Wednesday, November 16

Ride the Divide Again

When we got Netflix one of the first movies I searched for was Ride the Divide. You're going to think I'm cheap, but I have not bought the movie yet. I viewed a library copy the first time I saw it and have been watching Netflix like a hawk ever since.

And then there it was...

I took in a bit of it yesterday online at lunch and then last night watched it with Mandy and one of our friends on Netflix at home.

It's still inspiring. The film still makes me want to quit my job and ride my bike forever. Forever.


Boreas Pass Road, along the Tour Divide route

The difference now, after nearly a year, is that I am even more familiar with many of the places the film exhibits and which the participants pass through. I know more about the Tour Divide and I have been pondering the prospects of doing it in the back of my mind for much of the past year.

I'm still focused on Leadville. But as the past year has rolled on I have become more confident both in my ability to do Leadville and in my ability to do the Tour Divide. While neither are a given, I am sure I can prepare and plan for both. I'm sure that I can do everything necessary to ensure the greatest chance for success. And I will continue to work toward the Leadville goal as this next year unfolds.

I finally have a bike I think is worthy of some endurance rides. I'm starting to redevelop the mentality to pull of some amazing feats of cycling (at least in my own mind) and I am starting to be able to envision the tactics necessary to logistically pull off even the Tour Divide. In fact, I think from a logistics standpoint I'm already there. I can do it. I have no doubt in my ability to plan and execute a big ride. Where I know I need some work is in the mind (to face down the unknown challenges) and body.

Watching RTD last night I was already planning my future attempt, some years down the road, and I was analyzing the strategies of the participants shown in the film.

And right out my back door I have a perfect shakedown ride: The Colorado Trail Race.

The CTR is only 470 miles and 65,000' feet of climbing. The record is 4 days, 3 hours and 20 minutes. The longest time to finish in 2011 was just over 10 days. There is no entry fee, no support, no registration, and no prize money. I would only need a week off of work and the gumption to start. That would give me seven days to finish if the race starts on a Monday like it will in 2012.

They say your forties is the time to do endurance events. Middle aged people have better mental and physical endurance. I'm getting close. 38 this year. In some ways my fitness level is great. In other ways I need some serious work. By the time I could give the CTR a try I'll be almost 40. Tour Divide? Yeah, I'll be kicking the big Four Oh for sure.

Now, I know many out there would say: Life's short, don't put it off. Well, to that I say: my family is my priority. I have two small children and I am already going to be dedicating a chunk of my time over the next year for Leadville. The best I would expect from my family would be 2013 for another big ride. And both the CTR and the TD would be a significantly greater impact on our family. I just can't justify that at this time and maybe not next year either. I don't regret this fact of life. It just affects my decisions. I try to make the best and most right choices. I'd rather regret not getting to do something fun in life than to regret not giving due attention to those things which I hold more dear and more important.

But the portrayal of others doing those amazing things, the Tour Divide, the Race Across America, the Leadville 100, they inspire me to great things if I can work them into an already beautiful life.

I'm looking forward to seeing The Path as well!

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