Have to admit that I tend to think too much. I worry, stress and fidget constantly. Often I wish and sometimes I try to make that energy go somewhere positive, instead of the dark hole of procrastination.
Sitting back and watching this years Tour Divide go down has been a real test for me. I wanted to race it this year, I really did, but I didn’t do enough homework, i.e. training, I didn’t save enough money, I simply didn’t keep it in the front of my mind enough to keep it in front of a long list of priorities. Even for a seasoned veteran, one can not just show up and have things fall into place
Also have to say that this year’s pace is just scorching. It is the pace I wanted to roll with last year and failed to so with after the first 5 days. I can not help but think, over and over again, that maybe I’m done. I’m not sure I could hold that sort of pace, sitting back and watching those dots fly through some very familiar terrain, I just don’t know if I could sustain that punishment.
With these thoughts I fly off onto many tangents. Why do I need to be out there, have I not gone out and accomplished what I wanted to? What do I still need to prove to myself or the rest of the world? Is my ego so fragile and un-fullfilled that I feel the need to keep proving myself, to keep jumping into the “Dot-Spotlight”? I keep thinking and thinking about what is important to me, what do I want from this life and why does this damn race not leave me be???
I keep hearing peeps tell me, “Next Year”. I keep thinking, Next Year! Yet again I wonder, do I want to dedicate myself, so much energy, hours and hours of training, every spare dollar I don’t really have and stress out myself and my loved ones all over again, just to be out there again? Why is the pull of this ride so damn strong? Why can’t I simply move on and live life in another direction?
The beauty of this all is that, it really doesn’t matter. I have come to realize that life is big and beautiful and there are so many paths to take and some of them seem really fun and bad ass. I have such a wonderful set of possibilities surrounding me. Out walking tonight with Rachel and the Dog Pack, the setting sun lighting up the sky, it is hard to not see endless positive choices. Living, Loving, Growing, Playing. Good solid stuff to think about for sure……then again, there is always Next Year!!!
I can tell you that as a spectator, the Tour Divide captures my imagination, and it inspires me more than any other kind of MTB event. My entire adult life has been filled with work and responsibility, and very little time and money for recreation. I managed to put together a halfway decent singlespeed mountain bike about 7 years ago, and I can only manage to ride it about 3 days a week for an hour or two at a time. I know it’s not a lot, but it’s all I can do, and I’m okay with that.
I first learned of the Tour Divide in 2011, the year that you almost won it on your singlespeed. I had never even heard of bike-packing before, and the idea of you guys rinding unsupported from Canada to Mexico literally boggled my mind. This wasn’t just a race to me. It was high adventure, and all of you riders were like great explorers.
I began following the little blue dots on the map, clicking on the leaders, and seeing what kinds of bikes they were riding. When I learned that you were leading the pack on a singlespeed, I couldn’t help but get excited. I have been following the race every year since.
Last year was a tough race. You guys got hammered by the weather. Who knows how much quicker you would have finished if it wasn’t for that.
I was transfixed by the Divide back when it was just the Great Divide Race and Mike C and Pete B crushed it in a way I didn’t think possible. Back in 2011 I wasn’t sure I could pull it off at all, was pretty sure I would be calling for help and getting a ride home. So it was a huge surprise when I was able to keep up with the leaders and even take the lead for a while. Made me realize that anything is possible and I have been trying to live that ever since, everything is possible. But the truth is sometimes what is possible is actually a ton of hard work, dedication and sacrifice and that is the hardest part in many ways.
Sometimes I wish I could just race and race and race and either build up momentum for this sort of thing or burn out and walk away. Life happens and it is all good, but it does de-rail your plans at times. A good chunk of racing the divide is mind set and life style, I tend to work too much and that does not help.
Right now I am thinking “next year”, but who knows……
Thanks SO much for reading and commenting, means a lot, it really does!!!!
You got nothing to prove in the endurance world man! We all know how GREAT of an athlete you are and inspire a lot of us. Probably more than you know.
We all need a little push now and then to get us out there and keep us pushing. I have a great many people that have done so for me and I am very grateful, still it takes some time to find your grove again.
Thanks for reading
The race this year was indeed fast. However…. Not to minimize anyone’s monumental efforts this year, I do believe that your effort in last years conditions was record setting. Your drive and push during last years race was a major inspiration for me. When I’d have a negative thought this year it often helped to remember what it was like for all of us last year. At that point I’d smile and just pedal harder.
Thanks for being such an inspiration on and off the bike.
I have to respectfully disagree with you. The pace was outrageously fast this year and your effort was awesome, amazing stuff indeed! Who knows if we all would have been faster last year if the weather had not been so tough the first 4+ days, maybe, but the wild thing about the TD is the weather is always different and always a huge variable.
Watching you guys fly down that ribbon through the mountains was difficult and also inspiring. Pretty sure I’m gonna be back next year for another go at it, with me I’ll carry the energy of many good people that make me want to never give up trying. Thanks for the show this year, it was a TD to be remembered!