Time to get off my ass and do something….
Next year is the year I reach the half century mark. Many men go out and buy a new sports car or start dying their hair and so forth about that time. Since I can’t afford the sports car that I want… a old Hemi Cuda in some crazy color. I’ve decided to do something even more stupid……
INSTEAD……. I’m going to do the Tour Divide Race!
As I have mentioned in the past a friend of mine from France had challenged me to do the Tour Divide Race (also known as the TDR) in “celebration” of my 50th birthday. For various reasons, he has had to back out of the trip which put my plans in limbo. At about the same time, a teammate of mine, Phil, decided also said he wasn’t going to go this year. Thankfully, he has now changed his mind. He’s in for 2012 and he’s already given me some valuable information and advice. Somehow, I don’t think that situation is going to change anytime soon as I have so many questions about this event.
It will probably be the biggest challenge that I’ve ever faced. In this beast, the biggest challenges most people face is getting past the first week (mentally & physically) and then handling the mental aspects of being alone for hours and sometimes days in the wilderness. It follows the Continental Divide 2745 miles/4418 kilometers from Banff, Canada to the Mexican border at Antelope Wells, New Mexico. The record is just under 18 days (yes, really). I’m just going to try to finish let alone set any land speed records.
The idea is that it’s totally self-supported (meaning no one can assist you along the way) and you do it at your own pace. Most leave from Banff heading south and others from Antelope Wells heading north. Different tactics, different race. The jury is still out on which direction is tougher. In any case, many reports refer to this as the toughest bicycle race in the world (yes, tougher than the Tour de France). In fact, it’s more like the old Tour de France in that they were self-supported as well. That’s why you see them with tires wrapped around them and big baskets of food on their bikes. That much hasn’t really changed.
In any case, my plan is to be in Banff for the start mid-June of 2012. In theory, each racer is in possession of a SPOT tracker which identifies each person and which you can follow online to see where everyone is. I’ll tell you more as the time gets closer.
A lot more info. on the TDR on their website (link above) if you’re interested and a lot of photos in Google images if you just type in the search phrase “tour divide” racing. I’ve linked to a couple of photos as well. Wish me luck!
Oh… almost forgot the rest of the schedule….
15 April City Bike Marathon
27-29 April European Singlespeed Championship (http://ssec2012.over-blog.com/)
5 June TDR (Trail Divide Race) (http://tourdivide.org/)
21 July Kühlsheim 12 Hour (http://12stundenrennen.de/)
4/5 Aug. SiS (http://www.schlaflosimsattel.de/)
1-6 Oct. Trans Hellas Race (http://www.hellastransmountains.com/home-en.html)