Submitted by Tour Divide on July 10, 2009 - 11:01pm
It happens to the best of us on the GDMBR. That much time in the saddle and a cyclist's hands take a beating. Blood vessels and nerve endings simply take time to open back up. What is Tour Divide's ancient Chinese secret for numb hands post racing? Baoding Balls. Also called "Healthy Balls" (Hmmm?) or Chinese exercise balls. In addition to rejuvenating hand strength they are said to interact with acupunture points and stimulate finger nerves. Check out some YouTube footage on how to begin using them. Gare-on-teed to help - or your money back.
The preliminary news is in from Flathead reroute scouts, Bill and Kathy Love of Whitefish, MT. The beta can be reduced to one critical word: Singletrack! They spent the greater part of three days sussing out the passes and looking for a connector between Wigwam FSR and Rabbit-Phillips FSR. They returned with exalting news: confirmed trail between the two FSRs. It was getting pretty tenuous at two weeks out from TD's grand depart, so the beta comes as grand relief. 2009 Tour Dividians will, indeed, be rewarded with first tracks along this remote backcountry passage. If this summer is successful, it's tentatively slated to become the ACA main route in the Fall reprint of the CA map.
More images and cue narrative to follow ASAP.
Above: Loamy 1 mile Singletrack Connector
Below: Cabin Pass, the 2nd of 3 passes in Flathead reroute
Submitted by Tour Divide on May 15, 2009 - 10:59pm
"Demonstration Sports" were officially introduced in the 1912 Summer Olympics when host country Sweden included Glima, traditional Scandinavian wrestling, in the Olympic program. Many a successful demo sport--like Badminton--has gone on to full Olympic status.
2009 marks the inclusion of Tandem as an official demonstration category in Tour Divide. Though racing tandem is not a solo enterprise per se, it does satisfy the important "no-drafting" rule, and they are certainly no easier to navigate than a solo bike--so why not extend the challenge? Self-support is still the guiding principle, however, sharing gear between captain and stoker is permitted. Some say Divide racing is 75% mental. That would make Tandem 150% mental? TD would have to agree.
Mountain tandems are known for catching big air when stoking the flats
There have been successful attempts to Tandem the GDMBR but at this time we have no data on a benchmark for elapsed time. Two questions we hope to answer from this demonstration category are: Who decides when it's time to get off and push, and, is it possible for the stoker to get some shut-eye on the fly?
Submitted by Tour Divide on February 6, 2009 - 10:56am
In recognition of the 10th anniversary of John Stamstad's Individual Time Trial (ITT) that spawned it all, TD embraces original Divide racing with the creation of ITTDivide (ITTD), a season-long SPOT Leaderboard and updates blog dedicated to following ITTs. ITTD will be much like group racing coverage, only lonelier. Whilst we recognize the format will never replace the drama of mass start divide racing, ITTs are no less harrowing, no less difficult and certainly worthy of documentation.
TheITTD mission is several-fold:
Renew respect for ITTs as the original form of divide racing by recognizing and documenting them
Alleviate focused pressure on the GDMBR from the growing popularity of June group racing
Provide a forward thinking alternative should the unsanctioned group format ever become prohibited on GDMBR
Give soloists who desire a pure ITT experience a virtual audience to motivate them and a GPS track to validate their performance
Provide an arena for proponents of bidirectional racing to further pilot South-to-North records
Lend impetus to those who want to race but simply can't make the annual June group start
ITTD Provisions: Race by Tour Divide Rules, carry a SPOT tracker and maintain a finish pace no more than twice the standing course record. If successful, any ITTD finisher is eligible for the annual GC (General Classification). ITTD recognizes both full GDMBR efforts as well as US border-to-border splits; North-to-South as well as South-to-North attempts. As Tour Divide is a SPOT GPS Messenger-supported organization, a limited number of loaner SPOT tracking devices will be available to ITTD racers on a first-come, first-served basis. More info soon.
Submitted by Tour Divide on February 6, 2009 - 10:50am
Up to ~2745 Miles Now?
Tour Divide is keen to collaborate with cartographers at Adventure Cycling Association to pilot a GDMBR route change at the 140 mile mark in Canada. The reroute will not be made official until a 2010/11 printing of the ACA maps but the general idea is to avoid the dangerous Hwy 3 segment between Sparwood and Fernie, BC by sending riders down the Upper Flathead Valley.
In anticipation, TD is poised to race the proposed reroute for the 2009 edition. It's important to preempt the change for the sake of future racing comparisons. For the first time since 2004 all Divide racers (TD + GDR) will be competing on the same course. The reroute trades 65 miles of mostly pavement for ~105 miles of virgin dirt, but most significantly it carries riders through the primeval upper Flathead Valley. Headwaters to the very same Flathead River known as the North Fork of the Flathead once it crosses into MT, in 2004 the NY Times declared it the wildest river on the continent. The upper valley is also famous for it's wildlife populations, often referred to by biologists as the "Serengeti of North America".