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Thread: Gdr 2006

  1. #1
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    Gdr 2006

    I've been getting many, many requests for more info about the '06 race, and have finally gotten around to updating the website.

    Race start is Friday, June 23, 2006. High noon.

    http://greatdividerace.com/index.html

    If you'd like answers to questions that aren't covered on the site, please post them here, in this thread, and those in the know will answer as time permits.

    Thanks,

    MC
    Last edited by mikesee; 11-30-2005 at 09:30 AM.

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    shelter for the GDR

    Mike,

    I was wondering what most folks used for shelter, bivy snacks, tarp tents, or tents....?

    I think I'm going the tarp tent route It's what I like to use for backpacking.

    Thanks for getting the website going
    Read my BLOG!

    just a guy who loves bikes and exploring

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    Gimme Shelter

    Quote Originally Posted by SlowerThenSnot
    Mike,

    I was wondering what most folks used for shelter, bivy snacks, tarp tents, or tents....?

    I think I'm going the tarp tent route It's what I like to use for backpacking.

    Thanks for getting the website going
    I used a Tarptent with a sewn-in floor and bug netting. It's pretty quick to set-up and take down and much comfier than a bivy. If I was going real minimalist, I'd go with an ultralight
    bivy (no hoops or stakes or such). Scott Morris used a thermolight emergency bivy (about
    $20 from Campmor) and I've used one of those on various brevets. But on the GDR bugs are a bigger deal than rain and I was glad I had something bug-proof.

    Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson
    Issaquah WA USA
    http://kentsbike.blogspot.com/

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    Thanks Kent!

    Quote Originally Posted by kentsbike
    I used a Tarptent with a sewn-in floor and bug netting. It's pretty quick to set-up and take down and much comfier than a bivy. If I was going real minimalist, I'd go with an ultralight
    bivy (no hoops or stakes or such). Scott Morris used a thermolight emergency bivy (about
    $20 from Campmor) and I've used one of those on various brevets. But on the GDR bugs are a bigger deal than rain and I was glad I had something bug-proof.

    Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson
    Issaquah WA USA
    http://kentsbike.blogspot.com/
    Read my BLOG!

    just a guy who loves bikes and exploring

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    GDR Start Date Question

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    I've been getting many, many requests for more info about the '06 race, and have finally gotten around to updating the website.

    Race start is Friday, June 23, 2006. High noon.

    http://greatdividerace.com/index.html

    If you'd like answers to questions that aren't covered on the site, please post them here, in this thread, and those in the know will answer as time permits.

    Thanks,

    MC
    Hey Mike,
    Thanks for getting things rolling. Can you mention why the `06 rendition is scheduled to start a week later than in the past? If i'm not mistaken, the two weeks of longest daylight are 6/14-6/28. Seems like the traditional start of 2nd Friday in June (6/16) would max on that window and put riders in a better position to beat the early July monsoons/heat once in NM.
    Last edited by mathewsen; 12-12-2005 at 11:22 AM. Reason: add title

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    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    Hey Mike,
    Thanks for getting things rolling. Can you mention why the `06 rendition is scheduled to start a week later than in the past? If i'm not mistaken, the two weeks of longest daylight are 6/14-6/28. Seems like the traditional start of 2nd Friday in June (6/16) would max on that window and put riders in a better position to beat the early July monsoons/heat once in NM.
    Good question.

    The start has always been scheduled to coincide (as close as possible) with the summer solstice. The start date takes into account the snowpack in the high mountains (start earlier and you'll be postholing through drifts in Montana and Colorado) as well as thunderstorms, monsoons, and heat. The reality is that when you're planning a race that spans as many climate zones as the GDR does, there is no ONE good start date, there are only varying levels of compromise.

    Planning on racing?

    MC

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Good question.

    The start has always been scheduled to coincide (as close as possible) with the summer solstice. The start date takes into account the snowpack in the high mountains (start earlier and you'll be postholing through drifts in Montana and Colorado) as well as thunderstorms, monsoons, and heat. The reality is that when you're planning a race that spans as many climate zones as the GDR does, there is no ONE good start date, there are only varying levels of compromise.

    Planning on racing?

    MC
    Hey Mike, its Matthew Lee. Not sure if I'll be racing this year or not. Its the 30th anniversary of Bikecentennial and Adventure Cycling Assoc. It will be a cool year to be out there in observance. I hope some the GDR racers will join up (ACA membership) in support.

    If i ride the route, it will be from the top again (Banff). That section is unsurpassed in beauty. If I TT the route, I would love to race head-to-head with the `06 GDR field but will also be inclined to embark the Friday before the race start (6/16). Here's why:

    You're right that when dealing with many climate zones it tough to set dates. But do we guide by conditions we expect to see on the northern 20% of the route, when our legs are fresh and forecast conditions current? Or do we look towards the later stages of a 2500mi ITT when rider fatigue and lack of surface water in the desert exact pricey tolls? Its tough to say when mom-nature is concerned.

    My limited experience as a 2yr vet of the route (and research w/ NM locals) has shown me that heat/fire/Monsoon onset arrives in NM each year by 7/1 more predictably than snow lingers in Canada/Montana into mid-June at 4kft elevation. In a Montana 100%snowpack year, snow is pretty well off the route by 6/15. So my sense is that avoidance of climactic shift in NM is a better guide to set a start date by. I'm sure some will find this controversial to say, but i honestly think starting the race 6/23 puts riders at a slight disadvantage to past fields. In July in NM, the difference between 7/2 and 7/9 can be significant, as locals will tell you.

    I would urge you to consider leaving the start date flexible, perhaps even letting the field of `06 racers have input (as snowpack info unfolds this winter/spring). Historically, by about 6/23, GDR racers have been crossing Wyoming's Great basin, closing in on Colorado. If i ride this year, that's where I would hope to be by then too.
    Last edited by mathewsen; 12-15-2005 at 06:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    Not sure if I'll be racing this year or not. Its the 30th anniversary of Bikecentennial and Adventure Cycling Association. It seems a cool year for lots of peeps to be out on epic tours in rememberance.
    Groovy.


    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    I hope all the GDR racers will join up (membership) with ACA this year.
    A very good suggestion.


    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    If i ride the GDMBR, it will be from Banff again. That section of the Divide Route is unsurpassed in beauty. If I TT the route, I would love to race head-to-head with the `06 GDR field but will also be inclined to embark the Friday before the race start (6/16).
    Looks like you have a decision to make. Good luck with however you decide to do it.


    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    You're right that when dealing with many climate zones it tough to set dates.
    Yep.


    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    Q: Do we guide by conditions we anticipate at the beginning of a race, when our legs are fresh and forecast conditions are more current? Or do we look towards the later stages of a 2500mi ITT when rider fatigue and certain lack of groundwater in the desert can affect progress?
    The key word in your sentence above is "anticipate". You can make all the plans you want, but until you're standing on the start line, you don't know what you're going to get. And at that point it's a little late to change your plans, especially if you've traveled any distance to get there.

    People plan over a year in advance to come to this race, taking time off work, booking flights, canceling family plans, etc... They accept that they cannot know what the weather will be like a year away, or even a month away. You should know that too.

    In '03 I pushed my start back a week (to 6/22, day after the solstice) and still postholed through snow in Montana and Colorado.

    Lack of groundwater is a certainty in the desert stretches of NM even in early June. No chance any of the racers will be getting there before early July, so it's a moot point any way you slice it.


    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    Its tough to say when mum-nature is concerned. My limited experience as a 2yr vet of the route (`04=90%MTsnowpack,`05 100%MTsnowpack) has been that heat/fire season and monsoons reach NM each year by the first of July much more predictably than snow lingers in Canada/Montana into mid-June at 3kft elevation. B/c of this, my sense is that the climactic shifts in NM are to be avoided/seem a better guide to race by.
    If we could plan the race the week before, and have everyone ready and at the start once we "knew" what the weather was going to be like, I'd say "Great! Let's do it!". But that ain't possible, literally or figuratively. We pay our money and take our chances--a lot like life.


    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    I'm sure its controversial to say, but i honestly think starting the race 6/23 puts riders at a slight disadvantage to past fields. In July in NM, the difference between 7/2 and 7/9 can be significant, as natives will tell you.
    I respect, and disagree with, your opinion. Fact is, heat is a guarantee in NM anytime after June 1. The average temp in the low desert of NM on 7/2 is 96 degrees. The average in that same spot on 7/9 is 95 degrees. That's 1 degree cooler, but 7 days later. 1 degree (in either direction) is not going to make or break anyone's race.


