Thursday, December 6, 2012

Record Run

Well, I have previously expressed a desire to ride the Great Divide Route in the US of A. While in the country of inexpensive food and tipping a couple of months ago, the reality of actually doing it was rammed home to me as we drove north out of Pinedale, Wyoming.

While comfortably ensconced in our speeding RV,  I looked out to the east at the imposing Wash River Mountains, cloaked in thunderstorms, towering above 10 000ft, patrolled by roaming bears and thought to myself "how frightening would it be to be out on a bicycle in THAT?!" The Tour Divide route crossed those mountains right where the storms were. All of the romance that the movie "Ride The Divide" created around the race evaporated in a loud "pooof!".

The harsh reality of riding the 2400 miles (4400km) alone, tired, hungry, lonely (and did I mention lonely?) increased my respect for those that have tackled this route in the past. This year's race winner, Ollie Whalley from New Zealand, set a new race record at 16 days plus some change.

This well made video on Jay Petervary's record setting Individual Time Trial brings back some of the romance.........but the lingering terror of the reality is still vivid in my mind.

 I am glad I saw the reality of the landscape from the comfort of a RV and I can now understand why otherwise well prepared challengers drop out after just a few days.

Has it changed my desire to "have a go"? The sort answer is a reserved "no". But...........


  1. Have a go......a good way to put it. I can't imagine that kind of riding for that many days on end. Truly a test of endurance and skill.

    In the video it seems to be a well worn road/trail, do you know if it is like that the whole way?

    I ask because of the OBDR (Oregon Backcountry Discovery Route) is a goat trail at best sometimes - that is when you can find the trail. It runs North-South from Washington to California through the hills of Oregon. I've never heard of anyone trying it on MBs, but we've had friends do it on their motorcycles.

  2. I think a lot of it is dirt road. There are sections of single track as well as hike a bike. I think what makes it difficult(apart from the obvious distance) is the high altitude. You are pedalling at 10 000' for a lot of the race. I am training, sort of, but the more I do, the more daunting it becomes. Maybe if I had a "motorcycle support crew"?


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