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Thread: GDR Updates

  1. #1
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    GDR Updates

    Hey Gang-

    It's finally here--the GDR starts on Friday. Dunno yet the exact number of folks that are planning to start, but it seems a lock that we'll have over double the competitors of any previous year.

    You can get some idea of what the GDR is about here.

    You can read the racers' daily updates here.

    And you can find the daily podcasts here.

    You can also plow through all of the pre-race scuttlebutt and hullabaloo if you're so inclined.

    The blog page will be for racer updates only. Please use this thread to discuss, speculate, encourage and heckle as they roll along the spine of the continent.

    Cheers,

    MC

  2. #2
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    Good luck everyone!
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  3. #3
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    Good luck to all -
    and try not to die
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  4. #4
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    May the force be with you all.

  5. #5
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    Well Wishes!

    May the GDR competitors have the time of their lives and be successful in their endeavors.

    Can't wait for the next few weeks of "eyes glued to the internet" spectator fun.

    Special shout out to Dave Nice. allez! Keep yer clothes on! allez!
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  6. #6
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    We'll be watching from Denver. Good luck to all the GDR racers!
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  7. #7
    Scott in Tucson
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    Whitefish

    The leaders should be rolling through Whitefish right about now. Matt Lee says there is unofficial bragging rights for the first racer into town. That probably means it'll be him, but you never know. Everyone generally hangs out at the convienence store outside of town, with 100 miles down, 2400 (!!) to go.

    Looks like there might have been a spot of rain about this afterrnoon, but otherwise a nice day for riding. More serious rain is forecast over the weekend.

    Let's hope Tom P's fingers are feeling as fresh -- it's going to be a fair bit of keyboard mashin' for him with 21 racers calling in.
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  8. #8
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    Rock on guys. You are amazing!!!

    BTW, the MTBcast.com has awesome updates. Thanks guys for putting it together. It's really appreciated
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  9. #9
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich007
    BTW, the MTBcast.com has awesome updates. Thanks guys for putting it together. It's really appreciated
    I'll have to agree here. Big thanks to Joe Polk at mtbcast. His first episode with all the various interviews was very well done and quite interesting. Pretty cool to hear a few words from many of the racers as they are looking down the barrel of the GDR. Thanks for making the trip up there, Joe!

    Looks like Pete, Jay and Mike are out ahead, with Matt close behind. Everything changes depending on where and how much everyone slept last night.

    Pete sure seems to be flying. Seely Lake is ~242 miles into the route, with barely over 24 hours on the clock. There are some very flat, easy miles at the beginning of the route, but he's also gone through some slower stuff up on Richmond Hill.

    The other leaders may not have gone off-route to Seely, instead opting for Ovando, which is only 30 miles down the road. We may hear from them there instead.
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  10. #10
    Scott in Tucson
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    Leader board

    Hi all,

    I took the liberty of making a table that plots the racers at each call in point.

    Find it here:

    http://topofusion.com/divide/GDR07.htm

    I also included Mike's 2004 record pace at the bottom of the table. Both John N. and Pete B. are right on track with that pace as of the last update.

    Accuracy is not guaranteed! If you notice any discrepancies between Tom P's updates and the table, please email me at smorris AT topofusion.com and I'll fix it. I will try to update it once a day or so.

    There are still some folks we haven't heard from yet.
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    Hi all,

    I took the liberty of making a table that plots the racers at each call in point.

    Find it here:

    http://topofusion.com/divide/GDR07.htm

    I also included Mike's 2004 record pace at the bottom of the table. Both John N. and Pete B. are right on track with that pace as of the last update.

    Accuracy is not guaranteed! If you notice any discrepancies between Tom P's updates and the table, please email me at smorris AT topofusion.com and I'll fix it. I will try to update it once a day or so.

    There are still some folks we haven't heard from yet.
    Hey Scott, this table is great , thanks for making it up!!!!!!!!!
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  12. #12
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    Any Word On Nathan Bay?

    Anyone know whats going on with Nathan Bay?

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidarnott
    Anyone know whats going on with Nathan Bay?
    Looks like we just got a recent update and Nathan made it to Seely Lake at 1:30pm today (sunday).

    It should be interesting with John Nobile's mechanical. Hopefully it won't slow him down too much but it seems like he'll loose precious time.

    Go Jay!

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    Looks like jay and pete are into butte a little over 3 hours ahead of mike's record pace! i have a feeling these two are going to be seeing a lot of each other throughout this ride.

  15. #15
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    Looks like snow is wreaking havoc on the main pack today. Fun reading, but I would guess those guys are freezing cold and miserable.

    Keep truckin' fellas!
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  16. #16
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    Love it

    Inspired (as always). I've been tinkering all day playing "what if". Hard to imagine snow with temperatures in the 90s here though!

    Go Dave! Go everyone!
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  17. #17
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    I wanna see it in person

    Boy do I love this shtuff!! The write-ups and mtbcast are addictive and incredibly inspiring -and it's only day three. Thanks.

    Even the missus has gotten the bug (not all that surpising really) and we are thinking about doing a camping trip with the 10-month old to cheer on the some of the riders. Anybody have suggestions for a good spot to see the non-stop-action close to the front-range here in CO. We may not even see anybody, but a sign on the side of trail would go a long way if it were me.

    Thanks again.

  18. #18
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by grroes
    Looks like jay and pete are into butte a little over 3 hours ahead of mike's record pace! i have a feeling these two are going to be seeing a lot of each other throughout this ride.
    Yep, and they will likely jump quite a bit ahead of his pace at the next few call-in spots. Mike had to wait for the Outdoorsman (awesome bike shop in Butte that has always helped lost GDR souls) to open. That cost him some serious time, and it's reflected in his Wise River split.

    Sounds like it paid to be fast, avoiding the big snow storm on Richmond Hill.

    Good stuff. Thanks for all the transcribing, Tom!

    Oh, I updated the table as of Matt's last call in (between Helena and Butte).

    http://topofusion.com/divide/GDR07.htm
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenboy
    Anybody have suggestions for a good spot to see the non-stop-action close to the front-range here in CO. We may not even see anybody, but a sign on the side of trail would go a long way if it were me.

    Thanks again.
    Matthew sounds right on schedule to hit the Colorado border around mid day Friday. Maybe Jay and Pete will be close behind.
    If you wanted to set up a camp site to the west of Steamboat Lake on FSR 42 (the road up Sand Mountain and to California Park) Its right on the GDR route. If I were you I'd set up camp on Thursday afternoon to make sure you dont miss any of the excitement.

    There are also some nice (fee area) camp sites south of Steamboat on Lynx/Gore pass that are right on the GDR route.
    I will be heading north of Steamboat on my bike this weekend to see if I can stumble across anyone.
    "When you pay $340 to do a 24 hour race you'll only have enough money to eat mustard sandwiches the rest of the year." -TD

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    Go JayP! Way to stir up the early portion of the race and maintain the fast pace!

