2008 Letters of Intent
I Andy Buchanan, being of feeble mind and unsound body do hereby throw myself at the mercy of the Mountain Turtle to recieve its blessing and safe passage on the 10th Anniversary of this great trail. I am also hoping for the first sighting of this elusive creature. The voice has been a constant whisper since Mr. Peterson's account in Dirt Rag. I cannot shake the voice so I must ride until I finish no matter how long this journey lasts.
Sincerely yours, Andy Buchanan
Borrowed courage, borrowed money, borrowed time, I have no business in Banff, but I intend to be there just the same, front wheel pointing toward Mexico. Intentions are funny things; a small utterance can slip out of anyone in a living room, an unexamined idea reaching escape velocity. This is how it was with me. The utterance started the first pebble of the rockslide. Now momentum is the law and big rocks are rolling, clearing the way of obstacles covered by the dust of neglected dreams. These thundering boulders can’t be called back. They hurtle with fall-line urgency, clearing a path with their gravitational imperative, a violent unstoppable thing that began with living room talk, simple chicken-hawk bravado. I will be at the start line in Banff, nervously fiddling with my gear, wondering what I have forgotten, wondering what junk I won’t need. I plan to use the next 2,700 miles to come up with something precious and distilled, some bit of genius to blurt through parched lips at the border guy in Antelope Wells. Like a tollbooth attendant, he will be hard to impress. But I intend to try.
My intentions are as follows: Ride my ass off - from Banff to Mexico, of course. Enjoy the journey - every piece of it. Enjoy a beer at the end - every ounce of it.
The past week has been an intense and frantic shift of opportunity, interest and sponsorship, which has escalated into two straight days of cramming, accompanied by shakes, mental fits and the obvious self-evaluation of my mental state. To most it would seem rather unrealistic to even consider such a feat on less than two weeks of deliberation, however, lead through consultation by Matthew Lee, it would appear that despite my own inability to believe I am in this thing, I am! Ricky Ralph Reuben Kline, born and raised a poor white boy in the hills of Pennsylvania where at a late age honed his technical mountain biking skills in Michaux State Forest, will make his debut into self-supported mountain bike racing from Banff on June 13th 2008 in Tour Divide. I must point out that it is with sadness and excitement that my bipolar-self does attend this epic challenge. On the one hand I am passing on the opportunity to do the annual Tour de Burg in order to attempt this 2,711 mile exploit and this makes my heart heavy for I will miss my best friends, those southern boys, whom I have relied upon for years to inflict much pain. But on the other hand, I'm honored to carry the spirit of Team Cupcake with me on the Divide and at all times think of my Meeshowslovakian roots. As I expand my notions of what it means to go BIG, I ask for forgiveness and blessings from those who taught me not only its meaning...but how to spell it! Now, on to the calculations… 17 days 21 hrs or 429hrs approximately 18 days…2711/18= 150.61 miles per day. 2711/17=159.47 miles per day. 2711/16=169.44 miles per day. 24 hours, 6-7sleep 17-18 awake. 16hrs x 10mph = 160 miles. 15hr x 11=165 14hrs x 11.5 =161 13x12=156 12x12.5=150…yup, looks like the more hours you ride the sooner you get to Mexico. Ouch! Wait! Where's my bed? Here I come Mexico!!!
-R.R. Reuben Kline
Honourable Tour Bosses, It's with deference, but without equivocation that I, Mathew Mathewsen (A.K.A. Matthew Lee) pay tribute to GDMBR's 10th by expressing intent to line up in Banff, AB, 13th June for inaugural running of TD. My hope is the Spring Classics deliver me to the start with good base and proper sensations for the pedal dance with roots, rocks and reggae of this full enchilada. Of Danish roots, but hailing from great state of North Carolina, I know the fervor with which I must represent my fellow Tarheels and I dedicate my body to the final selection called Mexico. I am prepared to crack multiple times daily. My advice to my colleagues is to leave their team doctors at home, bring extra chamois cream and carry a small axe. This will be my 5th Grand Tour and perhaps most meaningful for in `09 I will be relegated to carry warm milk bidons up from the team station wagon in new role as in-state domestique. This Tour I endeavor to leave nothing on the trail (especially my sunglasses) and hope competitors have like inspiration. Trail gods and weather speed to all takers this edition. Until then, yours in suffering, Mathew Mathewsen P.S. just in case, i wear a medium in yellow jersey.
Nothing ever bridged the gap between the person who stayed and the person who rode, and I’m aiming to fill the gap between Banff and Antelope Wells. I get up in the morning smiling because I’ve been rendered ever adaptable from doing some hair-brained things over the past 50 years. For me, coincidence and consequence is a composition accomplished over many miles, in pursuit of “what the hell was I thinking?” So, please count me in now that my wife and Geoff’s Bike and Ski said they’d split the cost for new tires.
I can hear the trail calling me all the way from San Francisci. It's got me mulling this route over and over in my head. Whatever, I'll throw caution and reason to the wind: I'll be taking a third stab at the route. Without the snows and cold that I endured for 22 years in Massachusetts, I'll be able to train more and bring my A game; with more experience and a new bike (without a rear shock this time around), my 29" wheels will be turning all the way to Mexico. Watch out, this is a race. Bring on the blizzards in June mother nature, there ain't anything that can stop this.
It's with great honour and not so much fan fare I am telling anyone who will listen about my intent to ride every inch of the Tour Divide and to feel all the contours of the route on my fixedgear mtb. Bring it on!
Please add me to the Start List for the Tour Divide Race 2008. Ardie Olson Cumming, GA.
Thanks, see you in Banff.
In the endless pursuit of happiness on two wheels, I Adrian Stingaciu (a.k.a. SuperVegan), willingly venture forth through the portals of pain and suffering to immerse myself in the heavenly beauty, joys and wonders of the Great Divide. It is with great honor that I will line up in Banff with other like minded individuals who dare to pursue their dream of racing a bicycle from Canada to Mexico. I intend to eat only raw vegan food for the entire race and to bring only enough stuff to barely live through it and still have a smile on my face at the end.
- "Bang! Goes the gun. The race is on. A cloud of dust. They're here -- they're gone. Pushing and pedaling side by side, 80 begin The Great Divide. Just up ahead, just beyond sight, one path leads left, one path leads right. Split by a canyon so deep and so wide, the riders must part at The Great Divide. Half blunder left, where their tires go Pop! Half hurtle right, never to stop. On with the race..."
Logic, common sense and my woeful lack of fitness be damned. I, Leighton White, would like to add my name to the 2008 Tour Divide start list. Despite the fact that we've had a record winter here in Steamboat Springs, CO, and I still haven't ridden dirt in my current home town, I have a month's worth of paid vacation ahead of me and I can't think of a better way to spend it. I look forward to seeing you all in Banff. It's raining here right now and the weatherman's calling for snow over 9K feet. Welcome to the winter that won't end.
I am Felix Wong, a Paris-Brest-Paris ancien, Cannondale aficionado, and man of multiple follies. I hereby submit my intent to depart from common sense and the safe haven of Fort Collins, Colorado, home of Fat Tire beer, to throw myself at the caprices of Mother Nature and to ride myself into shape on the holy dirt trails of the Great Divide. I will arrive in Banff via Greyhound undertrained and fluent in "eh?", hoping to make it to the Mexico border on nothing but two wheels, more processed foods than I have eaten all year, and a can-do spirit befitting of Leonardo da Vinci. Oh, and water. Lots and lots of water. Bring on the thunderstorms and monsoons; I'll be ready.