Felix Wong Faces More Challenges (2 calls)

Racer update about:

Hi this is Felix Wong calling from the Beaverhead work center. The last 24 hours for me has seized to be a race. Instead it became a matter of life or death, of survival. After Pie Town, which I mentioned in my last message, was kind of a joke of town, with no services. I started bonking really badly. I lost my food supply really quickly. Thank goodness I encountered another cyclist heading northbound named Tim. He was generous to share some spaghetti which kept me going a little longer. I was really looking forward to getting to _______ Springs where there was suppose to be some sort of service station at the Junction at the trail head with Hwy 12. Once again, I was disappointed. There is nothing there. Just an old church. I was a 113 miles away from the next supply point which would have been Mimbres. I had no food. It was a very dire situation. For the next couple of hours, I went searching for food. I had no hunting equipment so instead I started looking for homes. The locals in town, a nice couple named, Jim and Norine, they provided me food very generously. They also provided me with advice on what to do about all of the wolves, rabid foxes, black bears and rattlesnakes out here. Thank goodness I haven’t had any close encounters with those. After I was fed, I continued on another 15 miles before bagging it at around 11:30 pm. I slept soundly. Woke up, My rear tire was flat. YES, My third flat in 4 days. That actually set me back a whole hour. I attempted …

(recorder time: 2008-07-08 13:11:06 EST)

This is Felix Wong with a continuation of my last message. So I was fixing the rear tire and apparently two of my spares were not good. I either pinched the tubes when I was replacing it in the rear tire or they were just faulty. Finally after an hour, I managed to fix the rear flat. Unfortunately, my air pump seems to be dead. There is a slight chance I might be able to get it working again. Failing that I have used my last CO2 cartridge to fix the flat. I have no more good spares. I’m down to one patch. Its pretty dire, I’m hoping that I can get to Silver Springs (he means Silver City) with no more flat tires. After this phone call, I’m going to give Gila Bike shop a call in Silver Springs and try to have them leave some tubes outside if I pay with credit card. Anyhow, I’m about out 50 of Mimbes, I think I have enough food thanks to Jim and Norine. About 75 miles away from Silver City, where I hope to get some supplies in case of a flat. I really hope I can make. It has been a trying experience. I can fully image what the Joad family in the John Steinbeck’s great American novel Grapes of Wrath were feeling and going through, they were on a journey, desperately trying to get to a destination, suffered setback after setback after setback, and tried to maintain a glimmer of hope and dignity. That is what I’m just trying to do. I’m trying hard to stay calm and hold it together. It has not been easy. It has really not been easy. Bye.

(recorder time: 2008-07-08 13:15:02 EST)


Home stretch

Felix you are as tough as anyone out there. Remember all those trying moments in you Boston Marathon run. The next step was always a lot better. Hang in there, Dave is waiting for you at the border station! Have fun! It's almost over.

hang in there

I guess if this race was easy, anyone could do it. Stay calm and focused, you'll get there, buddy.


Felix... you have really earned the medal for perseverance. You should congratulate yourself on the problem solving skills you have thus applied...

and you're doing just fine... when I look on Google Earth along the horizon axis your red line extends so far to the north to Canada. The distance between you and Mexico is so small in comparison.
Take heart in knowing the finish is not that far away... then it is back to CO for cold drinks and some couch potato time.
A lot of people are cheering you on... I am sure you can feel the positive energy flowing your way!
Remember above all, be safe... Many of the extraordinary riders in this incredible race have asked for and received help from a lot of sources. What I have learned by following the Tour Divide is that there are bike races that are more than bike races...

... move aside Tour de France here is the Tour Divide, truly difficult, truly inspiring and truly humanity as it's best.


Get Gila Proven Felix!

You're almost there! Hang in there. In the Mimbres, you'll be able to get some food.

Next door to Gila Hike & Bike, (their phone is (575) 388-3222,) is a micro-brewery. Kind of stick and carrot strategy. I recommend their I.P.A. and pizza.

Get to Silver City (you're almost there) and you'll be okay. Rest up, then its a hard-core half-day's ride across the desert to Antelope Wells.

You're a winner already!


Hang in there Felix!

Hang in there Felix!!! I check your blue dot religiously and my entire work group checks in with me to see how much longer you have before finishing! You have the whole BioEd group here routing for you so may you have no more setbacks and for crying out loud, you really don't have much extra fat on you to go on a weight loss cycling race :)! Hoping you get a good feeding at the end of the day! Lots of energy food and then off to the Mexican border!!!
- Michele

Felix, you always seem to be four hours away!

Look, I think he needs some help. Seriously.

I will clear off my schedule tomorrow and drive down there with supplies and parts if I can get his position and get him to STOP long enough for me to reach him.

Felix is a machine, but I'd sure hate to see him get hurt (or worse).

Can you get him to call me:


I'm in Albuquerque and I can help.

This would be outside

This would be outside assistance and he would be unqualified

Beats being dead

What's worse than unqualified?

Silver City help?

I wish I was in town (Silver City is my hometown, but I am in Venezuela at the moment). If I were, I'd head out there right now with provisions. Perhaps a call to Gila Hike & Bike in the morning and they can round up someone to head up that way. I'll e-mail some friends and see if I get some response.

I just talked to BikerBob

He's also from Albuquerque and has actually ridden that route.

He called the dude ranch down there and they actually went out looking for Felix.

They said they found his tracks in the sand, but the tracks went right by their place (he didn't stop).

All I can say is, if I was WAAAAAY out there (a hundred miles from anything), I might have stopped. Bob says the ranch is visible from the road so Felix must have seen it.

Last I heard, his rack was being held on with freaking tie wraps for crying out loud!

I have been stuck out in the middle of nowhere before and it's about as UN-FUN as it gets.

