2009 Tour Divide Race

Tour Divide Map

The Tour Divide is a mountain bike race along the continental divide from Banff, Alberta to Antelope Wells, New Mexico (on the border with Mexico.) It’s “self-supported”, which means that you can’t pre-arrange any outside help, though you can buy food and bike parts as you go. And it’s “one-stage”, meaning there’s no rest off-the-clock (unlike that wimpy Tour de France bike race).

This year’s winner, Matthew Lee, finished the 2,745 mile course in under 18 days. It rained on 16 of those days. There’s a great interview up on Outside’s blog. Here’s my favorite snippet:

There are certain elements you have to try not to think too much on: comfort, eating well, sleeping well, safety. All those cares are cast with the winds. You establish a new, temporary regime on day 1 and just stick with it religiously. When the alarm on your wrist watch beeps at 4:40am, you don’t roll over. not even once. you sit up, rip the sleeping bag off and suddenly you’re freezing! The only solution is to get dressed. Then the only way out is to saddle up and ride. This forced routine is the key to success. If you get up and go, the biking takes care of itself. after about an hour you start to feel okay. the soreness is masked, the beauty unfolds before your eyes, perhaps a bear gives you a shot of adrenalin.

  • http://www.crazylarry.info Crazy Larry

    2nd version edited …sorry.

    Letter to the TDR people – website

    In a world of heartache, deceit, despair, sorrow, tears and hunger there is a light; that who believes can accomplish.
    Believing in yourself is the pivotal means your other dichotomy of life is left behind whereby you made peace with your past and are now in sense of order to achieve personal success and goals set – set new a endeavour – reach dreams and feel it in right before your very eyes. Alive!

    In a wonder of amazement I had the great privilege to send off and cheer the 2009 TDR riders and racers. After leaving the start right down the street in my home town Banff, Alberta a mirage of ideas endeavours were created instantly.
    The many conversations with each rider the night before paved the way for my instant focus on my efforts to one day attempt the TDR; possibly on June 12th.2012. That date seems to have a nice ring to it. It also allows time for the heart and lungs and the mind to develop slowly to believing that this is possible.
    After all only those will to risk going too far could possibly find out how far one can go. T.Elliot.
    It is my hope to keep in touch with all TDR riders learn something new and get educated with new information of their personal challenges and adventures and open new doors of friendship.
    Through my cycling adventures in the rain and at night one day I hope to feel what it must have been like during those relentless rain storms, dark chilly nights, damp muggy wakeup calls to do it yet again and again another day another hour through each winning vista view – through all those amazing sunsets/sunrises, flats and broken parts.

    Please if any of the 2009 TDR racers read this Please find it within your time to contact me. Stay in touch! See http://www.crazylarry.info

    The alliance of cyclist out there is indeed a special one. I love cycling and I wish that I might become the greater influence with the many kids that will follow my progress via the SPOT GPS System and MTBCast.com that is available.
    Within other sports there is a unique bond that spell bounds us all. Especially the one in cycling that seems to deliver camaraderie in the rawest form; especially when put to the test; out of kindness out of compassion out of believing the simple fact that we are really all on the same team in life.
    Only through the process of measurement does one come in first while others may come in last.
    But only through believing can one come in first in his or her own right. Surpassing all obstacles that seemed impossible pushing beyond ones personal limitations does not come close to the measurement of coming in last. Things that they might not have attempted in life before are overcome.
    The truest of measurements comes through you yourself – your truly in first!
    The true measurement attesting to the fact that success lies within beating ourselves; setting the goal dreaming the dream; of the achievement and matching the success!
    Allowing yourself to take on your dare and take on the challenge is paramount.
    I am so glad that you all made it through the 2009 TDR.
    Bravo to you!!!