    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    I would urge you to consider leaving the start date flexible, perhaps even letting the field of `06 racers have input (as snowpack info unfolds this winter/spring).
    The start date is flexible; you can ride the route anytime that you want.

    As mentioned above, people have already made arrangements for the race. Time off work, rescheduling commitments to allow them to attend, rescheduling family vacations, etc...

    If you want to start with the rest of the GDR Class of '06, that date is 6/23/06.


    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    Historically, by about 6/23, GDR racers have been crossing Wyoming's Great basin, closing in on Colorado. If i ride this year, that's where I would hope to be by then too.
    Your history is only semi-accurate. In 2003 I didn't hit the WY/CO border until 7/1. That year I had snow and rain the first two days, but near-perfect weather for the remainder.

    And again, Matt, good luck with however you decide to do it.

    MC

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    Navigation Questioin?

    What is the policy on racers using a GPS. For some reason I thought that the rules prohibited GPS but it looks like at least one racer last year had a GPS and I don’t see anything in the posted rules that says a racer can’t use a GPS. Since route finding is a component of the race is there any rule on how that route must be found? Actually my question isn’t as broad as I just stated it, basically I am just curious if the use of a GPS for navigation is prohibited.

    Adam
    I wanna say I'm sorry for stuff I haven't done yet, things will shortly get completely out of hand --T.M.G.

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    Gps

    Quote Originally Posted by Adam
    What is the policy on racers using a GPS. For some reason I thought that the rules prohibited GPS but it looks like at least one racer last year had a GPS and I don’t see anything in the posted rules that says a racer can’t use a GPS. Since route finding is a component of the race is there any rule on how that route must be found? Actually my question isn’t as broad as I just stated it, basically I am just curious if the use of a GPS for navigation is prohibited.

    Adam
    That was me with the GPS this year. It is allowed by the rules, just as a cyclometer is allowed. There used to be a rule on the web page that states "GPS is OK, but not necessary" but it looks like that one was taken out for brevity.

    The reason you think GPS is not permitted is that in one of the GDR 04 threads mtbr guy Francois erroneously stated that GPS is not allowed.

    GPS has the potential to be a small advantage for GDR racers, but right now it takes a lot of pre-race data crunching and a fair amount of knowledge and experience. Of course, in '05 I didn't have much of a chance to use it (dropped out at the 1/4th mark).

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    That was me with the GPS this year. It is allowed by the rules, just as a cyclometer is allowed. There used to be a rule on the web page that states "GPS is OK, but not necessary" but it looks like that one was taken out for brevity.

    The reason you think GPS is not permitted is that in one of the GDR 04 threads mtbr guy Francois erroneously stated that GPS is not allowed.

    GPS has the potential to be a small advantage for GDR racers, but right now it takes a lot of pre-race data crunching and a fair amount of knowledge and experience. Of course, in '05 I didn't have much of a chance to use it (dropped out at the 1/4th mark).
    It's still in there: "GPS systems are allowed, but not necessary."

    I'll echo what Scott said--it takes a lot of pre-race knowledge (knowledge that's just about impossible to get until you've been on-course) and number crunching to make a gps worthwhile. It's not a disadvantage to have one, just not a clear-cut advantage.

    My $.02 (keep in mind that I did not use a GPS on any of my 3 attempts at the route) is that most racers would be better served with a properly calibrated cyclometer (and a backup, you never know...) and a clear head. Sometimes too much info can be very confusing.

    On the other hand, I'd sure like to be able to look back at the daily elevation profiles and distances covered. Makes me wish I'd taken one with me...

    MC

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    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    It's still in there: "GPS systems are allowed, but not necessary."
    Ah, it's on the "General info" page, not the rules page.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    I'll echo what Scott said--it takes a lot of pre-race knowledge (knowledge that's just about impossible to get until you've been on-course) and number crunching to make a gps worthwhile. It's not a disadvantage to have one, just not a clear-cut advantage.

    My $.02 (keep in mind that I did not use a GPS on any of my 3 attempts at the route) is that most racers would be better served with a properly calibrated cyclometer (and a backup, you never know...) and a clear head. Sometimes too much info can be very confusing.
    I'd agree. It's more likely to be a disadvantage for most people.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    On the other hand, I'd sure like to be able to look back at the daily elevation profiles and distances covered. Makes me wish I'd taken one with me...

    MC
    Don't forget the time component also! Then we'd know how much time per day you were spinning the wheels in '04.

    That's the real reason I lugged the GPS along. I like to record any big ride I do.

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    Thanks

    Thanks for the info guys. I need to read those informational pages more carefully.

    I generally agree that a GPS is more useful for seeing where you’ve been than where you are going. I tend to use mine more for taking rides apart than putting them together. But it makes one heck of a cycle computer.
    I wanna say I'm sorry for stuff I haven't done yet, things will shortly get completely out of hand --T.M.G.

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    Trains, Planes, Cars

    What have people used for ride on both ends of the GDR.... I think I will be taking the train up to MT and then catching a ride back... Just wondering what anyone has done in the past.

    Thanks, Dave Nice


    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    I've been getting many, many requests for more info about the '06 race, and have finally gotten around to updating the website.

    Race start is Friday, June 23, 2006. High noon.

    http://greatdividerace.com/index.html

    If you'd like answers to questions that aren't covered on the site, please post them here, in this thread, and those in the know will answer as time permits.

    Thanks,

    MC
    Read my BLOG!

    just a guy who loves bikes and exploring

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    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowerThenSnot
    What have people used for ride on both ends of the GDR.... I think I will be taking the train up to MT and then catching a ride back... Just wondering what anyone has done in the past.

    Thanks, Dave Nice
    The train is a great idea if you live close to the line. I flew into Kalispel (there's a flight from Salt Lake City on Delta that wasn't too much $$$) and rode my bike ~12 miles to Whitefish.

    I never made it to Antelope Wells. But I had a ride lined up back to Tucson, which is only ~4.5 hrs away. If you've got someone to pick you up, that's ideal, because you'll be fried.

    I believe Pete and Allen also flew into Kalispel this year. Kent rode his bike, and Matt flew to Banff. I think everyone that finished had someone waiting there. I know Brad, Trish and Kent all did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowerThenSnot
    What have people used for ride on both ends of the GDR.... I think I will be taking the train up to MT and then catching a ride back... Just wondering what anyone has done in the past.

    Thanks, Dave Nice
    I bribed a friend to drop me at the Canada border. Used my truck and paid for his gas/food/lodging both ways. He spent a few extra days touring on the way home, and said he had a great time doing it.

    At the end, my fiancee picked me up. I'd been calling her for the last four days of the race, giving her updated finish time estimates as I went. I was 15 miles from the finish when she drove past, on a 107 degree day, holding up a cold jug of chocolate milk...

    It bears mentioning/repeating that you probably don't want to finish in the dark, and you definitely don't want to camp within 50 miles of the border. Lots of illegals coming across, lots of helicopters and searchlights all night long. Some good friends of mine camped ~60 miles from the border and said they didn't get any sleep due to all the 'traffic' in the desert.

    Good luck.

    MC

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    The train is a great idea if you live close to the line. I flew into Kalispel (there's a flight from Salt Lake City on Delta that wasn't too much $$$) and rode my bike ~12 miles to Whitefish.

    I never made it to Antelope Wells. But I had a ride lined up back to Tucson, which is only ~4.5 hrs away. If you've got someone to pick you up, that's ideal, because you'll be fried.

    I believe Pete and Allen also flew into Kalispel this year. Kent rode his bike, and Matt flew to Banff. I think everyone that finished had someone waiting there. I know Brad, Trish and Kent all did.
    i payed a bike shop employee from gila hike and bike (out of silver city) 80 bones to scoop me from a-wells. he brought me back to silver city where one can find super cool peeps and cheap hotels, good food. there are also cheap shuttles twice a day from the border but i don't know where they go (maybe deming, NM or lordsberg). call the antelope wells border patrol OR the store in Hachita, NM (on the route) for more of that shuttle info. seems like its used mostly be mexicans coming into the us.

    from silver city there is a freight van to deming (the closest greyhound stop) that charges 5 bucks to ride and another 5 bucks for your bike. you ride with some biohazard materials from the silver city, nm hospital, but its safe. from deming it costs 30 bucks to ride greyhound to albuquerque. in my estimation that seemed to be where the cheapest flights departed from.

    the grehound ride from deming is equally close to el paso, tx. another place to get cheap flights but not a place to hang out too long.

    scott m, is right that one is fried by the end. forget riding back to silver city. it would be a huge anti-climax.

    regarding the start, one way rental cars are available from all the majors (avis is chepaest on 1-ways). they can be left at kallispell airport. trish and i drove 36 hours straight from nc in one to make the start in 04. i don't recommend it.

    one cheap, interesting way: flights to calgary, alberta are cheap from the US (i paid 225 last year) and bikes fly free to canada. the only catch: you have to ride 220 miles of wilderness from the top of the route in banff to the start. its a good warm-up, but the problem is, its very beautiful.

