A final signing out from Mary Metcalf Collier, Tour Divide ‘08:
When I lined up in Banff about a month ago, boy were there expectations in the air for everyone! Some of those were high and some weren’t. Brendan and our good friend Matt rode out the first 10 miles with me and then I headed off in a tearful first day. I really had no idea what I was in for and am glad that I didn’t. You read up on all the reports from years past, you study the numbers – 200,000 feet of elevation gain, 2,709 miles, at least 18 long days in the saddle (for some of us much more) – but it is all so abstract.
I only hope to begin to understand what that all means now. But, more than the numbers, was the experience. How to stay focused on what lies ahead…and why? I describe it like playing pacman. You look at what’s in front of you and take one bite at time. The most amazing thing to me was how you could feel like you were an inch tall at the beginning of a day (with such monstrous tasks in front of you) and by the end of the day feel like you could conquer the world – or like you just had. I met so many people along the way that kept me going. I did this race for myself. But when you pull into a roadside stop and meet a woman who has been waiting for you because she was following the race – then she tells you that you can’t stop, you’re not allowed to, you have to do it for the rest of us – how can you argue with that!? I met so many men and women along the way who had faith in me – and they didn’t even know me. Read more »
Hey its Mary. Its Sunday, July 13th and I’m calling in from Silver City. WHAT? Silver City, this is pretty familiar. Actually I came through here like a day ago. Steve Gleasner and I pulled through the border at about 3:37 this morning, just a few hours under 30 days. WOW, WOO HOO. Friggin’ awesome. This is just big. This is one of the biggest days of my life. This is so huge. I don’t know where to start. Its still sinking in. It is big to be done. Its crazy to be riding in a car and heading back to civilization. Stopped over in Silver City just to relax a little bit and now its time for getting some food. I’ve got some eating to do. I’ve got some coffee drinking to do. I got a million things to do. I have about 800 photos to post and 800 stories to tell. I just want to say thank you to everyone out there on the course, everyone I met along the way, all the racers. This is huge. Its pretty big. I don’t yet have other words to describe it. Thank you everyone. Couple of people I wanted to get shout outs to that I didn’t along the way. Brian at the Path Bike Shop in Tuscan, CA overnighted me some stuff out on the course and saved my butt. That was pretty awesome. Linda (couldn’t make out last name), my coach, helped me through this a lot, helped me get ready for it and helped me through it. I never really had the opportunity to thank them so I wanted to thank them in tying this up. I’ll have plenty more to come. I’ll have plenty more stories to share and lots more to talk about. Right now I need to get some coffee and food on. Thank you everyone. Its been the time of my life. I can’t believe I did it. I still can’t believe that I did it. It awesome. I can’t believe that we did it. It definitely felt like a group effort. Thank you all. I love you and you’ll hear from me soon.
Hey its Mary Metcalf-Collier. It's Saturday, July 12th. I am in Silver City, NM. 125 miles out. I just grabbed some lunch. Steve and I were initially thinking to camp outside of here and pull it all in tomorrow. BUT that doesn’t sound as exciting as pulling an all nighter and getting to the frickin’ border. We are going to push on through the night and stick this thing. Thanks everyone and we will call/follow up once we get there. It will be in the middle of the night so most of you will be asleep. Enjoy that while we are riding through the night. Talk to you soon. Bye.
Hey its Mary. Its Thursday, lunch time, well a little bit late lunch, unfortunately. Steve and I have made it into Pie Time which is monumental, its huge. Somewhat emotional pulling into Pie Town. This is big. Just about 300 miles left. Now I’m on the last map. Huge, its Awesome, Super, Super Cool. Did I mention how tough this is out here? It has been tough. There have been some headwinds. We have been able to cover some ground. Things are going great. I’m trucking down the road. I’m here at the café, made it during business hours. Debating what type of pie to have which of course, I have to have some pie. The next big challenge looks like a really large front here in NM that might be consuming the next couple of days. Steve has a flight to catch Saturday in El Paso. We are trying like hell to make that. So far we have been lucky and we are going to hope for the best. Talk to ya’ll soon.
