Monday, June 29, 2009

Trevors Mtbcast

Haven't had a chance to transcribe yet...

He sounds so happy:)

Trevor, turn on your SPOT!

Looks like we've lost him again.  I think he's still with this guy:

Friday, June 26, 2009

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Trevor's MTBcast from Flagg Ranch, Wyoming

Hello this is Trevor Browne calling from Flagg Ranch in Wyoming.  Trails are pretty good now. We've had some great weather, so all of our spirits have lifted and we're all quite happy. Had a great birthday ride yesterday,  not a cloud in the sky. Trails are drying up, so it made me happy.  The trails are great from Lima all the way through to Idaho.  Everything's going great. So that's good. We just went through part of Yellowstone, just skirted the outside of it.  Made it into Wyoming this morning.  We're getting eaten alive by mosquitoes out here. It's pretty bad. A few bike repairs to do at the ranch on my own to prepare for the upcoming passes. Everything should go well. Feeling good. All the trails are really great all the way from Lima to here; it's all dry, so anyone else coming through is going to have a pretty easy time.  I hope everyone is well. I just want to say hello to my family again and hello to Rachel.  Call you guys soon.

Listen to the latest call from this racer here!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The boys are back!

Given the mileage yesterday and today, I'd say that things have taken a turn for the better.  I am so proud of you!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Paul's call

Trevor is riding with Paul and this is what he had to say before they set off today:

Hello, one more message from Paul here in Lima.  Just 2 things...firstly I forgot to say in my earlier message that we should say hello to Cricket.   Hope she's going well...hope she had a good day today and I'm sorry we couldn't...we didn't have the courage to come out with her.  We needed our day's rest...we feel a lot better for it but I hope she's done well and tell her we're going to keep riding so if she needs more company we're just always coming along.

Secondly, we've just seen Pete Basinger who apparently set off from Banff, he didn't say when, and who came over the pass today into Lima and said that the mud had dried an awful lot compared to how it had been yesterday.  He saw all our footprints and everything but could ride most of it, sat down for a bit and I think he rode most of it, over the pass anyway.  So if anybody is following, maybe things have improved a bit and maybe that will give you some encouragement.   We're hoping the same effect has happened on the road down south out of Lima and thereafter so we can actually do some cycling tomorrow. 

So that's it for now...I've just realised that Lima where Paddington Bear might live is also just away from another famous English children's television character - Dillon - from the Magic Roundabout...and magic roundabout is something I feel I'm on at the moment.  We're all heading off early, me, Per, Stephen and Trevor, at least as far as Mack's Inn tomorrow, further if we can.  Bye

Happy Birthday, Trevor!

Hope you're getting some birthday sunshine:)  

Trevor's MTBcast from Lima, Montana

Hello, this is Trevor Browne calling from lima, montana.  Been kinda sitting here all day we're taking a bit of a rain break and body break, I guess. It's been  pretty stormy the past couple of days.   Two days ago, we were going over the pass from Wise River to Polaris, pretty much freezing rain for the whole day. And got quite close to hypothermia a couple of times.  We were shaking so bad on our bikes, we had to pull over and dry ourselves off.  That made the trails really  slick between Bannock state road and also after Grants to Lima. Pretty much walked the bike half the way and got the mud all clogged up in the tires. Not a lot of fun.  

I think today we just needed to  take a break.  Our bodies were pretty tired last night.  We couldn't really move any further.  Everybody's probably feeling the same way, across the board.  I'm here with Per and Paul and Steve. Ray was here earlier, and Cricket was here earlier today, but she left.  Everyone seems to be kinda hurting but still wanting to go on. So I think we're all going to head off.  I'm off tomorrow morning and hopefully the trail gets a little bit better.  Just as muddy but things seem to be drying out a bit. Bike's running well.  I'm  OK.

Lots of sore knees and sore achilles and sore hands, but pulling through.  This little break has helped a lot.  Yeah, I'm still trying to keep in good spirits and push forward.  Say hello to my family.  Been trying to call you but can't get you home.  And say hello to my girlfriend, Rachel.  Bye.

You can listen here.

Monday, June 22, 2009

"This is hiking, not biking"

Talked with the boy today and it's been really rough. Driving rain at 8000 feet is difficult to say the least. They have spent 2 days walking their bikes through mud. One guy in his group has to drop out because his bike won't make it.  Trevor is worried that his chain won't make it then next 300 miles to a town.  He may have to make a major detour to find a bike shop. On top of the mud, they are fighting hypothermia and of course a lot of wear and tear on the joints.  Trevor says it's frustrating because his body/fitness feels fine but the knees, ankles, wrists are worrisome.  The whole group sounds completely demoralized.  They have had to take today off to dry their equipment because it is too cold to have soaked gear, and to make some serious decisions.  It sounds like a pretty despondent group at the moment.  From what I can tell, the leading guys missed this bad weather.  This section is supposed to be quite good at this time of year.  Anyways, I'm sending out positive thoughts to the Trevor and his travel mates!! 

