Tour Divide Blog 2008

Matthew Lee biking through the Storms

Racer update about:
Hi, Matthew Lee calling here from Grants, NM. Its 10 after 5, I think its Monday. I just pulled into town. I’m at the Grocery store resupplying. I forget what an interesting town Grants is. True Americana. Welding shops on every corner. Fireworks stands. Dilapidated buildings. Pretty depressed. But for some reason, I like it. Anyway, I had some really tough head winds coming into town. There are monsoonal type storms working their way north daily now, and they are causing trouble. I’m working through those. I was hoping to be in Pie Town tonight but that is still 70 miles away so I’ll probably be sleeping on the Pie Town road. Alright, Hope everyone else is doing well. Cheers. (recorder time: 2008-06-30 18:17:45 EST)

"One of the most grueling bike races on the planet"

Recently, there has been a lot of coverage beyond our blog on the race. Here is an update: Yesterday, the Steamboard Pilot & Today ran an article about the Tour Divide and featured three of our racers, Leighton White, Dominik Scherer, and Alan Goldsmith. Also, over the past few days, MTBR user MarkInTheBoat has posted trail pictures of Matt Lee and Reuben Klein and Alan Goldsmith and Dominik Scherer. Former racer leader Reuben Klein has also sent in some photos of his ankles and knees, as he indicated he would in his final call-in. Reuben mentioned that he believes he messed up his ankle while hiking through the snow, making his attempt the second victim of the deep snows.

Andy Buchanan, is that you?

Racer update about:
As you know, Andy had to pull out due to illness in Big Fork. So imagine my delight to see that he is back on the trail this morning in Rawlins. Looks like he might be riding with Stephen Gleasner. I immediately e-mailed Kevin and Joe to see if they knew if he was back. Well, we don't have anything definite but his blue spot dot is on track. Andy, if that is you, be sure to call in and keep us posted. I'll add to your blog entries. Happy trails. Sherry O.

Alan Goldsmith Says "Two Meals are Better than One"

Hi this is Alan Goldsmith. Its 20 past 1 on Monday and we are in Del Norte. We just had a big feed at the Organic Peddler. Stop there. Its just on the way out of town. Its a different world. Very good. I think we just spent 50 bucks each, on breakfast, lunch, sandwiches to go, plus some trail food. I don't think they could quite believe it. Anyway, it was a long morning, 63 miles before breakfast, but no miles between breakfast and lunch. You win some and loose some. We were on Cochetopa Pass last night, up at 10,000 feet. Beautiful campground but unfortunately it rained. Bit nippy this morning. Good to have a downhill to start with for once. Now, we've got a big uphill. Indiana Pass. Which I guess it is the highest pass of the trip. It looks like there is a big old storm brewing as is usual in the afternoon. I guess we’ll have the obligatory headwind as well. I think we are looking to make it up to the cabins that way on Ellwood on the top of Indiana. Who knows what might happen. Looks like there might be a bit of sitting around waiting for it to stop lighting on us. Ok, bye. (recorder time: 2008-06-30 14:22:28 EST)

Dominik Scherer headed to Indiana Pass

Racer update about:
Hello this is Dominik Scherer here. Its Monday, 30th of June, its quarter past 1. We are here in Del Norte. We are just about heading out to Indiana Pass. See how far we get. Maybe we will sleep up there in hut or we can make if over to Stoner and down to Platoro. We'll see how it goes. So far it is pretty good. Very, very good food here in Del Norte. Organic Peddler cafe restaurant something. Very, good, very good food. My belly is full. I'm not going to make it up Indiana Pass, I think. All you people out there be good. This one goes to the family. Rest of Message in German (recorder time: 2008-06-30 14:17:03 EST)

Adrian Stingaciu gives a ride to a Dragonfly

Racer update about:
Hi this is Adrian Stingaciu calling in from Sargents, CO on Monday, June 30th at 12:36 p.m. Yesterday, I has a phenomenal day. My best day ever. Started out near (not sure exactly). Woke up next to the bike path there in about 39 degree Fahrenheit. Rode through the morning through a couple of towns there. Climbed up to Boreas Pass with a guy I met on the road, Todd. We descended down to Como together and got something to eat there. After that I pushed on. Got caught in a very superb thunderstorm with lots of hail. As I was riding through the thunderstorm, I noticed something hanging off my hat. I thought my hat was falling apart cause everything has been falling apart at the seams, my shorts, my gloves and I thought my hat was falling apart too. As I looked cross-eyed, I noticed that there was a dragonfly hanging off my hat bill trying to get out of the rain. Really special day. Moments like that I am reminded that all life is just as important as my own. All life is precious. All life is sacred. I was able to get out of the storm when I jumped over a fence and went into private property and went into a barn. The dragonfly dried off its wings. I dried off my jacket. An hour later I was back on the road. Went to Salida. I descended into Salida at night just in time to order some spaghetti with marina before the kitchen closed. Unfortunately, they made it with cheese and I refused to eat it. Even I have principles. I ended up just getting 3 loaves of bread from Safeway. Ate a loaf and half last night for dinner and another loaf and half this morning for breakfast. Push on now, looks like thunderstorms are building up again, but I don’t think they’ll get me today. Good luck to everybody else. Lots of love and hugs for everyone back home. (recorder time: 2008-06-30 13:38:34 EST)