    The MTBCast is awesome, thanks!
    Scott, the table is a great visual too, thanks!
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  21. #21
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    Consider Salida

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkoInTheBoat
    ...If you wanted to set up a camp site to the west of Steamboat Lake on FSR 42 (the road up Sand Mountain and to California Park) Its right on the GDR route...
    Not to detract from the beauty and location on the route that Marko recommends, but the route comes almost right into Salida. Traditionally most all the riders come to the shop where I work, Absolute Bikes, and alternately, there are lots of lovely camping spots on the Marshall Pass Road where the riders climb up out of the Arkansas River Valley.

    Ooh. I just remembered, the Marshall Pass Road is closed on the west side of the pass, at least to motor vehicle traffic--washout. I wonder if a bypass should be proposed.

    Looks like I have a job for today.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  22. #22
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP
    Ooh. I just remembered, the Marshall Pass Road is closed on the west side of the pass, at least to motor vehicle traffic--washout. I wonder if a bypass should be proposed.

    Looks like I have a job for today.
    Hey Tom,

    If the washout is safely passable on foot (carrying bike), it will be best to stick to the official route. Most washouts usually are, and then it's just a matter of whether someone is actually there to enforce the closure. "Road closed" often doesn't mean the road is closed to foot/bike traffic.

    Also, can you link this thread from the GDR update page? Maybe on the side "blogroll", or just in an actual post at some point. I'm sure some people following the race would like to make comments and cheer people on and don't know about this thread.

    Oh, Pete and Jay called in from Butte, not Helena. Matt fell a little short of the usual goal of making it to Butte, which is why he was explaining that he didn't make it. It's not a hard ride from Basin (where he stopped) to Butte (unless there are strong headwinds, like he described), so he shouldn't be too far behind them this AM.

    Thanks.
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP
    Ooh. I just remembered, the Marshall Pass Road is closed on the west side of the pass, at least to motor vehicle traffic--washout. I wonder if a bypass should be proposed.

    Looks like I have a job for today.
    Hey Tom - do you think the snow will still be an issue by the time the leaders come through your neck of the woods? Saw your post about the drifts, etc.

    Great job on the updates - thanks!!

    Ed

  24. #24
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    Mistakes, over-reactions, links

    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    Hey Tom,

    If the washout is safely passable on foot (carrying bike), it will be best to stick to the official route. Most washouts usually are, and then it's just a matter of whether someone is actually there to enforce the closure. "Road closed" often doesn't mean the road is closed to foot/bike traffic.
    Yep, that's true. I will get my butt up there to look at it in person. But you're right, it would have to be pretty much an h-bomb crater to be impassable on a bike or on foot.
    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    Also, can you link this thread from the GDR update page? Maybe on the side "blogroll", or just in an actual post at some point.
    Yep, I'll do that right away. I don't have access to the Blog "settings" (only Mike has that) but I'll put the link into a post.
    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    Oh, Pete and Jay called in from Butte, not Helena...
    Doh! Yep. I got Pete's call mixed up with Rick Hunter saying "lovely downtown Helena". It got late last night, and I was waxed from carrying a chainsaw 12 miles on foot.

    I know; excuses, excuses. I'll get it fixed up on the blog.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  25. #25
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    Snow won't be an issue at least around here. The GD Route doesn't go on the CDNST, it stays on the road. And the road is snow-free.

    And I'm betting that the drifts on the CDNST will be gone 10 days from now anyway. Warm and windy up this way lately, and the nights haven't been below freezing.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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    Hi, new to this, table which shows routes/arrivals/times etc. absolutely brilliant, makes my life here back in the UK soooo much easier, huge thank you.
    I'm following Bruce and the guys from the UK.... the reporting and coverage has been fantastic, so a HUGE thank you from all over here for the gr8 job you are doing keeping us posted on progress, helps me sleep easier at nights, rather than worrying that a grizzly has had a crunchy breakfast of Bruce or the guys! Keep up the excellent reporting, thanks again

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    Hi Tom, just want to say thank you for the fantastic job you are doing keeping us all up to date with the GDR racers progress. Following progress, checking where my younger brother Bruce and the other UK riders are is rapidly becoming a daily pleasure. The additional links you are giving are insightful for those of us not quite on your side of the world! The descriptions from riders, yourself and others following the race is truly helping me understand exactly what they are having to deal with on a daily basis. The interviews at the start were gr8 to hear, hearing my brother speaking via a phone call whilst undertaking the Prologue was bordering on surreal. Keep up the outstanding transcribing of phone calls, I for one really appreciate all the hard work you are putting in, THANK YOU so much

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    Tom, Your chart is great. Thanks for the effort. I'm closely tracking the results on behalf of Team McFee. We think he may have hit Helena around noon today (Mon 6/18). We're hoping he may call in from either Basin or Butte later tonight.

  29. #29
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    here they come, there they go

    Quote Originally Posted by TomP
    Not to detract from the beauty and location on the route that Marko recommends, but the route comes almost right into Salida. Traditionally most all the riders come to the shop where I work, Absolute Bikes, and alternately, there are lots of lovely camping spots on the Marshall Pass Road where the riders climb up out of the Arkansas River Valley.

    Ooh. I just remembered, the Marshall Pass Road is closed on the west side of the pass, at least to motor vehicle traffic--washout. I wonder if a bypass should be proposed.

    Looks like I have a job for today.
    Thanks for the great recommendations guys. Steamboat could be an excellent choice, but then again Salida sounds fun too. It has to be hikable, ridable and have something besides a biker on a trail to offer Mainly tho', it was the 'when do they get there' question that I have a hard time guessing. Time to consult the map.

    Tom, when do you think they will push thru your neck o' the woods? And have you broken 1OO degrees down there yet?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenboy
    Thanks for the great recommendations guys. Steamboat could be an excellent choice, but then again Salida sounds fun too. It has to be hikable, ridable and have something besides a biker on a trail to offer Mainly tho', it was the 'when do they get there' question that I have a hard time guessing. Time to consult the map.

    Tom, when do you think they will push thru your neck o' the woods? And have you broken 1OO degrees down there yet?
    Also could consider the Silverthorne area, good riding to be found that direction and its really close to the Front Range.

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    yep, that too

    Quote Originally Posted by Jdub
    Also could consider the Silverthorne area, good riding to be found that direction and its really close to the Front Range.
    Thanks Jdub. I thought of that too, b ut it seems we are always driving that damnn I-70 corridor.

  32. #32
    Scott in Tucson
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    JP continues to fly along the route. If my math is correct, he's into Lima 12 hours ahead of Mike and Pete's '04 pace. He said he was continuing on and seems to be feeling good.

    Impressive stuff.

    Hopefully we'll hear from Pete soon. Matt will also likely be pushing to Lima, but it could be a late arrival there for him.

