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  1. #1
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    Tour Divide 2008

    Are you a Grand Tour rider?

    There's another option for racing ACA's Great Divide MTB Route now. With all due respect for the excitement the GDR has brought us, opportunity knocks to race the full 2711mi length of this humongous route.

    Tour Divide: Same self-support style, same bare-bones infrastructure. Only the course will be spiced-up as Canada's legal wilderness riding becomes the early test for survival in the longest MTB race on the planet.

    June 13th 2008 Banff, AB roll-out. Find yourself there.
    Last edited by tourdivide; 12-28-2007 at 04:56 PM.

  2. #2
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    wow.I think i will sit back and read all the hullabaloo which is sure to follow......so now we have 2 divide races?

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    Quote Originally Posted by carlhutch
    wow...so now we have 2 divide races?
    I would say, sort of. There's really more like 1 race concept that can be attempted whenever a taker sees fit...a Man vs. Divide Route premise. TD simply offers an earlier departure date and unifies the Canadian Rockies segment.

    Yes, group racing the divide creates motivation, parity, more spectacle, but so long as one goes for it observing the self-support basics Stamstad ITT'd by in `99 (and the GDR has refined), one has the right to be listed on the tally of finishers...which is up to 20-something now. It's part of the genius of the concept. A challenger needn't roll out with a field of 10+ riders to be pitting their effort against the rest. A focus on a single race date seems to have detracted from this a bit. No, racing against the history books isn't so glam but it requires that internal motivation rewarded in endurance MTB.

    The GDR will always be a border to border race. Interest in a single-stage divide race that rolls from Banff has been brewing for a while now. TD is that, and lends courage to those who see unification in the spirit of the divide race concept but are otherwise concerned with the penalty/risk of riding Canada as an "optional" prologue to the GDR.

    Though TD's emphasis is on long course times, splits will be recorded for Canada, US such that racers will have an official time to compare to past/future lower 48 performances.
    Last edited by mathewsen; 12-29-2007 at 01:06 PM.

  4. #4
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    Can't wait for this 2,711 miles this year!

    Can't wait to see Canada!
    Read my BLOG!

    just a guy who loves bikes and exploring

  5. #5
    mvi
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    So now

    In boxing style we have now two championships. Next will be the race South to North (2), and of course the winter race, all along the same route.
    Just kidding, however I,m afraid it has the potential to finish off a race that could become a classic.
    Paris -Roubaix will never change to Paris -Brussels just because its farther away either.

  6. #6
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    The end of the GDR is near!

    such a shame, I was looking forward to doing the race sometime. What happens if the ACA add another section?...are we going to have three different races, maybe four?(someone may just want to do the Canadian section, or maybe a Mexican section?) all going at a similar time? just when things were getting interesting.

  7. #7
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    This isn't the end, it's merely a chance to rise to another challenge.

    I'll be in Banff this year.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by longman
    such a shame, I was looking forward to doing the race sometime. What happens if the ACA add another section?...are we going to have three different races, maybe four?(someone may just want to do the Canadian section, or maybe a Mexican section?) all going at a similar time? just when things were getting interesting.
    I don't see the GDR going away. I see it growing.

  9. #9
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    I see the GDR dying

    and the Tour Divide taking over. People can already take up the bigger challenge and did, riding the Canadian section then the GDR, now they are gonna ride the Tour Divide and ignore the GDR... They will pass through Rooseville before the GDR starts.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hermosa
    I don't see the GDR going away. I see it growing.
    i think hermosa's right. it seems to be growing. and with it, apppetite for extension. one event will only be good for the other...even if controversy manufactured.

    mvi alludes to multiple titles, but there's only one belt. the fastest rider down the route holds that belt regardless of start date or which group race it was done within. again, that's the beauty of the concept. the only way TD might affect GDR participation is if the rider that holds the fastest US split began that effort from banff. if that were to happen, the onus will be on conscientious challengers to follow suit, roll from the top.

    longman, the south to north idea is an interesting one too. if divide racing participation reaches critical mass, lots of folks like the bidirectional alternating year idea. i think scott morris holds the record on S-N for now.

    as for the route changing in the future, there's nowhere north of banff to go and certainly nowhere south of the mexico border to go (without getting killed by drug lords). ACA assures us the route is done. piecemeal intra-route singletrack improvements will hopefully occur in time but those changes are covered by the rule of always racing the most current ACA maps.

  11. #11
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    I agree that interest in the route will increase but...

    I think (and I'm sat at work bored to tears so I'm thinking too much) that the racers will eventually move from doing the GDR to the Tour Divide. Already we have a numer of racers not doing the GDR but doing the Tour Divide instead. I know it doesn't matter when you race the route or with which group you start, your time will still count, but it obviously has some effect or why else did over 20 riders line up at the same time last year? It's a great psychological boost to know that you are in a 'race' rather than a solo time trial.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by longman
    It's a great psychological boost to know that you are in a 'race' rather than a solo time trial.
    Maybe that helps explain the need for TD? There hasn't been a race on the Canadian section until now. Everyone who wanted to do the canadian section & the GDR had to worry about racers being fresh at the US border, having not already done 211 miles. I remember people last year remarking "imagine what would have happened had Matt Lee not done the Canadian section" with regards to the record. I always thought that was kinda lame...

    A second point, about splitting the race... it's not a secret that ACA is making a mountain bike route along the Pacific Crest Trail. I know of some people that intend on time trialing that route the first year it is established... should we ask ACA to not develop the route because it will split the field between the GDMBR and the PCT too much? ...I find the answer rather obvious...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by sizlinseagulsoup
    Maybe that helps explain the need for TD? There hasn't been a race on the Canadian section until now. Everyone who wanted to do the canadian section & the GDR had to worry about racers being fresh at the US border, having not already done 211 miles. I remember people last year remarking "imagine what would have happened had Matt Lee not done the Canadian section" with regards to the record. I always thought that was kinda lame...

    A second point, about splitting the race... it's not a secret that ACA is making a mountain bike route along the Pacific Crest Trail. I know of some people that intend on time trialing that route the first year it is established... should we ask ACA to not develop the route because it will split the field between the GDMBR and the PCT too much? ...I find the answer rather obvious...
    very lame, Matt new the deal before he started, as did everybody else.

    the PCT and GDMBR are two entirely different courses, that's like saying there should be no Vuelta because there's the Tour De France!!!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by longman
    the PCT and GDMBR are two entirely different courses, that's like saying there should be no Vuelta because there's the Tour De France!!!
    I completely agree with you. But should there be no Canadian Section because of the GDR? I guess that is the ultimate choice. I think the extra 211 miles is important, some may disagree... we all have the freedom to choose

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by sizlinseagulsoup
    I completely agree with you. But should there be no Canadian Section because of the GDR? I guess that is the ultimate choice. I think the extra 211 miles is important, some may disagree... we all have the freedom to choose
    I've never said that there should be no Canadian section, I just think this new race will ultimately lead to the death of the GDR. I don't care whether or not the Canadian section is included in the GDR, someone else did and created a new race to get their own way.

  16. #16
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    So ... the real question is (I mean, once we all stop pretending that these events aren't races) ... which one is the legitimate race?

  17. #17
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    My vote...

    The GDR is THE legitimate race. The Tour Divide is the ugly ginger stepchild that took his ball home because he kept getting beat.

  18. #18
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    Is the Cuba to Grants dirt section required in the TD?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by longman
    The GDR is THE legitimate race. The Tour Divide is the ugly ginger stepchild that took his ball home because he kept getting beat.
    I would caution bringing this down to one person. When decisions were made in regards to the GDR (rules and such) a lot of folks blamed one person. Now there's the TD and there's a tendency to vilify one person. From what I know of both situations it was far from it. Perhaps as the faces of the two races that's to be expected. But just as one person didn't dictatorially mandate the GDR rules on person isn't pulling the TD out of his ass.

    Debate the merits of the two. Make decisions. Do what you must for yourself. Good people are involved all around. It was inevitable that the Canadian section would be raced. FWIW, there are many races that have split options, should these ever merge.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by longman
    The GDR is THE legitimate race. The Tour Divide is the ugly ginger stepchild that took his ball home because he kept getting beat.
    longman, with all due respect, the only real way for you to vote is to line up to race. bring your game (and your ball) to roosville when the GDR starts and you can vote twice if you like. IMO no single divide race can be more legit than another...or more legit than a solo ITT. i think you might be making it more complicated than it is.

    ...and you won't ever hear me cite having ridden canada as a prologue to the GDR the past three years as a handicap. no sour grapes there. i've proudly logged solid performances in the GDR all three times i rode canada. its the best thing i ever did to enhance my divide racing experiences. i've done it willingly for myself (to see that country) and to lead by example w/rspct to a vision of racing the whole divide trail, end-to-end.

    evolution is in the spirit of endurance mtb. no one can argue that. i've endeavored to help evolve the GDR to banff but it's not necessarily what's good for the GDR and it's not my race to change. that's fine. no hard feelings. there's room for folks to race two or three abreast on the divide route and room for two events. you'll find controversy where you want to see it but its best not to create division where there isn't any. TD is pro divide racing. GDR is pro divide racing. TD is pro GDR and vice versa. no one is trying to be more legit than the other.

    pbasinger, TD's lower 48 route rules are identical to GDRs for the sake of even comparisons. cuba to grants dirt is still optional.
    Last edited by mathewsen; 12-29-2007 at 10:55 PM.

  21. #21
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    From the website it seems that this race is identical in course and rules to the GDR, with the addition of the canadian sector? What is the background story to this? Who is organising this?

    This split seemed inevitable, the race that ends up existing will be determined by who can get the most racers. Adding media coverage and prizemoney will destroy either race, as the policing required would be impossible. All involved know this fine line, but I have never heard a logical reason why the canadian sector shouldnt be added. The route should follow the Great Divide for as long as it can so long as there are quality maps and it is safe. Otherwise change the name of the GDR to the USAGDR.

    There should be one race, the organisers of both can decide where it starts from. For the GDR to continue to exist I think the Canadian sector will need to be added, simply because there is no reason why it shouldnt. Guys that have ridden it can attest to its beauty (and its only 200 miles).

