Felix Wong in Silver City for the Night

Racer update about:

Hi this is Felix Wong calling from Silver City, NM at around 6:30 on Wednesday, July 9th. Today I was bonking really badly in the morning. Thank goodness I got to Mimbres and was able to get some food and made it over the gravel trail heading from Mimbres to Highway leading to Silver City. Had to walk up most of the hills. It was hot and humid but slowing and surely my legs returned from the dead and I was able to go up grades more than 1 to 2 percent again. I got on the highway and almost instantly it started pouring. Its been raining consistently all of the way until I got to Silver City. When I stopped by Gila Hike and Bike to pick up the supplies I ordered yesterday, the folks over there, including Bill and Jay, they are very helpful. They helped me do a couple of bike maintenance things. For example, Bill helped clean up the shifting and over there I replaced the rear tubes with one containing slime. I hope that gets me to the finish. After that I went to the food coop to buy some groceries and it was almost disorienting going into a real grocery store for the first time in several weeks instead of a convenience store. I think after this race, I'm now addicted to coke and donuts. They don’t exist in a food coop, go figure. Anyhow, its still raining and I'm baggin' it for tonight. I was hoping that the rain was going to stop and I’d probably press on but I've had so many epic days the last couple of days and I don't think mentally I could handle another one in the rain. I’m staying here at a nice hotel. Silver City is a nice progressive friendly town and I hope to wake up early tomorrow and finish tomorrow night, we’ll see. Bye the way, my SPOT tracker is still blinking red…

(recorder time: 2008-07-09 19:28:30 EST)

Hi this is Felix Wong. I just wanted to remind everyone that my SPOT tracking device is blinking red. I’m not exactly too sure what that means. I suspect that that means my battery is dying and hence, I’m only turning it on when I get to major points. So I have it on now. Hopefully that updates my blue dot on the internet. I’ll probably turn it back on in Hatchita. Don’t be alarmed if you don’t see the blue dot moving. I do intend to start really early tomorrow morning and barring disaster, it seems like I been having quite a few issues coming up, but barring disaster I should be making good progress tomorrow. Its more than 50% pavement. Hopefully the next time you hear from me, I’ll be in Antelope Wells. You take care everyone and thanks again for all of your support.

(recorder time: 2008-07-09 19:30:24)



This isn't one of your brighter moves, dude!

Get a new freaking battery! NOW!

What if you need the 911 function?

You said Silver City is a "progressive town."

Surely they have AA battery technology there.

Good GAWD man!

Calm down Bounce

Seriously, we have become "blue dot junkies." We need our fix! Please put a couple of new AA batteries in the SPOT - it will take regular AA's you don't necessarily have to use lithium, they just last a lot longer and maintains the stabiltiy of the voltage longer. Thanks!
Enjoy the rest of the ride!

Coke and donuts - alright!

Hey Felix,

You know I strongly approve of the Coke and donuts approach to food! They used to even have Xtreme Donuts from Entemanns. I never did figure out what made a donut extreme, but you would deserve some of those if they still existed! Timmy Hortons in Canada next time you are there - good stuff - donuts as a side dish to lunch specials. Yeah! And caffeine is actually good for endurance. When you are out in CA again, we can do the donut and coke feast. Assuming you ever want to see them again :)! Have a great relaxing evening! May your bed be comfortable, the shower have lots of hot water and your dinner, post dinner, pre-bed and just right before bedtime meals be awesome! Final stretch - yeehaw! And glad Tori is keeping us updated as well since the non-moving blue dot is really, really disturbing for those of us who want to make sure you are okay! Keep it cranking! - Michele

Unknown fans

Felix: We don't know you, but wait every day for your updates. It's fascinating. Glad you got food and a good place to spend the night. Hope you finish up tomorrow, get yourself some batteries...

NOTE TO: Felix's Friend Who Reads the Blogs to him

Hey, Felix said he turned his SPOT back on in Silver City so it would register. Looks like the batteries are really too low now to read at all. If you speak with him tonight, please let him know that the off/on system for the SPOT is not working like he thought. I've seen the lith. batteries in convenience stores before. Maybe he can pick up on the way out of town, or like Bob mentions, just get some regular ones. Thanks, Sherry O.

SPOT has battery but...

Thanks Sherry - Felix put in a new battery around 8:45PM (MT) and he said the green light came on. I'm not sure how long it should take to update but as of now (10:10PM), his blue dot still hasn't relocated to Silver City.

Maybe he turned it off before going to sleep and it hadn't updated. He plans on leaving Silver City early morning, so maybe once he is on the move it will update??? hopefully...