    Table is updated, and visually easier to understand now too.

    http://topofusion.com/divide/GDR07.htm
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  33. #33
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    Silverthorne is nice, but...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jdub
    Also could consider the Silverthorne area, good riding to be found that direction and its really close to the Front Range.
    ... we've been seeing quite a bit of those summit county folks. Still LOTS of snow up on their singletrack.

    FYI.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  34. #34
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    ton o' hiking and biking in the Marshall Pass area

    Quote Originally Posted by goldenboy
    ...It has to be hikable, ridable and have something besides a biker on a trail to offer Mainly tho', it was the 'when do they get there' question that I have a hard time guessing. Time to consult the map.

    Tom, when do you think they will push thru your neck o' the woods? And have you broken 1OO degrees down there yet?
    Matthew Lee got here 10 days from the start last year, and the monsoons were raging starting around the 1st. He lost lots of riding time during the northern CO route. Considering how fast JP is going, and how close Pete, Matthew, and Rick Hunter are behind him--if the weather holds I think it's conceivable they could be here late on the 23rd or early the 24th? All speculation at this point. Lots ahead of them.

    No 100 degrees. It got pretty danged warm today, with a pretty hefty dry wind (chinook). Maybe 80s?
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP
    ... we've been seeing quite a bit of those summit county folks. Still LOTS of snow up on their singletrack.

    FYI.
    True. Really the only advantage Silverthorne has for me is proximity, as I'd take the Salida riding anyday.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    JP continues to fly along the route. If my math is correct, he's into Lima 12 hours ahead of Mike and Pete's '04 pace. He said he was continuing on and seems to be feeling good.

    Impressive stuff.

    Hopefully we'll hear from Pete soon. Matt will also likely be pushing to Lima, but it could be a late arrival there for him.

    Table is updated, and visually easier to understand now too.

    http://topofusion.com/divide/GDR07.htm
    interesting that pete hasn't called in all day. can't wait to see if he calls soon from Lima or if he's already pushing on from somewhere beyond lima and calls in from further down the road. at any rate, we likely won't know until the morning. come on pete, how are we all supposed to sleep tonight with the suspense?

  37. #37
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    Jdub, I came here to follow the discussion of the GDR, which my brother is riding in as a rookie ... I couldn't help but notice you were rockin' the O-State logo, which happens to be my alma mater ('92) and longtime employer (since 1995). Also, starting this fall my brother Jon Billman (the one in the GDR) will be a professor here at OSU, so you can cheer for a Cowboy in the race. Anyway, just wanted to say "hi" and "GO POKES!"

    To the others, please keep the info and informative comments coming. It definitely is addicting to follow, but sometimes agonizing between blog entries. My brother hasn't called in since Seeley Lake, but in this type of event, it seems that no news is often good news.

    As for my own mountain biking experience, well I'm just now getting into it (bought a new entry-level bike last week in fact to ride with my brother on the trails and my young kids around town) and am enjoying what the sport has to offer.

    Cheers!

    Clay

    P.S. to Jdub: My new bike is ORANGE & BLACK!

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by creativetype
    rockin' the O-State logo
    Yep, I'm a proud OState alumni myself ('98), and even though I've relocated to Colorado in recent years I still keep very current on the Cowboys.

    Always good to stumble upon other Pokes, and good luck and wishes to your brother in the race. I'm in awe that anyone even attempts this and dumbfounded that people can actually finish it.

    If I make it out to cheer the racers on, I'll be sure and look for your brother and tell him he's got a fan club.

    Oh and my latest bike was a 29er singlespeed in bright Cowboy orange too.

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    Hey Clay!

    Clay, my name is Paul Jacobson. I went down to Dirty Kanza with Jon. Please let him know that I am watching the updates daily! Here I rode with him for hours and rode in the car with him for nearly 12 hours and he didn't say a word about going to the GDR. I sure hope that he is writing an article on the way! We would all love to read it!

    Paul Jacobson

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    Thank you so much Joe & Tom for keeping me on the edge of my computer seat!!! The upates are awesome!

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    Hi, Paul! Small world, huh? The Dirty Kanza was Jon's major tune-up before the GDR.
    I think he was afraid of jinxing his ride if he talked about it too much. A few times he wondered what he was getting himself into. He will be writing about it, definitely, but I'm not sure when it will come out. He's already talking about doing the Kansas ride again next year, but hopes to eliminate all the flats next time around.

    Tom, a small favor to ask: Somewhere along the GDR, Jon lost the other "l" in his last name. Can you correct the update pages to read "Billman" instead of "Bilman?" Great job keeping up with the race, by the way. Thanks so much from all of Jon's family back home.

  42. #42
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    Done.

    Quote Originally Posted by creativetype
    ... Tom, a small favor to ask: Somewhere along the GDR, Jon lost the other "l" in his last name. Can you correct the update pages to read "Billman" instead of "Bilman?"
    Sorry for the mistake. It's been cleaned up.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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  43. #43
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    map info

    So I got to planning a camping trip with the wife and wee one that might include some Great Divide Racer action. Then I realized that I don't know the exact route. The only place I can find it is on the Adventure Cycling and you have to pay for a copy. It won't arrive in time and I don't have the $ anyway. Are there any other places I could find the route through CO?

  44. #44
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by goldenboy
    So I got to planning a camping trip with the wife and wee one that might include some Great Divide Racer action. Then I realized that I don't know the exact route. The only place I can find it is on the Adventure Cycling and you have to pay for a copy. It won't arrive in time and I don't have the $ anyway. Are there any other places I could find the route through CO?
    If you have mapping software that reads GPX files, you can go here:

    http://www.topofusion.com/divide/gps.php

    I recommend the 10K, route-only file. You should be able to figure out the route through CO. If you've got a GPS, even better -- you can load up the whole route if you want. There are instructions on that page.
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  45. #45
    Scott in Tucson
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    Table is updated. Jay needs to slow down -- I didn't think I'd need to extend the table further until tomorrow's round of updates!

    Jay's comment about the washboards hit home for me. That was the only day on the divide (when I toured it) where I was miserable. Miles and miles of soft railroad bed that has been destroyed by folks on ATVs. I have never, ever, seen worse washboard than on that rail trail. And it just... never.... ends.

    <img src=http://www.topofusion.com/dividepics2/IMG_2646.JPG>

    Washboard doesn't usually show up in photos. The fact that it does here tells you how deep those corrugations are.
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  46. #46
    BoundaryZeroChris
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    GDR Maps

    I am touring the GDMBR from Banff south starting in late July and have posted some simple photo type maps with the route included to my blog so my friends and family can follow along. The posting itself may be kind of confusing as I posted them in an odd order, but I built menu links on the left sidebar to clarify.

    Enjoy,
    Chris
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    http://boundaryzerochris.blogspot.com/

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP
    Sorry for the mistake. It's been cleaned up.
    No need to apologize, Tom. You are doing an awesome job with all of this! Thanks again for keeping us up to date.



