sherry's blog

Sherry's Last Blog

This is Sherry Olson. Now that all of the race is complete, I'm signing off. I enjoyed typing the blogs and getting to know the racers along their journey. It kept me involved as I missed my husband, Ardie, while he was racing. Thanks to everyone who helped me during this process, especially, Joe Polk from MTBCAST and Derek Moore from SPOT. I biked the trail from Banff to Antelope Wells in 2007 and it was great reliving parts of it as the race reports came in. The trail is great, the Tour Divide Race is great and there was a great community of racers who took part in 2008. Take care, Sherry O.

Mary Metcalf-Collier Finishes under 30 Days

Racer update about:

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.

(recorder time: 2008-07-13 14:09:06 EST)

Stephen Gleasner Makes his Goal and is Headed Home to his Family

Racer update about:

Hello Steve Gleasner calling in from El Paso Airport. I finished this morning at Antelope Wells 3:37. It had rained on the Hwy 81 just before we took off to go there, the road was wet and the toads were sitting in the warm water. Parade of cactus, moonscapes, clouds moving and these toads looking at us instead of cows for once. They call it the lonely highway, I believe. It goes on for the longest flattest stretch certainly that I have ridden for the last month. It was wonderful to decompress going down that highway and it was wonderful to be done this morning. I could not have done this without Illya my wife, Clark and Meg. This gift is huge. What you have done is at least as hard as what I’ve done. I just want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to do this thing. It means a lot of me. I’ll figure out what exactly that is as the future unfolds. The race was all I could have asked for and more. It will be filtering through my brain for as long as I live. I feel honored to follow the tire tracks that I’ve followed. I feel honored to have rubbed elbows with the racers that I rubbed elbows with. I’ll write more about it in the future as I sort it out. I’m flying home to see my family. Looking forward to being back in ME and especially seeing Illya, Clark and Meg. Down the Road., this is Steve Gleasner. Chow.

(recorder time: 2008-07-13 09:50:01 EST)

Mary Metcalf-Collier ~ Just one All Nighter Away from the Finish

Racer update about:

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.

(recorder time: 2008-07-12 14:04:45 EST)

Stephen Gleasner tanking up with Rocket Fuel for the Final Stretch

Racer update about:
Hello this is Steve Gleasner. Running Sweep. Its Saturday about 12:20. I’m Silver City. It is a fine day. Looks like a good to push through. I’ve got some DQ food in me. Mocha Moolata. Satisfying ice cream experience. For those of you keeping track if I’m satisfied or not with my ice cream, this was a good experience. Wasn’t spilled or ruined in any way, shape or form. I’m going to stock up on some groceries. I’m going to try that JATO Rocket Booster Kit again from Acme and see if it gets me to the Border. I feel like I have a little bit of energy today. Going to try to leave it all trailside. We are down the road Next call will probably be Antelope Wells whenever I can get there. Down the road. Bye, bye. (recorder time: 2008-07-12 13:25:25 EST)

More Final Thoughts from Felix Wong (3 calls)

Racer update about:

Hi this is Felix Wong with Part II of the Final Thoughts. So I’m in Antelope Wells. I’m going to take a shuttle up to Lordsburg. Hopefully be back in Fort Collins in no more than 2-3 days. It is probably going to take 2 days by Greyhound. Now its time for me to detox and rehabilitate. The race has definitely taken a toll on my body. I’m not just talking about the very unfashionable tan lines that I have gotten but also the amazing amount of junk food that I consumed. As I had promised in my letter of intent, I did consumed more processed food in the race that I had all year. In fact, I think I consumed more processed foods during the race than I had in last three years. One thing I was completely wrong about in my letter of intent was being prepared for monsoons and thunderstorms. I was completely and inadequately prepared. I always thought that the snow and the cold would be my nemesis. It was certainly the rain and all of the mud it caused. Of course, the race presented numerous other challenges including the snow, downed trees, sections that were death traps because they are so exposed and we had to traverse over them without any ice axe, crazy climbs. But again the course amazingly beautiful, going by all of the mountains, through the small towns. I believe the largest town we went through was Butte, MT. MT largest town which only has about 30,000 people. Most of the towns only had a few hundred people some even less like that joke of a town, Pie Town. I still can’t believe there was nothing there. Anyhow, its been an amazing journey. One I will definitely remember for the rest of my life. I’m glad you got to share in this experience, watching on the internet. I hope it was as exciting for you as for me. I promise to write all of you back as soon as possible. Take care, next time I report….