  22. #22
    mvi
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    Yes, lets merge. MC and Matthewsen around the table?
    At least we (who sit at home) following the race, don,t need a calculator and two websites to keep up.

  23. #23
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    Following 2 websites / blogs / podcasts from over in the UK will just be too much so I have decided to host a race on this side of the pond

    Also called the GDR it will start in north Wales and follow dirt roads, cafes and truck stops down to south Wales...you knows it! GDR in this case stands for "The 'Get'im Dai' Ride" after what some of the locals might shout as the races pass

    Totally unofficial and no planned route, start date depends on when I can get time off work and a scrapie vaccination.

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  24. #24
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    Well said, Joe.


    Quote Originally Posted by jav1231
    I would caution bringing this down to one person. When decisions were made in regards to the GDR (rules and such) a lot of folks blamed one person. Now there's the TD and there's a tendency to vilify one person. From what I know of both situations it was far from it. Perhaps as the faces of the two races that's to be expected. But just as one person didn't dictatorially mandate the GDR rules on person isn't pulling the TD out of his ass.

    Debate the merits of the two. Make decisions. Do what you must for yourself. Good people are involved all around. It was inevitable that the Canadian section would be raced. FWIW, there are many races that have split options, should these ever merge.

  25. #25
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    branch dividians

    Quote Originally Posted by afie
    From the website it seems that this race is identical in course and rules to the GDR, with the addition of the canadian sector...?

    This split seemed inevitable... Adding media coverage and prize money will destroy either race, as the policing required would be impossible. All involved know this fine line, but I have never heard a logical reason why the canadian sector shouldnt be added. The route should follow the Great Divide for as long as it can so long as there are quality maps and it is safe. Otherwise change the name of the GDR to the USAGDR.

    There should be one race, the organisers of both can decide where it starts from. For the GDR to continue to exist I think the Canadian sector will need to be added, simply because there is no reason why it shouldn't. Guys that have ridden it can attest to its beauty (and its only 200 miles).
    many agree with all of the above but we really don't have say on what happens to the GDR. MC rules that roost and has made it very clear the GDR will never race canada. other than the need for a passport, we're not entirely sure why not either but we respect his decree, promise not to bother him about it anymore.

    we tried for several years to evolve the GDR course by voluntarily riding it as a prologue, suggesting that by name alone it should rightfully be included. that's "playing nicely" and for a long enough period to in good conscience say, "we're striking out on our own". TourDivide really ought be no surprise. it's how the endurance MTB climate works, especially under the Stamstad rules chartered for divide racing. we're simply exercising our right to race it some other time. its not an attempt to bully the GDR into a course change. I for one have loved the GDR like no other. I've raced, supported every rendition. I support 2008 GDR no less. Its with sadness that i go away from it but its also with a sense of relief that i "leave the nest" to endorse TourDivide.

    TD's aim is to return divide racing to more peer driven terms with no cutoffs and limited required call-ins. If folks decide Canada sucks and ought be eliminated, then that's what will happen. First we have to try it.

  26. #26
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    TD's aim is to return divide racing to more peer driven terms with no cutoffs and limited required call-ins. If folks decide Canada sucks and ought be eliminated, then that's what will happen. First we have to try it
    Matt, with all due respect, how does not having time limits not make this more "tour" and less "race"? It would seem counter intuitive to me to let folks have control of that factor if you truly want a "race", or am I missing something?
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by afie
    From the website it seems that this race is identical in course and rules to the GDR, with the addition of the canadian sector?

    ...

    There should be one race, the organisers of both can decide where it starts from. For the GDR to continue to exist I think the Canadian sector will need to be added, simply because there is no reason why it shouldnt. Guys that have ridden it can attest to its beauty (and its only 200 miles).
    Afie,
    It's not just about the canadian section. The start date is an important difference, especially now in 2008 considering the monsoon season. Also, requiring call-ins, cutoffs, cell-phone usage etc. TD is more racer driven... it makes sense that the rides of the year, if they largely demand a starting time a week earlier, that the request is honored.

    All of these differences have been brought up in the past, both in the public MTBR forum and blogs, as well in private discussions. No one surrounding the Tour Divide harbors bad feelings... in fact, I'd go as far to say the GDR has been one of my favorite mountain biking experiences I've had. It's just merely different opinions regarding how the race should be run, the rules, and if it should be a race /of/ the great divide route, or just a large section of the race. Many people out there want to conquer it all.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    Matt, with all due respect, how does not having time limits not make this more "tour" and less "race"? It would seem counter intuitive to me to let folks have control of that factor if you truly want a "race", or am I missing something?
    good question ted, and i'm not sure i have the best answer. maybe others will chime in. first i'd ask, should divide racing really be called a race? or is it more aptly named an "epic" or a "challenge"? this is a philosophical discussion for another thread but i'll say (hokie as it sounds), everybody who races the divide self-supported wins.

    It's not my place to discuss cutoffs in the GDR since i think mikesee is away for holiday and hasn't much say here but IMO the idea is a good one for events where course policing and rider-safety infrastructure are in place. race volunteers have lives and need endpoints to their service. due to divide racing's lack of all that, are cutoffs essential? are they antithetical to the anti-race side of divide racing that many find attractive? is there a moral dilemma in taking no responsibility for riders on course yet enforcing cutoffs? i understand that GDR transcription saint Tom Purvis can only receive daily call-ins for so long. no problem. simply have a transcription cut-off but not a finisher list cut-off. omitting a rider from race results simply because they complete the course outside a time cut-off might not be the best politics.

    if the last-minute cutoffs imposed at the `07 startline were an effort to amplify the level of competition in the GDR, i'm not sure it's the solution for making the racing more elite either -- which again relates to politics. elite riders will not be drawn to self-support divide racing for prizing or fame. they will come in large part b/c their friends tell them how positive an experience it is. if every racer, elite or not, brings their own story, their own inspiration and fans to the game, each contributes to enhancing the race, the GDMBR legacy and the ACA image. To that end alone efforts by "sport-level" racers to conquer the divide seem justified. why deter their participation w/ pressure of cut-offs?
    Last edited by mathewsen; 12-30-2007 at 01:25 PM.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    good question ted, and i'm not sure i have the best answer. maybe others will chime in. first i'd ask, should divide racing really be called a race? or is it more aptly named an "epic" or a "challenge"? this is a philosophical discussion for another thread but i'll say (hokie as it sounds) everybody who races the divide self-supported wins.
    Okay, fair enough. I'll put my two cents in out of a bit of self interest, since as you are most likely aware, I put on the Trans iowa event, which got it's "DNA" if you will, from events like GDR.

    My take is it can be both an epic, challenge, and a race. Let the events participants decide as they partake of it. However; to the end that it is a race for some, I think time limits are not only justified, but necessary.

    It's not necessarily my place to discuss cutoffs in the GDR since i think mikesee is away for holiday and hasn't much say here but IMO the idea is a good one for events where course policing and rider-safety infrastructure are in place. race volunteers have lives and need endpoints to their service. due to divide racing's lack of all that, are cutoffs essential? are they antithetical to the anti-race side of divide racing that many find attractive? can we morally not take responsibility for riders on course yet enforce cutoffs? i understand that GDR transcription saint Tom Purvis can only receive daily call-ins for so long. no problem. simply have a transcription cut-off but not a finisher list cut-off. omitting a rider from race results simply because they complete the course outside a time cut-off might not be the best politics.
    Here's something that you might find interesting. At T.I. we utilize cutoff times and we have found that those that don't make it are even more motivated to come back and try again. They want to "finish this thing", as many of them put it, and they see it as a challenge not only during the time period of the event, but all year long until they can come back again. I think if you go with the "everyone wins" route, as far as putting fininshing names on the list goes, you are still drawing a line, (what about DNF's?) and cheapening the challenge to a degree by using that philosophy. The whole idea of a challenge is to attempt it, and I think you win if you even start the thing, but I also don't see a problem with time cut offs either.

    Excuse me this absurdity, but if one wanted to pull off the course for a time, say a week or two, and then entered it back at the same point and finished, that's going on your "officially recognized" finishers list? Maybe one could do the rooute piecemeal, take breaks and finish it next year and still get in on the finishers list? You see what I mean?

    It seems to me that if ya'all are starting at the same time, (a "time limit", if you will) and you don't cap it off on the other end some how, it would be kind of pointless to even call it a challenge.

    if cutoffs were imposed (at the `07 startline, no less) b/c there is dissatisfaction with the level of competition thus far, i'm not sure it's the solution for making the racing more elite either -- which again relates to politics.
    Again, I don't think it has to be limited to "competition", but can be part and parcel to the definition of the challenge at hand. Defining limits is a good thing. It gives more meaning to the event, not the other way around.

    elite riders will not be drawn to self-support divide racing for prizing or fame. they will come in large part b/c their friends tell them how positive an experience it is. if every racer, elite or not, brings their own story, their own inspiration and fans to the game, each contributes to enhancing the GDMBR's legacy and the ACA image. To that end alone our efforts racing the divide seem justified.
    Well said, and I think imposing time limits only enhances that which you describe. My experiences putting on Trans Iowa would also agree with that. I'm not going to be a contender at Tour Divide, GDR, or any such event any time soon, and be it far from me to tell you how to run your "racer driven" event, but I think my experiences in regards to what I have seen at T.I. are a valid thing for you to consider.

