Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tour Divide 2012

A friend, Sean Rainsford, from New Zealand with diabetes had ridden the Tour Divide (TD) as a two year tour a few years ago and stopped by our house. That put the idea in my head originally. When I rode the Colorado trail race last summer (2011) and got to know Eszter H better, she was talking of racing the TD. Jefe Branam and Ethan Passant from the valley had both done it that summer as well and as expected did well. I thought yeah I don't think that is in the cards. It seemed kind of silly to blast through so much country. I would love to do it as a slow tour with Julian and Lila when they are older. And I don't think Anne would go for it as she said many times, "I wouldn't go for it!" And that's where it stood for a few months. It grew on me though. If I was ever going to do it as a race I couldn't wait around. I am pushing the years after all, or "getting on" as the Brits that do these races say. And I really missed riding and climbing in the Canadian Rockies and I haven't ridden at all in most of the other states than Colorado. So it would be an real adventure. You can spend you life tucked away in a room or a car which seem to me like sitting in a coffin waiting to die or you can go on adventures.

So I kept hinting and talking about it. Anne would look at me like I was crazy-her face turning all sorts of colors and I think I saw smoke coming out of her ears. She obviously wasn't into the idea. Finally I realized that she thought I may not make it back in one piece. You know, I think she still likes me or maybe she just needs the lawn mowed. Finally one day she just blurts out, "You're going to do this no matter what I think so just do it." Now that she has resigned herself to it she doesn't get so upset but I sure hope my spot tracker doesn't show me not moving in the middle of grizzly country off a cliff. These days most people wear GPS Spot trackers that using the Internet you can watch the progress of the racers as little blue or pink (in the case of Eszter) dots on a map. It can be quite addictive.

So what do I expect from the TD?  It is a long way. >2700 mi and ~200,000 feet of climbing on rough dirt roads. It is self supported so you carry all you need or buy it along the way in the little towns you go by. You can mail supplies to a post office. I want to ride >150 miles a day. I did almost 100mi/day in the Colorado trail race where you spent a good deal of time hiking. When looking at my speed I try to compare myself to others that have done it and I have ridden with. Jefe and Ethan. I can keep up with Ethan and Jefe on good days. The big variable with Jefe is that he isn't supper fast but he never sleeps. I need to cut back on the sleep. Ethan is fast. Jefe did it under 17 days (on a shortened course do to snow and flooding) with Ethan soon after. I would also like to keep ahead of Eszter. I think she will crush all the other girls that have done it. And if I can, and don't sleep so much, I should go pretty fast. I am really much faster on the roads than technical single track (not that I'm that slow....). A guy name Forest did it and went pretty well but on the Colorado Trail race he was way back and bailed so I don't know what to make of that. A guy I met at the Leadville 100 (Canon Shockley) from Leadville did it in ~20 days. We were pretty equal in the LT100. So if I can put in good miles every day I would then finish the 2700 miles in under 20 days. I would really like to go under 18 days.

I want to not freeze in Canada or Montana. I want to not cook in New Mexico. I want to be able to feel my hands and feet afterwards. I don't want to go into a diabetic coma in the wilderness (or anywhere else).

So now I just need to get a few odds and ends for the trip and come up with food ideas (my weak point) as it is self supported and you can't have people following you with food. You have to buy everything you need along the way in gas stations or in stores. 

I also want to try and raise $ for Type 1 diabetes research. Maybe we can cure it or even better prevent it. I think other diseases such as Crones, Lupus, and other autoimmune related diseases would all benefit from further research. 

More on the gear and raising $ later. Until next time keep your stick on the ice and rubber side down.


Laps said...

check out if you are looking to set up a fundraiser....they make it really easy.

Best of luck for the TD!

Jarral Ryter said...

Cool I'll check it out. I was just looking on the web as a matter of fact. If I'm back in one piece I may have to go ride some of the CTR by Gunnison and camp up there to cheer ya all on!

StageWest said...

Really looking forward to seeing this adventure come together for you! Too, kudos to your better half for making it happen for you!