Matthew's Blue Dot NC-side

Racer update about:
Hey folks, Matthew here. I'm back in NC as of 3pm. In possibly the fastest finish line extrication ever witnessed, I hit the border at 10pm last night (7/2/08) and was on the road to El Paso in trail angel, Don Baumgardt's chariot only an hour or so later. A 6am flight precluded sleeping until I got into my standby/exit row seat en route to NC. Big love for Don for his surgical strike in getting me showered, dressed in borrowed clothes, my bike boxed and me to the airport, all b/f 4am (all while his wife slept down the hall). What a stud he is. Thanks to Rueben for making that connection for me. Trail magic at its best. Needless to say, I am slumming today. It all happened so fast I didn't have much time to reflect in AW. I did get to spend some time with Hunter and Mike of the documentary film crew, and with, of course, every divide racer's favorite border officer, Tim Balderston. He let us have complete run of the place. Rolling the cameras and all, doing interviews with us. He has really taken root there in AW (with his 12 dogs) and talks of opening his new pre-fab home there to divide racers on a more organized level. He even has a jacuzzi. His generosity is enough to make emotion-stuffed, broken-walled Divide finishers break down and cry in their vulnerable finish line moment. I love that guy, too. Seriously. My last couple of hours towards the border were ones to remember forever. I hope it was caught on film. A monsoonal-type supercell merged with a massive dust storm over the desert. Conditions went to virtual whiteout just b/f dark. I'd never been in a dust storm but they're spooky. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom-style. The 6K foot Big Hachet Mtn was literally swallowed up in slow-motion. I felt incredibly alive. Wind was buffeting me from all sides, dust-tinted orange lightining strafing the peaks. It was as if everything was conspiring to keep me ON delay the end. I think I welled up several times for no specific reason in that last 20 miles. It was fitting weather dynamics for the GDMBR this year. At the 1 mile to go sign (I had turned on my h-bar light only 15 minutes earlier) I was nearly trampled by two massive open range Buffalo crossing the road. How tragic an end to an otherwise decent effort if a self-proclaimed, modern-day 'Buffalo Soldier' had been rubbed out by real Buffalo just meters from the border. I took it as a sign, but I've yet to interpret it. I'll get back to you on that once I've slept. Thanks to everyone for following along. That collective energy is part of what makes racers' hard days tolerable and the good days even more crisp. My proudest moment? Realizing in the Separ desert below Silver City that I would be able to finish racing the route this year 'by heart' (without using maps or cues) and not get lost once. If that's all I have to show for 5 years on course...I'll take it! Food and sundry costs over 2711mi, approx. $1200, but visions of hundreds of beautiful divide x-roads flipping thru my head...priceless! Goodnight for now. Finish Line Image



ray here, reubens brother. thanks for being there for my bro, i know he has the utmost respect 4 you, so do i. maybe someday we'll meet, i'd like that. job well done.......
peace, ray

Thank you!!

Hi Matt,
Steve McGuire here. Your efforts on behalf of Kidneeds has been exceptional. For you to step in as you did, ride the race the way you did, and pedal with integrity and good cheer is precisely why you are inspirational. I plan to do TD next year post Iowa flood.

TD captures the imagination but your sensibility about the race is accurate and perfectly measured for why folks get on a bike and ride with adventure.

With the greatest respect,

great job buddy

you're a fast guy, it was great spending 30 min with you and reubin down here at lake catamount in steamboat springs colorado. all my biking buddys say you are an amazing rider.

(Repeated from the previous

(Repeated from the previous post.) Welcome home, Matt, and great job! Congratulations to you and all the other racers who are giving it a go (or gave it a go and didn't quite make it this year). When I was out there researching the Great Divide more than a decade ago, I never dreamed that riders would one day be time trialing the thing. You're all awesome. By the way, I just got done with a 2008 revison of the guidebook. Due to a route change around Ovando, Montana--which added three miles to the route--the official Adventure Cycling mileage is now 2,714 miles.

BIG Respect!

Well done Matthew!
Been watching the blue dots from England, mostly for Alan, but everyone really!!
You're all awesome!
Take care!

It was great fun watching

It was great fun watching Matthew reach the finish line and getting a chance to meet Tim, Hunter and Mike. I wanted to see what someone looks like at the end of the race and now I know. I also now know that it's possible for a passenger to spend two hours continuously talking and snoring in the same breath and what it sounds like to hit BIG jackrabbits at 80mph in a Honda Element.

A friend and I started riding sections of the route in 1999 and just have from Butte north left. By my calculations I'm only 3,342 days behind Matthew's pace. One day we'll finish Other Don!

Welcome home

Congrats on another great ride, Matt. Fantastic race coverage by TD this year made it all the more entertaining for us desk jockies and weekend warriors. The blue dots were much easier to follow than some spreadsheet with town names, times, and asterisks for guys still on course. ZING! See you soon at the Station.

Congrats Matthew

Once again Matthew, congratulations! Cool that you did the whole ride on memory. That's awesome!