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Trevor's call from Butte

Hey, this is Trevor Browne. Just got into Butte, Montana this morning. Stayed last night in Basin, had some beers and had some excellent hospitality with the locals there. They let us stay in their house. The track yesterday was pretty hard. the top was a good walk.  everything is going well and we're all pretty happy to be here, I guess.  We'll talk to everyone soon and just say hello to my family and girlfriend.

Friday, June 19, 2009

A real live phone call

Had a great talk with Trevor today.  He's in good spirits and his knees are feeling a bit better. He said that every moment is the hardest thing he's ever done and he wants to quit, but then he'll see something spectacular and continue on.  Also, being in a group and seeing that everyone else is suffering and in just as much pain, is helpful.  Since the race is unsupported, riders can not ask for help, but if someone offers, it's ok.  After 7 hours of riding in the dark ( a 17 hour day) they arrived in a town where a woman offered to take them in and feed them and give them beds.  So they are feeling a little more refreshed today. Trevor is happy to know his Spot is working. 
It was so good to finally talk to my boy!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Trevor calls from Lincoln on MTBcast

Hello, this is Trevor Browne.  Just borrowing a cell phone because I can't find any payphones. Everything is going good. We just got to Lincoln, Montana.  Everything is going really well. I don't know why my SPOT's not working.  I've been doing everything you said. And I'm just holding the buttons longer now. Maybe that was the problem before.  So I hope it's working now. I want to say hi to my girlfriend. (?)everyone lots at home  Trails are looking good. It's all pretty dry. Rode 17 hours yesterday at Richmond Peak at got in around 1130.  That was fun. I just wanted to say that everything is fine and when I find a payphone I will try and call friends and family.  OK thanks, bye.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Trevor has a phone card!

Just got a voicemail from Trevor in Lincoln.  He said he's doing well, his knee is still painful, but they are pushing on tonight to Helena.

this is useful

Trevor is in the main pack

He's in a good position.  I am so proud of him.  

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Looks nice

Here's a satellite image of where they are camping tonight.  Wonder if there's a payphone?

Spot on

So it seems to be working.  I made a mistake, he appears to be traveling with Steven Huddle, not McGuire.  It sounds like the route is incredibly beautiful.  Maybe that's distracting, because I'm starting to see riders go way off track...

Monday, June 15, 2009


just got a SPOT check (via email):

SPOT Check OK.
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/16/2009 02:56:46 (GMT),-114.143&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1

I don't know if this means it's on for good this time.  Fingers crossed!

We have contact

Talked to Trevor on Google Chat. Good thing I'm such a geek and happened to be online. Apparently there are no payphones in the US. But he did find a Mac.

I sent him to the cheat sheet here on how to work his Spot, and he's going to try to fix that. He's riding with 3 other guys: Per (Nilsson Eklof), Steve (McGuire, I think) and Jacob (Johnsrud). So at the very least we can follow them.

They are just past Columbia falls. Trevor is feeling pretty good but his knees are hurting and slowing him down more than he would like. Still, he's doing at least 100 miles a day (over the Rockies!).

That's all for now. Go Trevor!!

A couple of pics from the start while we wait for news:)

His SPOT is off again

This is very frustrating.  Hope he calls so I can tell him to fix his SPOT.

Here he is on the Leaderboard

He's up on the leaderboard

Yay! He's doing really well.  Can't wait to talk to him:)

some sort of contact!

I'm not sure if this means that he's turned his SPOT on but I received (as I was supposed to) via email the following:

SPOT Check OK.
Nearest Location:not known
Distance:not known
Time:06/15/2009 15:31:33 (GMT),-114.6679&ie=UTF8&z=12&om=1
He hasn't shown up yet on the leaderboard, but it seems his SPOT is starting to work, albeit spottily:)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Trevor- in case u check your blog- Here's how to use the SPOT

Note: to "cycle" the SPOT should be left outdoors with the SPOT logo on the top of the unit facing the sky.

The spot must be sitting on top of a pack, handle bars etc.  It should bot be buried deep in a pack.

You can only us tracking mode for 24 hours.  You must do the 20 minute "okay" cycle every day.  We recommend doing it every morning as you wake up.

Cheat sheet:

  • First use: turn SPOT on, press the OK button and let cycle for 20 min.

  • Tracking: Turn unit on, press and hold OK button for at least 5 seconds.

  • Tracking turns off after 24 hours. Engage Tracking every morning.

  • If On/Off light and OK light blink in unison for longer than 20 min., than you are in Track Mode.
  • If lights blink in unison for only 20 min., you were in OK mode.

  • *Once in Track mode, holding down the OK button will cancel Track and only send an OK message.

  • One set of AA Lithium batteries = 14 days of Tracking.

  • GPS Fix = On/Off and OK lights blink in unison.