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    registration? time limit?

    hi i am making plans to do the race which will get more solid as the new year begins but i am wondering

    a. is there any type of registration or do we just show up?

    b. is there a limit to the amount of time racers can take?

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    Quote Originally Posted by clarinda
    hi i am making plans to do the race which will get more solid as the new year begins but i am wondering

    a. is there any type of registration or do we just show up?
    There is no registration. Some of the riders may get together the night before to socialize, eat some food, and ask questions/get to know each other. That's about as formal as it gets.


    Quote Originally Posted by clarinda
    b. is there a limit to the amount of time racers can take?
    There is no time limit--no one is going to remove you from the course.
    You have my curiosity piqued--how long are you planning on being out there?

    MC

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    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    i payed a bike shop employee from gila hike and bike (out of silver city) 80 bones to scoop me from a-wells. he brought me back to silver city where one can ...
    Great info, Matt. Thanks for sharing it with everyone.

    Cheers,

    MC

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    There is no time limit--no one is going to remove you from the course.
    You have my curiosity piqued--how long are you planning on being out there?

    MC[/QUOTE]

    as long as it takes! i certainly hope not more than a month, but you never know, so i was just wondering.

  22. #22
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    Yo MATT!!

    A friend and I are (against better judgement) planning on doing this. I would love to get more info from you. I still have your contact info, number and email. Mind if I give you a shout? I almost rang you up last night as I went through my contact list wishing everyone a merry holiday...

    BTW, check out the SS race we are putting on, hope you can make it!

    Later
    Hodge
    www.addictivecycles.com

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    The Way of the Mountain Turtle

    This past summer I raced the length of the Great Divide from Canada to
    Mexico on a single speed mountain bike. A short form of that story
    appeared this fall in Dirt Rag and I was originally thinking the big
    story would be a book. Well the big story is done and rather than make
    it a paper book, I've decided to tell the whole story on the web. You
    can read the whole thing and see pictures here:


    http://www.mile43.com/peterson/Turtl...ainTurtle.html


    I hope you folks planning on racing the Divide in 2006 find some
    things of value in the story.

    Keep 'em rolling,

    Kent Peterson
    Issaquah WA USA
    http://kentsbike.blogspot.com/

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    There is no registration. Some of the riders may get together the night before to socialize, eat some food, and ask questions/get to know each other. That's about as formal as it gets.
    That's just too weird! It's a 2500 mile "race", all you need to do is show up at the start point on the right day and go. Weird I tell ya.

    Monte

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    Thanks for the ideas!

    I am gonna have to see if I can fit Canada into the race.... Thanks again for the info!

    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    i payed a bike shop employee from gila hike and bike (out of silver city) 80 bones to scoop me from a-wells. he brought me back to silver city where one can find super cool peeps and cheap hotels, good food. there are also cheap shuttles twice a day from the border but i don't know where they go (maybe deming, NM or lordsberg). call the antelope wells border patrol OR the store in Hachita, NM (on the route) for more of that shuttle info. seems like its used mostly be mexicans coming into the us.

    from silver city there is a freight van to deming (the closest greyhound stop) that charges 5 bucks to ride and another 5 bucks for your bike. you ride with some biohazard materials from the silver city, nm hospital, but its safe. from deming it costs 30 bucks to ride greyhound to albuquerque. in my estimation that seemed to be where the cheapest flights departed from.

    the grehound ride from deming is equally close to el paso, tx. another place to get cheap flights but not a place to hang out too long.

    scott m, is right that one is fried by the end. forget riding back to silver city. it would be a huge anti-climax.

    regarding the start, one way rental cars are available from all the majors (avis is chepaest on 1-ways). they can be left at kallispell airport. trish and i drove 36 hours straight from nc in one to make the start in 04. i don't recommend it.

    one cheap, interesting way: flights to calgary, alberta are cheap from the US (i paid 225 last year) and bikes fly free to canada. the only catch: you have to ride 220 miles of wilderness from the top of the route in banff to the start. its a good warm-up, but the problem is, its very beautiful.
    Read my BLOG!

    just a guy who loves bikes and exploring

  26. #26
    Enduro Freak
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    Hey everyone,
    I'm Kevin and am planning on doing the race. I've already gotten some good info from Pete over email but I am curious on how much money this trip should cost overall? I have a good idea how much gear/travel will cost, but not sure how much I should allocate for food etc. per day.

    If anyone is interested in their "competition" (I see this personally as more of a fast-ride than a race), I'm a 21-year-old Massachusetts native going to school in the metro-west section of Boston. I've been racing on some level for 7 years, done 3 24-hour races solo, and have raced a handful of distance races (Jay Challenge, Folliage 400, etc).

    Cheers!

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    One main question please...

    Why is the GDR always run North to South? Just the way it has always been done? Prevailing winds? It would seem that water would be more plentiful in the southern sections if the race stated in the south. Also, the snow would be have more time to clear in the north.

    Plans this summer prevent me from doing the GDR. Some smaller point to point races will happen for me this year. Paying big bucks to ride around a course in circles is not an adventure IMNSHO. I'll be turning 50 in '07 and have been thinking of doing an epic adventure that summer for a very long time. The GDR seems to fit the bill well.

    I'll really refine my gear scene this year. I am a total gear **** and this will be a great way to rationalize buying some of the latest ultralight camping toys. Not that I would not be just fine using my superlight touring gear. But when you can go ultra, why not?

    I have an idea for a LED lighting system that will change the concept of night lighting, I should be a few generations into the development by then & what better way to test it?

    29erchico

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    I've been getting many, many requests for more info about the '06 race, and have finally gotten around to updating the website.
    Mike,
    I do a podcast called MTBCast and would like to discuss maybe doing a feature on the GDR. I had in mind maybe doing a daily cast with audio updates from the racers. I don't want to take away from Joe's blog but I thought this might be a great way to work in conjunction with that.

    JP

  29. #29
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    Costs?

    Quote Originally Posted by sizlinseagulsoup
    Hey everyone,
    I'm Kevin and am planning on doing the race. I've already gotten some good info from Pete over email but I am curious on how much money this trip should cost overall? I have a good idea how much gear/travel will cost, but not sure how much I should allocate for food etc. per day.

    If anyone is interested in their "competition" (I see this personally as more of a fast-ride than a race), I'm a 21-year-old Massachusetts native going to school in the metro-west section of Boston. I've been racing on some level for 7 years, done 3 24-hour races solo, and have raced a handful of distance races (Jay Challenge, Folliage 400, etc).

    Cheers!
    Kevin.
    I spent an minimum of $25 a day on food, batteries, and Advil. Expect to spend some money on hotel rooms an bike parts. All that plus transportation to the start and from the finish can be pretty expensive, but keep in mind, there is no entry fee, and I guarantee, when you finish, it'll all be money well spent.
    P

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by jav1231
    Mike,
    I do a podcast called MTBCast and would like to discuss maybe doing a feature on the GDR. I had in mind maybe doing a daily cast with audio updates from the racers. I don't want to take away from Joe's blog but I thought this might be a great way to work in conjunction with that.

    JP
    Hey Javelin,
    This is a great idea - "audio blogging" is something pete basinger and i have discussed since last summer. it would bring an entirely new "virtual" element to GDR coverage and make blogging the days events quite simple. Joe could shed some light on how well he heard our voicemails, though, for his blogging project on the `04 gdr. he did an excellent job with that but sometimes the payphone connections are bad along the route and so msgs were not always audible. in these cases it may be more frustrating than anything to have race followers trying to decipher choppy audio files as their only form of update. but yes, hearing racers voices off the web (and the story their tone/inflection would tell) would be invaluable if ample fidelity can happen!

    perhaps you can share with thread followers more on your mtbcast. this is a viable service to offer those involved with low-budget expeditions such as the gdr. sell racers a digital voicemailbox accessed by pin and give them an 800 # on which to leave audio files. then email those files to their selected list of friends/family. simple, no?

    matthew

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    perhaps you can share with thread followers more on your mtbcast. this is a viable service to offer those involved with low-budget expeditions such as the gdr. sell racers a digital voicemailbox accessed by pin and give them an 800 # on which to leave audio files. then email those files to their selected list of friends/family. simple, no?

    matthew
    The website for the podcast is mtbcast.com. We're just getting started and you can find us on iTunes by searching for "mtbcast" or "cycling" or "biking" as well. I already have some interest from sponsors, so this could certainly help us in getting things like this going.