    Good Luck, Matt. I'll be keeping an eye on this.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    My take is it can be both an epic, challenge, and a race. Let the events participants decide as they partake of it. However; to the end that it is a race for some, I think time limits are not only justified, but necessary.
    b/c of the types of riders tours, challenges attract, they turn into races without trying to make them such. its just what we do. the fact that the divide race travels thru 27 different state/national forests and myriad private sections, etc., calling it an official race is asking for land-use controversy anyway.

    please describe what you mean when you say, "to the end that it is a race for some, I think time limits are not only justified, but necessary"

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    Here's something that you might find interesting. At T.I. we utilize cutoff times and we have found that those that don't make it are even more motivated to come back and try again. They want to "finish this thing", as many of them put it, and they see it as a challenge not only during the time period of the event, but all year long until they can come back again. I think if you go with the "everyone wins" route, as far as putting fininshing names on the list goes, you are still drawing a line, (what about DNF's?) and cheapening the challenge to a degree by using that philosophy. The whole idea of a challenge is to attempt it, and I think you win if you even start the thing, but I also don't see a problem with time cut offs either.
    TI is a slightly smaller beast than the GDMBR w/rspt to "coming back annually". all but but the crazies such as myself typically have one shot at the Divide. my sense is to credit all self-supported thru-ride route finishers and also give DNFs credit for starting. there's pride in that too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    Excuse me this absurdity, but if one wanted to pull off the course for a time, say a week or two, and then entered it back at the same point and finished, that's going on your "officially recognized" finishers list? Maybe one could do the route piecemeal, take breaks and finish it next year and still get in on the finishers list? You see what I mean?
    i see what you mean and i'll grant you that absurdity. no, clearly not in the spirit of the event. one receives no credit for thru hiking a long distance trail that style either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    It seems to me that if ya'all are starting at the same time, (a "time limit", if you will) and you don't cap it off on the other end some how, it would be kind of pointless to even call it a challenge.
    .
    i disagree. we're not capping with time. we measure the effort in distance. comparing one's elapsed time to others is simply the bonus for finishing the route self-supported.

    good luck with TI yourself GT. you and jeffK have really put iowa dirt on the map.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by longman
    The GDR is THE legitimate race. The Tour Divide is the ugly ginger stepchild that took his ball home because he kept getting beat.
    I'd be uber careful putting this to one person....

    Longman.... Start at Banff or Roesville... Put your money where your mouth is....
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  32. #32
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    Gted~

    As a starter 2x never a finisher I love the TI Races!

    You however haven't changed the rules 2 weeks before the start.... all the TD provides is a choice... I am not out to discredit or change just do somthing diffrent...

    Tom P is a great freind of mine and Isure wouldwant to kill anymore of his time doing what he has..

    cutoff's are very interesting it adds alot to TI but when we are talking about 2700+ miles alot can happen and does... when you catch groves in the gdr is also odd... might take ten day to get through MT but you might catch a break in WO then be bogged down by weather in CO??

    Joe~ Thanks again for the Pod casts!!!

    In my mind... Weather you have raced the GDR or ridden it self supported in 60 days,its a long way and anybody who has nailed it or has shown up at the start line has my upmost respect!!

    Can't wait to follow 2 crazy cool events this summer! Hopfully nobody from the gdr catches me on the TD!




    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    Okay, fair enough. I'll put my two cents in out of a bit of self interest, since as you are most likely aware, I put on the Trans iowa event, which got it's "DNA" if you will, from events like GDR.

    My take is it can be both an epic, challenge, and a race. Let the events participants decide as they partake of it. However; to the end that it is a race for some, I think time limits are not only justified, but necessary.



    Here's something that you might find interesting. At T.I. we utilize cutoff times and we have found that those that don't make it are even more motivated to come back and try again. They want to "finish this thing", as many of them put it, and they see it as a challenge not only during the time period of the event, but all year long until they can come back again. I think if you go with the "everyone wins" route, as far as putting fininshing names on the list goes, you are still drawing a line, (what about DNF's?) and cheapening the challenge to a degree by using that philosophy. The whole idea of a challenge is to attempt it, and I think you win if you even start the thing, but I also don't see a problem with time cut offs either.

    Excuse me this absurdity, but if one wanted to pull off the course for a time, say a week or two, and then entered it back at the same point and finished, that's going on your "officially recognized" finishers list? Maybe one could do the rooute piecemeal, take breaks and finish it next year and still get in on the finishers list? You see what I mean?

    It seems to me that if ya'all are starting at the same time, (a "time limit", if you will) and you don't cap it off on the other end some how, it would be kind of pointless to even call it a challenge.



    Again, I don't think it has to be limited to "competition", but can be part and parcel to the definition of the challenge at hand. Defining limits is a good thing. It gives more meaning to the event, not the other way around.



    Well said, and I think imposing time limits only enhances that which you describe. My experiences putting on Trans Iowa would also agree with that. I'm not going to be a contender at Tour Divide, GDR, or any such event any time soon, and be it far from me to tell you how to run your "racer driven" event, but I think my experiences in regards to what I have seen at T.I. are a valid thing for you to consider.

    Good Luck, Matt. I'll be keeping an eye on this.
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    Why the north to south emphasis? Psychological? Downhill? Seems like the more practical thing would be to start in the south early - say June 1 - and head north as the weather turns warmer. That's how the old cattle rustlers did it. That's how birds migrate too.

    Anybody know what the south-north record is?

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pluto Pilot
    Why the north to south emphasis? Psychological? Downhill? Seems like the more practical thing would be to start in the south early - say June 1 - and head north as the weather turns warmer. That's how the old cattle rustlers did it. That's how birds migrate too.

    Anybody know what the south-north record is?
    I'm also into the idea of south to north. June 1 is probably a good day to start, too. You're not going to beat all the heat, nor are you going to escape all of the mountain snow, but it seems like a fair compromise.

    I'm thinking a little bit about touring the Great Divide route this, or maybe next, summer. Although I can't deny that the idea of "challenging" myself by trying to blaze across the country within an arbitrary time cut-off - say, 24 days - is appealing, my inclination is to load up some saddle bags and set out for a more enjoyable tour. Unfortunately, my usual riding partner is into that whole fast GDR thing. Anyone else thinking of south to north this summer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    longman, with all due respect, the only real way for you to vote is to line up to race. bring your game (and your ball) to roosville when the GDR starts and you can vote twice if you like. IMO no single divide race can be more legit than another...or more legit than a solo ITT. i think you might be making it more complicated than it is.

    ...and you won't ever hear me cite having ridden canada as a prologue to the GDR the past three years as a handicap. no sour grapes there. i've proudly logged solid performances in the GDR all three times i rode canada. its the best thing i ever did to enhance my divide racing experiences. i've done it willingly for myself (to see that country) and to lead by example w/rspct to a vision of racing the whole divide trail, end-to-end.

    evolution is in the spirit of endurance mtb. no one can argue that. i've endeavored to help evolve the GDR to banff but it's not necessarily what's good for the GDR and it's not my race to change. that's fine. no hard feelings. there's room for folks to race two or three abreast on the divide route and room for two events. you'll find controversy where you want to see it but its best not to create division where there isn't any. TD is pro divide racing. GDR is pro divide racing. TD is pro GDR and vice versa. no one is trying to be more legit than the other.

    pbasinger, TD's lower 48 route rules are identical to GDRs for the sake of even comparisons. cuba to grants dirt is still optional.

    Seems like if stepping it up and racing the route in it's entirety is the goal you should require "tourers" to ride dirt on this section.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by MaBasinger
    Seems like if stepping it up and racing the route in it's entirety is the goal you should require "tourers" to ride dirt on this section.
    That was me. Apparently my mom has a log in and I'm using her computer.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pluto Pilot
    Why the north to south emphasis? Psychological? Downhill? Seems like the more practical thing would be to start in the south early - say June 1 - and head north as the weather turns warmer. That's how the old cattle rustlers did it. That's how birds migrate too.
    This idea was brought up at a time. If you actually look at Dave Nice's blog, you can see he was intending on doing it that way. The problem is, to do it as a "race" you'd need to start really late to avoid the massive snows at the high elevations in the rockies. I spent some time in Salida this summer talking to the locals... they say it is impassable until July ordinarily. I know I wouldn't want to start the Divide from NM in July... especially considering the monsoons that you'd be sure to hit. Talk to the people who did the Colorado Trail Race, they can attest to Colorado's July rains.

  38. #38
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    I wonder exactly which pass is "impassable." I live in next to the divide and there is a ride here called Rollins Pass that's up around 11,250 feet. And it's true - in early to mid-June there is a fair bit of post holing to get up and over it. But I'd also hardly call it "impassable."

    If you go to Crested Butte in early June you're going to have some high rides cut off. Not necessarily impassable, but you'll be walking somethings for sure. Pearl Pass might be an exception - that could be heinous in early June - but this goes up to 13,000 feet plus. Does anything in the GDR go up this high?

    It seems like climate change is real, and I have noticed spring coming earlier and the high stuff melting out earlier too.

    I guess you pick your poison - searing heat or some post holing through snow. I'd take the latter, but I'm sure others have different ideas.

    Plus I think it would be cool aesthetically to wind up the ride going through the beautiful Banff valley. End the thing with a well earned meal at that fancy schmancy hotel!

    I can understand the race North to South though. I think I'd rather do a smaller group ride south to north and deal with the snow post holing as it comes along.

    Agree that riding in monsoon season is a bad idea. That's actually one reason behind the earlier, southern start.

    Quote Originally Posted by sizlinseagulsoup
    This idea was brought up at a time. If you actually look at Dave Nice's blog, you can see he was intending on doing it that way. The problem is, to do it as a "race" you'd need to start really late to avoid the massive snows at the high elevations in the rockies. I spent some time in Salida this summer talking to the locals... they say it is impassable until July ordinarily. I know I wouldn't want to start the Divide from NM in July... especially considering the monsoons that you'd be sure to hit. Talk to the people who did the Colorado Trail Race, they can attest to Colorado's July rains.

  39. #39
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    Thinking about it! We'll start it up - the Intergalactic Chilling South to North Ride Hard But Enjoy the Sunrises, Sunsets and Views Great Divide Challenge (IGCSTNRHBETSSAVGSC 2008). Hell, I'll even make up some finishers medals for everyone who gets to the hotel in Banff! The winner gets a bottle of Dave Nice's whisky!

    Jilleo - you could just keep on going and ride home!

  40. #40
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    Marshall Pass is clear in June

    Quote Originally Posted by sizlinseagulsoup
    ... The problem is, to do it as a "race" you'd need to start really late to avoid the massive snows at the high elevations in the rockies. I spent some time in Salida this summer talking to the locals... they say it is impassable until July ordinarily...
    You must have been hearing about the Monarch Crest Trail. There are drifts on it usually until July 15 or so. But that's not on the GDR.

