trees and wondering what is wrong with my mental state to have even contemplated such a quest in the first place !

So there you have it.   My training has started.   Coach Jen has her hands full trying to come up with a training plan for an old man who wants to do something as crazy as this.   I expect there will be some pain involved in just getting to the starting line in June !

I am still figuring out gear choices.  Much of it has been bought, but I am still debating if I will take my BMC full suspension mountain bike, or opt for something a couple of pounds lighter, like a hard tail design.  The full suspension will be easier on my butt on some of those roads, but lighter is always good !  I've been studying the Adventure Cycling Association maps, trying to get that mental picture into my head as to where I am going and where I will rest and provision.

5 months to go ....  There is much work to be done.  Two bike races ( 24 Hours in the Old Pueblo and the Whiskey Off-Road 50 ) between now and June, and just training, training, training to get ready to do this.  

I'll finish this post with a couple of quotes:

Training - I expect to see a bit of this "Up North"

"Life is too short not to take these adventures like this.
You have to take the time
You have to make these types of experiences a priority,
because if you don't you'll live your life and never be changed
in the ways that the Divide can change you"  -- Matthew Lee from "Ride the Divide"

"A venturesome minority will always be eager to set off on their own, and no obstacles should be placed in their path; let them take risks, for godsake, let them get lost, sunburnt, stranded, drowned, eaten by bears, buried alive under avalanches - that is the right and privilege of any free American" -- Ed Abbey from "Desert Solitaire"




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