    I realize there are going to be audio issues as far as clarity and quality are concerned but in cases where that happens we can augment that with the best translation we can (as Joe has often had to do). I will see what I can find out about getting a vmail box etc. and what we can do from a technical standpoint. (I work for a communications company and maybe they can help). We have plenty of time to explore this and get the best solution we can, so that's good.

    Maybe you, Joe, and myself (also Joe) can get some email dialog going or however you prefer. You can email me at the podcast address mtbcast_at_gmail.com. I will see what I can find out about getting my company to sponsor a vmail box.

    JP

  32. #32
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29erchico
    Why is the GDR always run North to South? Just the way it has always been done? Prevailing winds? It would seem that water would be more plentiful in the southern sections if the race stated in the south. Also, the snow would be have more time to clear in the north.
    Well, the maps and cue sheets are written for traveling that direction. ACA designed and really only thought of the route being ridden N->S. That said, aside from having to hike-a-bike up Fleecer Ridge and do cue sheet math backwards, there's no problem running it S->N. (I toured it backwards in '04).

    Personally, I kind of like the idea of having the GDR switch directions each year. But it does change the character of the race. It doesn't buy you much in terms of snow or weather. The area near the NM/CO border is as much a problem (or more) than the passes of Montana. And it's still hot in New Mexico, even if you start in early June.

    My feeling is that wind is better S->N, but my experience (and research) is very limited on this subject.

    For purposes of maintaining records and consistency, it's probably best that the race always run the same direction.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by jav1231
    Maybe you, Joe, and myself (also Joe) can get some email dialog going or however you prefer. You can email me at the podcast address mtbcast_at_gmail.com. I will see what I can find out about getting my company to sponsor a vmail box.

    JP
    jav, its best if you take it up with mikesee. my sense is he'd be keen on having you sponsor something like that but he's organizing things and will have the say on how he'll want coverage of this nature to work. pete and i have raced both years and so we have lots of good ideas. i'm happy to contribute to talks about it.

    it has potential to be pretty rad coverage. i'm at heymatthewlee@gmail.com if you need.

    my initial thinking would be a pin-connected vmailbox assigned to each racer and the same 800 no. for all. the challenge: the ph. number for racers to call in and provide their daily updates ALSO must recite a fairly real-time update message (greeting) of every other racer's daily route position. this is b/c out of simplicity and strategy, its best that this be accomplished in one phonecall. one that both broadcasts a racer's position AND updates them as to who's where. mid-race, mid desert or whenever, it bites to hang out at a payphone for too long.

  34. #34
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    mc,

    i really want to do this race, and maybe i'll be able to in 2007. i could probably ride the montana section this year. that would give me an idea what to expect as a thru-ride later on. but, am i allowed to start and ride with the other riders planning to do the whole thing, when i know i will be dropping out after 5 days or so?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by jav1231
    Mike,
    I do a podcast called MTBCast and would like to discuss maybe doing a feature on the GDR. I had in mind maybe doing a daily cast with audio updates from the racers. I don't want to take away from Joe's blog but I thought this might be a great way to work in conjunction with that.

    JP
    JP-

    Sounds like a good idea. Nothing is set in stone for this year's communications or blogging. I haven't spoken with Joe, but I get the idea that he did the updates last year as a favor to Pete. I don't get the idea that he'd care one way or the other if he wasn't involved this year, especially since Pete claims he isn't racing.

    I've had one other semi-serious offer that I'm mulling over. Feel free to email more details to me at mike.curiak@gmail dot com.

    Cheers,

    MC

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by 29erchico
    Why is the GDR always run North to South? Just the way it has always been done? Prevailing winds? It would seem that water would be more plentiful in the southern sections if the race stated in the south. Also, the snow would be have more time to clear in the north.
    Marshall-

    Primarily because that's the way the route instructions are written. Scott Morris (among many others) did the route S->N in 2004, and commented that even with a clear head it was often difficult to interpret the 'backwards' directions.

    I don't think prevailing winds were ever a consideration--too unpredictable, even if they are 'prevalent'.

    Water is more or less unaffected. The streams in the desert stretches (last ~250 miles of the course) have dried up by mid-June (at the latest), weeks before any racers would be there to use them. But just ~200 miles further on (North-Central NM) and you're over 8000 feet and into the snow. In other words, you'd have to start even later to go S->N in order to avoid the late season snow. Starting later from down south creates other problems--among them heat, monsoons, fires, dust, sand, washboard, etc...


    MC

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    Mmm....

    Mike,

    Thanks, I knew there were some factors that I was missing. Sounds like those southern passes being packed with epic amounts of snow this year is a big factor why the start date was pushed back for '06.

    To all who are familiar with the GDR:

    I'm going to be doing a bit of GDR prerideing in late July to get familiar with some sections for my '07 go at this monster. Any suggestions as to which sections are most likley to cause navigation confusion would be greatly appreciated. Those are the sections that I am going to target for prerides.

    Wishing all a great year with heaping helpings of happy trail miles.

    29erchico

  38. #38
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    I'd be game

    for calling a vm and leaving a msg about when, where, ect... I think that would be really cool to do... I barely read email and have a blog page that is the extent of my tech knowlage, so I wouldn't be any help with the tech side of things.
    Read my BLOG!

    just a guy who loves bikes and exploring

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by SlowerThenSnot
    for calling a vm and leaving a msg about when, where, ect... I think that would be really cool to do... I barely read email and have a blog page that is the extent of my tech knowlage, so I wouldn't be any help with the tech side of things.
    mucousman,
    it should be cool. fyi, daily call-in from payphone or hotel or whatever is actually part of the rules. again, the trick will be to try and both leave a digital voice file for a web auto-update AND obtain a route position update on other racers in the same call. ***perhaps a simple program can be written that automatically pulls the first 5 seconds of each racer's daily vmail file, threads them ALL together to create the greeting each racer hears on the 800 no. just b/f a prompt instructs racers to enter their vmailbox pin #)

    jav? possible?

  40. #40
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    I can help with the tech end of anything that we do (I've been doing websites for 8 years and have extensive knowledge of web-programming). I'm in the middle of coding a very extensive cycling website and was going to do my updates (photo, blog, etc) with that by having pictures email themselves to webserver and post on the website (at least I hope to, I am not sure about cellphone coverage/if I'll have a good enough camera to do this). Perhaps we could collaborate efforts.
    kmonty -A-T- brandeis -D0T- edu

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    mucousman,
    it should be cool. fyi, daily call-in from payphone or hotel or whatever is actually part of the rules. again, the trick will be to try and both leave a digital voice file for a web auto-update AND obtain a route position update on other racers in the same call. ***perhaps a simple program can be written that automatically pulls the first 5 seconds of each racer's daily vmail file, threads them ALL together to create the greeting each racer hears on the 800 no. just b/f a prompt instructs racers to enter their vmailbox pin #)

    jav? possible?
    I don't know that I will find out much here as far as the company goes but I have a friend with some ideas about vmail. I think what would be really cool would be a place where messages could be left and those messages automatically sent to an email address after each incident. What you're saying sounds cool, though. What about Google Maps? You see a lot going on where people are auto-plotted on the map but I don't know how this would work in a race scenerio. A thought though.

    If Joe P. decides to do the blog again, that would be cool. I what I envisioned for the podcast was a daily update in audio form like Joe does on the blog, maybe to compliment that.

    JP

  42. #42
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    Out of curiosity how many people do you have as for sure to compete? I'm pretty sure I'll be there if I can find someone to watch my dog.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by velomech
    A friend and I are (against better judgement) planning on doing this. I would love to get more info from you. I still have your contact info, number and email. Mind if I give you a shout? I almost rang you up last night as I went through my contact list wishing everyone a merry holiday...

    BTW, check out the SS race we are putting on, hope you can make it!

    Later
    Hodge
    www.addictivecycles.com
    Hey Hodge, Yeah, give me a shout. I'm happy to share route vitals with you. I recommend riding the canadian section for warm up. You won't regret it. Its almost Feb. so start now to prepare. Fax me baby.

  44. #44
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    FYI re. GDR Maps discount

    Remember Kids,
    If you join Adventure Cycling before you buy the GDMBR maps you get a pretty good member discount. In addition to cost breaks on materials there are myriad other reasons to be a member of AC. For decades they have inspired millions to "dream on two wheels".

    Some into these kind of races like to fly below the radar of infrastructure such as AC but, if anything, support for their efforts will bring you good karma on their route. Maybe consider it as your "voluntary" entrance fee into the GDR.