(recorder time: 2008-07-11 09:39:31 EST) Read more »

Felix Wong Final Call In and Post-Race Thoughts (2 calls)

Racer update about:

Hi this Felix Wong calling on Friday, July llth at 8:23 am. Yesterday when I departed Silver City at 4 AM, I was expecting a great day but it certainly did not come in the morning. When I reached the very sandy trail, there was yet another monsoon, pouring rain, lots of fog. I was making very slow progress even though my legs were feeling good. The low point was certainly when I swore I was lost and off course because I was not seeing a number of landmarks noted on the map. As it turned out I was actually on course, but for me to figure that out I had to backtrack 3 ½ miles until I encountered a windmill and corrals which were enshrouded in fog earlier in the morning. That was actually quite a joyous moment for me but means that I lost about an hour or hour and half by needlessly backtracking. When I got to pavement it was another moment of joy, from there, which was about another 70 miles, I pretended it was time trail in say a half-ironman triathlon. I just cranked away, pretty much did not stop even though it was another monsoon, which this time at least I was on payment it did not bother me. All it did, it helped clean up my bike for photos. It did result in yet another squeaky chain. Because I has used all of my chain lube in the morning thinking it would be me to the end I resorted to using the oil of Vitamin E capsules to lubricate my chain for the last 30 miles, thereby becoming the first Tour Divide racer to feed his bicycle vitamins. Probably the first cyclist in the world to do so. That is how much I love my bike. Anyhow here I am. I’m in Antelope Wells. I actually arrived yesterday, Thursday, July 10th at 8:37 p.m. I was filled with …………….

(recorder time: 2008-07-11 09:28:08 EST) Read more »

Leighton White's Post Race Thoughts

Racer update about:
Hey everybody. Leighton White calling from Great Sand Dunes National Park in CO. You probably heard from Adrian, Alan and Dominik about the finish. Pretty fantastic to catch up to those guys and I was definitely honored to finish with them. Alan and Dominik are very strong riders. Pretty cool to hang with them the last few days and finish up. We got picked up by my girlfriend. Then Alan, Dominik and I went back to Silver City, had a great dinner there, hung out at the hotel and then we drove back to Lordsburg and dropped Alan off at the greyhound so he can catch his plane. Took Dominik to Albuquerque. He had about a week to ago and he is actually still with us. Toured through Santa Fe, Talus and going to hit Salida tomorrow. Then we are dropping him off in Pueblo so he can catch a greyhound to Albuquerque and catch a flight out. He and I have been talking. It seems like we didn’t even do the race. It seems like it was ages ago. Bodies are recovering pretty well. The bike needs a complete fork warranty. I need some new brake pads. I rode about 60 miles from Grants to Pie Town area without brakes one day. Burned through the rear brake. Took the front out put it in the rear and burned through it so I was running without brakes. Then I decided in the Gila I should cobble together two of the pads and at least run a rear brake. Thankfully it got me through the Gila and made to Antelope Wells. Definitely wanted to thank Matt and Kevin for doing the SPOT thing. I think that added a lot to the race to everybody’s enjoyment. My brother called, left a message on my phone and said he watched my spot finish. I had friends tracking me. I think it got a lot of people involved. Definitely a really cool thing. I’d just like to thank everybody for following us. It was definitely a really cool experience. Don’t know if I’ll do it again. Thanks. Get out and ride. Take care. Bye. (recorder time: 2008-07-10 20:03:53 EST)

Mary Metcalf-Collier says "It's Huge, It's Awesome, It's Super, Super Cool"

Racer update about:

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.

(recorder time: 2008-07-10 14:34:33 EST)

There is Pie in Pie Town Today

Racer update about:
Hello this is Steve Gleasner calling in from Pie Town, its about 1:30 on Thursday. I hear that there is some weather coming up. Record flooding Silver City and so forth. I’m trying to ignore that information because it is not very helpful. We are about to head out. Mary is with me. We are having lunch at the Pie O’Neer Café. This is an unusual treat. We were kind of expecting that we weren’t going to get Pie, but we are getting Pie. Down the road right after this. Trying to make as much time by the time weather comes. My goal is to be on a plane on Saturday, at 6PM flying out of El Paso. So I’m trying to crank it up to get that done. Its going to be tight even with good weather. Not sure what is going to happen, but I’ll keep you apprised as to my situation. Down the Road. (recorder time: 2008-07-10 14:27:06 EST)