    I'll quit bugging you now.


  48. #48
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    Things are really starting to get interesting with the top 4! It will be interesting to see how Jay does as he starts to get on familiar trail in the next couple of areas through WY.

    GO Jay! and good luck to all the riders out there. You guys are crazy.

  49. #49
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    You can use google earth

    and the gps info from Adventure Cycling

    http://www.adv-cycling.org/routes/gp...4k&f=gdgpsdata

    If you:
    1. download the route
    2. Extract files
    3. Drag and drop each of the .gpx files in the sub folders to the "places" table of contents in google earth.

    The low res. screenshot shows the location of the store at Flagg Ranch (apple/milk carton). The waypoints are turned off as it kinda clutters the route.
    Last edited by bd.sahib; 12-04-2008 at 12:17 PM.

  50. #50
    Grizzly
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    The Grand Loop kept me glued, and now this is doing the same. Forget that skinny tire nonsense in Europe---this is where the real action is at!

    Thanks Tom, and also the crew at MTBCast. It's all top notch coverage. I love reading the updates, and then later listening to them, because I always interject my own tone of voice when I read them. Hearing them gives an idea of how wiped/wired/discouraged...etc everyone is.

    If I lived nearer the route, I would go spray paint peoples names on the big mountain passes

    Keep on keepin' on guys!!!
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  51. #51
    HowtoOverthrowtheSystem
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    Gooooo Pete! He's got the AK Forum rootin' for him!

    Thanks for the page you created Krein, it makes it easier to follow the race.

  52. #52
    Occidental Tourist
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    awesome race. awesome coverage.
    special thanks to those giving their time for the great (and free) coverage.
    This is just need to know information: Am i supposed to enjoy the irony or pity the sincerity?

  53. #53
    I'm from Utah
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    Wow ... just listened to MTB cast.

    Of all the things to break JayP's lead wide open ... a pilot car.

    I don't know about ya'll. I'm a little shell-shocked.

  54. #54
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    I just caught MTBCast #6, and it sounds like Pete B had issues with a woman holding a stop sign on a power trip? Sounded like it was a construction zone where no one was supposed go through all day untill they were done working for the day, and Jay P had just blasted on past anyways(what I would have done), and she supposedly called the Highway Patrol on him? Weird stuff. Any one else catch this? It also sounded like you could get through if the pilot car gave you a ride, so Pete did that, then rode thirty miles, felt bad about that being possibly cheating, so he rode back thirty miles so he could ride the three mile section under his own power after the construction crew had gone! Now that's integrity! How easy would it have been to just keep going and not mention it. Good stuff here.
    You COULD do it on a geared bike, but I wouldn't reccomend it!

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  55. #55
    Scott in Tucson
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    Pilot cars, oh my

    I just listened to Pete's message about the pilot car episode. I feel really bad about his dilemma. I feel even worse that this issue hadn't been properly dealt with before now.

    What we have is the following rule:

    The general idea is to race from Canada to Mexico, under only your own power, and to be self supported between towns.

    "under your own power" clearly doesn't include using a pilot car, and is the source of Pete's dilemma.

    However, an unwritten rule is that you must follow "the law" while out on course. For example, if an entire forest is closed due to fire danger, you don't enter it just because that's the race route. You have to respect what any law enforcement officer tells you.

    A grumpy flagger still has some authority, and given that she called the state troopers on Jay, they are obviously taking it very seriously.

    Unfortunately Mike is incommunicado. Mike? Others of the informal GDR steering committee are on the route!

    My take is this -- we cannot have racers out there flaunting the law. Not good for cyclists, not good for anyone. 3 miles in a pilot car makes little difference in the long run. I think riding in a pilot car, if they absolutely won't let you ride through, should be OK. But there may be counter arguments I'm missing.

    I don't know that Mike (or anyone) has made a ruling on this. I know that both he and Pete hit a flagger in '04 (Paula and I hit the same one) outside Cuba. Mike argued with the flagger that he had ridden 2000 miles and wasn't about to take a ride now. They let him through. Pete was there when Mike related this story (over the camp fire, outside Gunnison) and it may be where he's basing it from. I don't think Mike ever said that it was a rule that you can't take pilot cars.

    Damage done for Pete, sadly. You've got to admire the guy's integrity. Even the smallest shadow of a doubt caused him to go back and put away that doubt. Amazing.

    I suppose it can be argued that you have to wait out the pilot period, as Pete essentially did. But is it fair for someone to wait 8+ hours for some lame road construction? Further, it's easily possible that there could be a 24 hour pilot situation. No way out of that one.

    Thoughts? (Preferably from those with multi-day race experience)
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  56. #56
    I'm from Utah
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    Diary of a flagger

    From a movie I saw at the Telluride Film Festival a couple of years ago ...

    I am Flagger, You Flagee
    You must slow down when you see me
    Your speed determined by my hand
    Your will is now at my command
    The limit's 20, not 23
    I am Flagger, You Flagee

    I am Flagger, You Flagee
    I'm begging now on bended knee
    Please, won't someone notice me
    I am Flagger, You Flagee

  57. #57
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    You can't have people flouting the law because it unfairly affects the 2nd, 3rd, 4th person etc. You can blow by a flagger/officer/etc once but after that they're onto that game.

    If the pilot car is a commercial/government thing and not your buddy then I don't see why it shouldn't be allowed? If it's the only legal way through that's fair for all racers and if you arrive before/after that period then you can still ride the route. In this case it didn't even save Pete any time and unless it's an exceptionally long/steep closure I don't see another instance being a significant time gain either. I can come up with imaginary ones in my head but it seems convoluded.

    No matter how you cut it it's a tough situation. Pete did his best and it has cost him. Hopefully he'll realize that there is still a long way to go and Jay may not be gone for good if he's still got the legs to chase.
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  58. #58
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    It seems kind of ironic that if they'd have just let him ride slowly alongside the pilot car, he'd have been safer than at any other time on the open road stretches with traffic moving at full speed.
    You COULD do it on a geared bike, but I wouldn't reccomend it!

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  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    Unfortunately Mike is incommunicado. Mike? Others of the informal GDR steering committee are on the route!
    What are the chances that the first email access I've had in over a week is this very minute?

    Just listened to Pete's two messages. Hmmm. Never had any doubt about his integrity. I guess this is the year that he rides extra miles in races, eh? Too bad that he's beating himself up about the time lost. Seems huge to him after his anxiety-laden day, but it's not a big deal. He's got, what? ~1600 miles to make it up!?!?


    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    My take is this -- we cannot have racers out there flaunting the law. Not good for cyclists, not good for anyone. 3 miles in a pilot car makes little difference in the long run. I think riding in a pilot car, if they absolutely won't let you ride through, should be OK. But there may be counter arguments I'm missing.
    At both pre-race meetings (Whitefish and Eureka) Pete made a point of telling folks that they couldn't ride in a pilot car *and* have completed the race. He went to great lengths to tell people 'do NOT get in the car', and, 'walk through in the woods if you have to'. Therein lies the source of his confusion and frustration.