    Marshall is the highest place on the GDR around here. It's always clear by sometime in June. Probably first or second week reliably.

    That pass between Del Norte and Platoro, NM could be more of an issue. I don't recall what it's called, but I think it's higher than Marshall.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  41. #41
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    Divide in Fall

    I haven't heard anyone mention riding the Divide in the Fall. Kathi M and I started north to south on August 26th 2005. We toured it self supported in 32 days with 4 days off for some frame welding and other various repairs. Other than a few flurries in Wyo. and one day of unridable mud just before Pie Town, NM. the weather was great. The hottest day was the first day. It was 96 degrees when we left the Canadian border. The best part of our start date was experiencing fall multiple times as we climbed and descended.
    Bill M

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    Quote Originally Posted by pbasinger
    That was me. Apparently my mom has a log in and I'm using her computer.
    pete, i had to laugh when i read that post. classic. WhatWouldMaDo? ma would say, "take the scenic route...and call your mother when you get to grants!"

    in all seriousness, those racing Tour Divide, or "touring" (as will inevitably become the anti-TD epithet of choice) will race what is considered the standard TT course to keep comparisons clean. it's worth discussing the merit of those NM alternates in future years as they combine to deliver 170mi of horrible pavement all at once. for now, the main (dirt) route will remain optional. my guess is until someone rides them during a course record-breaking effort, no one gunning for the record will touch them.

    it's worth tipping the hat to one or more of the banff-originating brits that rode the main (dirt) route on both those alternates in last year's GDR. i saw it in `04 and its amazing terrain.
    Last edited by mathewsen; 12-31-2007 at 12:22 AM.

  43. #43
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    That's a brilliant idea. It could be the aspen leaf changing tour. No monsoons either.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill M
    I haven't heard anyone mention riding the Divide in the Fall. Kathi M and I started north to south on August 26th 2005. We toured it self supported in 32 days with 4 days off for some frame welding and other various repairs. Other than a few flurries in Wyo. and one day of unridable mud just before Pie Town, NM. the weather was great. The hottest day was the first day. It was 96 degrees when we left the Canadian border. The best part of our start date was experiencing fall multiple times as we climbed and descended.
    Bill M

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill M
    I haven't heard anyone mention riding the Divide in the Fall. Kathi M and I started north to south on August 26th 2005. We toured it self supported in 32 days with 4 days off for some frame welding and other various repairs. Other than a few flurries in Wyo. and one day of unridable mud just before Pie Town, NM. the weather was great. The hottest day was the first day. It was 96 degrees when we left the Canadian border. The best part of our start date was experiencing fall multiple times as we climbed and descended.Bill M
    Stamstad established his 18day mark in later august.

    i think curiak's june start is best for group organizations. the academic schedule allows for june and it fits in quite well as the middle base phase of most north american mtb racers training/racing schedules. many are cooked by fall for such a monster event.

    on south to north, 12k indianna pass is the hang-up. del norte mtb mayor gary blakely could give figures on passibility but in `06 it was impassible until the GDR start. that year they had like 180% snow norms, tho.

    antelope wells, NM is a good place to try and get out of very quickly but not a good place to hang out, meet up before a group race.

  45. #45
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    Fall start for touring

    I just threw out the fall start for Jilleo since she was thinking of touring not racing. I definitely wouldn't think of suggesting changes to an established race since I organize and compete in our 1100 mile winter race on the Iditarod Trail and have defied suggestions to change things with,"If it ain't broke don't fix it!"

  46. #46
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    please describe what you mean when you say, "to the end that it is a race for some, I think time limits are not only justified, but necessary"-matthewsen
    Sure, I'd love to explain it, but I think this quote from a few posts ago sums up my philosophy rather neatly:

    I'm thinking a little bit about touring the Great Divide route this, or maybe next, summer. Although I can't deny that the idea of "challenging" myself by trying to blaze across the country within an arbitrary time cut-off - say, 24 days - is appealing, my inclination is to load up some saddle bags and set out for a more enjoyable tour. Unfortunately, my usual riding partner is into that whole fast GDR thing. -jilleo
    You see, the whole mental aspect of this changes up when you impose a time limit. "Racers" expect a definition of boundaries, which includes a time period that the event fits in. This by necessity means that their is an "official end" to the event, not just whenever the last guy drags himself into Antelope Wells. Racing against time adds an element to the proceedings that is an intangible, but also is a challenge in itself. It qualifies the event as a race and those in it as racers. If this isn't the goal, then I understand. You're just touring. Fast touring, but still, just touring.

    I'm not here to argue, I'm just trying to figure out just what to make of Tour Divide. Please excuse my intrusions, but again, since I promote a "small potatoes" endurance event, I'm just a bit more than curious.
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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    "Racers" expect a definition of boundaries, which includes a time period that the event fits in. This by necessity means that their is an "official end" to the event, not just whenever the last guy drags himself into Antelope Wells. Racing against time adds an element to the proceedings that is an intangible, but also is a challenge in itself. It qualifies the event as a race and those in it as racers. If this isn't the goal, then I understand. You're just touring. Fast touring, but still, just touring.
    Not trying to stir any pots here - well OK, maybe a little..

    It seems to me that if two or more people line up at the same time with the goal of reaching a given destination before each other, you've pretty much got a race. It might not be a very good race if the first person gets there twice as fast as the second, but a race none the less.

    FW

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    ......You see, the whole mental aspect of this changes up when you impose a time limit. "Racers" expect a definition of boundaries, which includes a time period that the event fits in. This by necessity means that their is an "official end" to the event, not just whenever the last guy drags himself into Antelope Wells. Racing against time adds an element to the proceedings that is an intangible, but also is a challenge in itself. It qualifies the event as a race and those in it as racers. If this isn't the goal, then I understand. You're just touring. Fast touring, but still, just touring.

    I'm not here to argue, I'm just trying to figure out just what to make of Tour Divide. Please excuse my intrusions, but again, since I promote a "small potatoes" endurance event, I'm just a bit more than curious.
    time limits are an interesting discussion. i'm not sure i agree that they are essential to making a self-support race a race...particularly in the case of grand tour racing (>7days) where so much can happen along the way. of course everyone sets their own goal as to how many days it will take them. that's natural. but is it a necessary constraint for self-support racing to have time limits imposed by promoters? maybe others will chime in.

    maybe mikesee can direct us to some written rationale behind the `07 GDR cutoffs. that cutoff of 24 days is really not unreasonable. it's possible that all the dubious feedback we received from last year's field on the rule relates more to little advanced notice of the rule rather than its merit. it's from that feedback that TD decided the rule wasn't essential, dropped it. it also strikes us as another unenforceable rule to be broken. we heard rumors from `07 that, in an effort to meet interim cutoffs, there might have been some shady behavior (cheating) that might otherwise not have happened.

    since you're wondering what to make of Tour Divide and b/c what sets it apart from the "USAGDR" as afie referred to lower 48 racing is not cutoffs per se:

    TD is exactly what the GDR was pre-`07 rule changes but starts 221 miles further north on the divide route in the alberta, CA town of banff. all else is respectfully the same. TD simply provides a format to thru-race the route from the northern GDMBR terminus to the southern terminus. the whole enchilada. i'm sure there's a psychology that compels people to want to race an entire trail but i'm not familiar enough with the jargon to express it...the go further mentality, maybe? in urban dictionary speak it might be said, "its part of the freakin' route dude. we're goin' big already so let's start from the top."

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jilleo
    I'm thinking a little bit about touring the Great Divide route this, or maybe next, summer. Although I can't deny that the idea of "challenging" myself by trying to blaze across the country within an arbitrary time cut-off - say, 24 days - is appealing, my inclination is to load up some saddle bags and set out for a more enjoyable tour. Unfortunately, my usual riding partner is into that whole fast GDR thing. Anyone else thinking of south to north this summer?
    jilleo, curious to know if you'll ride US only or whole route if you decide to tour it.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    jilleo, curious to know if you'll ride US only or whole route if you decide to tour it.
    If I had an unlimited amount of time I'd actually love to go as far north as the maps will take me, then jump on the road and keep touring all the way back to Alaska. Maybe head all the way to Prudhoe Bay. That would be a dream tour.

    The Great Divide route is appealing to tourists because those maps offer all the direction one needs to ride a "dirt tour" across the country. I've used Adventure Cycling maps before, during a road tour, and have to say that I prefer to make my own route rather than follow the specific directions of the ACA maps. It's more of an adventure that way. In the case of the Continental Divide, finding a through route on dirt roads and trails across that region under ones' own power seems very difficult. So of course I'd use the GDMBR maps, but I can't say I'd stick to the exact route the whole way from Mexico to Canada, and wouldn't be obligated to as a tourist.

    That is where touring and racing are very different. Races need set rules, courses and other stipulations in order to fairly qualify any one person's results against another's. I'd have to say that I'm probably in the camp that supports time cutoffs in a race situation. However, I agree that they're not necessary. The Iditarod Trail Invitational doesn't have any time cutoffs, but every year, every finishing racer reaches Nome within a month. I guess speed is a necessary evil in the case of that race, where extreme stragglers would be devoured by spring. However, I think that anyone lining up with the intention of finishing a race is going to do it as fast as they can.

    But I like Bill's philosophy about not telling people how to run their races. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP
    .
    That pass between Del Norte and Platoro, NM could be more of an issue. I don't recall what it's called, but I think it's higher than Marshall.
    That's Indiana Pass, Tom. It all depends on the snow pack but it often is not open until late June or early July. The FS doesn't make a habit of plowing it on any certain date. And, it's not just the pass but possibly many miles of post holing through sections of waist deep snow. We had several divide riders stay with us this summer who bypassed the Platoro/Del Norte dirt section due to snow. They did ride to Platoro and back tracked after hearing what was in store for them.
    Last edited by rocky rode; 12-31-2007 at 06:32 AM.

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    Same rules?

    Matthew and all, I first want to say congratulations for biting off such an undertaking.

