Matthew Lee

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.

Update: Thursday 3rd of July @ 7am

Racer update about:
Update: Thursday 3rd of July @ 7am Matthew Lee is the 2008 Tour Divide winner, but we are still waiting on his finishing time. The rest are moving well through wind, mud, lightning and hail with Mary Collier and Stephen Gleasner still to come over Indiana Pass, the last big climb in Colorado. Leighton White and Adrian Stingaciu have caught Domenik Scherer and Alan Goldsmith, but it is uncertain whether they are all riding together after Dominik split his rear rim. Dominik has had offers of help from Albuquerque and Tuscon, but he is raring to get it finished. Racers seem to get a lift riding into New Mexico, the final state, a quater left with no more major climbs. You can be sure that they are counting off the rest of the climbing feet to go, most only now realising that they may finish this thing after all. by Alex Field

Matthew Lee Making the Final Push

Racer update about:
Hey there Matthew Lee at the Beaverhead Work Center. It is 8:40. I'm going to continue riding and try to get to the rim of the black canyon and dispose of a few more of the 45 miles of the Gila that I have left. So that I can hopefully finish before dark tomorrow, if everything goes well. So that's my story. More rain today. Soft roads, but not very hot. The trade off is there. Ok. Hope everybody else is doing well. that's all. Bye. (recorder time: 2008-07-01 21:41:31 ES)

Matthew Lee enjoying pie in Pie Town

Racer update about:
Hey, Matthew Lee calling in post-breakfast from The Daily Pie Café in Pie Town. It's about 10:22 on Tuesday. Rueben, I just wanted to tell you that I ate your piece of pie and mine. I figured you would want it that way. It's good to be here although I’m sad that Nita, the Toaster lady, is out of town. I had really hoped to see her. Today I hope to finish with the Gila National Forest. I expect it to be as mentally challenging as anything I’ve faced so far. Usually I hit it fresh so we’ll see out it goes. My guess is that I will be pretty wrecked by the time I reach Silver City. I’d like to say Congrats to my sister Amy with her new 10 lb baby and tell my own baby-momma, Katie, due with our baby boy (and future Tour Divide racer) in just a couple of weeks to hold on a bit longer. I’ll be back in NC as soon as I can. That’s all for now. Bye. (recorder time: 2008-07-01 11:23:26 EST)

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.

Matthew Lee checkin' in from El Rito

Racer update about:
Hey TD Racer Matthew Lee here. 9:45, Sunday the 29th. I’m in El Rito. I knocked out the Brazos yesterday. But not without a lot of hiking. I got caught up in a storm. Seems to have been a pretty wide spread storm reached all the way down here it looks like. At least it is cool today for the time being. The trail is soft and but its not so hot. Trade-offs, I suppose. Anyway, I’m moving on to Cuba today and see how far I can get on the ByPass to Grants in the evening hours. Cheers, bye. (recorder time: 2008-06-29 08:28:59 EST)

Matthew Lee having a Good Day

Racer update about:
Hey there Tour Divide tifosi. Matthew Lee here in Platoro, CO, the last stop before NM. I'm sitting in the Sky Line Lodge resupplying before the long stretch to Abiquiu with no services. Looks like it is going to be a good day today. Its probably going to get hot, but that is to be expected. Finished a gorgeous stretch through Southern CO and the South San Juans. Definitely may favorite in CO. Sorry to see it go but better things to come. Hope everyone else is feeling good and riding strong. Bye. (recorder time: 2008-06-28 09:43:56 EST)

Matthew Lee on the Final Stretch

Racer update about:
Hey here Matthew Lee calling from Poncha Springs. Its Thursday the 26th around 3:50. I just left Salida. I'm at the gas station grabbing some snacks before climbing up Marshall Pass. Big thanks to Absolute Bikes for taking good care of me and cleaning everything up for the final stretch. I will say that I miss Reuben's companionship. I haven't heard yet what he has decided to do. Hopefully he is pressing on, maybe tomorrow morning. So anyway yeah final stretch here. Starting feeling a little tired. The rough was definetly tough this year. Looking forward to the Mexican Border. Ok, cheers.

Matthew Lee Struggles with Bike Mechanical in Desert but Pushes On

Racer update about:
Hey Sports Fans. Matthew Lee here. I'm in Rawlins. The beauty of WY. I'm getting ready to head out with Reuben. We caught up last night kinda late. I rolled into town around 11 o'clock after spending a couple of hours in the desert dealing with a mechanical. It was kinda brutal, but all is good. We pressing on to Steamboat Springs. OK, later. (recorder time: 2008-06-23 10:42:43 EST.)