  • No GPS Fix = On/Off and OK lights blink out of unison

  • 9-1-1 Mode: Press and hold for at least 3 seconds unit you see green light blink

  • Cancel 9-1-1, press and hold button for at least 3 seconds until red light

Transcribed calls

So, I'll be transcribing all the calls.  Here's the first one:

I spoke with the Tour Divide People

I emailed them the following:
As for turning on the SPOT, Is it complicated to do? Can you send me instructions so that if he does call, I can tell him?  Can u also please write a post in td Race Updates, asking people who receive phone calls from the riders to tell Trevor to turn on his SPOT while they are all still together in the early stages of the race?
This is our conversation:
Kevin: We don't have any way to communicate with the racers and there is a strict rule that the blog cannot used in any manner to relay support or anything of the support to the racers
11:17 me: even if it's a matter of safety, and it's not really support?
 Kevin: That will disqualify a racer
 me: if he doesn't know,then he can't be officially in the race without a tracker
 Kevin: It's also not really a safety thing, they just are not being tracked on the leaderboard
  He is officially in the race
  There is actually no rule saying you have to carry a SPOT
 me: oh
11:18 Kevin: It's completely optional
 me: how will u know if he crosses the finish line?
 Kevin: It's racer-reported
  Honor system

ok phew- we found him

So we know he's fine, but his satellite is not on (the SPOT).  I guess there are two mechanisms, one that he can use to call in (it's only one way), and one that follows him.

Still waiting

This is very frustrating, but in the meantime, here is a still from the start video that you can watch here:
So at least we know he started:)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Trevor! Turn on your SPOT

Everyone is wondering why Trevor is the ONLY person in the whole race that we can't follow on the leaderboard. I emailed the tech people at and they said that he likely forgot to turn it on. When he calls, soon, I hope, I will tell him and then we can all enjoy watching the little arrows on the Google Map. I guess when you spend so much time planning and preparing for the race, the last minute satellite access might slip your mind.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

How to follow the race

Everyone keeps asking how they can follow the race this year. Well its easy. With great sponsors from SPOT and you can literally follow our every move.

If you go to the website you can follow the race via the SPOT and google maps. Simply go to the menu on the right hand side of the page and click on the tab that says leaderboard. That will bring you to the SPOT leaderboard where all the racers will be seen as blue dots. Then just scroll over each dot to see who it is. You can also check out the blog portion of the site where you can read updates during the race.

The other way to follow the race is through the website where you can actually here my voice as I call in at certain checkpoints along the way. On the right hand of the site you will see the 2009 Tour Divide Racer Audio list. From there scroll down the racer list until you see my name (at the bottom). Click on my name and it will bring you directly to my audio posts.

You will also be able to follow links from there to the SPOT Topofusion maps. On those maps (similiar to the leaderboard) you simply scroll over the points to find the name. If you go there now you can see riders who are going the opposite direction from the Mexican boarder headed north. Go David!

See you on the map!

5 snowy days left

Its getting near the start and everything is falling into place. My past 8 months have been spent grunting in a spectrum of weather conditions from +30 degrees Celsius to -30 degrees Celsius. From stinging rain to sun burnt nose to numb, frozen appendages; I have pretty much been through it all. Now it all seems to be worth it, culminating all of my experiences and focusing them towards achieving one goal: to ride from Banff to Mexico. Its not going to be easy. I am going to have to empty my mind of any ill thoughts and and fill my soul with determination. I am ready.
I arrived in the foothills of Alberta this week to visit with friends and family in my hometown of High River. It has been a nice way to ease into race mode with the support of those are near and dear to my heart (although I do wish my girlfriend was here to see me off). I'm eating lots and getting well rested. The bike seems to be more than ready, just need to slap on the new tires and a computer, and she will be all set. The bags aren't totally packed yet, still subtracting and rearranging items to get it just right. Also waiting for a few things to arrive in the mail. Nothing like cutting it close.
The best part about being here has been watching the snow fall. Yes that's right this weekend a few inches of snow fell in the foothills and the weather channel said up to 10 inches fell around Banff. It kind of dampens the spirits a bit, and makes me wish I hadn't left the long johns at home. Oh well, that's all a part of the race. Taking obstacles as they come and finding a way to get around them.
More exciting news is a reroute of the race in the BC section around Sparwood. Originally the route went from Sparwood and followed highway 3 down to Fernie. Now it trades the 65 miles of asphalt for 105 miles of pure off road bliss through the Flathead Valley, referred to as the "Serengeti of North America". The decision to make the reroute is cutting it close but will be worth the spectacular scenery that we will be experiencing.
Tomorrow I am headed up to the wild Peter Lougheed Park up in the Rockies for some prerace training and camping; to work out any kinks with gear and bike. Looking forward be back in the saddle and that much closer to the Banff starting line. I can't wait to meet all the crazy riders who are attempting the race. The field is up to 39 people now, including Matthew Lee, winner of more than a few previous Tour Divides and GDMBR's. It will be great to ride amongst such driven riders.