Monday, June 21, 2010

A Tour Divide (sigh) DNF

Well, I'm back, actually I've been back for five days limping round the house. My race ended way too soon!

Only 3 days and went something like this:

For some reason, I felt crappy the first day and fell short of my mileage goal with only 110. Holed up with three other racers in the Elkford Hotel and listened to the house band in the bar until the wee hours of the morning. No, I wasn't in the bar, you could hear the band throughout the entire building!

Day 2 was better, spent the entire time with wet feet from the many river crossings, but the riding went fine until I was at the bottom of Cabin Pass ready to camp and I looked down to see my GPS SPOT tracker was gone. CRAP! I had to turn around, ride back up the pass hoping I would find it and ended up camping on the side of the road when it was too dark to go on.

Day3 woke up covered in frost and got going early to find the tracker. Found it after another 3-4 miles, flew down the pass and spent the next 20 miles looking for the right turn to get back into the race. The cue sheets we had did a very poor job of describing the turn and coupled with the fact that my mileage was off from the extra searching meant I did almost 50 miles of extra riding....oh well. Finally back on track around noon and feeling my legs were really starting to come around when I felt/heard my ankle pop as I twisted it trying to hike a wall of mud and tree roots while dragging along the bike. It hurt quite a bit when I was able to start riding again, but I think I did the real damage on the next pass where we had to do two miles of on/off postholing through snow. I one-legged it across the border and into Eureka, MT.

Day 4- I couldn't put any real pressure on the pedals with my left foot.....race over. Luckily, my riding partner Jeff Kerby had had enough of divide racing (he's done a total of 31 days) and along with Jim from Phoenix, we were able to put together a good exit strategy and we were all in AZ by that night. Jeff and I spent the night in the PHX airport and got back to Albuquerque the next day.

X rays confirmed nothing was broken, Doc said it's just a good sprain of the deltoid ligament, so it's just resting/recovering for me for awhile.

Trip Highlights:

-Meeting all the cool racers.

-Finding out Canadians really do say "eh" all the time.

-Rooming with Jeff Boatman of Carousel Design Works I made racks for my bike, but his bags are the better way to go for sure.

-Racing a moose for 100 yards down the back of Cabin pass.

-Sleeping at the top of said pass with just a bag, tarp, and an inquisitive squirrel.

-Scaring the scat out of a grizzly with my howling, snow covered brakes.

-Trying to figure out how to ship out the bike and running into fellow framebuilder Chris Boedecker of Bodie Cycles thanks for the help Chris!

-The bike working perfectly along with all the endurance tweaks I made to the design meant my hands, feet, knees, and butt felt great the whole time.


-The injury, of course.

-Losing the flippin tracker!

-And....nothing else- it's the greatest race there is!

Will I do it again? I think everyone that gets forced out of the race from an injury wants to finish the thing. I do too, but I think I might have to put that idea on hold for awhile. Doing the race is a monumental thing, but it also requires you to be monmentally selfish about your time bacause of all the effort you have to devote to the Tour Divide. This was really driven home to me by my 7 year old son who asked "Why can't you wait until I'm big enough to go with you?" If you're a dad, you know how much hearing something like that hurts. It stayed with me the whole time I was out there and I promised myself I wouldn't take time aways from my boys like that again.

Finally, I would like to think my wonderful wife Kaua and our friends/family for all their great support. Sorry I didn't put up a better result, but it was amazing while it lasted!

Lets get back to building bikes....

1 comment:

  1. are still a rockstar...and yout son said..."Why can't you wait until I'm big enough to go with you?"

    tell him thanks for the's a big reason I train all night sometime...and then can get back to coach his games...