Another Tour Divide starts tomorrow morning. Sometimes I act like I don’t know, like I haven’t been paying attention to my Facebook feed or the date for that matter. Fact is, for many of us the 2nd Friday in June will always carry some significance. A shining beacon in the night, good or bad, like it or not, it can not be ignored.
People ask me all the time what big races am I going to do this year? Usually I have some sort of answer that makes me crack a smile. Right now, I cringe while trying to keep the smile on my lips from fading and tell them not this year. If they seem interested, I tell them about surgery on my hand/wrist and that I am not really riding much. In fact I can barely ride 15 miles without catching myself riding one handed. At least I can ride and for that I am grateful, not riding was not fun. I try to be positive yet I have to admit I fucking hate it. I miss riding and racing with almost the same demand of thirst.
As many of us know quite well, once the TD gets in your blood, it never really leaves you alone. My 2011 ride was such a dream that I wanted to go back so bad. Every year I wanted to be out there, it just takes too much freaking time, energy and money. So yeah, life sure does get in the way and it took me till 2014 to get out there. That year was a mess, the weather sucked and I had fallen down a wormhole of believing that I had to win, set a record, and prove myself a contender. I counted every second and minute that year and I simply didn’t have as much fun.
Ever since I have wanted to be out there. Again, life does not always say yes. Since 2014 I’ve gotten to ride a decent amount and race a bit with even a couple CTR’s thrown in there. Still no matter what, to some degree the TD haunts me. I feel so connected and powerfully drawn to it, yet it seems to drift farther and farther away. Sometimes I fear that life will complicate itself too much to ever get back out there again.
Why all these words? The easy answer is why not, right? The better answer is that we are so damn lucky to get the opportunities that we get. I mean, here I am complaining about only getting to race the Divide twice. What an amazing privilege, what an opportunity for an experience like no other. To be ABLE to take time off work/quit job, to save up the money to pay billsx2 and while not working, to ride down the spine of the US+ on a bike! Trust me it is a life experience and not the same twice. I really do wish I could be out there right now shitting bricks about tomorrow morning and the many to follow!
My words are here to both temper and to encourage. Be Smart, Kind, Great, Humble. Have FUN! Leave No Trace! Be TRUE to the spirit of the event. Remember that there are countless others who can not, for many reasons, take on this amazing adventure. Ride on in their spirit, feel their dreams pushing you in the cold darkness. So many want to be there and can not, take that as a reminder to be smart, swift and simple and get to the “wells”.