Tracking function on SPOT and "Self-Supporting"

Maybe the Tracking function works differently for the TD Leaderboard, but I had a time trying get my SPOT to work as advertised when I first activated it. Once it is turned on I hold the "OK" button until that green light goes off. That takes about 5 seconds and consistently activates the Tracking.

If I send out an OK or a HELP signal to my wife, then that shuts off the Tracking. The best way to get the Tracking going again is to shut the unit off and start all over. The 911 overrides all the other functions. I use the OK to show her where I am camping for the night. I use the HELP very sparingly and cautiously; like when I almost got blown off Brazos Ridge. Otherwise she is satisfied to know where I am when I am out in the boonies by myself. She has gotten much better at reading the Terrain map in conjunction with the spacing of the blue dots on my public SPOT share page. Of course she also has access to much more extensive information in my SPOT account.

The following comments are not directed specifically to Felix other than in regards to his "life and death" call-in remarks. However, we should all consider what it means to be "self-supporting."

Despite all the talk about "self-supporting" and the "strategy' of the race, the SPOT helps reduce the question marks and may actually save the GDR and TD. Right now the Forest Service turns a blind eye to the races through national forests along the GDMBR. However, if someone gets hurt or worse, the policy is already in place that any event that passes through any National Forest is suppose to have a permit for each national forest that it passes through. In fact, earlier this year I was asked by one Gila ranger whether I was racing. I invited him to come out of the ranger station and take a look at my load in order to answer his own question.

When I tour the GDMBR I am approaching self-supporting. As I disappear into the boonies for days at a time, I carry the tools and parts to fix or replace a lot of things on my bike. I can safely treat and drink water with dead animals floating around in it, tainted with cow urine, or coyote poop. I don't run out of food unless I plan to pick up some more within a day. It does not matter if it is hot or cold, rain or shine. I have the right gear and the appropriate clothing for the circumstances. My total load is around 50 - 60 pounds. That is approaching self-supporting

So, when all the chest-thumping and Tarzan calls are over, I hope no one screws up access to the GDMBR for the rest of us who just want to enjoy a good tour in some beautiful country. If we want to say that we are self-supporting, then we need to quit talking trash and load up like Mike Curiak in Alaska last winter. Otherwise save it for someone who doesn't know any better. Credit card racing is not "self-sufficent." Level the playing field for foreigners who don't have friends and family in North America to ship them what they need fast enough to continue the race when they have a major mechanical issue. Be honest. That rule is not "self-supporting" either?

Again, I am a bicycle camping tourer, not a credit card racer, but I sure hope some well-intended, but misguided racing rule does not end up hurting everyone. If something happens to someone out there, the Forest Service may not continue to turn a blind eye to the fact that an event is passing through their jurisdiction. The BLM and ranchers don't want people getting hurt or dying either. The TD and the GDR is not a 24 hour event with pit stops available. Cell phones and or something like the SPOT may eventually make the difference as to whether the TD and GDR are allowed to continue in their present forms.

So, back to you Felix. and the others from the TD still out on the course, please make good decisions; including putting good batteries in your SPOTs. Besides my own selfish reasons stated above, we care about you folks. Be safe, and have as much fun as you can stand. Ride On!


To add to Bob's comment: As the former race director of the Signal Peak Challenge mtn bike race, which takes place in August north of Silver City, I can speak from experience. Forest Service (Dept. of Agriculture) permits are fairly straight forward, but BLM (Dept. of Interior) permits were a real pain in the ass. With either, you have to jump through specific hoops and meet specific criteria. Better to keep these "races" as fast self-contained tours to avoid any bureaucratic roadblocks in the future.

Gila Hike & Bike

Just got an e-mail from Jack at Gila Hike & Bike and he confirms Felix's safe arrival. He said Felix is fine and ready to head to Antelope Wells.

The book

You should write the book. you have really kept us feeling bad for you this past while. I can just hear you retelling your story and It will get better with age. I found the tour by acident, met SG in Island park. Been following every since. This race is amazing. Puts the other one going on to shame. None of those guys are starving. Hope to see your picture up tomorrow night. Best wishes from an old lady and new fan of you and the tour.

Now that he is refreshed I

Now that he is refreshed I don't think he needs SPOT; good riders ride well and deliberate.

SPOT has a couple of issues to deal with that is faster response time (i.e. from that car crash site in Colorado) and also including a backup 3V inside the device with a note telling you it will kick in upon RED flashing - will last ___?

Good Job Felix - by the way MRE's (meals ready to eat) are military food and probably would be good to carry 1 for the entire trip in case you have a bad episode like being 100 miles from food. That is advice for next time you or someone else races this thing.

Every entertaining blog right here; don't miss the final installments.

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