    Learn more on who they are here: http://www.adventurecycling.org/whoweare/index.cfm

    Enjoy one of their "Photo's of the Week" from the 2004 Great Divide Race here:
    http://www.adventurecycling.org/week...ndex.cfm?w=435

    And another of Matt King riding what always proves to be a crux section in MT:
    http://www.adventurecycling.org/week...ndex.cfm?w=441

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    one cheap, interesting way: flights to calgary, alberta are cheap from the US (i paid 225 last year) and bikes fly free to canada. the only catch: you have to ride 220 miles of wilderness from the top of the route in banff to the start. its a good warm-up, but the problem is, its very beautiful.
    Matt, I'm interested in this option, how'd it turn out for you? The Adventure Cycling's description of the Canadian section is rather concerning... "Because June is typically a wet month in the northern Rockies, and often a cold one at the higher elevations, we recommend that you do not attempt this ride prior to late June or early July. High-country snowpack may prevent certain portions from being passable until then, anyway."

    Did you find this to be true? Moreover, how long did it take you to ride from Banff to Rooseville?

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by sizlinseagulsoup
    Matt, I'm interested in this option, how'd it turn out for you? The Adventure Cycling's description of the Canadian section is rather concerning... "Because June is typically a wet month in the northern Rockies, and often a cold one at the higher elevations, we recommend that you do not attempt this ride prior to late June or early July. High-country snowpack may prevent certain portions from being passable until then, anyway."

    Did you find this to be true? Moreover, how long did it take you to ride from Banff to Rooseville?
    Sizzler,
    Good question. The AC description is sort of generalized and (rightfully so) conservative. W/rspt to snow it doesn't account fully for the lower elevations one rides on GDMBR-Canada. W/rspt to rain, it doesn't account for the more arid eastside-divide variance of the first 110 mi from Banff. The latter part of Canada drops into lower elevation plains outside Fernie and is even less subject to "Northern Rockies" patterns. That said, anything can happen, though. It seems North American weather patterns get more manic every year. Race start =1 week later than past years and will only put racers further from Spring rain/snow. Current snowpack estimates for Canada/MT are below normal and speak of drought concerns by June. My feeling is we're starting the race late this year given drought forecasts for the entire divide region.

    The Canadian Section is one of the most beautiful. Its lush, flush w/ clean H2O, and majestic snow covered peaks. I honestly see its inclusion as integral to the evolution of the GDR. And if the beauty doesn't motivate you, Adventure Cycling has suggested if they choose to recognize speed records on GDMBR eventually, they will be inclined to observe entire route thru-ride times over border to border.

    The Canada Prologue worked out well for a number of reasons. Here's the "long of it" for your planning pleasure:

    Travel - Access to Calgary Int. Airport is simple, on-the-1/2hr shuttles to Banff are common and just a 1.5hr van ride West on the Trans-Canada Hwy. Flying bikes internationally is "supposed" to be free for many airlines. If you're a seasoned bike traveler, though, you know one must be dogged/wiley/AND polite about this benefit -research your airlines. I ticketed (a multi-destination Calgary/Albuquerque, NM) flight with delta but flew NW (they have a partnership). Delta has the bike benefit (it transferred to NW). NW, I found to be very accomodating and the decision to charge/or not lies with your desk agent so be polite AND informed of your rights (true with any airline).

    Weather - Banff avg. high/low for June is 72/41F. Avg rainfall for June is ~2". Avg. snow is 1.7cm. (read: almost none). Banff is @4,500 ft (route highpoint for Canada=6400). Its actually quite arid feeling first day as route lies on the east side of the divide. You won't cross the divide until end of 1st day or during 2nd. Last year Banff area was rainy for 3 weeks prior to my arrival. There were very few signs of this precip - even in the rivers. Its so forested up there that the land holds its water like Canadians hold their beer. One long time resident told me there is almost never snow in June. The GDMBR runs the valleys all the way to MT. Up high its too rugged.

    Banff - Three hostels in Banff provide good/cheap lodging options. There are ~5 or so bike shops btwn Canmore and Banff for svc or shipping bikes. The GDMBR trailhead is 1km. from Main St. Banff. (just out the back pkg. lot of the ultra posh Banff Springs Hotel <castle>). Canucks are cool as cucumbers, too. Plan to go out in town one night. You'll make friends. There is a great Hot Springs up the mountain outside of town. Bus rides up/back leave from Main St on the half hour. A good soak the night b/f route departure is a good idea. If I race this year I will certainly start in Banff again. All those who go for Canada Prologue should posse up b/f hand or even get a group-rated room at one of the hostels. I heard rumors that the storied "Mountain Turtle" might show up for prologue-only.

    The Route(221mi): It is very straightforward to navigate. I rolled out from Banff @ 2pm <48hrs b/f the 12pm Friday MT GDR start. This forced a brisk pace but i was at the border at Roosville by 10pm the night b/f the race. It stays light there until 11pmish @ solstice. The first 12 miles from Banff are in Banff National Park. It is jaw dropping...wide singletrack/narrow double the whole way with bridge crossings and waterfalls galore. Then its on to fireroads and more singletrack, XC ski trails. The entire first day is dirt and loamy in many places so day 1 (if you do 2 days to MT) will not be easy. Day 2 has plenty of improved fireroad and pavement to the border. Leave more miles for day 2 rather than go too hard on day 1. Look out for Grizz everywhere on day 1. I did not see one last year (day1) but saw lots of scat, knew they were out there. As I mentioned, there is not much sustained climbing as the route follows the valleys. The one good climb (Elk Pass, 6400ft) day 1 was the only juicy section on the route with pools of water/poor drainage where it piggybacks a powerline used by ATVs. Bring a Camera. It will slow you down some to shoot decent shots (there's always a better one around the bend) but the Canadian Rockies are geologically like no other, worth documenting.

    A note on the border and travel to Canada: Until 12/06 one only needs birth certificate, ID to cross Canadian borders as a US Citizen. It would be faster in customs to use a passport but either will work. At the Roosville Port, they are super low-key. I declared a knife, there was no search and they only asked me for my NC Drivers License, but be prepared with/for it all. And don't bring back any of Fernie's BC super-ganja, its just not worth it and (whether they find it on you or not), it might make you late for the US start.

    Once stateside its 7 miles to Eureka, MT from Port of Roosville for any supplies or PO services. I recommend getting a room there and cleaning up so you look/smell swank for your big debut at the GDR-proper start. On Main St. in Eureka is Cafe Jax, a breakfast tradition for GDR racers, sure to serve a proper/cheap "last supper". If you don't require any of that, the iconic First Chance/Last Chance Bar at the border will sell you Canadian OR American beer and has limited food options up until about 11pm. As far as I know there is no legal camping at the border but I can't imagine the management of the bar would be against "out back" shack-up.

    GDR Prologue or not, you can't lose by speed riding this awesome touring route. It will be your off-road version of Kerouac's "On the Road". A rite of passage for any fat tire enthusiast. Good luck w/ prep. Start now. It'll be Memorial Day b/f you know it.
    Last edited by mathewsen; 02-27-2006 at 06:22 PM.

  47. #47
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    Getting a 29" bike for the race has been recommended to me before. However, how common were 29" parts (tires, rims, built wheels, etc) at the shops along the trail? I can see why having a 29" bike could be in my advantage, but I'd rather not be out of luck if I shread a tire/taco a wheel along the course. To former 29" GDRacers: did you guys just pack extra tires with you or did you take your chances?

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee

    Lack of groundwater is a certainty in the desert stretches of NM even in early June. No chance any of the racers will be getting there before early July...
    Hey Mike and all - I've been an endurance event lurker enthusiast for a while now - and as the years go by and experience is gained, incredible journeys like the GDR seem more and more possible sometime in the not-to-distant future. Hope everyone has a great time this year! Mike & co. - you're all tremendously inspiring. Might see ya'll at VT125 this season.

    I'm posting as I'm concerned about our fire season here in North/Central NM. Lincoln & Cibola NF's already fire restrictions in place - and all the forest districts in NM are on a "week by week" watch. For those not in / familiar with the winter season we're having (er, or NOT having) NM and other areas in the region, south of the central-colorado "snow belt" have been utterly starved of moisture this year. The ski basin here in santa fe is bone-dry. Just a few weeks ago I was able to ride to the top of Tesuque Peak, at an elevation of over 12,000 feet. Not good. Last year at that time there was upwards of a 140" - 170" snowpack! That should be a clear indication of how awful a winter it's been.

    I mention this as I'm not sure how affected the forest regions along the route will be, but count on wide-spread out-and-out closures of vast areas IF we don't have a tremendously wet spring. Soon. Like now.

