Sunday, June 8, 2014

Final Days Pre Divide

So many things to do before the race.  Josh has been working like crazy to rebuild both of our bikes with new drive trains, components, wheels, cables... everything.  I have been trying to learn last minute bike mechanic tips.  So far the only thing that comes naturally is changing a spoke, but I have been making myself cue cards for the rest of the on the trail repairs that may come up.

Bike building in the Living Room
We are taking advantage of the warm weather and early snow melt (around here at least)  per report the divide route still has a lot of snow.  We got up into the hills to do some gear shakedown rides.

We have been looking at all the amazing gravel and dirt roads here and thinking about mapping out a tour (or maybe race) route here in Eastern Washington.  I have had so much fun exploring, I am sure others would love to ride around here.  The trick is knowing which of the maze of roads to take; lots of logging leads to lots of roads.  Another challenge is finding water as we are on the dry side of the Cascades.

The other question is WHY?  I read the Cordillera volume 4 (the definitive literary record of the TD).  Katherine Wallace says the most important thing is to know WHY:

My reason is selfishly simple...  I need to do something.  In order to take this trip I changed jobs, and convinced my supervisors to let me ride this crazy race...    In the end I am looking for adventure.  I have done everything right through my life. All throughout my youth  I read books.... classics, adventure books, whatever was in the library.  I imagined going myself.  But I have never gone.  I went to high school, graduated on time.   Never drank, smoked until legal age, never used drugs, came home at curfew.  Went to college, graduated summa cum laude,  got a job.  Worked, went to grad school while working full time.  Twenty years of continuous employment in healthcare will either beat you down or make you realize that time is precious and CPR is NOT like TV.  We only get one shot at this crazy ride of life.
Never Too Near the Edge

So I think  the answer is a mid life crisis.  Time to do something before I can't any longer.   Get out and try something.  If I make great, if I don't I will come back with a story and make sure I gave it all I had.  I was discussing all this at work the other night.  As my co-worker said, "If that is your mid-life crisis... that's pretty cool."

Out There
The Mountains Are Calling
And I Must Go

On the other hand... Why is Josh doing it? He is the opposite.

 His boss has no idea about blue dots.  He may have inhaled a certain herb in Canada at one time in a 2 man tent with a bunch of sorority girls.  He travelled through India by bicycle and train solo at age 18.  He travelled the Himalayan Char Dham Yatra pilgrimage.  Skiied from the Mount Rainier summit solo as well as various other lesser known but better peaks, several times... just for fun.
North Central Cascades

In the Playground

Fly fished the "holy" waters of Montana, Idaho, Washington.  Hiking and sleeping in the Yellowstone backcountry alone is a yearly requirement for him.
In the Great Wide Open
Kicking it in Yellowstone

He has been on a perpetual joy ride for the last 30 years (He's actually an upstanding member of society working as a nurse, with no addictions other than the outdoors.  He doesn't inhale anything these days other than high mountain air).  Maybe he just seeks another tent filled with fun.  Whatever his reasons are there is bound to be more ridiculousness involved in his mid-life emergency.

To be continued when we figure it out....