More Final Thoughts from Felix Wong (3 calls)

Racer update about:

Hi this is Felix Wong with Part II of the Final Thoughts. So I’m in Antelope Wells. I’m going to take a shuttle up to Lordsburg. Hopefully be back in Fort Collins in no more than 2-3 days. It is probably going to take 2 days by Greyhound. Now its time for me to detox and rehabilitate. The race has definitely taken a toll on my body. I’m not just talking about the very unfashionable tan lines that I have gotten but also the amazing amount of junk food that I consumed. As I had promised in my letter of intent, I did consumed more processed food in the race that I had all year. In fact, I think I consumed more processed foods during the race than I had in last three years. One thing I was completely wrong about in my letter of intent was being prepared for monsoons and thunderstorms. I was completely and inadequately prepared. I always thought that the snow and the cold would be my nemesis. It was certainly the rain and all of the mud it caused. Of course, the race presented numerous other challenges including the snow, downed trees, sections that were death traps because they are so exposed and we had to traverse over them without any ice axe, crazy climbs. But again the course amazingly beautiful, going by all of the mountains, through the small towns. I believe the largest town we went through was Butte, MT. MT largest town which only has about 30,000 people. Most of the towns only had a few hundred people some even less like that joke of a town, Pie Town. I still can’t believe there was nothing there. Anyhow, its been an amazing journey. One I will definitely remember for the rest of my life. I’m glad you got to share in this experience, watching on the internet. I hope it was as exciting for you as for me. I promise to write all of you back as soon as possible. Take care, next time I report….

(recorder time: 2008-07-11 09:39:31 EST)

This if Felix Wong with Part III of his Final Thoughts. So the next time I report I will probably be in Fort Collins. Before then I wanted to wish Mary, Stephen and the remaining Great Divide racers best of luck in finishing. I wanted to congratulate the finishers of both the Tour Divide and Great Divide Race. Congratulations to Matt Lee and John for winning their respective racers. It is incredible what you have done. Especially in the short amount of time, you were able to ride all the way from Canada to Mexico, a lot quicker than me. I’m just happy to be here. Be done. I’ll be sure to post some photos and write-ups on each of my day’s rides on my website. My website is I should be posting that in the next week or so after I return back to Fort Collins. In the meantime, everyone take care. I’ll be replying to you email soon. I can’t wait to catch up on e-mail. It is amazing, I think this is the longest I have gone without internet access or access to the news. Right now I’m wonder who won the NBA finals (was it the Lakers or Celtics), did John McCain or Barrack Obama pick VP candidates, did Jessica Alba have a baby yet. Wondering things like that. I guess I’ll have plenty of time to catch up, especially on the bus ride home. I’ll be talking to you all soon. Take care, Bye.

(recorder time: 2008-07-11 09:43:03 EST)

Hi this Felix Wong calling at 3:36 on Friday, July llth with one final update. This morning, I took a shuttle that went from Mexico to Lordsburg. I boarded that in Antelope Wells. Got to Lordsburg in the morning. From there I went 2 blocks to the Family Dollar Store and bought 3 rolls of packaging tape, some twine and picked up about a dozen cardboard boxes. Fashioned a bike box from that. Put my bike in there. Now I’m on a greyhound bus. Unfortunately, my bike won’t be able to make it back to Fort Collins until maybe the middle of next week. Funny thing is I left the SPOT tracking device on my bike so we should know exactly when it gets back to my home. But I’ll be back home tomorrow, Saturday morning, I can’t wait for that. I have a new appreciation for many things. For example, real beds, showers, motorized transport, toilets, even outhouses, that sure beats digging a hole with my shoe and squatting down in the forest. Little luxuries like that I will never take for granted again. That is one of the benefits of doing this race. The race was overall a great experience with all of its trails and travails. I wish Mary and Stephen, best of luck in finishing also. Don’t ask me if I will ever do the race again. I probably won’t but it has been a fantastic experience. Thanks so much and take care, bye.

(recorder time: 2008-07-11 16:39:59 EST)


Pie Town

Hi Felix et al,

I want to offer you and the community at large a little information regarding Pie Town. Your call about your experience there caused a bit of concern for the racers behind you as well as for their friends and family. In particular a friend of Jenn's, Minx, has a blog that was echoing your discontent about Pie Town. I have cycled through Pie Town on the GDMBR twice and I have nothing but good things to say about it and the people who live there.