    If the pilot car/flagger lady won't let racers through no matter what, then they have no choice in the matter. That makes it legal (according to race rules) to ride in the car. It matters little that the car ride is (according to Pete) ~3 miles and all downhill. The law is the law and they have to abide by it.

    So, Tom P--please leave a message for the racers that it *IS OK* for them to ride in the car if they have no other choice.

    Personally, when faced with that decision in NM in '04, I just knew that there was no way I was gonna have an asterisk hanging over me. So I begged, pleaded, cajoled, and eventually she let me through. If she had decided not to, I would have walked around somehow. The only message that anyone should take from this is that some racers will probably feel the same as I did, and find a way around the car. Good for them if they do, but no shame if they can't/don't.

    Now, as for Jay...

    Hmmm...

    Gonna have to give it some more thought and chat with a few folks.

    I'm gonna be incommunicado again for at least two days as soon as I sign off here. I'll check in as soon as I can.

    G'night.

    MC

  60. #60
    Ozark Native
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    so who is gonna carry a pistol next year to fend off over bearing flag beasts!

  61. #61
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    Law trumps all

    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    Thoughts? (Preferably from those with multi-day race experience)
    What a complete mindf*** for Pete and how ironic for it to be more or less self-imposed. To have that sort of decision to make with almost a week of continuous racing in the legs (and head)...ouch.

    As for rules: seems pretty simple to me. If we want to continue to enjoy our "underground" racing, the law must trump all. Having state patrol hunt down the race leader is sub-optimal, not exactly the sort of attention GDR needs. It will make for good headlines, though.

    Stephan's recent call on the CTR reroute reflects similar thinking.

    The question is really what is allowed in getting past the closed section. As a racer, I'm all about forward motion. I'd never condone a rule that had me parking it for 12 hours. I can think of 2 options.

    1. Getting through via whatever means is legal according to those working the construction. If this includes riding in a pilot car, so be it. By the time that's all figured out it isn't likely to be faster than riding it anyway.

    2. Routing around the closed section. This one's a can o worms for sure, but given some thought could be worked out. If a section is closed, period - this is the only option, so there should be such an allowance.

    I'm shocked at JP's actions. Aside from getting on the wrong side of the man, he knew full well his actions were gonna feck with the riders behind him. It's obvious from the message he left. He's going to have some fun thoughts as his mind turns over the potential consequences in a fatigued state. I wouldn't want to be in his shoes.

    Winning, setting records and such is great - but it is such a small part of this genre IMO.
    Dave

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  62. #62
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    isnt the pilot car their to escort cars through the construction zone?
    Why cant the pilot car escort a bike rider?

    in reading JP call in text again he mentions falling in w/ traffic @ 25mph.

    so if their are other cars on the road why not a cyclist?

    I got a feeling its got something to do w/ the flag hag!

  63. #63
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    Wow is all I can say. Congratulations to the riders thus far, whether they are still in the race or not.

    I just wanted to say that let's not focus on the negativity. These guys have tough decisions to make for sure. Hell I have a hard time making a decision 50 miles into a hundie, I can't even fathom how these guys feel.

    I just wanted to add that and say Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo GDR racers!!!
    BS'ing less, riding more.

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  64. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by extrmtao
    I just wanted to say that let's not focus on the negativity. These guys have tough decisions to make for sure. Hell I have a hard time making a decision 50 miles into a hundie, I can't even fathom how these guys feel.

    I just wanted to add that and say Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo GDR racers!!!
    Agreed!

    Incredible stuff going on and the decision making has to be agonizing for these guys as tired and as driven as they are. Awesome job by everyone who started this year and my thoughts are constantly with the riders still on course - Allez, Allez!!

    This ride makes the TDF look like a walk in the park

    Ed E

  65. #65
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Just listened to Pete's two messages. Hmmm. Never had any doubt about his integrity. I guess this is the year that he rides extra miles in races, eh?
    Oh yeah, the Hellsgate detour he had to take in AK.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    At both pre-race meetings (Whitefish and Eureka) Pete made a point of telling folks that they couldn't ride in a pilot car *and* have completed the race. He went to great lengths to tell people 'do NOT get in the car', and, 'walk through in the woods if you have to'. Therein lies the source of his confusion and frustration.
    That makes more sense, and explains why he struggled so much with it. Too bad he/we didn't think it through beforehand.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    So, Tom P--please leave a message for the racers that it *IS OK* for them to ride in the car if they have no other choice.
    Glad you were able to check in. After milling it over last night some more, I was going to have Tom add a message this AM, too.

    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Personally, when faced with that decision in NM in '04, I just knew that there was no way I was gonna have an asterisk hanging over me. So I begged, pleaded, cajoled, and eventually she let me through. If she had decided not to, I would have walked around somehow. The only message that anyone should take from this is that some racers will probably feel the same as I did, and find a way around the car. Good for them if they do, but no shame if they can't/don't.
    Yep. That's the way I see it. It's more of a personal issue. I wouldn't want to ride in a pilot car and have the asterisk in my head. But that would be for my own reasons. As far as the rules of the race (and records) are concerned, it's perfectly OK.
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  66. #66
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by lil hillbilly
    isnt the pilot car their to escort cars through the construction zone?
    Why cant the pilot car escort a bike rider?
    It's pretty simple. Some contractors don't feel that having a (relatively) unprotected and less visible cyclist riding through a construction zone is safe. I would guess that it's up to them, not the individual flagger. Sure a flagger could make an exception, but are they going to make 60+ exceptions (many other divide tourists use the route, beyond the GDR racers)?

    I've had to ride in the back of pilot trucks before. In my experience it's only been when they are blasting, but who knows.
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  67. #67
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairball_dh
    As for rules: seems pretty simple to me. If we want to continue to enjoy our "underground" racing, the law must trump all. Having state patrol hunt down the race leader is sub-optimal, not exactly the sort of attention GDR needs. It will make for good headlines, though.
    I've got to agree with this. Not good for the race.

    Last thing we need is Wyoming Highway Patrol to get wind that there's a bicycle "race" taking place on their highways without a permit. Jay's actions were a terrible way to both let them know about the "race" AND piss them off.

    Thanks for the comments, Dave.
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  68. #68
    Scott in Tucson
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    Too many posts from me, but I wanted to comment on John Nobile's tire track count issue.

    The rail trail (I know it well and posted the picture earlier) is open to motor vehicles for the first ~22 miles. There is then a gate that prevents them from accessing the last 5 or 6 miles. Suddenly all of the washboard magically disappears!

    I don't think there is any reason to believe someone in front of John took the detour. It's very likely that the tracks of the leaders were simply erased by motorized traffic. They then reappeared on the lower section.
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    Too many posts from me, but I wanted to comment on John Nobile's tire track count issue.