    When my turn comes up I will be riding for someone else.
    I suppose I will be along the ride for myself only in part. For when I push through my personal barriers mentally I will surely feel the soreness the pain the frustration of those who can not.
    But I will forever hold dear in my thoughts along the way of those who can’t see their way (the blind) – who can not walk (those with prosthetics/quadriplegics /paraplegics)- who are confined to a wheel chair because of a drunk some of no fault of their own – who can not seem to push themselves mentally through to healthier choices in life – who can not peach with their past; leave their past and achieve new dreams – who are sitting a hospital wishing dreaming about those of you who have already cycled the Tour Divide Race across miles and miles and miles of open road trails and towns.
    My most vivid memories always seem to be of translating the many thoughts of how many kids are counting on me blindly to do the right thing in life; to do what’s most honourable on weekly basis; to be the greater influence in a good sound way.
    Sincerely
    Your friend
    Crazy Larry
    Banff, Alberta

    ‘May You Never Stop Dreaming to Achieve’

  • http://www.crazylarry.info Crazy Larry Melnik

    Says:
    August 27th, 2009 at 2.42pm

    Final 3rd version edited …sorry.

    Letter to the TDR people – website

    In a world of heartache, deceit, despair, sorrow, tears and hunger there is a light; that who believes can accomplish. Believing in yourself is the pivotal means your other dichotomy of life is left behind whereby you made peace with your past and are now in a sense of order to achieve personal success and goals set – set new an endeavour – reach dreams and feel it in right before your very eyes. Alive!

    In a wonder of amazement I had the great privilege to send off and cheer the 2009 TDR riders and racers. After leaving the start right down the street in my home town Banff, Alberta a mirage of ideas endeavours were created instantly. The many conversations with each rider the night before paved the way for my instant focus on my efforts to one day attempt the TDR; possibly on June 12th.2012. That date seems to have a nice ring to it. It also allows time for the heart and lungs and the mind to develop slowly to believing that this is possible. After all only those will to risk going too far could possibly find out how far one can go. T.Elliot. It is my hope to keep in touch with all TDR riders learn something new and get educated with new information of their personal challenges and adventures and open new doors of friendship. Through my cycling adventures in the rain and at night one day I hope to feel what it must have been like during those relentless rain storms, dark chilly nights, damp muggy wakeup calls to do it yet again and again another day another hour through each winning vista view – through all those amazing sunsets/sunrises, flats and broken parts.

    Please if any of the 2009 TDR racers read this Please find it within your time to contact me. Stay in touch! See http://www.crazylarry.info

    The alliance of cyclist out there is indeed a special one. I love cycling and I wish that I might become the greater influence with the many kids that will follow my progress via the SPOT GPS System and MTBCast.com that is available. Within other sports there is a unique bond that spell bounds us all. Especially the one in cycling that seems to deliver camaraderie in the rawest form; especially when put to the test; out of kindness out of compassion out of believing the simple fact that we are really all on the same team in life. Only through the process of measurement does one come in first while others may come in last. But only through believing can one come in first in his or her own right. Surpassing all obstacles that seemed impossible pushing beyond ones personal limitations does not come close to the measurement of coming in last. Things that they might not have attempted in life before are overcome. The truest of measurements comes through you yourself – your truly in first! The true measurement attesting to the fact that success lies within beating ourselves; setting the goal dreaming the dream; of the achievement and matching the success! Allowing yourself to take on your dare and take on the challenge is paramount. I am so glad that you all made it through the 2009 TDR. Bravo to you!!!

    When my turn comes up I will be riding for someone else. I suppose I will be along the ride for myself only in part. For when I push through my personal barriers mentally I will surely feel the soreness the pain the frustration of those who cannot. But I will forever hold dear in my thoughts along the way of those who can’t see their way (the blind) – who cannot walk (those with prosthetics/quadriplegics /paraplegics)- some who are confined to a wheel chair because of a drunk; some of no fault of their own – some who cannot seem to push themselves mentally through to healthier choices in life – who cannot make peace with their past; leave their past and achieve new dreams – some who are sitting in a hospital wishing dreaming about those of you who have already cycled the Tour Divide Race across miles and miles and miles of open road trails and towns.

    My most vivid memories always seem to be of translating the many thoughts of how many kids are counting on me blindly to do the right thing in life; to do what’s most honourable on weekly basis; to be the greater influence in a good sound way.

    Sincerely
    Your friend Crazy Larry
    Banff, Alberta

    ‘May You Never Stop Dreaming to Achieve’
    ‘Never Give Up’