The following is an excerpt from the comment I left on Minx's blog ( last night:

Howdy from New Mexico,

I really don't want to be cantankerous, but I've always enjoyed my stays in Pie Town, New Mexico. On this basis, I beg to differ with some of the recent disparaging reports. If I am not mistaken there are only about 50 people who live there. So, the fact that there are two restaurants is pretty outstanding for such a small population base on a back road.

I am sorry to hear that some racers have had a discrepancy between their expectations and their experiences in Pie Town. There really should be better information available for them in terms of telephone numbers and hours of operation. I provide Mary Collier (aka Siren Mary) on the Tour Divide Blog last night for resources south of Pie Town. I put it in the TD Blog as a Comment under Mary's call-in last night from Grants.

Earlier this summer I was touring northbound on the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR) with five other cyclists, and we received the red carpet treatment in Pie Town.
Nita Larrande, a resident of Pie Town, was the most recent recipient of the Adventure Cycling Association (ACA) Trail Angel award. We stayed at her famous “Toaster House.” The only thing she asked of us was to sign her guest book and leave some good vibes and inspiration thoughts behind.

ACA is the organization that researched and developed maps for the GDMBR, on which the Tour Divide (TD) and the GDR ride their races. Nita actually lives a few miles west off NM60 and then a bit south. She lets Continental Divide Trail (CDT) hikers and GDMBR cyclists crash at her Toaster House. It is right on the route.

I'd check with the neighbors, and also try the door on the north side of the house that has the chalkboard by the entrance. I don't know if the front (east) door is ever unlocked? The worse case scenario would be to just sleep outside on the couches on the porches. The only "ones" who are going to possibly disturb your peace are the noisy chickens in the back. They get up quite early, which shouldn’t bother a racer. I hope Jenn has a great meal in Pie Town, and possible a restorative snooze too.

I have a lot of pictures of the New Mexico portion of the GDMBR on my blog and in my public Picasa Web Albums. My blog address is: and the web address to my Picasa Web Albums is: . Perhaps by looking at some of these photos and reading the captions it might help you gain an appreciation of what Jenn is seeing in New Mexico. Let’s keep sending her, and the remaining racers on the course, thoughts of health and safety. Cheers.

Anyway, that's my two cents worth about Pie Town. You were either very lucky or smart to leave the SPOT with your bike if you had to ship it separately. I hope we can continue to follow "Cranky" it to wherever he/she/it(?) ends up. This part of the story may actually be as interesting as your own epic adventures. Congratulations and Good Luck!!!

Thanks for the Pie Town talk

Thanks for the Pie Town talk but I think anyone reading these posts and knows about racing sees the remarks as merely frustration from racers. These expedition races can cause someone to cry, weep, smile and laugh and all that, many emotions. Sometimes you just wish you had help immediately and if a place like Pie town is closed and you are hungry then you might make remarks.

I'm sure everyone truly loves Pie town and I'll see about going through there someday.

Letter of Intent

I think of all the riders, you had the worse luck with weather and road conditions. I was amazed at how you hung in there. So sorry you ended the race with no one there waiting to celebrate with you and everything closed down for the night. How sad. So many people were following your progress and wishing you the best.
I threw back my head and laughed at your finish line picture. You have a great sense of humor!

One thought: You might think about why you had the worst weather:

(letter of Intent)
"...Bring on the thunderstorms and monsoons; I'll be ready."

It is always a mistake to ask Mother Nature to bring it on...she will.

Re: More Final Thoughts from Felix Wong (3 calls)

Thank you for your service and kindness, it was much appreciated. In addition to my gratitude, I would like to share with you a story of Lisa Frank. Lisa Frank is an incredibly popular children's artist, and a lot of young females go absolutely gaga over her work. Lisa Frank started making stickers in 1979, and expanded into school supplies featuring cute animals, unicorns, and rainbows – stuff little girls are into, and people will shell out payday loans to get her stuff. Her business is an empire in its own right, but there rumor persist that sugar, spice, and anything nice is severely lacking behind the scenes, and that she is awful to work for. Still, a lot of people are willing to sue unsecured loans to get Lisa Frank products.

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