Monday, December 28, 2009

Tour Divide Contender or Pretender?

Who is competition and who is dreaming large?  Where do I stand among the others.  What do I look like to other racers?  Who is qualified and who has trained?  What is enough experience and how much is enough training?   Who is sitting in front of the computer dreaming and who is out riding in the snow? Beside those who have completed this race - who can say they can do it - and then pull it off?

It is really hard to guess who is going to make it and who more in love with the idea than the riding.  I always wonder if this might be me ... but I do love riding... and I have always loved riding.  My camping skill are rusty - but with a little help fro DaveB I have come a long way!  I did spend a whole summer working for the ATC/ AMC as a ridge runner - caretaker.  I did ride 1200k of the Paris Brest Paris in 73:50 and a 600k in <27hrs.  I spent six nights out last season out bikepacking  - I did the 6 Gap MR LAMB ride last year and did plenty of dirt road exploring.  I won the Millstone SS open age (pretty good for a 46 yr old racing against plenty of 20 and 30 somethings)  And I have always loved the VT50.

Then there are the counts against me:  last season was the first time I ever rode my mtn bike over 100 miles in one day.  I still suffered from the effects of my concussion from the 2008 Vt 50.  I broke my arm in April and it still doesn't quite straighten out.  I am starting to build strength in it again - but it is far from where  it was.  I rode on it 24hrs in the NE fleche  - six weeks after the break ( thanks Charles and Three Moons Accupuncture) Work is being uncooperative with time off.  It costs money to get there and back.  I am old! - yeah - years of crashing are adding up.

These quotes from bikepacking interest me:

"Preparation – with time constraints (work & family) I rarely rode more than 10-12 hours per week but mostly at higher intensities. Riding long distance at steady pace is easy no? I only did a couple of long weekends in the lead up to TD. Better to arrive in Banff strong and healthy than tired / stressed from trying to fit too much into your busy life. But follow Jay’s advice – you have to decide what will work for you."  Fettis (?)

"And now some inspiration for rcktfanatic; you can absolutely ride TD on seven (now almost six) months preparation. Of course your goals, and reality, have to mesh. See caveats above. But it can be done. In '08 I rode TD on less than 650 miles of training in the six months leading up to the race. Life, a monstrous winter, and a lack of motivation to ride the windtrainer conspired to deliver me to Banff in pathetic shape.  Since I knew I wasn't going to be setting the course on fire, my mantra became "I'll take whatever the gods and my body give me." I ended up turning in a semi respectable sub 24 day finish.."  Leighton White  

Of course Leighton White's day job is a professional firefighter ( and the real kind - not like me only responding to dirty bombs and other radiological incidents.)

So I blog on scoping out the competition.  Please provide me with more details on yourself if someone actually reads this and I got yer info wrong!  Or I can just shutup all together if my google-stalking you creeps you out too much!

Latest addition:
"Hi my name is Phillip Fogg,
I'm an ex Pat. living in germany. Came over here during the cold war(1987), met a girl, fell in love and well, I'm still here!
I started biking when I was a kid, around 1970. At nine my first bmx bike. At 16 I got my first motorcycle and bicycling took a back seat for a few years. In 1996 I bought a used Rockhopper and from then on I've never looked back. I've done numerous endurance races here in Germany.
As far as Bikepacking goes, I'm a greenhorn, never done it but I'm so intrigued by it that I'm collecting gear and getting ready for my first trip.
You all will think I'm nuts but I'm planning on doing the Tour Divide next year.  So I will be asking alot of questions about gear, training and othe TDR related stuff. "

A greenhorn and this will be his first bikepacking trip!  But coming all the way from Europe: ten points! Grüß Gott Phillip!

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