Tour Divide 2018 – Gettin’ Anxious!

5/12/18

Hurry up!!  Get this bike built already!!  Less than one month from now, (June 6th to be exact) I’ll be flying to Banff.  Am I ready to start a 2,800 mile journey into places my mind and body haven’t yet fathomed?  I’ve accepted that I’ll never be ready… so yeah, I guess I’m ready.  Anxiety lately… but hey, that’s all part of the mental TD warfare training too, right?

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I’m pretty much done “studying” the route logistics, and all that.  I had my gear dialed before the theft, so now it’s just re-dialing it to the new rig once I’m done building it.  Sure, it’s gonna be snowy and wet and cold and windy and hot and dry.  Uh huh, we’re gonna climb and climb some more, and then descend and climb some more.  Ya, my ass is gonna hurt and my achilles is gonna get sore.  Knees will ache, I’ll be soaked to the bone and cold and miserable and overheated and stanky and muddy and crusty and punch drunk and dehydrated and starved.  FOOD!!  I’m already hungry!!

But… there’s only so much a brother can read on the TD forums and Facebook about drivetrain gearing, saddle sore cream, dish washing gloves, bivy vs tent, etc.  At a point, you just wanna ride your bike.  Enough about Toaster House and this and that lodge.  I want to touch and feel these places and make my own experiences and memories, instead of just reading about it.  Before I know it, I’ll be small-talkin and geekin out with nervous and twitchy like-minded adventurers at the YWCA.  But what I’m really looking forward to is riding my bike.  That’s when all the nerves and anxiety and training and prep stop mattering.  That’s when the simple life starts.  Keep an arrow on a purple line on my Garmin.  Onward.

For now, insomnia is nightly.  Wake up.  Think.  Read some Cordillera.  Try to fall back asleep.  Riding my bike some days… spending 50+ hours at the shop each week (and trying to find 3 new employees to replace the 3 that quit within a week of eachother as we head into our busiest season).  Gotta be creative with time management to get miles in these legs and still have quality time with my ladies.  Lots of mental training without even trying 🙂  With the added task of replacing my stolen TD bike and my bikepacking kit, spare time to “train” is definitely at a premium.  So yeah, focused on brain training.  Staying positive.  Weathering storms.  Accepting and embracing the angst and anxiety.  My family is healthy and we’re still getting lots of daddy dates and movie nights on the couch, and I’m sharing life with an amazing and beautiful wife and we’re giving our girls the best life we can.  The bike shop is thriving better than we ever could have imagined.  I’ve been promoted on Seal Team for next season from “A” Camera Operator to alternating Director of Photography with Jimmy.  I constantly wonder why I deserve such blessings… but I’ll take it!!

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Having fun with Jeremy.  Hard to imagine we’d soon hit snow…

A couple days ago, Jeremy and I tumbled 30 ft off Mammoth Rock Trail trying to slide scoot his hand-cycle past a small patch of off-camber snow drift.  I lost my footing in the snow as I was spotting him, and his bike flipped over me and down the hill.  Luckily, neither of us were injured as we somehow missed the rocks that sheered four spokes from his wheel.  I had to carry his 60lb rig back up a steep, slippery slope and then carry his 135lbs of dead weight back up to safety.  A good laugh, and good times with a good friend.  Jeremy kept saying “this is good Tour Divide training for you” as I fireman carried him back up the hill.  It was!!  Both physically and as a reminder to treat every potential setback as a positive opportunity.

Anyhoo… here is some nourishment I’ve been feeding my brain these days. Smile.  Life is good.

  • Discipline is the bridge between goals and achievement. – My Dad
  • Mountains are mountains.  You must take them as they come.  – Arthur Oliver Wheeler
  • Don’t have any more negative thoughts ever.  They have to end. – Billy Rice
  • Nothing that’s worth anything is ever easy. – Mike Hall
  • We do these things not because they are easy, but because they are hard. – JFK
  • Draft off the intelligence of others. – Unknown (maybe me?)
  • Proceed with adventurous spirit. – Matthew Lee
  • Change your thoughts and you change your world.  – Norman Vincent Peele
  • The difference between the impossible and possible lies in a person’s determination. – Tommy Lasorda
  • Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical. – Yogi Berra

What about Sunny?

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Sunny 🙂 – I love this bike.  Basic assembly done, should have her riding in the next few days!!

Sunrise, my new Salsa Cutthroat:   “Sunny” is sitting at the shop.  She really is a beautiful bike.  I’ve barely had a free second to start putting her together.  Bars, stem, fred bar, dynamo wiring are on.  Wheels built, tires on.  Chris King BB is in.  Cranks and drivetrain on.  Hydraulic lines cut, just need to bleed.  Just need to wrap the bars, test ride, load it up, ride a bunch and tweak a bunch.  Got my replacement Spot Tracker, and transferred my account.  Ready for blue dot status.  Still haven’t found the stolen bikes.  Kinda stopped looking.  Not dwelling on that, but many people keep asking.  More important fish to fry.

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I had fun building the wheels last week

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Decided on a CK bottom bracket.  Set yourself up for success.

What’s next? 

Do a few long rides and an overnighter to shake everything down.  Keep riding bikes throughout May.  Keep stretching and doing yoga.  Spend lots of time with the family.  Shave this ridiculous beard.  Take Sunny apart and box her up.  Jump in a car on June 5th and go to Reno.  Kiss my angels, and fly to Banff.  Throw my leg over the bike and start pedaling South.  Smile a lot.  Enjoy the majesty.  Meet awesome people.  Be inspired.  Push through the lows and embrace the highs.  Don’t stop until I reach Mexico.  Reunite with my angels.  HOot!!

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