    Patti and I (Gary) are on the latest AC Divide route maps (Del Norte, CO) as a place to get bike repairs, camping and maybe a room. GDR does not recognize us as a legitimate business and will not allow GDR racers to use our services. Are you also going to not allow this even though AC lists us on their maps?

    On a sort of related note: GDR had a neutral supply point for many years. We were that neutral drop the last year before it was eliminated all together. WIll you consider adding it to TD?

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    we heard rumors from `07 that, in an effort to meet interim cutoffs, there might have been some shady behavior (cheating) that might otherwise not have happened.
    Matt is right; 2007 saw a complete breakdown in self-policing aspect of the GDR and, in a sense, helps ruin the legitimacy of the race. A few of us caught someone cutting a major climb out of course only a few days into the race. I have no idea if it was because that individual "missed" a turn and didn't feel like going back that far or blatantly cut to make up for lost time to ensure getting to Steamboat by day 13.

    If removing cutoffs helps decrease cheating, that's nothing but a good thing.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by sizlinseagulsoup
    Matt is right; 2007 saw a complete breakdown in self-policing aspect of the GDR and, in a sense, helps ruin the legitimacy of the race. A few of us caught someone cutting a major climb out of course only a few days into the race. I have no idea if it was because that individual "missed" a turn and didn't feel like going back that far or blatantly cut to make up for lost time to ensure getting to Steamboat by day 13.
    Really? That sucks. Bad karma, and shows some might be doing it for extrinsic versus intrinsic reasons. I'm not sure how you could live with that and still be proud of a GDR accomplishment.

    Congrats to you and all those who did it legit.

    Which of these races is more accommodating to long-haired psuedo hippies? Is a buzz cut required fare?

    Have you guys seen these things: findmespot.com I bet they'll be fairly standard fare on these type events soon.

    Just got done reading a book about Roald Amundson and Robert Scott and their race to the South Pole. It was definitely a race - Amundson and his dogs got the pole and glory, while Scott ended up dead with a bunch of horses. They didn't have any time limits. Point is, maybe a race just needs people who are going to throw down and get after it, whether it's one person competing against herself or a whole slew of crazies.
    Last edited by Pluto Pilot; 12-31-2007 at 07:58 AM.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocky rode
    Patti and I (Gary) are on the latest AC Divide route maps (Del Norte, CO) as a place to get bike repairs, camping and maybe a room. GDR does not recognize us as a legitimate business and will not allow GDR racers to use our services. Are you also going to not allow this even though AC lists us on their maps?
    My personal feeling is that if it is on the map, it's legitimate; however I cannot comment on mikesee's decisions. I know racers have been using Tom's barn (also listed on the maps) outside of Columbia Falls, MO even though it's not a legitimate bed and breakfast. I would assume the opposition is that you wouldn't be equally available to all racers: Racer A might get some free wrench time but the rest of the pack gets to your house when you and Patti are on vacation. Of course, the obviously counter to that argument is that "businesses are not open 24/7 either." Sunday's can be really tough along the GDMBR. I can attest, it's also major pain in the arse having to wait for a bike shop to open at 10AM when you've been in down since 8PM the night before.

    There could be a legitimate concern that as the route gets older, more and more people will offer up their house and/or build shelters along the entire route until the issue of backcountry camping is a thing of the past. I'm not sure how much we can limit that--it's the nature of development. As time goes on, services will be more plentiful in many areas; can we really force racers of future generations to use only the services provides in 2007 for the sake of "fairness?"

    Quote Originally Posted by rocky rode
    On a sort of related note: GDR had a neutral supply point for many years. We were that neutral drop the last year before it was eliminated all together. WIll you consider adding it to TD?
    We briefly discussed re-adding the neutral drop, but never really came up with an absolute yay or nay on bringing it back. In 2004, the record was set with the drop in place so with that as a precedent, it would make sense. However, since both the GDR and TD records were set in 2007 w/o the drop, I suppose someone could say that allowing the drop makes it easier (although, I think that is questionable, Matt McFee had a difficult time getting to his aid drops at post offices) and gives 2008 racers an advantage that was not seen by the current record holders. I personally have no problems with it, but I'd say that Matt's and JayP's blessings are important, within reason, since they both hold the records that have to stand the test of time.

  56. #56
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    Good for you

    Good for you. After years of trying to change the GDR from within and getting nowhere, you are heading on your own to do your own race. While I think it is a detriment of sorts to have 2 or more races that are offering the same thing and will compete for racers, I still believe this is a valid approach. Also, competition is good, even between two races. You are free to set the format as you see fit, and if people agree to your terms and come to your race, you have satisfied their needs.

    I have a ride like this planned on the distant horizon, and if it is still available in 4 years will likely go with your event. For me this is a once-in-a-lifetime like event. Getting a month off from work and from family to go running around in the backcountry just isn't going to happen every year. Because of this, I for one like the idea of no time-limits. I would really, really be disappointed if a time limit were to remove me from the roster after I struggled for weeks to complete this. And because of the time issues I have in life, I wouldn't be able to come back out the following year to make good on my previous failure.

    If someone were to beat me by a week because I suck, so be it. They beat me, they are the winner, and the fact that it took me a week longer than they did takes nothing away from their accomplishment. If anything, it would kick sand in my face showing how much better they were than me! Turning my week+ difference into a DNF serves no one.

    Of all the people who quit GDR, I think a very small number quit because of time limits. They are broken physically and mentally and quit for totally different reasons than time. I think Trans Iowa is different for several reasons. I respect and agree with the time limits in TI, but I think that this trans-continental race could be run differently.

    One last thing: Please don't illegalize cell phones! If I ever do this beast I would need to be able to call my wife on a regular basis to tell her I was still alive!

  57. #57
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    I don't really want to be part of endless chatter but I hate to see cheating brought up as a justification for anything, pro or con. Racer integrity is the core of these events and if someone is going to cheat then no rule or lack of rule will stop them and they will personally have to live with the knowledge of their wrong. It doesn't demean an honest person's accomplishment nor should they have to deal with extra rules that won't stop a dishonest person anyway.

    That is all you'll get from me on all this...
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    checkered past

    Anyone considering doing this race who hasn't always been on the "right" side of the law may want to plan ahead with Canadian officials. Speaking from personal experience, minor infractions can prohibit entry to Canada. I wont be there. Still got a bone to pick with the GDR.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nathan bay
    Anyone considering doing this race who hasn't always been on the "right" side of the law may want to plan ahead with Canadian officials. Speaking from personal experience, minor infractions can prohibit entry to Canada. I wont be there. Still got a bone to pick with the GDR.
    if you're thinking of racing the divide from banff and don't already have a passport, it's a good idea to apply for one now so you don't have to pay expedited fees last minute. it's worth it to have a passport now anyway since we can't really cross any borders anymore w/out one.

    the canadian access issue w/rspt to a felony is definitely a concern. we can partly thank bush and his homeland security reform for canada's like-intolerance. folks who go up to race trans-rockies or BC bike race have run into this...as have many of the north shore riders coming up thru vancouver.

    i know there has been an order handed down from tourism ministry to chill-out a bit on entry but history of DWI is still one to consider applying for restitution on. (fill out a form, possibly pay a small fine). the statute of limitations is either 5 or 7 years. outside of that i don't think one will get hassled. calgary is a cowboy city and their airport customs quite mellow but regardless, they take drunk driving very seriously up there. ironically, or perhaps b/c of it's felony weight, i understand they (canada) don't domestically enforce the DWI law so aggressively.

    there is some worthwhile discussion on the trans-rockies forum about entry from america. the advice the canadians give is, "if asked, say no". they do not run your name unless they suspect you for something. if they dig deeper and find something, you'll spend a couple of hours filling out a "rehabilitation form" and paying a $200 fine. rarely is one turned back for non-violent felonious history.

    fwiw, i have shown up with a bike and a helmet all three years and been waived thru without so much as a what are you doing up here?

    is it a reason to boycott going to ride your bike in canada? i don't think so. the territory the GDMBR travels thru up there (like kananaskis country) has some of the most incredible riding anywhere in the world.

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    amen

    Quote Originally Posted by Pivvay
    I don't really want to be part of endless chatter but I hate to see cheating brought up as a justification for anything, pro or con. Racer integrity is the core of these events and if someone is going to cheat then no rule or lack of rule will stop them and they will personally have to live with the knowledge of their wrong. It doesn't demean an honest person's accomplishment nor should they have to deal with extra rules that won't stop a dishonest person anyway. That is all you'll get from me on all this...
    agreed. and to reiterate, it's more the non-essential nature of the cutoff that has TD inclined to omit it. sorry for the part i played in bringing up bad behavior on route. i wasn't trying to make a stink about it. only noting that it has been cited in the past for reasons to omit certain elements or constraints from divide racing structure or "anti-structure".

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    The GDR in either form cannot be considered a race. There is no way to enforce any of the rules, and any increase in the exposure/prize money/sponsorship will cause more problems than any of us can imagine. I saw and heard of things that were not legit, but thats where it ends. I didn't care how many people beat me, if they cheated or not, or even how long I took. My goal was to finish, and thats why the existence of two races is pointless- two identical ways of achieving the same thing is illogical. I am sure most of the other "speed tourers" would agree.

    Personally, I would like the GDR to stay as USA only, so that I could compare myself to previous times if I were to actually race. I would still ride the canadian prologue as it is a good warmup and pretty spectacular. Is the TD more likely to survive due to an increase in the number of racers only there because of the removal of time restraints, or that more international riders will race from Banff as it is easier to get to?

    Note that in terms of time limits, 25 days is plenty. Add ~two days for singlespeed, unlimited days for anyone crazy enough to ride a fixie, and two days to cover the Canadian sector.