Mary Collier Gets her Game Back

Racer update about:
Hey its Mary Collier. Its Monday, June 30th. Its about 8:30 in the morning. I'm still in town. I got here at about 1 am after pulling that pass last night. The pass actually wasn't terrible. My mental game was just absolutely horrible yesterday. The last few days have been great. I had a 110, 120, then 140 mile day trying to get caught up on some ground. However, that 140 put me into camp real late the night before last. About 25 miles down the road from Rawlins. Part of that was just trying to get ahead a little for yesterday, knowing I had this pass coming into Steamboat with all this snow on it. Knowing about that Pass caused a bit of stress. Yesterday, I almost quit. Yesterday, I made it to the CO border and then turned around backwards on the route a mile and went to a campground to call home to tell Brendan I was quiting. My mental game was just so messed up yesterday. It was rough, stress was building. Fortunately, he is always wonderful. He talked me through it and told me to push over that Pass. Get to Steamboat and see how I feel. Now I feel like a million bucks. Just getting to Steamboat. Being to bed, taking a shower. I was just so disguishing. I hadn't have a shower in four days. I know that to the guys that doesn't sound like much. But it was rough, it was a rough day, but I pushed through it. I'm still in the game.. As you can see from my mileage the last two days, my body is still in the game. My legs are back. Actually I feel pretty darn strong. So this morning I'm going to get some bike work. I've got few minor maintenance things I need to take care with my bike. Take some time to load up on some food, recover just little bit and call it a short day. Thanks everyone for listening and for caring and helping me push through all of this. I'm in CO, Steamboat. Its frickin' amazing. (recorder time: 2008-06-30 09:57:07 EST)

Update: Monday 30th @ 6am

Update: Monday 30th @ 6am Matt Lee still leads Ardie Olson into the final state, the weather and early trailblazing causing both to slow. Almost over the last major pass are four racers within reaching distance of each other- at the speed that Leighton White seems to possess at the moment, a call to someone in the know and a long night, could see him catch Dominik Scherer and Alan Goldsmith. For some it has been hot, for some lightning and rain storms will have made its impact- turning Colorado in to a mudpool. The race allows the use of paved sections in New Mexico where large stretches of sticky mud quickly foul drivetrains and can break bikes as several riders have found. By Alex Field

Felix Wong and his Smoother Ride

Racer update about:
Hi this is Felix Wong calling on Sunday, June 29th at 6:54pm. I’m in Silverthorne, CO. Yesterday, I stopped in Steamboat at the Orange Peel bike shop. The guys, Zack and Esom (sp) did an awesome job repairing my bike. They put on new tires, new brake pads, new cables, and even cleaned the bike. The bike rides like new. It is amazing how much smoother it is riding. How much smoother it shifts. How much easier it is to push the shift levers. When I press the brake levers, the bike actually slows pretty well now. So that’s been a joy.. The bike even seems faster. Ever since Steamboat, I’ve been feeling pretty good. The days before that I wasn’t feeling so strong, but my legs are coming back. Yesterday, was a pretty short day for me especially since I got a little lost after Steamboat, that is kind of a long story. I only road 62 miles yesterday. I called it a day early. I woke up early today and started riding about 6AM and here I am in Silverthorne. I actually got here about 20 minutes ago. Encountered a local named Dave who rode with me for a little bit. Great guy. He met Leighton yesterday. We chatted for a little bit. Before that it seemed like most of the day, I was going up hill. It was good that my legs were feeling good. I also encountered John, the leader of the Great Divide race which started a week after the Tour Divide. He seemed to be doing well. He ran into me when I was about to ford a 2’ deep river. I was actually in the river testing the water and there he came up. It was good to see him. Otherwise, it has been a great day. Spectacular scenery. CO is an awesome state. I’m glad I live here. I’m looking forward to seeing more of it. I’m going to press on more tonight. I’ll talk to you later. Bye. (recorder time: 2008-06-29 19:58:54 EST)

No Thai for Stephen Gleasner

Racer update about:
Steve Gleasner in Rawlins. Its about 5 o’clock on Sunday. I was recommended a Thai restaurant when I was coming into town by some hikers who were heading out on the trail. So I had a whole thing in my head going on for the past 20 miles out there in 90 degree heat coming off the blacktop about Thai food and how that would be really fine. . Thai food is closed on Sunday and so is everything else I try to do. I finally got at Pita roll-up and that seemed to suffice, but it wasn’t Thai. Going to wait out the heat a little bit then get a couple more miles. Wait for it to cool off and camp down the road. Until next time, bye. (recorder time: 2008-06-29 17:54:54 EST)