    If it helps, I can post updates here if ya'll would find that helpful - as I'll be keeping tight tabs on the forest situation all spring here.

    Here's the press release from Cibola:
    LINK

    And for Lincoln:
    LINK

    A quote from the Lincoln NF release:

    "Warm temperatures, lack of snow, dry winds, and abundant dry grass are causing fire danger to increase rapidly on the Lincoln National Forest. “This unusual weather is moving fire danger into the High/Very High range,” said Forest Fire Management Officer Paul Schmidtke. “We have not had any measurable precipitation in southeastern New Mexico in several months. In the past two years we’ve had good monsoonal moisture which helped increase grass on the forest floor. That grass is now tinder dry, and the recent warm temperatures and dry winds can cause that fuel to burn very rapidly,” Schmidtke said.

    The long-term outlook is for continued above-normal temperatures and below-normal precipitation through March. Forest officials are urging people to use caution this winter. Smoking, dumping ash from woodstoves, and burning debris are all prime candidates for starting fires, especially on the windy days that occur this time of year. The Forest is requesting addition funding to bring seasonal firefighters normally hired in April back to work early."


    It's hard to describe how awful this is - as Feb/Mar/Apr are usually the months of epic snow dumps. To see restrictions in February is scary. It usually takes until April or May in really dry years to see them - so this early is a bad sign indeed.
    Last edited by glenzx; 03-01-2006 at 12:02 PM.
    "It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -

  49. #49
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by glenzx
    I'm posting as I'm concerned about our fire season here in North/Central NM.
    Excellent point. Glad you brought it up. We're dealing with the same issue here in AZ. Fire restrictions already!

    It seems very likely that at least part of the national forests in New Mexico will be closed for '06 GDR racers. A detailed look at closures and alternates will have to be made.

    Even in 2004, when I toured the route, they were shutting down as we passed through. One (I think it was Cibola) was willing to give special permission to GDMBR riders. It required going in person to the NF office and explaining that you're on a special trip and really can't detour, etc. They gave us a written permit similar to the ones local land owners get.

    Here's hoping for some rain! I'm beginning to wonder if even the AZT 300 (April 14th) will be free of closures based on some of the rumors I've heard. It's hard to say at this point.

    Scott

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by sizlinseagulsoup
    Getting a 29" bike for the race has been recommended to me before. However, how common were 29" parts (tires, rims, built wheels, etc) at the shops along the trail? I can see why having a 29" bike could be in my advantage, but I'd rather not be out of luck if I shread a tire/taco a wheel along the course. To former 29" GDRacers: did you guys just pack extra tires with you or did you take your chances?
    I rode a 26er in `04 GDR and a 29er in the `05 rendition and I feel like it made a difference in my average speed over the long haul. Its probably a mile or two faster per hour which will cut off a day or two by the end of your ride. If you're racing to compare yourself to other racers and times from previous years, it will be worth the investment to get one as 90% of the fields have used them.

    The route is not so hard on quality disc rims. I would say not to worry about rim availability. I carried an xtra tire in `04 and found it to be overkill. If you get a quality 29er tire such as WTB's DNA tires, you will easily have ample rubber. Maybe have a spare tire sent to the mid-route drop point for catastrophic sidewall issues if you're worried. I ran steel bead last year and my Nanoraptors were barely broken in after 2700mi.

    If your hubs aren't new be sure to overhaul them and use high-quality lubes on pawls, etc. Even consider loctite on certain threads. sealed bearing designs work well.

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    All's quiet on the GDR front

    Checking in to see who's talking and it seems to be pretty quiet here. Maybe folks can't see past Trans Iowa or Kokopelli. 8 weeks till start. Who's racing this year? I'd love to see a roster stirring. Its time to make plans. I'm waiting on a bike. If it happens, I think I'm in again. Who else? Racing this route is an endurance rite of passage. The question shouldn't be IF, but WHEN. What happened to the fixed gear rider that was threatening to ride?

    Guys?...Gals?

  52. #52
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    I'll be there

    With my fixie and my severe lack of cash =)

    I'll be riding a fixie and eating ramen.

    I am picking up a crosscheck frame and I think thats what i'll be riding or my kona.

    You can read about my rides and training and other boring stuff on my blog.

    I am a little pre ocupied with TI2 right now.....

    A roster update does seem to be in line though.
    Read my BLOG!

    just a guy who loves bikes and exploring

  53. #53
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    I made the final decision to do the race today! I'm going to start ordering gear (racks/bags/new fork/etc) this week!

    This will be my 26" superlight's final voyage. Helluva way to go!

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    planning to race

    Hey guys,

    Just wanted to let you know that I'm planning to do the GDR this year.
    So I guess now that we have a few commited riders, we can start that roster.
    See you all in June!

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    three's company, how many makes a good race?

    okay, that makes three, maybe four riders? not much of a field, really. anyone else?

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    navigation: two alternates in question

    mike,
    can you please address two gdr route alternates not discussed in the rules.

    first, brooks lake rd in wyoming:

    This is a 9mi. piece of wyoming dirt road (FR 515/Brooks Lake Rd) at the top of Hwy 26/287's Togwotee Pass (GDMBR Map 2, Side B, miles 56.5-65.4). this is the main route, but was not used in the `99 ITT or by racers during the `04 record year. what is the status on this piece paralleling WY 26/287? Original route just bombed down 26/287, current route climbs/descends up into/around very scenic wind river range.

    second, the red clay road thru el malpais (badlands) in NM outside Grants:

    This significant chunk of dirt thru El Malpais has a paved alternate (see map 5 side B). The alternate was the main route in 99. In `04 racers that had the old maps did not travel this dirt, took alternate. Is this alternate legal for `06?

    It may be important to reiterate there are several versions of the GDMBR maps. if racers use an older version, its their responsibility to obtain the addenda from adventure cycling's website.
    Last edited by mathewsen; 04-25-2006 at 02:17 PM.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    okay, that makes three, maybe four riders? not much of a field, really. anyone else?
    Matt-

    Based on just about every conversation/email exchange I've had with you, coupled with the above quote, I have to ask:

    Is anything, ever, good enough for you?

    ??

    MC

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    hey mike,
    what's been done with the gdr is good enuf. can races be improved upon without sacrificing an essence? yes.

    regarding my quote you referenced, seems there's been less discussion, exposure on the gdr this year. if i'm going to participate, i'd frankly like to see a field to race against. the gdr is imposing enuf that potential riders need encouragement, info about what it really takes/gives back to participate. i'm just keeping the posts prevalent as part of that effort. there's no harm in shaking things up. this is a forum, and as such is often for just that.

    not to go back and forth with you on your assertion, but perhaps part of why you view much of my content as negative is b/c you don't always agree. does this make me the contrarian? not necessarily.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    regarding my quote you referenced, seems there's been less discussion, exposure on the gdr this year. if i'm going to participate, i'd frankly like to see a field to race against.
    There have been many people that have contacted me privately to tell me that they're "in" they're excited, etc... These people (like many previous GDR racers) don't seem to need/want exposure. They simply want a challenge, for themselves and against themselves. You seem to have a different MO.


    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    the gdr is imposing enuf that potential riders need encouragement, info about what it really takes/gives back to participate. i'm just keeping the posts prevalent as part of that effort. there's no harm in shaking things up. this is a forum, and as such is often for just that.
    The GDR is so imposing that no amount of external encouragement/atta boys/backslapping will make any difference in personal outcomes. You either "have it together" mentally, or you don't, and it varies from person to person, year to year.


    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    not to go back and forth with you on your assertion, but perhaps part of why you view much of my content as negative is b/c you don't always agree. does this make me the contrarian? not necessarily.
    I view your content as negative because it's rarely/never positive. Perhaps you should try out some pro bono race promotion to understand. I'll be there for you when you do.

    MC

  60. #60
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    Not sure about others here, but this seems like more of a "competitive" personal journey than a massive race. Anyways, I look forward to racing against whoever shows up, no matter how big or how small the field is!

    Mike, any idea how many people off the forum are racing?
    -Kevin Montgomery

    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    hey mike,
    what's been done with the gdr is good enuf. can races be improved upon without sacrificing an essence? yes.

    regarding my quote you referenced, seems there's been less discussion, exposure on the gdr this year. if i'm going to participate, i'd frankly like to see a field to race against. the gdr is imposing enuf that potential riders need encouragement, info about what it really takes/gives back to participate. i'm just keeping the posts prevalent as part of that effort. there's no harm in shaking things up. this is a forum, and as such is often for just that.

    not to go back and forth with you on your assertion, but perhaps part of why you view much of my content as negative is b/c you don't always agree. does this make me the contrarian? not necessarily.