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    I was going to reply to my comments on MikeC in my blog ("rules of the race from a guy that took no responsibility for the race (more on that later)") in a different thread, but it now seems appropriate here.
    I think Mike Curiak has done a good job hosting and organising the GDR previously to 2007. My impression is that he realises the implications of making the race larger or more famous and so has kept the whole thing quiet. I dont think he wants to organise a large GDR, and I wouldnt want to either.
    My problem with Mike is how he imposed a whole bunch of rules with regards to mobile phones, cut off times, pilot cars, etc. These are rules that help to define the event as a race. A race that in most other cases would require an entry fee, and would yield assistance if the racers required it. However, Mike made it quite clear that we were on our own, that there would be no 'duty of care' provided by himself, the race organiser. That is what I have a problem with, and I can imagine him having a problem with it when a racer injures themselves or dies and he gets sued. Yes, it is a completely self supported event and to me this an attraction. But, I have a problem with someone that tells me I am on my own, yet bound by certain conditions (note that I dont have a problem with any of the imposed conditions, just with how they have been implemented).
    This race seems to have been created by him, but the records stand independent of the actual event.

  63. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by afie
    The GDR in either form cannot be considered a race. There is no way to enforce any of the rules, and any increase in the exposure/prize money/sponsorship will cause more problems than any of us can imagine....My goal was to finish, and thats why the existence of two races is pointless- two identical ways of achieving the same thing is illogical.
    Not sure I agree that it's not racing. It's just a gentleman's race. Maybe the most noble kind. It might be old fashioned but it's still a race...and part of the romance for many. TD/GDR courses are not identical. TD tacks on 221 mi in the canadian rockies.

    Quote Originally Posted by afie
    Personally, I would like the GDR to stay as USA only, so that I could compare myself to previous times if I were to actually race.
    The GDR will stay USA only. And TD timing will record US splits so TD riders can always compare their US time to past/present GDR. Also notable: despite course extension, TD still considers Jay Petervary's `07 GDR record ride to be the US split to beat, even for TD participants. There won't be extra credit or time bonus adjustments to US splits simply for racing from Banff. This sets the bar higher but is in the very spirit of the challenge that draws us. Perhaps eventually cumulative times (CA+US) will be more revered, but until then its understandable if racers find greater meaning in directly comparing their US splits to the books.

    Quote Originally Posted by afie
    I would still ride the canadian prologue as it is a good warmup and pretty spectacular.
    It's interesting that some are in favor of starting in (warming up from) Banff yet think its best only to time the US section. Even the GDR endorses it as a good prelude. TD says, if Canada has merit as a warm-up, it has merit as a timed section in divide racing.

    Quote Originally Posted by afie
    Is the TD more likely to survive due to an increase in the number of racers only there because of the removal of time restraints, or that more international riders will race from Banff as it is easier to get to?.
    If TD succeeds or ends up getting absorbed back into a full-route GDR, it won't be b/c of "how-to" rules disagreements but b/c "where-from" revelations permeate.

    A Lonely Planet divide racing guide book it might say: When it comes to staging a divide race start, Banff requires a single transfer from Calgary, has cheaper flights than Kalispell, sits on the Trans-Can Hwy+rail, is flush with bike shops, hostels, campgrounds, eateries, pubs, mountain culture, a public hot springs, public library, plenty of in-town singletrack, hot Aussie chicks on work permit, and so on. Port of Roosville, MT, where federales outnumber townies, requires at least two transfers by private shuttle and services consist of no lodging, a duty-free tobacco shop and a Budweiser bar that will do you a heat-up pizza or doritos.


    ---banff springs hotel favors unification???----------------banff, AB: pot o goodness at end of GDMBR rainbow----
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  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen

    if TD succeeds or ends up getting absorbed back into a full-route GDR, it won't be b/c of "how-to" rules disagreements but b/c "where-from" revelations permeate.
    I think it depends on who you ask. Though the where/from reason is your biggest reason for the split, the decision <i>for me</i> to go with one format or the other would hinge more on rules.

    I am still on the 4 year plan (Makign progress! Down from the 5 year plan last year...) so my opinion isn't that relavent.

    Whatever the case, I am looking forward to fireworks once a certain individual who hasn't been in on the conversation weighs in. I bet the show will be better than finding out who killed J.R.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morlahach
    Whatever the case, I am looking forward to fireworks once a certain individual who hasn't been in on the conversation weighs in. I bet the show will be better than finding out who killed J.R.
    that was great Regan era drama, and chances are you might be disappointed in comparison to 1980. there won't be any t-shirts printed up or sessions of parliament canceled so the world can watch a decisive TV episode in which we learn MC's mistress is the culprit founder of TourDivide. TD informed MC of their intentions in advance of a MTBR announcement and he hasn't a problem with branch dividians' goal to unite CA. He just doesn't want it occurring within the GDR.

    what he will take objection to is excessive GDR rule discussions, in the wrong thread, w/out his representation (not that this thread has digressed so far). TD's aim is not to leverage/recruit participants based on what TD isn't, only on what it is beyond traditional divide racing "borders".

    and speaking of mistresses, if you want me to drop it to your wife you're in love with your MTB, perhaps she'll boot you from the house and it'll catalyze your 4yr plan down to 1 or 2 yrs.

  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen

    and speaking of mistresses, if you want me to drop it to your wife you're in love with your MTB, perhaps she'll boot you from the house and it'll catalyze your 4yr plan down to 1 or 2 yrs.
    LOL.

    My wife is pregnant and due in less than one month. We also have two other kids ages 6 and 3, so I doubt there is much I could do right now that would get me booted from the house. I have some pretty good job security.

    Glad to hear there is no bad blood. Yet while you are selling the new route as a new route and not a new ruleset, there are at least some of us out there who are happy with the fringe benefits. But I will take the hint and not discuss further.

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    Well, I'm just back from a training holiday in France and have missed all this. An interesting read so far, and I'm sure we're not finished yet.

    Having ridden the GDR in 2007, including prologue from Banff, and currently making plans to race again 2008, I don't really feel qualified to make comments or try and predict the future. Matt L, Mike C, and Pete B have been out there bleeding on that route for years, and I am happy to leave it to their experience to make the decisions. I know that every word they write is carefully deliberated over only to try and define an equal playing field for us racers. I thank them all for their personal time and efforts so all I can do is worry about riding bikes.

    Personally, the finer details of the start line, cut-off times, race coverage, or whether or not it is even a race, is not important to me. I cannot either agree or disagree, for I understand the guiding race philosophy, and will adhere to the rules, whatever they may be, of whichever event I choose.

    This event for me is all about a gentleman’s agreement (the most honourable of kinds), and the personal challenge and adventure. Whether you start at Rooseville or Banff you cannot lose. It is the most beautiful of races in form, equalled by the people, weather and terrain.

    So all I have to do now is choose which race… I will take the Tour Divide option, and save you my ramblings on why.

  68. #68
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    why are some of you talking about different routes? to me, is perfeclty clear that the start of the race is in Banff. If you start some place else, so be it; but the actual race has a definite starting point, date, time, etc... those in Banff on 06/13/08 are the ones to cheer for back on AW, NM.

    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    as for the route changing in the future, there's nowhere north of banff to go and certainly nowhere south of the mexico border to go (without getting killed by drug lords).
    I live/ ride in the El Paso, TX area, a few miles east of Antelope Wells. Unfortunately, you are as likely to get shot by mexican drug lords or either border patrol agents or minuteman ranchers. Not trying to fuel a debate here, just pointing to the fact that as every other thing in the universe evolves, this race may some day connect with the copper canyon trails further down south.

    Best of luck to those of you who are already preparing for this event, I'll keep track of the blogs and forums in hopes of seeing you in AW!!!
    semper ad excelsum

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jilleo
    Anyone else thinking of south to north this summer?
    I've been seriously considering riding the Great Divide route this summer, ever since September, when I rode a singlespeed from Jasper to Glacier National Park in Montana. I rode most of the Canadian portion of the route along the way, and it definitely whet my appetite for the rest.

    I don't really have a strong preference on direction, but it would be nice to find a few riding partners, given the remoteness of some of the sections. So Jilleo, if you (or anyone else here) is considering riding it this summer in either direction and is looking for others to ride with, I'd be interested in discussing possibilities. I'm definitely looking for a touring pace, and wouldn't mind deviations from the official route. I have a friend who says she is thinking about it, but even if she decides to, it might be nice to have another person or two along.

    Since I live in Seattle, I've also been thinking about riding between here and Banff (or Roosville) along some route that would include the Kettle Valley Railway, and some other portions of the Trans-Canada Trail. And Bellingham, the terminus of the Alaska Ferry, is nearby...

    I'm also curious about starting/continuing in Mexico a ways. Anyone know anything about good possible routes for that? I've enjoyed bike touring in other parts of Mexico (Baja, the Copper Canyon area, and Chiapas), but am not at all familiar with the area that would connect up to the Great Divide route.

    --Matt

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    shuttles?

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbnewguy
    I live/ ride in the El Paso, TX area, a few miles east of Antelope Wells.....Best of luck to those of you who are already preparing for this event, I'll keep track of the blogs and forums in hopes of seeing you in AW!!!
    newguy,
    i am certain that GDR and TD racers will pay you handsomely to shuttle them in your car, stocked with chicken and black bean burritos, back to El Paso airport upon completion of divide racing. seriously. i would ride a donkey out of AW if i had to. and El Paso is the cheapest flight out.

    consider it and check out respective TD and GDR threads as race dates approach. you will be their hero...and stand to make money.
    cheers

  71. #71
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    You'd definitely be my hero. I cannot imagine the anticlimax of getting to el paso :-/

  72. #72
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    It ain't all bad.

    Quote Originally Posted by sizlinseagulsoup
    You'd definitely be my hero. I cannot imagine the anticlimax of getting to el paso :-/
    My wife is from El Paso and her family still lives there.

    Maybe I should go down for a visit and rent a cargo van.
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    ... and if we just ...

    I'm not sure if i agree with alex on whether it is a race or not because the moment i decided to enter last year i think i was racing myself all the way from training to the finish even though i bailed on the second day. this is an adventure race that is won or lost in your mind on a daily basis . i just orderd my canadian map from adventure cycling so i plan to be in banf on or before june 13 . i look forward to seeing all starters and shout them all a beer or two . i've got a new bike and the same attitude on the ride FINISH .
    andy buchanan old guy but thinks young .
    just put me back on my bike

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    Re: it not being a race. I was referring to the lack of structure that you would expect in similar races, and because most people enter with aspirations of just finishing, and not "racing" for any positions. The battles that have raged between guys like Mike, Matt, Jay, and Pete have been amazing and I dont mean to take anything from that, but most "racers" have finishing as their priority.

