Thursday, June 14, 2012

How It Is Panning Out

Well the Tour Divide race is almost one week old now. The leaders have covered 1019mi/1630km in the last six days and god knows how much climbing (as I type this at 20:30 Brisbane time). Very impressive stuff considering that they are only averaging about 4 hours sleep per night to cover those sort of miles.

I arrived home this morning from a "red eye" flight and thought I would carry out a small experiment to get a feel for what they might be going through.

To this end I saddled up at 6am, after being awake all night and rolled out for a road ride. Initial impressions were that the legs felt strong. This was to be expected as I hadn't ridden since last friday morning, so the rest week did the legs good.

The slightly unexpected thing was how uncoordinated and unbalanced I felt. Things that normally need zero thought to execute were difficult. My pedalling technique, while never a thing of beauty, was non existant. My legs flailed around, resembling a wonky eggbeater, as I tried to dodge potholes in the road, and saw me pretty much maxed out in a cognitive sense.

This had me thinking (when the road was flat and straight) how tough it must be for the racers who have been doing this for six days, on mountain roads, slogging through snow, rain and cold. To average 200mi/360km per day, every day so far is way beyond my comprehension. And they have another 2 weeks to go!

The current leaders are Ollie Whalley from Christchurch, New Zealand and Craig Stappler from Alberta, Canada. Here they are crossing Richmond peak in Montana earlier in the week. One slip in their bike shoes on that snow and it is a looong slide down the mountain side!

Photo by Casey Greene,

Photo by Casey Greene,
Photo by Casey Greene,
Photo by Russ Kipp,

                                                             Yes. They are all still smiling.

Despite the adversity of the past week they are still enjoying themselves. That is what the Tour Divide is about. Pushing yourself to find out what you are capable of, yet enjoying the experience as it unfolds
Photo by Russ Kipp,

After my little sleep deprivation experiment, I can safely say that these riders are as hard as nails to keep that sort of pace up, while at the same time feeding themselves and wrenching on their rides to keep them mobile.

Here is the link to the LeaderBoard and where they are now.

On another note, but sticking with the "How is it Panning Out?" theme, I got to take the R1 for a spin to work last week.

After bagging my brother for his battery issues as seen on this ride of his, sure enough Murphy's law kicked in and saw me with a flat battery! Not totally unexpected when I only ride the bike every few months and the previous owner rode it even less. A mate came to the rescue with his new "all singing, all dancing" CTEK battery charger. Hooking this smart charger up for the week saw it recondition the battery as well as keep it topped up once the charge was complete. One of these is definitely on the shopping list as I will certainly have more battery issues in the future.

Anyway, this meant that I could ride to work for the classroom duty that I was assigned. I took a quick snap and a video with the smart phone to prove that it did get out for some sun. Not the best audio on that video, but what can you do?


  1. Filming your bike running doesn't count as going for a ride douche!

  2. Pretty hard to run alongside and film it while I am riding it though.


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