Alrighty. I’m heading up to Banff. Grand Depart leaves Friday, June 8th, 8am. From now, until I reach Mexico, I’m goin off comms except to check-in with Angela, post some pics, and record my daily rides to Strava. If you’d like to follow the journey:
- Check out my “blue dot” on Trackleaders: http://trackleaders.com/tourdivide18
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fatbikemammoth/
- Strava: https://www.strava.com/athletes/fatbikemammoth
Tour Divide 2018, baby!! Southbound and Down!! Less than one week until the Grand Depart and it just hit me. I better get my crap together ASAP. No more spending 10+ hours a day at the shop working on others’ bikes. Time to tend to my body, mind, and bike from here on out. Finished my 2nd (and final) “shakedown ride” with Sunny. Stoked on some subtle packing changes and cockpit adjustments (figured out a way to create more room in seat bag for extra food, adjusted handlebars and saddle slightly = more comfy). Pack list finalized. Bike build complete. Hunter just loaded my MP3 player with tunes… can’t wait to hear what’s on there!!
Haven’t trained as much as I hoped to, but I feel healthy and strong. So far, in 2018, I’ve ridden 215 hours – 1,960 miles, and climbed 188,465′. Much of that on my fat bike and plus bike and loaded bikepacking rig (and almost all of it without a chamois:) Funny to think that I’ll be riding 2,800 miles and 200k climbing over the next month (more than I’ve ridden so far this year!)
What now? Just sprayed my waterproof bags with Scotchguard, because why not? Still waiting for final 2018 gpx route. Still waiting for Trackleaders/Spot sign up. Tomorrow, I’ll clean the drivetrain, check spoke tension on my wheels, and place Sunny gently in a box. Countless hours of training, planning, studying, dreaming, worrying, hypothesizing will soon be divvied between a bike box, and a disposable duffle bag. I’ll shave my 4 month old beard to start fresh. I’ll wear my cycling gear on the plane, and toss my worn out Hoka’s and baseball hat before the start.
I’ve gone over all the TSA regulations. Gonna do everything I can so as not to “flag” myself. No co2 cartridges. Carrying on all liquids/creams in a quart sized ziploc, nothing more than 4oz. Batteries living in the devices they are powering. Spare batteries in a ziploc with electrical tape over the terminals. Cross fingers the bike arrives in Calgary with me. Then get on a shuttle bus to Banff. Arrive late night to the YWCA. Probably have trouble sleeping. Wake up and build bike. Take test ride. Meet all the other yahoos.
Let’s see what I weigh. Wow. Lighter than expected. 154.2 lbs. At night, before bed. With the crazy Rabbi Beard. I’m expecting to be in the low 140’s by the end of the race… we’ll see.
Nervous. Eager. Anxious. Excited. Scared. You name it. Am I pregnant? I’m already missing my girlies, but can see their faces at the finish line. It’ll all be worth it. Soon enough I’ll be channeling all these polarizing emotions into achieving a single, simple goal – to find out if I’ll have enough strength to raise my loaded bike in the air in front of the border sign/finish line at Antelope Wells for a photo. I vote yes.
I’ve done everything I can to set myself up for success. I’m ready to leave everything on the trail and embrace it ALL – Mother nature’s glory and fury. Yes, there’s a lot of luck involved, and many variables beyond my control- but I know I’ve done and will do everything I can to complete this route. Onward!!