  75. #75
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    Under stating to save face

    Very few people want to say they're showing up to win a race because if they don't they'll look like an egotistical jack ass. Everyone wants to win.

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    knock on wood

    Quote Originally Posted by nathan bay
    Very few people want to say they're showing up to win a race because if they don't they'll look like an egotistical jack ass. Everyone wants to win.
    NB, you put in a great ride considering the lack of a working seatpost thru most of NM. i can't imagine assailing the gila without one. the climbing there is rediculous, but i'm sure you're used to standing up anyway.

    any possibility of a future whirl? i can hear the mountain turtle taunting you in the wind..."festina lente...festina lente..."

  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guitar Ted
    My wife is from El Paso and her family still lives there.

    Maybe I should go down for a visit and rent a cargo van.
    in `05 i flew out of there and had some time to mess about (at night, no less). i visited myriad latino cowboy bars where everyone was friendly and i was the ONLY one not dancing. people were dressed to the nines. the latina women were smokin' hot but nary single. the machisimo factor was so high it was clear that a dude was not to hold a gaze too long -- esp not an emaciated, recovering GDR racer-dude. no english was being spoken, sometimes even by barkeeps. it was interesting. after midnight the five-O was en force and it felt like walking thru a Cops episode. the Reno 911 boys wouldn't survive there.

  78. #78
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    turtle never stops calling.

    Yeah, I've been planning to do it again since I "finished" last year. Can't wait to execute what I learned from the previous experience. I just broke down and got a TV and wind trainer. Why do I live in Montana?

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    This Turtle Doesn't Taunt

    That's the trail you hear calling my friend. Don't expect to see me there this year, I've got some other trails to check out in ought eight. The CarFree Cities conference in Portland kinda conflicts with the timing of your adventures. Have fun out there and have an extra slice of pie for me.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by kentsbike
    That's the trail you hear calling my friend. Don't expect to see me there this year, I've got some other trails to check out in ought eight. The CarFree Cities conference in Portland kinda conflicts with the timing of your adventures. Have fun out there and have an extra slice of pie for me.
    You're right Kent, not a taunt. More like the Siren's song calling on Persephone....only, if heeded, will not necessarily result in being dashed on the rocky shore like seamen of legend. However...if one pushed too hard to get to the NM on a SS record chase, I could see body and craft splayed across the Black Canyon of the Gila amidst smoky rubble of July's prescribed burns.

    The divide route remembers fondly the Mountain Turtle and welcomes a return someday. Its musings are heavily suggested reading for the preparatory phase of TD or GDR. The Way of The Mountain Turtle, a story of discovery in the `05 GDR, is available on the web *free of charge*. But, as the experiences were hard earned, I recommend "trading bread" for these fine randoneuring lessons here. Not to be a fear-preacher but supporting Kent's ongoing CarFree adventures with a tithe for his GDR story could bolster the good karma one seeks as the racing experience waxes religious out there.

  81. #81
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    Bit of a shame...

    It's a bit of a shame that the Tour Divide couldn't be more unique.

    I'm reading a book on the history of the Tour de France at the moment, so can't help but see some parallels.
    The original Tour organiser was a bit of a hard man - he included all sorts of unpopular rules that made life difficult for the racers. What if somebody had decided to organise a rival tour that included a little bit more of France, and allowed the use of derailleurs, and didn't have time cut-offs. Maybe that would have split the TdF field in two. The original Tour de France would have suffered and maybe faltered, and our cycling heritage would be poorer as a result.

    If the Tour Divide causes the Great Divide Race to falter (and then fades away itself) the endurance racing community will be the poorer. And you'd have to feel for MC who has clearly put a lot of work into getting this whole Great Divide racing thing off the ground.

    As I see it (having followed the race from the outside for a couple of years, and having organised MTB races for almost 20 years) the Tour Divide is way too similar to the GDMBR and the timing forces racers to choose between one or the other. As it stands, one of the races will become popular and the other will fail.
    Four possible solutions spring to mind:

    1) One of the events is cancelled.

    2) The Tour Divide is started 48 hrs prior to the GDMBR so that the two events complement each other.

    3) The Tour Divide is modified so that it is a unique event (e.g: Go South to North; allow teams of 2 or more to race together; deny use of course alternates; have required sleep zones like RAAM; have some neutral support zones; organise some t-shirts for the finishers; basically a lot more stuff like your existing rule changes that make the race more fun).

    4) The GDMBR is modified to create greater points of difference from it's imitator. Since the original has the history behind it already making it more prestigious, it seems that's the logical way to evolve (e.g: use GPS trackers or orienteering clippers/passports to ensure riders follow the route, and reinstate prizes; have optional medals (like the Raid Pyrenees); do the great media stuff that's already done; etc). This may be more of a pain in the arse than is worthwhile, but if it ensures the survival of the event, maybe not?

    Whatever happens, I'm grateful to have been able to follow the GDMBR for the last couple of years. It's awesome!!! Many thanks to everybody who's made it happen.

    I'll be at one of the start lines in June.

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    P.s:...

    Another solution would be for MC to copy the Tour Divide rule changes and add the Canadian section. Might be a bit much to swallow, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by simonk
    It's a bit of a shame that the Tour Divide couldn't be more unique.

    1) One of the events is cancelled.

    4) The GDMBR is modified to create greater points of difference from it's imitator.
    I think thats the point. To create a split where only one race survives, or changes the USAGDR to include the canadian sector.

  84. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonk
    What if somebody had decided to organise a rival tour that included a little bit more of France, and allowed the use of derailleurs, and didn't have time cut-offs. Maybe that would have split the TdF field in two. The original Tour de France would have suffered and maybe faltered, and our cycling heritage would be poorer as a result.
    At some point in time, didn't the Tour de France actually allow the use of deraillers? I do believe the last few have been ridden on non-fixed gear bicycles...

    But imagine if the Tour organizers didn't change with the times. Imagine that the hard man that was running the show in 1915 was still running it in 2008 and that he never agreed to the use of deraillers. That the racers asked him to allow their use, that the spectators asked him to allow their use, that the manufacturers asked him to allow their use, but still he said no and he was totally closed to any compromise. At some point wouldn't one expect a new race to be formed which <i>did</i> allow their use? It would then be up to the racers, spectators, and sponsors themselves to decide which Tour they preferred to participate in.

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    Yeah. It wasn't until 1937 that derailleurs were allowed in the TdF, while racers had been using them in other events for several years. It was a crazy rule, and maybe it did motivate people to organise other events, but (as far as I know) none that looked like a direct copy of the TdF. There are other great Tours, run in different places, at different times. Each has found it's own distinct niche.

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    Quote Originally Posted by simonk
    It's a bit of a shame that the Tour Divide couldn't be more unique....I'm reading a book on the history of the Tour de France at the moment, so can't help but see some parallels.

    If the Tour Divide causes the Great Divide Race to falter (and then fades away itself) the endurance racing community will be the poorer. And you'd have to feel for MC who has clearly put a lot of work into getting this whole Great Divide racing thing off the ground.

    As I see it (having followed the race from the outside for a couple of years, and having organised MTB races for almost 20 years) the Tour Divide is way too similar to the GDR and the timing forces racers to choose between one or the other. As it stands, one of the races will become popular and the other will fail.
    Tour Divide can appreciate the difficulty in choosing between the two. It's validating for TD.

    If you've been following the GDR then you understand the rule of law that shaped it. You also understand why the two events are nearly identical and why a TD/GDR split is not comparable to TdF schisms of yore. Both TD+GDR challenge the same GDMBR. Both follow Stamstad's self-support principle. Both adhere more/less to the same controls. Indeed, one can say they are the same race except the CA extension. Similarity is more the point than uniquity. If you read back thru some of the old GDR threads on the debate over CA, it might clarify why the emergence of TD.

    Divide racing is alive and well. A split makes it none the poorer. The Route itself is the real asset. The Route is the thread that binds together all who have/will race it self-supported. As long as challengers can compare their self-support efforts to the books, Divide racing has a future. Stamstad was no dummy when he left us this design. It transcends any one race.

    Quote Originally Posted by simonk
    Four possible solutions spring to mind:
    1) One of the events is cancelled.

    2) The Tour Divide is started 48 hrs prior to the GDMBR so that the two events complement each other.

    3) The Tour Divide is modified...

    4) The GDMBR is modified...

    Whatever happens, I'm grateful to have been able to follow the GDR for the last couple of years. It's awesome!!! Many thanks to everybody who's made it happen. I'll be at one of the start lines in June.
    Tour Divide would behave graciously in a merger if the GDR saw fit to include the Canadian section of the GDMBR.

    It would be a logistical cluster to overlay two events the same way the optional CA prologue to the GDR has been ridden so far. More to the point, TD exists to offer challengers a format in which they feel on even footing racing from Banff. Without that equality most won't ever go for it.

    To say TDs proximal start date forces one to choose between the two races is slighty moot. No one would ever try to do them both in one season anyway. TDs existence means you have a choice...which is not necessarily bad unless you're a conservative.

    Maybe the thing to predict if one is concerned about placing an effort into context is which length or elapsed time might be more esteemed in the long run. Banff-AW or Port of Roosville-AW? Simonk, when you finally finish whichever length you select, I'm not sure it will matter much on a personal level. You'll be excited to finish and sad to return to the rat race.

