Ode to Divide Riders
(Originally submitted as a blog comment by Diana Gleasner on July 3, 2008 - 6:21pm.)
For those who made it and those who didn’t. And especially for the guy at the back of the pack still out there somewhere working the pedals.
Listen my friends and you shall hear
A lone mountain bike in the granny gear.
You started in Banff seventeen strong
But this is a tale of things that go wrong
Achilles tendons and drifts of snow,
Grizzlies, big cats, nightmares-to-go.
Miles to go before you sleep
And all those promises to keep.
With lagging spirits and constant grief,
Utter exhaustion with no relief,
Wet, hungry, legs like concrete
Can’t feel your toes, can’t feel your feet.
Lugging your stuff, not to mention your bike
On this Rocky Mountain obstacle hike.
Some say that it was just never clear
They would need the skills of a mountaineer.
Swarming mosquitoes and one sore butt,
Mud everywhere, your wheels in a rut.
You’ve climbed 200,000 feet
And endured the desert’s relentless heat.
Emotional ups, emotional downs
Mysterious maps, vanishing towns,
Swollen ankles, fever and chills
Slippery paths and a hundred spills
Awesome country these racers have seen -
Canada, Mexico and all parts between
from Banff in Alberta to Antelope Wells.
Each rider enduring their personal hells.
The prize isn’t money, nor is it glory
It’s just being part of an epic story.
It’s you, your bike and your winning smiles.
You made it through nearly 3,000 miles.
It’s meeting the challenges, seeing it through
Knowing the one who endured it was you.
Knowing you triumphed on this awesome ride -
Knowing you conquered the Tour Divide.
By Diana C. Gleasner