Several years ago I read a book by Jill Homer called “ be brave be strong: A journey Across the Great Divide”. Jill Homer, in my opinion, is an incredible writer (and rider). She makes you feel like your right there on the trail with her and I couldn’t put the book down. She wrote about her experience racing arguably the hardest and longest mountain bike race on the planet; 2,740 miles from Banff, Canada to Antelope Wells, USA, ending at the Mexican border. It crosses the Continental Divide “…no fewer than 30 times”, there are no stages, no support crew, and no aid stations. You ride from the start to finish completely self supported along the Great Divide Trail as fast as you can get there.
|The Great Divide Trail 2,740 Miles|
This planted a seed in the back of my brain to someday ride this race. However, with job, responsibilities, commitments, and other excuses, it became nothing more than a bucket list item that would probably never happen. The race was a great conversation piece even if I didn’t believe I would ever actually do it. Of course, the number one excuse was getting the time off from work. I expect it will take upwards to a month to pull off such an endeavor. Well, all of my excuses are gone and my employer, Plus3 IT Systems, is not only giving me the time off to take on this adventure, but is a big source of encouragement and enthusiasm!
With a green light I started training just after Thanksgiving. Since the end of Noveber, my training has been focused exclusively on this race. Get up at 3:45 – 4:00 am to ride 2 – 2.5 hours before work then ride another hour or two after work has become the routine. All day rides on the weekends. Obsessing over equipment, maps, and training. Even sleeping in the back yard to get used to sleeping on the ground and getting up in the cold to go ride. I have to admit that’s a bit extreme, but this race is extreme, and now that I’m actually going to do it, I’m pretty scared and excited. This will be by far the toughest and most extreme adventure I’ve ever attempted. It’s ironic that at 60 years old I’m taking on the most physically and mentally demanding adventure of my life. But I ain’t getting any younger, and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s time to put-up or shut-up. I’m going to do everything I can to put-up!
The next big adventure has begun!