Saturday, July 19, 2014

Tour Divide Memories

I think it is only natural to want to share the experience of riding the divide.  So many blogs, websites and facebook pages are already out there, but still I am going to put mine up.  I think that each person's trip was probably a bit different, depending on the day and the hour the weather can make a section of the ride the most fun ever or a miserable slog through the mud.  I was trying to race the divide, but I did manage to take some photos as did Josh.  I will try to put together a summary of some of the moments of this crazy trip so you can see our perspective on things.  

I made it back to Cashmere a few days ago and have been basically sitting around and eating a lot of food.   Here at home there are several large wildfires burning in the area.  The air is heavy and hot, the smoke burns my eyes and throat when I try to go out and ride.  Just two days ago about 100 homes burned just a few miles away near the town of Pateros.  As hard as riding the divide was I do not think it was anything in comparison to what those families are going through or to the grueling work the firefighters are doing on our behalf.  Our thanks to them for the work they are doing.  

So as I am stuck inside due to the smoke and fire danger on many of our favorite roads and trails, I will go ahead and post up some photos of the Divide and daydream of blue skies and even rain.

I have divided them into some sections but there are a lot of photos here... Enjoy!

Riding photos...  Canada to Montana: 
In Banff,  Chalene, my long suffering sister, in the foreground.  Crazy Larry in the background
Banff YMCA, the morning of the race.
Tarp Tent City in Wigwam Campground

Flathead Pass:  Map says:  "There may be rivulets running down the road"  in the distance is the amazing Alice Drobna.. womens winner and new single speed record. 

On to Montana!

Josh's campsite.. Under a Cedar tree in the Swan Valley

Richmond Peak

Backside of Richmond

Rainbow above Columbia Falls

Sign for High Country Lodge

Headed out toward Bannack road.

Military planes over the Medicine Lodge

Jesus bus

Here are a few of Josh's last days on the Road... Easy to see why he tried to keep going, even with a torn hamstring, infected wound  and broken leg.

Medicine Lodge



Hardcore to ride with this on the back of your leg.
End of Josh's trip...  Not so bad.  View from Jackson Lake Lodge.

I Continued on the ride... I had a hard time focusing for a while as Josh was stopped, but gradually the Divide has a way of making you forget about problems and just focus on the task at hand... riding, eating, finding water, trying to not fall asleep on the bike.

Trying to Smile as I went into Idaho.  I believe this is the 1000 mile mark
Close to Pinedale

My Shadow was sometimes the only other rider I saw all day.

So glad to leave the Wyoming wind behind.

Boreas Pass water tank.  I strugged up this with leg cramps.

Gorgeous pass

Headed up out of Abiquiu to the Polvedera Mesa

Typical Divide road

Rolling into Pie Town

Early morning Leaving Pie Town

The Infamous CDT alternate

Hmm,  the trail goes right through those logs.

Sometimes you accidentally camp in an arroyo

New Mexico Sunset

South of Pie Town

New Mexico Rain near Pinos Altos

Separ Road

The Lonely Highway... Last divide crossing


Rolling into the finish

Final Miles
My frog friend came along for the whole ride.

There were some things that kept me going.  One was food...

Dinner at High Country Lodge

Jones Bar has built in Sandwich Holder

Josh got to Trixie's in Ovando... He ordered 3 of those burgers, a milkshake and pie... And ate it all!

Divide Riders know where to get food.

Typical snack food for the day on the bike.  Carbs, protein, salt and caffiene.

Although this is a "solo effort",
I met some great people along the way.  Other riders as well as trail angels.
Jocyln of Swan River in her store.  Warmed me up.   I recommend the McSwan sandwich

The Hanson Family of Rexburg, Id.  Camped near me at the Warm River

Shane, riding over the John D. Rockafeller Memorial Parkway

Sheila T.  at Diagnus Well in the Basin.  So much fun to ride with her!  We had a great 2 days of pushing each other down the trail.

Sheila heads in to "Aspen Alley"
Sheila at Brush Mountain Lodge.  I don't have a good pic of Kristen, but this was another amazing stop off. 

Amazing woman fording a creek in Colorado
Steamboat Ski and Bike Kare in Steamboat Springs, Co.  Fixed my bike, found that my fork was broken and got me going again in < 6 hours.  Great shop!

Michael Z at the top of Boreas Pass

Chris at our rest stop in Hartsel
The Toaster House.  I never saw Nita, but her generosity made such a great refuge for tired cyclists

Mark... Amazing rider and racer.  He lost his GPS, his gloves, his pedal was broken, his shift cable was broken, his tire was torn, his knees were bad and he was still hard to keep up with!

Michael Cleaver, on his Time Trial bike he built himself.  

Josh Taylor, Cleaver and myself.. We all finished near each other on the same day.

My Mom who came down to pick me up!
My Dad came down to pick me up as well!

Officer Tim Balderston at Antelope Wells.  

The Divide is an amazing, hard, beautiful, scary ride.  Everyone should try it.