    We'd be happy to discuss these merits in a more pliable mental state. Such as, while soaking in the public hot springs just uphill from the Banff trailhead. It'll be good pre-race fellowship.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by tourdivide; 01-14-2008 at 07:40 PM. Reason: add pic
    Tour Divide `10: The Grand Tour of MTB.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Morlahach
    Imagine if the Tour organizers didn't change with the times. Imagine that the hard man that was running the show in 1915 was still running it in 2008 and that he never agreed to the use of deraillers. That the racers asked him to allow their use, that the spectators asked him to allow their use, that the manufacturers asked him to allow their use, but still he said no and he was totally closed to any compromise. At some point wouldn't one expect a new race to be formed which <i>did</i> allow their use? It would then be up to the racers, spectators, and sponsors themselves to decide which Tour they preferred to participate in.
    Nice parallel. Only its more like, suppose the TdF, grand boucle (grand loop) of France raced only 9/10ths of the loop around France and omitted, say, Paris. It might not fly...certainly not w/ the Parisiens. Canadians might feel the same sense of exclusion from the GDR. CA is part of the GDMBR after all. Fred Wilkinson, you out there?

  88. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by mathewsen
    Canadians might feel the same sense of exclusion from the GDR. CA is part of the GDMBR after all. Fred Wilkinson, you out there?
    Just so long as no one starts trying to order a 'freedom bacon' pizza along the way!

    My maps start in Banff, but of course I'm just an internet spectator.

    FW

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    Border Immigration

    From a purely race perspective, will US citizens have a time advantage when clearing the Canadian/US border controls compared to non-US citizens?

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    Time penalty

    Quote Originally Posted by martin_uk
    From a purely race perspective, will US citizens have a time advantage when clearing the Canadian/US border controls compared to non-US citizens?
    Speaking as a Brit, I'm really not going to let this worry me.

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    Some big 'maybe' and 'if' statements there, simonk.

    Quote Originally Posted by simonk
    3) The Tour Divide is modified so that it is a unique event (e.g: Go South to North; allow teams of 2 or more to race together; deny use of course alternates; have required sleep zones like RAAM; have some neutral support zones; organise some t-shirts for the finishers; basically a lot more stuff like your existing rule changes that make the race more fun).

    4) The GDMBR is modified to create greater points of difference from it's imitator. Since the original has the history behind it already making it more prestigious, it seems that's the logical way to evolve (e.g: use GPS trackers or orienteering clippers/passports to ensure riders follow the route, and reinstate prizes; have optional medals (like the Raid Pyrenees); do the great media stuff that's already done; etc). This may be more of a pain in the arse than is worthwhile, but if it ensures the survival of the event, maybe not?
    Support zones, medlas, prizes, T-shirts for the finishers. More fun? Somehow I feel you have completely missed the ethos of the event? However, it sounds like there would be a price tag assocaited with the race in the case of the these changes. That would prohibit my entry, and take the experience I'm seeking away from the event. Maybe one day a race organiser who has these visions and seeing dollars will set up another race - I will let history tell the story if this will be able to compete running alongside a free event. I can't see financial backing being easy to obtain, though.

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by martin_uk
    From a purely race perspective, will US citizens have a time advantage when clearing the Canadian/US border controls compared to non-US citizens?
    I can't imagine much advantage. Americans still have to show a passport like non-citizens. The line of questioning will differ. The Roosville port is relatively low security as far a crossings go. As an American I've crossed into CA there a couple of times without any hassle and back into the US 4 times with no hassle. The bike travel seems to put them more at ease. Maybe other Brits or the lone Aussie can chime in?

    Like most crossings, much of the experience is up to your border officer. This is where international espionage skills will come in handy in Tour Divide. It's all in the eyes. Be chillaxed and with one look, they'll know you're not the terrorist they're looking for.

    Seriously, though, don't bring weed from Fernie and you'll have no trouble. CA officers are far more discerning about entry than US agents. With the short list of possessions TD racers carry even a full strip-search can't take that long. Perhaps we should record border crossing splits (time to be processed) simply FYI. Also, the port has been informed the race is coming thru in June.

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    Hey Steve

    Yep - lots of 'maybe's at this stage. Wish I knew how it was going to pan out.

    Crikey! I don't want to argue the ethos of the GDR event. What a minefield! But the Tour Divide is a new event - it can create a different ethos.
    Event ethos is clearly different things to different folk. Some think solo is the way to go, but the Brits looked like they had more fun riding together (I have no problem with that, but some purists will. Each to his own I reckon. Why not go the whole hog and allow drafting? Are all GDMBR races stuck with the Stamsted way?).
    Use of cell phones and time limits effect the ethos of the event. It's good to see the Tour Divide differentiates itself in those respects.

    The first Great Divide Race attracted sponsorship and had prizes - still reads like it was a great race (with a fine ethos). And it didn't have an entry fee.

    I was thinking an event momento could be an optional extra. Just looking for ideas to make the events unique.

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonk
    Crikey! I don't want to argue the ethos of the GDR event. What a minefield! But the Tour Divide is a new event - it can create a different ethos.
    Event ethos is clearly different things to different folk. Some think solo is the way to go, but the Brits looked like they had more fun riding together (I have no problem with that, but some purists will. Each to his own I reckon. Why not go the whole hog and allow drafting? Are all GDMBR races stuck with the Stamsted way?).
    Use of cell phones and time limits effect the ethos of the event. It's good to see the Tour Divide differentiates itself in those respects.
    this ethos didn't start with divide racing. it is simply a movement away from expensive infrastructure, environmental impact, resource waste, land-permits, prizing and the dubious ethics that come along with it all. it's not-for-profit racing. its pick-up racing...and the best thing endurance MTB has going.

    it also happens to make the most sense in grand tour MTB racing where honor is everything and infrastructure is impossible without astronomical costs. the more complicated a race format is the less likely it is to survive going forward. any faded-out NORBA promoter will agree with these simple economics.

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    I hear ya Matt (although I have no problem with prizes and land-permits). When I fell for the Great Divide Race I was actually working as XC director for the 2006 MTB Worlds (the king of waste & hype). We're obviously talking chalk and cheese style events - there's some good stuff lurking in the middle ground.

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    Re: Border Immigration

    I crossed the border with Bruce, Josh and Ashley. Josh and Ashley went straight through still sitting on their bikes I think, and Bruce and I were taken inside for processing - fingerprints, photos, questions and all that.

    Not sure how long it took, but ask Josh how many beers he drank in the bar while he was waiting, and you can work it out from that I only felt cheated over the beers, not about the time. You Americans should have to make a 'Ficke Stop' to even things up :-)

    Seriously though, must have been 15 minutes ish. It's not an issue for me, so much can happen out there it doesn't seem significant. Seems you can win or lose 15 minutes against other riders at every restaurant, motel, store etc on the route.

  97. #97
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    I rode through the border at Chief Mountain...the other side of Glacier NP in '04. The conversation went like this...

    border dude"how long have you been in Canada?"
    me "3 days"
    bd "what did you do?"
    me "hiked and biked"
    bd"where are you going?"
    me"Utah"
    bd"on that?"
    me"er yeah"
    bd" how long will that take?"
    me"about 2 months, I'm taking my time and sightseeing on the way"
    bd"how can you afford to not work for 2 months?"
    me"worked my ass off doing 2 jobs and saved my coin"
    bd"what did you buy in Canada?"
    me"er, postcards and food"
    bd"any Canadian marijuana?"
    me"no, why, is it better than American marijuana?"
    bd"yeah, have a nice ride"

    a Canadian guy I met in Waterton NP got stopped in front of me and his truck totally pulled apart by another border bloke. Guess you've just got to be lucky and hope the border guy got some action the night before but you 'should' be pretty safe on a bike, just make sure you've got a plane ticket out of the US as proof you intend to leave and maps etc to show where you are going and you'll be fine. He seemed more interested that I had no pot and wasn't going to stay illegally than whether i was a terrorist, the whole thing took about a minute.
    Last edited by longman; 01-15-2008 at 12:51 AM.

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    My border crossing took less than five minutes- the questions seemed to be coming from his interest in the race.

    Note that the border is only 220 miles from the start- most racers will go through on the same day, or even at the same time (most people could get the same border guard). What about a "stop/go" system for all racers passing through? The TD organisers would have to have someone standing after the border stopping people for 15/30 minutes minus the time it took them to get through. They would only have to be there for a day or so.

    Even so, if I was racing the whole way, I would plan for a rest/feed stop at the border. If they wanted to search/fingerprint me, I could sit back and eat- 15 minutes is nothing in this race (except when you are racing to make a restaurant closing time).

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    Quote Originally Posted by afie
    My border crossing took less than five minutes- the questions seemed to be coming from his interest in the race.

    Note that the border is only 220 miles from the start- most racers will go through on the same day, or even at the same time (most people could get the same border guard). What about a "stop/go" system for all racers passing through? The TD organisers would have to have someone standing after the border stopping people for 15/30 minutes minus the time it took them to get through.

    Even so, if I was racing the whole way, I would plan for a rest/feed stop at the border. If they wanted to search/fingerprint me, I could sit back and eat- 15 minutes is nothing in this race (except when you are racing to make a restaurant closing time).
    Good thought on a "fast lane" Alex but (1) I think all TD organizers are racing and (2) if you're not being processed by customs, you're not allowed anywhere near the crossing (it's a 9/11 thing).

    Border crossings are a challenge of touring. Divide racing is partly a test of how well one handles that. As such, TD is inclined to make time spent crossing at Roosville part of the general classification. Not to sound US-centric but if Americans have a 5 or 15 minute faster transition on account of citizenship, well, TD just chalks it up to the home soil advantage. We'll ask all racers to time their border processing splits. It will be good data going forward.

    One expeditious move would be to use the pay phone on the Canadian side (if still there) to order a heat-up pizza at First/Last Chance Bar on the US side. It might be ready when you get across.

    In my three CA prologues with a noon Banff start I was forced to eat at First/Last Chance (border) as Eureka was closed down by the time I could get there (night 2).

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    Karma=Banff

    Matt, Thanks for your work on TD. Karma keeps the train rolling;add another to the TD start line.The USAGDR is not complete without the AB section and ACA deserves our wheels of support for the whole route.

    For an "older than dirt" (even older than GT) rider (TIer-Iditabiker-randonneur) the beauty of AB and, a gentelmans agreement alone, raises the bar (my only hesitation was seeing Nathan Bay is lining up in Roosville - a terrific guy). I hope to apply what I learned last year.

    See ya'al in Baff June 13.

    gravelrd

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