Montana Hilton

Time and call-ins have revealed more. Shawn Sheppard is not still in Banff, even though his blue dot is. He is, in fact, recovering from stomach issues in Eureka, where he’s being kept company by at least Jim Helms, Jeff Kerby, Tony Huston, Tom Santacroce and Suzanne Marcoe. They may seem a long way behind the leaders but, as Kent ‘Mountain Turtle’ Peterson alluded to in his latest call in, slow and steady may yet win the race; or at least get to the end of the race. I was also in Eureka after 3 days last year and finished in 27.


Bob Moczynski would likely have been with them had it not been for his unfortunate, collar-breaking fall on the descent from Galton Pass. Let’s hope he’s safely home now and recovers quickly. Another rider has pulled the plug – Bob Marr, due to respiratory issues – and many more are beginning to reveal sore knees, dodgy tummies, general fatigue and creaking bikes, all of which may have the unfortunate consequence of causing people to pack.


It should not be forgotten that the attrition rate in the Tour Divide is high – last year there were only 16 official finishers, and only 21 made it to Antelope Wells, out of 42 starters. Which of the riders have already pushed themselves too far and will not recover, and which have started slowly but will pick up speed remains to be seen, of course, but both scenarios are likely to be repeated several times during the race.


Meanwhile, at the front, both Matthew Lee and Eric Lobeck have crossed Richmond Peak. Was it as difficult and snow-covered as might be expected given the extra snow earlier in the route? Both sound chipper in their call-ins, Eric in spite of having had little appetite so far and having also survived a night in what Steve McGuire christened a Montana Hilton - otherwise known as an outhouse. They now have some easier riding until after Lincoln, as well the pleasure of passing through Ovando – ‘population about 50, dogs more than 100’. Then it gets rough again, and navigation can also be a significant challenge.


Behind, the chasing pack is beginning to split further, though it’s good to hear the riders still having fun in spite of their fast pace. What, for example, is the HAFE that is keeping David Goldberg and his companions so entertained?


Paul Howard


Two Wheels on My Wagon


Montana Hilton

Paul, you are doing a great job of recapping this year's race. Keep it up.

Love reading the posts

Love reading the posts especially with your shared insights.

Phil Fogg

Glad to hear he made it to Whitefish. Keep it going son. EPF

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