  61. #61
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    Wish I could make it.
    My understanding is that the feild will be well over three.
    Maybe Mike could give us a number without names. Please!

  62. #62
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    Hope Not a glory hound

    I am inb to see if i can pedal `my bike for 20+ days. If i make it or not I am going to trow a 100% at whatever I am doing.

    Pats on the back and having people in awe is great but i'm in it for me.... Mabe i'm selfish...

    Far too many people don't/won't push them selfs to what they are capable of. Me I have a month off this year and I want to ride through as much as God's green and brown earth as I can...

    I'll get off my soap box now...
    Read my BLOG!

    just a guy who loves bikes and exploring

  63. #63
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    + 2

    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    okay, that makes three, maybe four riders? not much of a field, really. anyone else?
    Myself (third time's a charm -- mised out and '04 and '05 with a move and a broken elbow respectively) and Rudi Nadler showing up direct drive. I just scouted a dirt route for us to ride from my place in Sandpoint through the Yaak up to Roosville for the start.

    mc

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    nice mc,
    way to keep the roll ballin'. that yaak road area is gorgeous. you'll be thankful for the warm-up. are you two fixin' it also? it'd be great to get some vignettes going on riders

    last year someone was in the clean machine in carrboro, nc selling prints done by rudi as part of a gdr fundraiser. is that still going on/worth mentioning in this thread? I saw the image and it looked like a cool way for a brother to earn his way down the route.

    maybe he'll produce one route-inspired post gdr.

  65. #65
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    ?

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    If you'd like answers to questions that aren't covered on the site, please post them here, in this thread, and those in the know will answer as time permits.
    MC
    Yo Mike,
    Have been a GDR lurker for several years (& even sent a little pocket change to The Mountain Turtle for support funding last year).
    Question is: Have you ever considered getting Outdoor Life Cable to televise the GDR ?
    And, I am fully, prepared for you to tell me that, of course, you have and here is how come it is not a desireable option at this time.
    At any rate, I have wondered about this for a year and now that I have found this forum > had to ask this question.
    Fred.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikePacker
    Yo Mike,
    Have been a GDR lurker for several years (& even sent a little pocket change to The Mountain Turtle for support funding last year).
    Question is: Have you ever considered getting Outdoor Life Cable to televise the GDR ?
    And, I am fully, prepared for you to tell me that, of course, you have and here is how come it is not a desireable option at this time.
    At any rate, I have wondered about this for a year and now that I have found this forum > had to ask this question.
    Fred.
    In some ways it IS desirable, but since the race has no budget it's just not possible. It has been discussed many times, but the only ways that have been found to make it happen require bringing in sponsors to fund it, and I've got too much experience with sponsors and how they change the fundamental nature of everything to want to go that route. The race is, and always will be, aimed at the racers' enjoyment/experience. If, down the road, it becomes possible to get the race some good coverage without intruding on the racers too much, I'll do what I can to make it happen.

    Thanks,

    MC

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    I'd like to see at least one documentary-style film done in this. Follow a couple of racers through the course. I think it would be cool.

    <<JAV>>
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    JP
    MTBCast.com!

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    Plus one

    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    Checking in to see who's talking and it seems to be pretty quiet here. Maybe folks aren't looking past Trans Iowa or Kokopelli. 8 weeks till start. Who's racing this year? I'd love to see a roster stirring. Its time to solidify plans. I'm waiting on a bike. If it happens, I think I'm in again. Who else?

    Guys?...Gals?
    Okay, looks like i'm in for another rendition. I wouldn't miss the Canadian Prologue either. I'll roll from Banff, AB around noonish June 21st, arriving at First Chance/Last Chance border-bar in Roosville, MT on the eve of the race. If any other riders are planning to do the entire route/warm up with the Canadian section, drop me a line. I'll meet the rest of you at Cafe Jax in Eureka, perhaps, over race-day breakfast. Good luck w/ prep.

    ML
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by mathewsen; 05-09-2006 at 09:18 AM.

  69. #69
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    Sweet mike...

    I look forward to meeting you =)

    I wish I had the time to do the prolog
    Read my BLOG!

    just a guy who loves bikes and exploring

  70. #70
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    I still have not decided between the Prolog or taking a flight into Kalispell. I've heard lots of convincing arguments in favor of doing the prolog (cheaper flight, beauty, and it's fairly easy to get the the trailhead). However, does anyone have anything to say in favor for going to Kalispell? Also, if I went to Kalispell, is there any easy way to get to Eureka/Roosville other than riding the 65 miles (I guess that could be my prolog?). Also, has anyone had any problems flying into Canada? I do not have a passport, but I heard that they are not going to require a passport for US Citizens until 2007. Any truth to that?

    I plan on buying my ticket within the next week, so anything input would be appreciated.

  71. #71
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    either way you win

    sizzler' get your tix asap unless you're using a frequent flyer. inside a month tarrifs get steep.

    pro-kalispell: if you ride the prologue you miss the race meeting at a whitefish pizza joint the eve of the race. i missed it last year while coming from Banff but its mostly for clarifications/meeting your competitors over beer. the pizza is damn good, but attendance is not necessary to race. whitefish is a cool town. some racers have pooled for shuttle to roosville from whitefish. i have heard that riding hwy 93 from whitefish is asking to be splatted. if you skip the prologue you'll be rested for race day, however, see below ideas on first-week physical adaptation.

    pro-prologue: you DONT need a passport to enter CN, however you must have your birth certificate (or maybe a notorized copy). not sure. mail it back home from Banff if using original. a driver's license is all you need to re-enter the US. there's an excellent full-service PO in Banff to rid yourself of any travel necessities b/f setting out. 01/07 is when passsport rule takes effect for CN travel. bikes fly free (generally) from the states. shuttle = 50 canadian to Banff from Calgary international (on the hour departures, 1.5 hr ride). prologue is not super climby, but is mostly loamy dirt (221 mi) so allow 2 riding days to cruise it/enjoy it. until the race evolves to run the entire route, cruising this stretch is a great way to tweak your bike set-up AND reduce the shock to the body that racing straight from Roosville doles out by day 3 or 4. IMO, allowing for some adaptation is key to getting past the guaranteed pain of the first week. as rediculous as riding a century or two sounds to "arrive" at the start of a 2,500 mile race, it actually makes sense. just ask kent peterson. he rode to the start from his home in washington w/ good results.

    good luck either way. drop me a line if you'll be in Banff. i'll arriving there 6/19 or 20.

  72. #72
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    Got myself a ticket for 6/21 for Kalispell to give myself an extra day to acclimate to the elevation etc. If anyone else is going to be in whitefish (or if there is a list already), let me know. I'd like to carpool to the start, if at all possible.
    -Kevin

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    car/van pool

    Kevin,

    I am scheduled to fly in to Kalispell at about 2pm on the 22nd. I would definitely be up for sharing a ride to the start. Any leads on locating a van for hire and/or a driver?

    John

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    a van was used last year to carry a few

    mtbr members krein and basinger who have posted on this thread rented a van last year. i would PM one of them for info. i think it was like $100 or something.

    another resource would be the northern MT custodians of the great divide route at glacier cyclery. ask for ron or jan.

  75. #75
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    NM forests closed?

    Mike and all. Some New Mexico friends are telling me the National Forests in NM are closed due to the extreme fire danger. I assume you can still ride through on FS roads but it would be worth checking out. Camping will probably not be allowed (legally), you guys don't really camp but the FS might not see it that way.

    Gary in Del Norte

  76. #76
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    Open forests

    Here I am replying to my own post. I'm in NM visiting family and I've learned the only forests that are closed right now is Cibola and only the Sandia and Manzano district. Everything the on GDR route is open at the moment.

    Gary

  77. #77
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    6/3 GDR Update

    Hey everyone-

    If you're planning to start the GDR on 6/3 it's important that you send me an email ASAP to mike.curiak at gmail.com with "GDR if you please" in the subject line. A few last minute details need to be addressed, and I need you to contact me for that to happen.

    Don't hesitate--do it now.

    Also, please re-read all of the rules on the GDR website--a few have been amended to reflect changes for '06.

    Thanks,

    MC

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    camping/lodging

    Mike,

    Thanks for the updated information.

    Is there any policy regarding whether we are required to camp only, or is an occasional, non-prearranged motel stay (and hot shower) allowed?

    thanks

  79. #79
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    I know in the past, GDR updates were posted on blogs. What is the address of this year's update blog, or will it be posted on the main site?

