Tom recently loaned me Eat, Sleep, Ride by Brit Paul Howard. It’s subtitled How I Braved Bears, Badlands and Big Breakfasts in My Quest to Cycle the Tour Divide. Right off the bat I was interested. I’m all about big breakfasts!
The film Ride the Divide had as much to do with my decision to enter the Leadville 100 as Race Across the Sky 2010 did. This Leadville obsession might actually just be a repressed Tour Divide obsession. But being a “responsible” husband and father means that a single day mountain bike race might be a fair substitute for the bigger dream. There’s no way a guy like me could pound out a record setting pace and be done in less than three weeks. And us desk jockeys don’t get to take a month or two off just to go ride our bikes in the mountains. Sigh!
Of course, it was just this type of mentality that led me to Leadville in the first place: I could never do a 100 mile mountain bike ride! Well, I have. And I’ve come so very close a second time.
I can’t let this year’s Tour Divide pass without recognizing the blistering pace of the current leaders. I can’t let this year’s ride of the Divide pass without wistfully remembering the portions of the route that I’ve seen first-hand. I’m guessing I’m going to have to watch Ride the Divide again real soon.
For a more current media treatment of the ride check out this CBC Radio interview with current leader Calgarian Craig Stappler on the day of the Grand Depart, June 14.
As of today, June 18, Craig is leading the field with a 216 mi/day average. He’s 866 miles in with an estimated finish of 15 days. 15 days to ride over 2,700 miles…insane.
Here’s a snippet of the facebook chatter from the Tour Divide page:
Day 1: Two race leaders have broken away from the main bunch at this hour, having just assailed the first crossing of the Continental Divide.
Day Two: Riders strung out across Canadian and American Flathead. Leading TD men's duo, Hall (UK) and Stappler (CA) become the first ever riders to log a sub-24hr time split to the US Border.
Day 3: The two leaders have slowed a bit. Their blistering pace of 450miles in two days has taken it's toll. The front of the chase group is within 5 hours now. More big climbs today over Richmond Peak and Huckleberry Pass.
Night 3, 1130pm MDT: Race leader Craig Stappler is on the final approach to MT state capitol, Helena where he'll likely wrap his 3rd consecutive 200+ mile day...
Also at this hour Billy Rice (Bryan, TX) arrives in Banff from the first leg of his unprecedented 'yo-yo' attempt on the Great Divide route…Billy had a good laugh with Grand Depart course leaders Stappler and Hall when he called them 'soft', during their encounter on Galton Pass, BC.
Here are some photos from along the route in Wyoming and Colorado:
|Not Tour Divide riders near the Tetons|
|Boone pondering a future Tour Divide attempt|
|Lily can do it!|
|Near Flagg Ranch, WY|
|Steamboat Springs, CO|
|Paul Howard writes about eating in a Penny's Diner in Wyoming. |
This one is in Yampa, CO
|Just south of where the TD route juts east on |
the southern outskirts of Kremmling, CO
|Boreas Pass, CO|