Sunday, March 31, 2013

Two Months and Two Weeks!

That's the amount of time left before the Grand Depart of the Tour Divide!  Not that much time and if I think about it too much I start stressing out.  No matter how much I train and prepare I still feel like I'm not doing nearly enough. 

It's the same way if I start thinking about the length of the route.  It's a lot to grasp when I think about 2,745 miles and 200,000 feet of elevation gain.  But I learned during the Trans North Georgia that you just have to make small goals which in turn gives you small rewards.  I like the expression, "one day at a time." The same goes when thinking about how prepared I am.  I remember making last minute decisions the morning of the start of the Trans North Georgia.  This time around, I hope to at least have things a little more dialed by that point!

Training with TC Webb up in Vermont
I just got back from visiting some friends up in Vermont and got to get a few training rides in.  It was great since it's the start of mud season up there.  All the roads were extremely mushy and we even had to hike through some snow.  Perfect Divide training!

Now that I'm home, I'm starting to put together my gear and see how it all fits in my new bags I received last week.  Makes for a heavy bike but I've noticed I can go a little faster down hills now thanks to the extra weight.  Hopefully that will compensate for the extreme snail-like pace I'll be keeping on the climbs. 

The weather seems to finally be stabilizing a little and hopefully we won't see any more snow (although I am not holding my breath).  I'm looking forward to getting out with a loaded bike and doing some longer rides.  It will give me a good opportunity to explore some new areas with a whole different mentality.  

Friday, March 29, 2013

Article about the Pioneer of the Tour Divide, John Stamstad

This is a great article worth checking out if you are interested in ultra endurance athlete, John Stamstad.

I really like his response to this question which can be found in the article:

"Have you ever been broken by a race?""The only event that can break you is the one you are not mentally prepared for. Dirt is just dirt, mountains just mountains. Hard, is a totally relative term--relative to your mindset and expectations. If you are truly prepared to suffer, no course is hard--they are just fast or slow."  - John Stamstad

Friday, March 15, 2013

Gaining Momentum, One Pedal Stroke at a Time

So what's been going on?  Well, mostly just tons of time in the saddle!  I've almost logged 300 miles this week and still have tomorrow to ride. Some days my motivation is high and other days, quite low. You wouldn't think that riding your bike so much could eventually get boring.  But there are still lots of places to explore and lots of people willing to get out and ride so it's been fun.

So far I have raised almost $500 that will go to Trips for Kids WNC.  That's 25% of the goal!  I have to say thanks to all the great folks out there who have donated and helped to spread the word!  Every little bit helps!  Spreading the word on Facebook and other social media sites is a great way to help out as well!  Tell all your friends!

Magic Cycles and Earth Fare are also showing their support in helping me reach my goal by providing biking needs and healthy food!  Gotta keep the steed and the engine running smooth and clean.

My bikepacking kit is almost put together.  I'm just waiting for one more bag to arrive that attaches to the handlebars.  Once I get that (next week) I will get some photos and a post up about my bikepacking setup and some of the gear I'll be bringing along.

Keep checking back for more updates and don't forget to Donate to help get more kids outside and onto bikes!

Donation Page:

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Changing the lives of kids, one bike at a time!

I wouldn't be taking on the Tour Divide if it wasn't for my outdoor experiences as a kid. Taking off down the driveway on my bike with no real destination in sight.  The feeling of freedom was overwhelming and continues to be today. Of course I'm a little more focused on a destination this time; Antenlope Wells, New Mexico.  But I'm relying on the same yearning for adventure and freedom I had as a kid.

These kids look like they're having a good time!

Trips For Kids WNC is an amazing organization based out of Asheville, North Carolina that focuses on getting kids outdoors and on bikes! They have mountain bike outings for kids, a bike "thrift store" where they have a variety of bikes, parts and other accessories, and programs where kids can earn bikes.

Visit their website at

All this is organized by local bike advocate and community supporter, Stephen Janes. I have yet to meet Stephen in person but can't wait for the opportunity to share ideas about my fundraising and the Tour Divide. Stephen told me he would also like to race the Tour Divide and with his track record, I have no doubts he will accomplish his goal.

Stephen Janes talks with the kids about bike safety.
When I decided to use the Tour Divide race to raise money for an organization, there was no question which one I was going to pick.  I had heard about Trips for Kids WNC before and it always made me think of how important my bike was to me when I was younger.  It was my transportation and the path to my adventures and experiences. I think it's important that kids have the opportunity to experience adventure by bike and that's exactly what Trips for Kids WNC does.

If you would like to donate to my fundraising efforts please visit the fundraising page here. I really appreciate your support in helping Trips for Kids WNC and hope that you will follow along as I race the Tour Divide.

Images courtesy of Trips for Kids WNC

Friday, March 1, 2013

Big Thanks to Eddie Clark!

Thanks to Eddie Clark for the great photo used as the background image on the blog.  He is a great photographer and has followed the Tour Divide the past few years and really captured the vast solitude of the race.

To check out more of his work on the Tour Divide, head on over to his website

Image Courtesy of Eddie Clark