TD Race Updates

MTBCast: Erik Lobeck called in from Lima

Erik Lobeck called in from Lima. He busted a rear D and had some other mechanical issues and caught a ride to Lima.

Weather Warning

Alan Goldsmith has passed on some more detailed info about the state of the weather at the head of the race and in Helena. He got it from the bikepacking discussion board – I recommend people have a look as it’s more up to date and comprehensive than I can be, and the conditions are such that riders should be made aware of them as much as possible so they don’t end up getting into trouble.

The gist of it was that there’s been record daily rainfall in Helena, and snow and freezing conditions south of Wise River. To put it another way, there’s a serious risk of hypothermia if people aren’t fully kitted out for the conditions – many racers won’t be.

Also, Erik Lobeck’s bike is broken – first the front derailleur, then the back and the chain. He’s waiting in Lima for repairs.


Paul Howard


Two Wheels on My Wagon

The rain in Montana falls mainly on the racers

Wow. So the weather and general wear and tear are beginning to really have an impact. You’ll be able to hear from the MTBcast that we’re now down to 35 racers, and several of those are beginning to sound a little glum.

And, sorry to say, the forecast offers little sign of immediate respite. Wise River and Lima are predicted to have a 70% chance of precipitation today, with the possibility of it falling as snow on higher ground, by which they mean around 7,500 feet. Looking at the ACA maps, this includes Mount Fleecer, Crystal Park and the Medicine Lodge-Sheep Creek Divide. So it’s likely to be wet and cold. Perfect cycling conditions then.

Or not. Consider Matthew Lee. He looks to have arrived late into Lima having set off from near Polaris quite early. In fact, he took longer for a shorter distance than I did last year. Obviously, I’d like to say that was due to me being superfit, but the reality is he finished the race ten days ahead of me, so it must be the conditions that have slowed him down (and they were far from enjoyable when I was there). They can be summed up in one word, of course: MUD.

Similarly, Erik Lobeck seems to have been forced to stop two or three hours outside town, in spite of having apparently caught up with Matthew at one point yesterday. It must be gruelling.

Then again, Eric Bruntjen had a blinder, riding from Helena through to Wise River to move into the group of riders now tied in fourth place. His last call in said he was feeling rough with a chest cold – the other racers better hope he doesn’t start to feel fully fit. Read more »

MTBCast: Episode TD Day 6

MTBCast: No word from the leaders today but three more pull out! Brett Foster is out with a torn quad, Reid Christiansen is out with a leg injury, and Jeff Kerby has an epiphany and heads home.

The MP3 cast is here!
Though please use the RSS link or iTunes!

MTBCast: Tom Moriarty called in from Helena

Tom Moriarty called in from Helena. This call is short and possibly cut short.

MTBCast: Devian Gilbert called in from Lincoln

Devian Gilbert called in with a recap from Lincoln.

Minor note: Double podcasts now deleted

About a dozen podcasts in the line-up were duplicates. ...Not any more! So the Race Updates queue is now a bit shorter, if you were wondering. 

MTBCast: Shawn Sheppard called in from Lincoln

Shawn Sheppard gives a recap from Lincoln.

Attention any friends/families of racers dropping out

I'm trying to get a different SPOT unit to Shawn Sheppard, who has been having problems with his (he is the lone rider still showing in Banff on the tracker).

I just spoke to him.  He is in Lincoln, and could pick up a new SPOT in Helena or Butte, maybe at Great Divide Cyclery or the Outdoorsman bike shops, respectively.  If someone happens to be scratching in either of those towns or heading back that way, both Shawn, his wife and myself would greatly appreciate it if you could pass your SPOT onto him.  I'm sure either of those shops would be happy to hold onto one until he gets there.

Thanks.  Drop me an email at if you think you can help.

MTBCast: Forest Baker called in from Butte

Forest Baker called in to give a recap from Butte. Eric Nelson is with him.