You think about it a lot. It's a dream that has become reality. What do you do with that?
Riders put a lot of time, effort, sweat, tears, money and backside into completing the Divide. Why?
Everyone has their reason. A vision quest, in search of simplicity, happiness, chasing dreams, conquering demons, setting records, raising funds... I'm sure that some of us don't have the answer figured out. Maybe some of us never knew the question.
There are always questions from the curious and congratulatory Divide spectators. Some crazy, some not so much. Perhaps their questions aren't so odd. Perhaps they can help us find the answer.
"Why did you do it?".
"How do you carry enough clean underwear?"
"What do you do now?"
"Are you going pro?"
"Did you get any sponsors?"
"What did you win?"
"Were you going for a record?"
"Why did you race if you didn't think you were going to win?"
Why did I race if I didn't think I was going to win?
There's always a dream.
I was sitting on a porch, in New Mexico, in a place called Pie Town, at a magical little abode called the Toaster House. It was sunset. The air was totally still. I had a Pabst Blue Ribbon in one hand and a Totinos microwave pizza folded over like a taco in my other hand. I was comfortably lounged back in a slightly reclined position in a bucket seat that had been removed from an automobile. Sitting across from me was Matthew, a young 19 year old German who had come to this place along his journey. A journey which was taking him from the US east coast to the west. He was walking from coast to coast while pushing a heavy, unwieldily stroller. Mostly alone. He sat upon a bench seat that looked like it had come from the back of a Chrysler mini-van.
I had just finished the Tour Divide bicycle race a few days before. In first place, in record time. We each vocally proclaimed the other insane during our meeting earlier in the day. Now, at this late hour on a June evening we sat in our respective chairs, buckled in by seat belts still attached to our vehicle-less seats. Each of us engaged in conversation with someone that the other considered a bit off kilter.
"What's your dream?", I asked Matthew.
"You'd think I was crazy. You'd think I was nuts.", stated Matthew.
I paused for a time, smiled and said, "Try me Matthew."