    The rail trail (I know it well and posted the picture earlier) is open to motor vehicles for the first ~22 miles. There is then a gate that prevents them from accessing the last 5 or 6 miles. Suddenly all of the washboard magically disappears!

    I don't think there is any reason to believe someone in front of John took the detour. It's very likely that the tracks of the leaders were simply erased by motorized traffic. They then reappeared on the lower section.
    You're typing about as much as Tom P! But seriously, thanks for posting this. John's post put a big question mark in my head, it didn't make sense that a big chunk of the field was off-route.

    Whew! What a drama filled day.
    Dave

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  70. #70
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    Whoa!

    Quote Originally Posted by hairball_dh
    I'm shocked at JP's actions. Aside from getting on the wrong side of the man, he knew full well his actions were gonna feck with the riders behind him. It's obvious from the message he left. He's going to have some fun thoughts as his mind turns over the potential consequences in a fatigued state. I wouldn't want to be in his shoes.

    Winning, setting records and such is great - but it is such a small part of this genre IMO.
    Before painting Jay as a lawbreaker consider this scenario: What if Jay rolled up to the construction zone, fell in behind the line of waiting cars, and then rolled on through along with cars once the flag lady turned the sign from Stop to Slow? Based on the text update I am thinking this is what actually happened. Is that illegal? Does the flag lady make the law? A different flag person could be on duty the next day and the result could be entirely different.

    I also seriously doubt that screwing with the riders behind him were part of Jay's thinking. Moving forward and not getting DQ'd for riding in the pilot car (since it was stressed at both pre-race meetings) were probably #1 and #1a in his train of thought.
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  71. #71
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave in Driggs
    Before painting Jay as a lawbreaker consider this scenario: What if Jay rolled up to the construction zone, fell in behind the line of waiting cars, and then rolled on through along with cars once the flag lady turned the sign from Stop to Slow? Based on the text update I am thinking this is what actually happened. Is that illegal? Does the flag lady make the law? A different flag person could be on duty the next day and the result could be entirely different.
    It might have happened that way, sure. But you're speculating. Pete said that "he had just blasted through the stop sign."

    The point is, we weren't there. Clearly he was told to stop and he didn't. It was bad enough that they called the police. That's all we really know.

    I also seriously doubt that screwing with the riders behind him were part of Jay's thinking. Moving forward and not getting DQ'd for riding in the pilot car (since it was stressed at both pre-race meetings) were probably #1 and #1a in his train of thought.
    I don't think anyone suggested this. He should have considered how his actions would affect others, but that doesn't mean he did it to intentionally slow them down. I seriously doubt that as well.
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  72. #72
    Scott in Tucson
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    Looks like Aaron Teasdale posted his pics from the start of the race:

    http://www.adventurecycling.org/gdrgallery2007/

    It's great to put some faces to the names, and see the setups. Great photos and text.

    Thanks Aaron!
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    That makes more sense, and explains why he struggled so much with it. Too bad he/we didn't think it through beforehand.

    So I take it nobody knew about this until they got there huh. I was on that spot last summer and ran into the same construction. I argued hard but didn't get anywhere. Made sense in retrospect--it was only one lane, I was going uphill, and they were alternating directions every 10 minutes or whatever. So I would have held up traffic going the other way, and there was nowhere to go.

    They specifically do the pilot car for bikers there because it's on the TransAm, and they get a lot of them. Probably they don't know the difference between road and mtn bikers and think everybody will fall on the rough stuff. Also, it's probably not uncommon for guys to get surly and say they're riding coast to coast and there will be no car ride. So I'm not surprised they're taking it seriously.

    Hopefully this doesn't change the race too much. Tough call for both JP and Pete. No matter what they did, they risked some sort of GDR rules violation. Not the sort of decision I'd want to figure out on the spot after six days of crazy riding.

  74. #74
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    I just hope Pete is able to get this out of his mind quicker than we all are. There's a lot of race to go and if anyone can make up this kind of time it's Pete. I just hope he is over it and looking forward. It'll really suck if this incident becomes the definition of the '07 GDR for Pete (and/or Jay).

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    Looks like Aaron Teasdale posted his pics from the start of the race:

    http://www.adventurecycling.org/gdrgallery2007/

    It's great to put some faces to the names, and see the setups. Great photos and text.

    Thanks Aaron!

    Those profiles kick @$$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Great work.
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  76. #76
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    Thanks for posting the photos Aaron, they rock!

    Hopefully Pete can translate some of that frusteration into pedal power, way to stick with it man. AK is rooting for you!

    Yeah.. its hard to judge JP on his actions. I know after back to back hard days on the bike you start to feel like an outlaw that can conquer anything anyway, I bet when he phoned in he had time to reflect on it a bit (about how blowing through the zone affecting other riders), but I bet he was just pissed off and agro at the whole scene at the time and didnt want to budge on his stance. Total speculation on my part, I've never met him.

  77. #77
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    Any update on the documentary film crew and how they are doing? Or did they not show up after all?

  78. #78
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    They couldn't get visas! How lame is that.

    Man, countries suck.

    here's the email I got from Rob Gomez, the filmmaker:

    "As you probably know by now, the film crew couldn't not secure visas to shoot the GDR in the US.

    Hopefully we can sort something out for next year."

    So maybe they'll be back. And they're not the only folks talking about making a film of the race next year....

    Aaron Teasdale

  79. #79
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    why did they need visas?

    You can come to the US on a British passport for upto 90 days as a tourist without a visa....unless you have been convicted of any offense. They probably didn't need work visas, should have just said they were coming on vacation in the Rockies and they would have been fine... they let me in and I've never gone back!

  80. #80
    mvi
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    I would say this issue should never determine the validity of the winner. IMO the person that rides past is OK, and the person that drives the pilot is OK (without back tracking). **** happens all the time in bike racing (the train in Roubaix last year). In a race as GDR it is minute.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    Looks like Aaron Teasdale posted his pics from the start of the race:

    http://www.adventurecycling.org/gdrgallery2007/

    It's great to put some faces to the names, and see the setups. Great photos and text.

    Thanks Aaron!
    Same here, amazing pictures Aaron. Thanks for sharing
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  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rich007
    Same here, amazing pictures Aaron. Thanks for sharing

    +1. excellent photos and writeup. scrolling through those photos just kicked up my excitement another notch.
    "Melancholy is incompatible with bicycling" ~James E. Starrs

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    Pete sure isn't catching any breaks. sounds as though he's been sick most of the time since the pilot car incident yesterday. This really puts into perspective just how diffucult of a race this must be and how many little things can really slow you down even if you are as strong a rider as Pete, and even if you are as prepared as Pete obviously was for this event. (I got an email from him a few days before the start in which he talked about how he felt good about how unusually prepared he was for this race). It's just really a bummer that it's now looking quite unlikely that we'll see the down to the finish battle between JayP and PeteB that seemed almost certain to be unfolding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    It might have happened that way, sure. But you're speculating. Pete said that "he had just blasted through the stop sign."

