I am Torn.

Have been obsessively planning, training, sewing, living and working towards my goal of racing the Tour Divide. It is no secret that this ride, this race has sort of taken over my life as it does to many who can not escape the gravity of this event.

I am hungry for this experience once again.

To sink deep into that wonderful mode of living, breathing, eating and traveling on the bike. A simple existence that is defined by finding food, water, shelter and the strength and motivation to ride as many miles as one can. The last time I did the TD was one of the best times of my life. Miles and miles of back roads down the spine of America. So many great people, gorgeous sunsets and personal highs.

In 2011 it snowed all spring. Most of us who road the Tour Divide that summer missed some good sized chunks of the course due to snow that didn’t melt out for weeks after we passed through. I really really want to see those high and wild places. A good part of my drive to return is to do just that, ride the whole course.

There is also the drive and desire within me to push myself. To bump up against and perhaps go beyond my own limits. I want to go faster. I know I can do it and have been training hard in attempt to do just that. Honestly I would love to give a go at the record.

Thing is mother nature is in charge of many aspects of the Divide. Instead of melting, it is still snowing up in the high country. It could warm up and begin to melt, but the snowpack is deep in many places along the route, many of the same places I missed last time.

Conversely, it is looking like another dry hot winter and spring in New Mexico. That could mean fire closures along the route by the time we roll through in June.

All this leaves me torn. After putting in so much preparation it seems impossible to resist the calling of my quest. Yet with the given conditions, my dreams of seeing the unseen parts of the route and testing myself, are slipping away.

It leaves me wondering. Do I wait a year? Do an Individual Time Trail in the fall? Carry on and race anyways. Not sure I want to do another Tour Divide full of reroutes. It is just too expensive an endeavor to do lightly. When I sit around and think about it, I lean towards bowing out. Out on a bike ride I instead think, just go race, who knows when the whole course will be raced 100%? Tough choices, none perfect.

Although it is frustrating, I am reminded that we are blessed to have such quandaries to think upon. For now guess I just keep training….

2 thoughts on “Torn

  1. I to would like to complete the entire route. That’s mostly why I toy with a NB start (but more to help avoid fire closures than snow up north) But for me, at the end of the day, it’s the ‘race’ regardless of detours that truly draws me.
    Just my view, but from following your blog I can’t see you turning your back on all your TDR training. Best wishes to you for some calm deliberations and a final, firm decision that doesn’t leave you second guessing.

    • Hello Marshal, Yeah I am 90% sure I’ll tow the line, feel like I have already taken a big step, or perhaps leap. into the TD water. I have pondered going NB, but not sure that extra week will see much more snow melt, but may in fact help with the fire issues. I really like the traditional Grand Depart, feels more like a race and yes I want to race. Makes one realize how wild of a ride it really is from Banff to Mexico, or vice versa. So many variables, so large a change in climate, so hard to know when to go, guess I am not so great at picking my years. Yet how many years has the “Race” done the whole course, one out of three? Oh well it will still be an amazing ride up or down the “Spine”. Hope to see you out there and thanks for reading!

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