Like I said in an earlier post, wish I could have been there at the border with a cold Tecate and fresh lime for you, but still here in Venezuela rooting for you from a distance.

The whole blue dot thing is very cool. It was fun tracking you through the distance, but of course my favorite part is New Mexico. You rode through the heart of my territory starting around the Jemez Mtns north of Cuba, criss-crossing the spine of the CD to the border. I can visualize nearly every mile of that country. I got to live vicariously watching that little blue dot.

You and all the riders participating are a true inspiration...even motivating me to ride a little farther and harder on my morning rides. I really want to do this ride (remember I told you I did the Bikecentennial's pre-cursor back in 1981?).

Congratulations on the first to arrive safely at Antelope Wells, but I consider all the finishers (and starters) winners to take on this great (giant) ride.

Also congrats on you pending fatherhood.


Thanks for being such a great motivator - you are such an inspiration.

the finish

Hey Matt, Great job!! For anyone with doubts about Matt's navigational work I can tell you, firsthand, with absolute certainty that he knows that route better than any other human alive or buffalo for that matter.
Since my withdrawal from the race, to my surprise, I have felt rather content with my choice, it is only now that I feel sadness. Tears don't quite well up in my eyes, but I can feel them. The journey I shared with Matt will forever be in my thoughts.
My choice to participate in this years race was last minute, 12 days prior to be exact, and only two weeks prior to that had it even crossed my mind. If it weren't for Matt having told me that this year might be his last, I would easily have put off the desire till next year. I cannot thank Matt enough for the hospitality he showed me out there. It was as though he welcomed me into a special place in his world. If ever something is a part of a man, this race is a part of Matthew Lee. It truly is inspiring to see and experience such a passion as the one Matt has with this race. At one point I remember Matt saying that this years race (TD) was like a doctoral thesis. To that I can only say congratulations Doctor Lee!!
I would also like to formally apologize to Matt for not having joined him till the end. I guess I will have to contemplate making it up to him with an attempt, next year, at the US record; of course with an official start in Banff that is!!
Thanks Matt for bringing such life into this race, not just for me but for everyone! You have done the right thing with the push to start in Banff.
I would also like to Thank Don for Matt's extrication; it was great to meet you guys in Wyoming and it is even better to hear that you have taken care of my friend!

Reuben Kline

Congrats Matthew

My Dad, brother, cousin, and I met you just outside of Colorado Springs at one of the big creek/river crossings when you were racing in 2005. Since then it's been amazing to follow you and the other racers every year and relive that amazing summer on the GDMBR. I think about it everyday. You guys are a true inspiration.

The Tour United

First of all Matt congrgads. Once again you're king of the hill. I am, to say the least, a novice at this sport. However, throughout the past months your advice kept spurring me along. I would even go so far as to say a passion. It all reverts me back to my childhood- I love riding a bike. I hope I can make one final attempt next June.

Your passion should unite the two tours. Your attention to detail goes beyond words. The leaderboard and blogs (thanks Sherry!) were AWESOME! The first 90 miles of the Canada section is pure mountain biking at its best.

So enjoy your moment. But most of all enjoy your family they deserve your passion most!

The Buffalo Solders Documentary is a must see!

Whoo Hooo!

Matt, you are amazing! Hats off to you once again. Hope you've been able to get a good meal and rest those legs. Can't wait to hear all.

We Love you!

Ben and Rachel


welcome back to 27510 Matt , hope to see you swing by Scott's house for the 4th party, we've got a 80lb. c-dale just waiting for you, i know that is the first thing on yer mind , swinging a leg over a bike,

later on


tour divide 1

well done Matt, well done.


Welcome Home Daddy Matt

Way to beat the due date! You're a star.

Thank you!!

Hi Matt,
Steve McGuire here. Your efforts on behalf of Kidneeds has been exceptional. For you to step in as you did, ride the race the way you did, and pedal with integrity and good cheer is precisely why you are inspirational. I plan to do TD next year post Iowa flood.

TD captures the imagination but your sensibility about the race is accurate and perfectly measured for why folks get on a bike and ride with adventure.

With the greatest respect,

HA Ha!

Ha Ha, you got a kid now!


Congrats Matt and thank you again for making great memories for my son. Great ride.
DiAnne 1

Matt, Way to are

Way to are amazing! Just want to send out a quick congrats...looking forward to your Indian Jones / Buffalo Soldier clips on the film.

Glad the baby waited for the real work begins ;o)
Kelli (Mike Dion's Sister)

Questions on your bike setup...?


Cannondale must be thrilled to be sponsoring you !
I am curious as to your bike setup. I'm considering purchasing a C'Dale 29'er myself and am wondering what size to get. I'm 5: 10" with normal proportion arms/legs/torso.....I'm told I could use either a Medium or Large frame. How tall are you and what size frame are you running ? .......and while I'm at it.....hard to tell from the AW picture but what's your preference for bar ends ???

Thanks again !

Oxford, CT.

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