    The point is, we weren't there. Clearly he was told to stop and he didn't. It was bad enough that they called the police. That's all we really know.
    Aren't you speculating as well?

    Pete wasn't there.
    The stop lady was and she may or may not be embellishing the truth. Maybe he went through on go but as he did she told him to stop rather than going through on stop? Maybe maybe not.

    What your suggesting is he actually broke (I assume it's the law) the law and went through on stop when in fact he may not have done.

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    Ain't no fat lady singing yet. She ain't even warming up.

    Quote Originally Posted by grroes
    It's just really a bummer that it's now looking quite unlikely that we'll see the down to the finish battle between JayP and PeteB that seemed almost certain to be unfolding.
    True, Pete has had some tough breaks lately. It's going to be, uh, challenging for him to get back to the front. But the defining part of these gruellers is the place it takes you to...at the end of the day, what do you think matters most: your position relative to another guy, or the decisions you make under impossibly high loads of fatigue?

    But anyway...it's always interesting to conjecture about race finishes. This one is far from over: http://teamhealthfx.com/blogs/dave_h...6/22/2800.aspx.
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  86. #86
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    You can come to the US on a British passport for upto 90 days as a tourist without a visa....unless you have been convicted of any offense. They probably didn't need work visas, should have just said they were coming on vacation in the Rockies and they would have been fine... they let me in and I've never gone back!
    Not True. I'm a Canadian and it’s normal to visit USA without a visa but I was denied entry for a vacation to Arizona once because the customs agent didn’t like me and simply said I couldn’t visit. I had no chance to plead my case I was just turned around and told to go home. When it comes to National Security they are given the power of judge, juror and executioner and can hand out 10 year bans if they think you are trying to deceive them. Scary.
    If you believe that I've got some magic beans to sell ya.

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    Yeah, but Canada was home to...

    Quote Originally Posted by jakomonster
    Not True. I'm a Canadian and it’s normal to visit USA without a visa but I was denied entry for a vacation to Arizona once because the customs agent didn’t like me and simply said I couldn’t visit. I had no chance to plead my case I was just turned around and told to go home. When it comes to National Security they are given the power of judge, juror and executioner and can hand out 10 year bans if they think you are trying to deceive them. Scary.
    Farley Mowat
    Last edited by far twiggle; 06-22-2007 at 07:06 AM.

  88. #88
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomL
    Aren't you speculating as well?
    Not really.

    I only included what Pete said as reasonable doubt about the speculation Dave in Driggs offered. I didn't say his words were gospel truth, and yeah, the flag lady could have been embellishing.

    What I did say is this:

    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    Clearly he was told to stop and he didn't. It was bad enough that they called the police. That's all we really know.
    I guess maybe she didn't call the police out and was lying about that??

    What your suggesting is he actually broke (I assume it's the law) the law and went through on stop when in fact he may not have done.
    I don't know what the law is, but I'd imagine you have to follow a flagger's instructions, regardless of whether they had time to flip the stop sign around or not. It doesn't really matter if he "broke the law". The point is he did something that was bad for the other GDR racers, bad for the race and bad for Transam cyclists.

    I don't mean to crucify him, and probably many of us would have done the same thing in that situation. It's easier to discuss ramifications here at the computer screen, and harder to see them on Day 6 of non-stop riding.
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  89. #89
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    I think JP was in a tough spot, and it was a difficult call to make: break the law, or (as it no doubt appeared at the time) break the GDR rules. I hope it doesn't disqualify him. If he breaks the course record this may add an asterisk in some people's minds. If we're debating whether he broke the law he pretty much admitted to it when he said:
    Quote Originally Posted by JP
    I just blew by the lady as she's yelling at me. She wanted me to wait for a pace car, but forget it. Just kept on going. They even tried pulling in behind me to make me go ...
    That certainly sounds like failure to follow a flagger's instructions, which in most states is unlawful if they're a government employee or contractor working on a public construction project.

    Just wanted to make that point, but again I don't mean to crucify him either. Let's face it: I bet the GDR cyclists are rolling through stop signs and even exceeding speed limits from time to time. We certainly don't DQ for that.

    ---

    Back to the race itself, and building on the armchair analysis, I've also been watching beyond the lead 4-5 racers. It looks like Ashley McKenzie may have come from behind and gotten himself out ahead of the main pack in the last couple days. He appears to be 6th, behind John Nobile, at this point. Also, the "pack" (if you could call it that) seems to have split into two groups. Alex field, the UK guys and Josh Ficke seem to be a few hours ahead of the others now. Of course this could all change, and the frequency of call-ins doesn't give us much resolution, but it sort of looks that way.
    Last edited by GlowBoy; 06-22-2007 at 11:58 AM.
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  90. #90
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    Add to that you now get finger printed coming into the US, something that you only have done in the UK when you are arrested and charged with a crime! As much as I would like to race the GDR one day the US administartion sucks at the moment...luckily it will be a few years until I am ready for that

    Alex

    Quote Originally Posted by jakomonster
    Not True. I'm a Canadian and it’s normal to visit USA without a visa but I was denied entry for a vacation to Arizona once because the customs agent didn’t like me and simply said I couldn’t visit. I had no chance to plead my case I was just turned around and told to go home. When it comes to National Security they are given the power of judge, juror and executioner and can hand out 10 year bans if they think you are trying to deceive them. Scary.
    "Put any one on one of these singlespeed bikes and they could not help but have fun"
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  91. #91
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    Rider intel

    Question for the powers that be:

    What sources do the riders have available to get info on their current placement, other riders, etc? Do they get any special messages or info during their call ins? Are they limited to what they can glean from internet cafes sorta like us?

    JPs satellite radio is pure brilliance...he's gotta be stoked to have weather reports at his fingertips. Not to mention crack enhancing music. Not sure if he's the only one doing that this year, but he won't be next year!

    Anyone getting any work done this week? Yea, didn't think so.
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  92. #92
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    Table for Standings

    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    .

    Table is updated, and visually easier to understand now too.

    http://topofusion.com/divide/GDR07.htm
    Scott,

    Thanks for making the table and allowing us to keep abreast of the situation. I find myself checking the current standings a few times a day. This is great!

  93. #93
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    GDR spreadsheets

    Hi all --

    It's tough to do real work with GDR on the brain. Here's something for those of us unable to concentrate on real work:

    http://spreadsheets.google.com/pub?k...BuuzNaYw&gid=3

    It's a spreadsheet and chart based on Krein's table that calculates average speeds and stuff like that. Kind of cool--lets you see who's getting faster and slower, and where.