Hey its Mary. Its Wednesday, July 9th and I’m calling in from Grants, NM. Stephen Gleasner and I got here actually a few hours ago with a crazy headwind. This morning was awesome. We covered about 60 miles for the first 5 hours of the day and the other 60 miles took pretty much the rest of the day. We got here to Grants and its still pretty windy so we’ve actually been taking our time. Had some dinner here. Stocked up for the next couple of days after hearing stories of people of running out of food and food being sparse for the next couple of days. We are loaded on the heavy side. We got plenty of food here in Grants. We are headed out for round two tonight. You’ll hear from both of us the next couple of days. Until then, have a good one.
Hey it's Mary. I’m calling in from Abiquiu again with an addendum. This episode I’m going to call it “Waiting for Gleasner”. Man, I keep swearing he is going to catch me, I thought he passed me, don’t know where he was but I hear he is coming up to Abiquiu. So I’m going to actually call it an early day and hope to bust a move up to the Plateua early in the morning with Mr. Stephen Gleasner. Hopefully he comes in and sees my bike outside the hotel and we can hook up and ride up the Plateau. Try to bust a move really early since we are getting in early. So I’m going to leave my bike by the road and hopefully he sees it and I can have someone to rock out with. Jen who is doing the GDR is also here. So she is leaving at 3AM so I might consider that as well. I’m out from Abiquiu. Holy crap, I think Stephen might be pulling in. Good night.
Hi Yi Yi Yi, New Mexico is freakin awesome. I’m in Abiquiu. Its Monday, July 7th. Last couple of days have not been high mileage because they have been high fun factor. I guess I could have done without that hike a bike before Brazos Ridge. Things have been going really well. I feel really good. It has been some really difficult trail. Some really technical trail but I remembered why I am on a mountain bike. It has been really awesome. I also met some amazing people. Had breakfast at some lady’s house near Platoro. Had dinner with Villaros (sp) near Brazos Ridge. Because I was taking longer than I thought and I stopped to ask for water and they had me sit down for BBQ. I’m having some fun along the way but the trail is tough and I’m trying to cover some ground. I just loaded up on some carbs here in the café in Abiquiu. I’m going to head out to see if I can get some more miles under me tonight to make tomorrow a little more doable. So have a good night everyone. Adios.
Hey its Mary. I am near Platoro, CO. I stopped off at a little campground here to grab some food this morning. Yesterday was a super amazing day. Covered about 100 miles. Hit some really big milestones, I crossed the Rio Grande, rolled over 2000 miles and climbed the biggest peak of the route. So it was pretty amazing day. It was really awesome. I am really glad that I didn’t quit before that many times, many ups and downs. When you look at quitting you miss out on days like yesterday. It was extremely difficult but extremely rewarding. I made it into Platoro last night. In this morning, in my haste to get out of camp, I decided I’d catch groceries down the road. Unfortunately, its Sunday and nothing is opened until 11 and I’m headed out into the backcountry and unable to get food. I actually ran into a lady named Dorie about 15 miles past Platoro who invited me into her house, gave me breakfast, loaded me on fruit and good stuff for the day. So I’m heading out. I’ll probably stop at the convenience store in Horca to get a little more carbs if possible. Head off to the Pass and make another great day of it. Thank you everyone for being so amazing and wonderful and supporting me. Today I am going to get to New Mexico and its pretty awesome. Bye.
(recorder time: 2008-07-06 10:25:35 EST)
Hey it's Mary and I'm in Del Norte. Last night, I pulled Cochetopa Pass and Carnero Pass. Stayed on top of Carnero Pass last night. It was kind of a slow moving day. This morning I got up pretty early. Woke up in the Aspens so it was really beautiful . Topped out and descended down to Del Norte which takes a little while. Especially when you are under-caffeinated, severely under-caffeinated, no caffeine. Moving down the hill, trucking down the hill, kind of boring. Until I hit probably the best double track, single track that I’ve had in days coming into Del Norte. Super beautiful. Red rocks everywhere. Little rise before town. Good Stuff. It was great. Here at the convenience store. The Shell. I'm going to load up on some groceries. I’m cramming food down my throat right now. I have a huge pass to hit this afternoon. I'm going to go take a bite out that and see where it gets me. Have a good night.
(recorder time: 2008-07-05 12:39:22 EST)
Hey its Mary. I just wanted to call in and let everyone know that I’m doing OK. Because I’m sure all you junkies are watching blue dot and wondering what the hell is going on. I’m actually good. I had a little layover off route to take care of some gears in my head that were skipping. I’m getting back on track. Got those cleaned up and lubed. So I’m going to push on. Talk to you later. Bye.
(recorder time: 2008-07-04 17:30:25 EST)