Anyway, BikerBob says that there is pretty much no way to reach him out there where he is now. Once he passed the Dude Ranch, he pretty much made up his mind to go it alone.

Gila Proven

We have a phrase in Silver City..."Gila Proven". It is synonymous to being tough and strong. Equipment can be Gila Proven and people can be Gila Proven. Felix is experiencing the Gila first hand. He'll emerge on the Mimbres as "Gila Proven"! He'll be okay.
Gila Proven Felix!

Yeah, plus.....

BikerBob reminded me of something else I had forgotten about.

I keep forgetting that there is a whole other race going on out there on the same path.

There is a rider in the other race that Felix has been meeting on the route from time to time.

It's not like there is NO HELP anywhere.

The other guy should catch him soon. If he's in serious trouble, it's not like he's completely alone.


Plus he has that Spot emergency thing. Sounds like he is pretty tough. He'll be okay.

He is probably okay.

Since the SPOT has not sent out a signal since 7:05 pm yesterday (adjusted from GMT) I would guess the batteries are very weak. The SPOT uses two lithium AA batteries. Personally, I have found that the signal transmitssions get irratic after about 3 weeks of continuous use.

The "life and death" comments caught my attention too. I know that it is about 8 miles from Beaverhead Work Center, where he made the call from, to Wall Lake (private property) and another mile to the Geronimo Guest Ranch. Geronimo Guest Ranch is very clearly marked and visible from the road. I saw that that at 2:34 MDST he was coming down the hill to Wall Lake.

John Nobile, winner of this year's GDR and new GDR record holder, stopped at Geronimo Guest Ranch. So at about 4:30 yesterday I called them to see if Felix had stopped by too. I talked to Diana Esterly and she told me that they had been experiencing "monsoonal rains for the last 2 hours." I asked whether Felix had dropped in. She said no, but they would drive down to the location that his last SPOT signal indicated he was at to be sure he was okay. A little while later she called me back and said that he was not there, and that his tracks indicated that he had ridden past the ranch already.

We laughed for a while about the common belief that it is "downhill to the border." There are a few "wrinkles" along the way. If you check the Picasa Albums on my blog: www.bikerbobonthegdmbr.com in the left sidebar you can see some pictures of the country he is riding (walking?) through in the Gila National Forest. The "Rocky Canyon Campground to Beaverhead Work Center" album is the one most relevant for today.

There aren't usually very many people out there, but there will probably be at least one vehicle (Forest Service or rancher) go by him in the next day or so. There is a campground and a running stream at Black Canyon. On the SPOT Leaderboard set on the Terrain Map you can see the incredible geography he is passing through. Zoomed in on the Terrain Map where it says "Hodge Canyon" is actually where it comes into Black Canyon. Black Canyon is not labeled on that map. Click back and forth between the Terrain tab and the Map tab to see how the road curves wildly back and forth. Even if he flats out and has to walk he will probably make it to NM 35 tonight. There is a fair amount of traffic on NM 35.

If he knows, then he can stuff one of those wrecked tubes with debris like pine needles and leaves and gingerly hobble out like a three-legged dog. Besides, even in the most remote regions of New Mexico there are always enough Bud-Lite cans and used condoms lying aroung to cobble together another wheel and make a "tube."

For the Felix Fans

Since Felix seems to have grown a bit of a fan base here, I thought I would let you all know that he has really appreciated the positive comments left. I’ve read all but the most recent to him and they seem to really recharge him, giving him an extra boost just when he seems to need it most. Although Felix hasn’t ever done a race like this before, he has done a lot over the years. For those wanting to know more about Felix and his adventures, check out his website (he is a very good writer) FelixWong.com...easy to remember :)

Go Felix Go

I've been following your odyssey on the blog reports. You're going to have quite the tale to tell when all is said and done. Now is the time to dig deep into the bottom of the barrel and finish this thing, one corner at a time.

You're so close, Felix!

You are so close to the end, Felix! You have overcome extremely challenging situations and we are all so impressed at your strength, spirit and stamina. You are so close to the finish, I just know you will finish strong. It is really incredible that human beings can finish a ride like this. Truly incredible.
Love, Stacey and Ann

Hang Tough

Hang in there buddy. Can't imagine what you are going through, but something tells me you'll find your way to the end. Can't wait to sit down and hear your tales when you get back to Fort Collins. We'll cook you up a feast of your choosing.

I take it you won't be in Death Valley this Monday! I take off on Saturday and meet up with Alene and the rest of the crew on Sunday. Race starts Monday. Talk to you when I get home the following weekend.

Bonne courage et a bientot.


Felix action figures

When he gets back home, Felix needs to design and market some action figures.

They'd sell like hot cakes.

He could make it one of those wobble-head kinda deals with Felix on a mountain bike, gear-shifter jammed (down to a singlespeed), water bottles-empty, cyclocomputer blank, SPOT device with dead battery, bike rack busted, tires flat, eyes crossed, tongue hanging out, yet he's still pedaling like a SOB across the finish line.


That would pretty much describe his journey through this race.


Bring it on Home Felix


I came across your website just a few days ago and have been watching your progress during this race for the last 3-4 days. You are an amazing guy. I don't see how anybody could complete this race.

This race is all about challenging yourself and I am impressed with the strength and innovation you have shown. I am riding the Triple Bypass this weekend and thought it was a brutal event. You have given me new strength to devour that ride.

I have been telling my wife about your exploits this week. We are both cheering for you.

I live in Denver. Maybe I'll see you on the road.

Keep ridin' brother!

Stay Strong.

Bill L.

Felix is in Mimbres

Felix has made it to food!

His SPOT though is apparently not updating or is dying - as it still looks like he is in the middle of no where.

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