  80. #80
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    greatdividerace.blogspot.com

    Quote Originally Posted by sizlinseagulsoup
    I know in the past, GDR updates were posted on blogs. What is the address of this year's update blog, or will it be posted on the main site?
    As last year, the updates will be posted to http://greatdividerace.blogspot.com/

    A change this year is that racers will be able to very quickly send in updates by calling an 800 number and just telling their stories (thanks to http://www.mtbcast.com!). I will be transcribing those voice messages into the blog at blogspot dot com. Should have updates happening several times daily, to the extent that my life allows that.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

    "I like my wimmen like I like my beer--cold and bitter!"

  81. #81
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    Thanks tom!

    My folks and others well be happy to have that to see. Thanks for the time spent on that
    Read my BLOG!

    just a guy who loves bikes and exploring

  82. #82
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    My bus arivies in Whitefish

    At about 11:30am on wends....

    Just gonna take my time and ride to the start =)
    Read my BLOG!

    just a guy who loves bikes and exploring

  83. #83
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    Since the pre-race meeting in Whitefish is cancelled, I'm going to be riding to the start as well. Are you riding teh GDRoute or are you taking the highway?

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    Be careful of rubbernecking tourists if you take hwy 93! The GDR route is pretty out of the way from Whitefish to Roosville with quite a bit of climbing, but then again I suggest everyone ride from Canada so I can't really advise you not to take the route. It shore is perty through there.

    FYI, if you're going to stay in Eureka (I recommend this cuz the most rockin' last supper (breakfast) is there at Cafe Jax), the cheapest hotel is called the Ksanka (406)297-3127. Its not so cheap at 50 bones and things book up often so get a reservation. All services near the border are costly. Eureka is about 7mi south of the border on hwy 93. There is one campground too, 2 miles from the border on 93. Its called Blue Mtn RV and Camp. They never book up. I'll be in rm. 13 at the Ksanka cleaning up from the Prologue. Come by for a beer.

    Travel Safe!
    Matthew Lee

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    Last year I stealth camped in the park on the south edge of Eureka the night before the GDR. There's a decent QuikieMart type of place right near there and I totally second Matthew's suggestion of Cafe Jax for breakfast. You can backtrack up the route via the airport road to the First/Last Chance after loading up with a good breakfast.

    I wish all you dudes the best of adventures.

    Hasten slowly, everybody. It's a great trip.

    Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson

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    Thanks for the info as always

    Kent you da man thanks for sharing! Mat thanks!
    Read my BLOG!

    just a guy who loves bikes and exploring

  87. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by sizlinseagulsoup
    Since the pre-race meeting in Whitefish is cancelled, I'm going to be riding to the start as well. Are you riding teh GDRoute or are you taking the highway?
    Prob just the hwy... a nice spin up there =)
    Read my BLOG!

    just a guy who loves bikes and exploring

  88. #88
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    Racers, I hope you like hippies

    Word is spreading that the Rainbow Family's national gathering will be held in Big Red Park, in Northwest Colorado. Although the gathering is scheduled for the first week of July, Steamboat Springs is already filling up with family members on their way to the gathering.

    By the time GDR participants pass across the Wyoming border into Colorado, they should expect to see somewhere around 15-20 THOUSAND naked hippies jammin' out in drum circles.

    Family members suggest that you should bring some "shiny rocks" for bartering items such as food, drinks, etc...

    The main event, "the prayer for peace" will be taking place at noon on the 4th of July. Im sure it will be hard to miss if you’re in the area.

    Good luck to everyone with your last minute preparations, I will be looking for ya'all around Steamboat Springs.

    FYI, Wheels bike shop in Steamboat is the best repair shop in northern Colorado. Chris will crank out any repair in a matter of minutes. Not to mention that it is located a few blocks off the intersection of CO 129 and US 40. Feel free to give Chris a call on your way through town at 970-846-RIDE

  89. #89
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    Good luck everyone! Be safe, and have a great adventure.
    GrizzlyAdam.net
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    ~Ed Abbey

  90. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkoInTheBoat
    By the time GDR participants pass across the Wyoming border into Colorado, they should expect to see somewhere around 15-20 THOUSAND naked hippies jammin' out in drum circles.
    This race keeps getting better and better

  91. #91
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    Quote Originally Posted by kentsbike
    I wish all you dudes the best of adventures...Hasten slowly, everybody. It's a great trip...Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson
    Kent's right. I have a feeling the route's natural, cultural resources will have their usual command over riders again this year.

    The greatest challenge for me in truly TTing the route is, indeed, riding by all of this. It's in passing on the experiences with locals, missing the "bear stories" told on the front porch of the town mercantile over Mountain Dews, declining beers or the 20 oz burger you don't pay for if you eat it all, not stopping at interpretive kisoks, not watching the sunrise/sunset from a static position in the dirt. Yep, being an appalachian boy, not experiencing/living the vestiges of "The code of the West" on this pilgrimage pains me as much as the 3hr climbs. Racing the route as fast as one can might be the greatest sacrifice.

    "Get it while you can" -Janice Joplin

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    Kent's right. I have a feeling the route's natural, cultural resources will have their usual command over riders again this year.

    The greatest challenge for me in truly TTing the route is, indeed, riding by all of this. It's in passing on the experiences with locals, missing the "bear stories" told on the front porch of the town mercantile over Mountain Dews, declining beers or the 20 oz burger you don't pay for if you eat it all, not stopping at interpretive kisoks, not watching the sunrise/sunset from a static position in the dirt. Yep, being an appalachian boy, not experiencing/living the vestiges of "The code of the West" on this pilgrimage pains me as much as the 3hr climbs. Racing the route as fast as one can might be the greatest sacrifice.

    "Get it while you can" -Janice Joplin
    I know that feeling. I've never been out west before, and having only left New England for only a handful of days, I really want to see other parts of the country (world). Covering 2500 miles in ~20 days seems like a sin, but I can't imagine I could have convinced myself to do it in any other setting.

    That said, racing by all these wonders is better than not seeing them at all. And I can't wait to be out there.

  93. #93
    Enduro Freak
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    One of the alternate routes (that we are not permitted to take) is a stone throw from the festival... here's a map of how to get to the festival: http://www.welcomehome.org/rainbow/s.../co2006map.jpg

    If you look at section 3, map 2, an alternate route is really close, however the main route is probably 12 miles away. I guess that forgos a free dinner/an amazing spectacle

  94. #94
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    Wow! The race is upon us! For those wondering how MTBCast works:
    A podcast is sort of like a radio show, only in MP3 format. RSS is a syndication method allowing you to “subscribe” to shows and have them delivered to your RSS application when new shows are ready; iTunes is a good example of an RSS app and is a great way to get the show and other podcasts featured on Apple’s directory. When you visit MTBCast.com there's an RSS link on the right where you can go to as well as an iTunes link that will auto-subscribe you if you already have iTunes.

    During the GDR, the podcast will cover the vmail recordings and I will have comment on the race as it progresses.

    I would very much like to talk to some of you for the show.
    Kent, Mike, and others who have ridden the route and anyone who is interested in sitting in on a discussion as the race progresses. I have the ability to record the discussion and put it in the show. Send me an email at joe_dot_polk_at_mtbcast_dot_com.

    Good luck to all the riders and be careful out there!

    JP
    _______
    JP
    MTBCast.com!

  95. #95
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    Nice Joe...

    Way to giterdun. I'll try to give you a shout each day I'm riding the Canadian Prologue from Banff to meet the field at the start. The idea of the talking heads pontificating on the race sounds great.

    Speaking of armchair discussion, I'm audioblogging my way down the route this year at www.tourdivide.blogspot.com. Tune in for photos and a little background info on the various stages (days) of the race.

    Cheers from Banff, Alberta

    Matthew Lee

  96. #96
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    Mike,

    Just want to let someone (everyone) know that my flight to Kalispell today was cancelled, and because of that I will not get out there until tomorrow afternoon. So I probably won't be starting until 24 hours after the official start of the race.

    John N

  97. #97
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    good luck

    john,

    you will catch up with them! good luck to all racers

    -- granite

  98. #98
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    Good luck, John! Ride hard and be safe!
    _______
    JP
    MTBCast.com!

  99. #99
    Time to go farther
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    David Nice had his bike stolen while he slept!
    http://cellarrat.blogspot.com/

    David don't quit. I called you with Kent Peterson's numbers and you have my number. We can get you back on the road somehow!!!
    On-One Lurcher SS
    Speedway Cycles Fatback Ti SS
    1984 Trek 560
    http://slipangles.blogspot.com/ - It's supposed to be fun

  100. #100
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    Agreed. Does anyone have a way to reach him?
    _______
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    MTBCast.com!

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