Internet dating

I’m not sure the Tour Divide has been used as an Internet dating facility before, but Stephen Huddle has at least had the imagination to try. It’s the food you see – he says he’s been eating no worse during the race than his ‘bachelor chow’ at home, which prompted him to wonder if any single women might be interested in meeting him at the finish. Well, you know where to go, and I guess Stephen won’t be too difficult to recognise.

The only issue is timing. Stephen, Cricket Butler, David Tremblay, Brad Perry and Jon Billman all appear to be past the Plains of San Agustin and on the fringes of the Gila. If the weather’s good and the conditions are fair they could make it to the end in a couple of days for a finish in around 26 and a half days. If the weather and conditions are against them they might drift over into Thursday.

It also depends on their motivation levels. Our penultimate night last year (during which we were disturbed by an ungodly howl at 3am, though nobody was eaten) was maybe three hours further on. We arrived in Silver City in mid afternoon, and briefly considered pushing on to the border that night; we’d probably have arrived around midnight or shortly after. Instead we opted for food and a wash and a more peaceful ride into the finish the next day which, with hindsight and given Per’s mishap, was perhaps not the best plan. The logistics of three foreigners getting collected from the middle of the desert – there’s no way we were riding back – was also an issue that took some resolving.

So, we took two days over a slightly shorter distance. If Stephen, Cricket et al… do the same it will be Antelope Wells in the late afternoon or early evening of Wednesday.

By then, Nicolas Senie should also have finished, unless he too gets seduced by the creature comforts of Silver. He’s nearly made it over the last of the Gila’s saw-tooth climbs, so he may be in Silver for lunch, which would even give him the opportunity to push on to the finish later today.

The last of this year’s TD activity at Antelope Wells could then take place, at current rates of progress, some time on Friday evening, when Patrick Tsai brings home the lanterne rouge. He’s got the paved alternate to Grants today, then could be where the big group is by tomorrow night, leaving him another couple of days riding to reach the border.


Paul Howard


Two Wheels on My Wagon


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