Wednesday, 7 August 2013

The Wheels That Turned Before Me: Conquerers of the TD

This is going to be a short post, but one that I think everyone should take a second and check out.

I am certainly not the first one to attempt the Divide, nor will I be the last.  This "race" has been run for years.  Hundreds of people have tried.  Hundreds of people failed.  As a future racer, I look to the sage words of wisdom and advice from those who came before me.  What they've seen and experienced will hopefully keep me safe, prepared, and safe (yup, kinda important to me!).  So this post is meant to direct your interest to some of the best Divide blogs I've come across - either from a quality writing POV, or from a quality information POV.  They are all quality from my perspective and they deserve a visit by anyone interested in bikepacking, the Tour Divide, or simply adventure cycling.  Enjoy!

Nick's Misadventure Page - This guy wrote a great blog about his adventures on the TD.  Well written with wit and humour; informative and inciteful.  Definately a great read! (Nick rode in 2011)

Team Kaker (TD Gear List for 2013) - I stumbled on this site purely for the gear list, which is very through and comprehensive.  Worth a checkout.

Greg Rides The Divide - Greg is a 59 year old endurance racer from my home country Canada (Eh!) who recently completed his first attempt at the TD.  Coming from the nearby city of Oakville, Greg and his family posted regularly and often.  Also, Greg was riding for a great charity!  Definitely check this one out.

Jim Stansbury's Tour Divide Race 2012 Adventure - A very well-written post.  Discussion about gear, logistics, and strategies supplemented with an outstanding photo gallery make this blog one of my favorites to re-visit.  And for the record, Jim completed the TD when he was 57! 

Zero to 2700 Miles - Another Canuck, J.D. from Hamilton made the TD trek this past June and finished it.  Another great perspective on the preparation - both mental and physical that one has to undertake to complete this race.  Must read!

Chris Bennett's Triathlon Blog - it says triathlon in the title, but Chris entered the race in 2011 and clicking on the link will take you one of his posts on the gear list he used for the race.

Normally Aspirated Human - This is Mike Hall's blog.  Who's Mike Hall?  He's the Welshman who KILLED the TD this past year setting an unofficial record of 14 days, 11 hours and 55 minutes!  Unfortunately due to the forest fires causing detours through New Mexico, Mike's record is unofficial.  Fifteen freakin's days!  Think of the math...2,700 miles in 15 days is 180 miles per day...EVERY DAY!  Insane!

These are only some of the blogs out there worth checking.  As far as I'm concerned, anyone who documents such an adventure deserves credit and is owed your attention.  Some other resources that might pique your interest:

Adventure Cycling Association - The grandaddies of adventure cycling and the TD.
Eat, Sleep, Ride: How I Braved Bears, Badlands, and Big Breakfasts in My Quest to Cycle the Tour Divide  by Paul Howard - Great Read!
Be Brave, Be Strong: A Journey Across the Great Divide by Jill Homer - Well regarded book from a well-known adventure traveller. 

1 comment:

  1. Hey, I was linked!

    This is a great list man. It would have certainly helped me when I was getting prepared for the race.

    Good riding!