Saturday, January 17, 2009

A new beginning: The Tour Divide

A new beginning indeed. It's the middle of winter here in Montreal and I am already planning what to do for the summer. On June 12, '09, I have decided to commit myself to do a 4,360 kilometer (2,711 mile) mountain bike race from Banff, Alberta all the way to Antelope Wells, New Mexico… and complete it in under 30 days.
"This battle royale braves mountain passes and windswept valleys of the Continental Divide from hinterlands of the Canadian Rockies to badlands of the Mexican Plateau."
Its called the Tour Divide and follows the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route from the Adventure Cycling Association. Its the longest, toughest, mountain bike race… ever. The entire route is an all off-road assault crisscrossing the Rocky Mountains and involves climbing over 200,000 vertical feet, the equivalent of ascending Mount Everest from sea level 7 times. Half the people who start never finish. To top it all off, it is a self-supported race. This means racers are completely on their own with absolutely no assistance from each other or outside support teams. Its going to be a spectacular ride.

I am looking forward to return back to my old playground of the Rockies as I grew up in a small Albertan town about half and hour from the heart of those peaks. I learned all I needed to know about mountain biking and back country survival there and will be able to focus my skills during this month long endurance test.

My last taste of biking through the mountains happened last summer on my Cross Canada Trek when I spent a few months to cover the 7,600 kilometers from coast to coast. What did I learn from accomplishing such a feat? Canada really is a beautiful place, especially when you see it on two wheels. But even more important is I learned that I can do anything I put my mind to. Its that sort of thinking that will get me through the next chapter of bike touring on the divide!

Stay tuned as I find a way to make this dream on two wheels possible. I will be documenting my efforts on how to budget, what gear I will use, trip pre-planning, and the training I will be going through. Wish me luck!


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  2. If anyone can do this, you can! Will you have room for Travel Scrabble?

  3. this race is much more suited to games of shorter duration, like dominoes. bring your travel tiles and i'm certain you'll find takers in late-night diners during all-too-common times of fatigue-induced depression. let's can also play "hide the food from (other) bears"...or another fun one: finish this 24 oz sirloin without puking and it's free!