  94. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairball_dh
    JPs satellite radio is pure brilliance...he's gotta be stoked to have weather reports at his fingertips. Not to mention crack enhancing music. Not sure if he's the only one doing that this year, but he won't be next year!
    I am dying to know how well the XM radio has worked for Jay over the course of this event. Based on the tone of his call-ins I would say he has it tuned to the Speed-Metal station. Yeah!

    Not getting much work done here either.
    Last edited by CyclingJunkie; 06-22-2007 at 05:07 PM.
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  95. #95
    Scott in Tucson
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairball_dh
    What sources do the riders have available to get info on their current placement, other riders, etc? Do they get any special messages or info during their call ins? Are they limited to what they can glean from internet cafes sorta like us?
    TomP has been updating the greeting with times/locations of the leaders. He'd have to answer exactly what he's been doing. Maybe not so much with how swamped he is with updates.

    Of course the other way to get updates is through a friend/relative that's checking the blog (via payphone, in town).

    Quote Originally Posted by hairball_dh
    JPs satellite radio is pure brilliance...he's gotta be stoked to have weather reports at his fingertips. Not to mention crack enhancing music. Not sure if he's the only one doing that this year, but he won't be next year!
    Right... until Mike and Pete ban XM for next year!

    I drove through Rawlins yesterday. Missed Matt by about 2 hours. It was plenty warm there in town, but at least a few clouds and storms were lurking about.

    I only had time to quickly update the table last night. Did anyone else notice that either Mike sped up or Jay slowed down? I'm going to have to double check the math on Mike's times. Unfortunately the updates from '04 are a little messed up.

    Oh, I wanted to point everyone to Matt's site:

    http://www.tourdivide.blogspot.com/

    He set that up last year. It roughly lays out a 16 day pace, with pictures and description of each day. It's a little confusing since it's in reverse order. But the pics are amazing and it gives a better feel for what these guys are experiencing out there.
    Author of TopoFusion GPS Software. MTB+backpacking = bikepacking.net. Ride Diary.

  96. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by Krein
    I only had time to quickly update the table last night. Did anyone else notice that either Mike sped up or Jay slowed down? I'm going to have to double check the math on Mike's times. Unfortunately the updates from '04 are a little messed up.
    Oh yea. I read thru those '04 updates last night. It's hard to believe the updates from Mike came via phone. It's so darn eloquent in spots it seems penned by Mark Twain. It was a stark contrast to his *current* thoughts about the race, if ya know what I mean

    If you look at the average speed between call-ins, Mike sped up (dramatically, actually), Jay is slowing down, and Matt is speeding up. Jay actually made up a lot of ground recently. At Flagg Ranch he was 17+ hours down, it's now about 8.5 hours. At their current rates, a catch would come somewhere between Hartzel and Del Norte. I've seen Jay do quite well at altitude, so I wouldn't count on that slowing him in CO, but Matt is charging hard.

    As for the record...according to your data Jay is quite a bit behind Mike's pace now, and not getting any faster. Wouldn't it be something if Mike's record stood this test! Interesting from those '04 reports is that Mike's race was far from perfect. He had crappy, muddy conditions early in the race, accompanied by flat after flat, and got pinned a few times by storms in CO. It could be your estimates are off, it doesn't seem quite right as (I think) the leaders have had near perfect conditions.
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  97. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by grroes
    Pete sure isn't catching any breaks. sounds as though he's been sick most of the time since the pilot car incident yesterday. This really puts into perspective just how diffucult of a race this must be and how many little things can really slow you down even if you are as strong a rider as Pete, and even if you are as prepared as Pete obviously was for this event. (I got an email from him a few days before the start in which he talked about how he felt good about how unusually prepared he was for this race). It's just really a bummer that it's now looking quite unlikely that we'll see the down to the finish battle between JayP and PeteB that seemed almost certain to be unfolding.
    Man--roadtripping after dropping Pete at the start seemed like such a good idea. And it has been, with the small detail that I'm missing out on all of this armchair quarterbacking! Fun stuff.

    I wish I had a means for calling Pete or getting him to call me. Not that there's any guarantee that I could make a dent in his mindset, but I'd just like the chance to redirect his thinking by reminding him how many things can and will still happen to *everyone* down the road. Jay has shown some signs of slowing, and has verbally mentioned that his body is feeling it. As good as the weather has been, that means they're going fast, but it also means that they aren't getting many off-the-bike-breaks. Even a few minutes walking next to the bike (in mud--ugh) does wonders for giving relief from the bruised hands and saddle sores. So the good weather has been a blessing and a curse for them. No matter how you slice it, in this one you've always got too much of at least one good thing going on. No way around that.

    All of that was just a longwinded way of writing that I don't think this one's over yet. Unlikely that it'll come back to a three or four horse race, but pretty possible at the same time. One mechanical for Jay could cost him a day, or a string of thunderstorms could pin him for hours, followed by more hours waiting for the mud to thicken into a rideable platform. It doesn't take much to shut you down. Both Pete and I had lots of downtime in '04, most of it in CO and NM.

    Gonna be fun to watch it unfold. I still think the top two will come in sub-16 days. Maybe even top-3.

    MC

  98. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairball_dh
    As for the record...according to your data Jay is quite a bit behind Mike's pace now, and not getting any faster. Wouldn't it be something if Mike's record stood this test! Interesting from those '04 reports is that Mike's race was far from perfect. He had crappy, muddy conditions early in the race, accompanied by flat after flat, and got pinned a few times by storms in CO. It could be your estimates are off, it doesn't seem quite right as (I think) the leaders have had near perfect conditions.
    Doesn't seem possible that Jay has lost that much time that he's now behind schedule. Aside from the fact that Jay has 1.5x the motor that I do, I had so much downtime in MT and WY due to a string of flats, mechanicals, waiting for shops to open, mud, etc... And it *seems* like Jay hasn't had too much of that going on--either that or he's not a whiner like me and he keeps it to himself.

    Last I checked in I saw that that Jay and Pete were both over 14 hours ahead of record pace. I thought then that that would bode very well for the second half of their race, because (unbelievably) I had even more downtime in CO and NM due to more mechanicals, waiting for shops to open, thunderstorms, and mud. Now I'm not so sure. Pete seems to have gotten his share of bad luck already, while Jay seems to have dodged lots of bullets. Again--maybe he's had plenty of bad luck (which would explain his slowdown) and just doesn't whine about it in his updates.

    Scott--are you sure on the times? I arrived in Rawlins at ~2-3PM, but couldn't leave again until 2-3AM due to severe thunderstorms. Got to Steamboat about ~4PM the next day, then Breck ~4PM the day after that. Then got stopped in Breck for ~5 hours by another boomer parked on the divide.

    EDIT: I just checked the blog page, and I think that Jay is still ~5-6 hours ahead of record pace. His time into Steamboat will give a better indicator--if he deigns to call in from there. I suspect that he'll call in from Clark or Radium just to keep everyone guessing.

    EDIT 2: Jay called in from SS at 8 this AM. After getting some good sleep and having to wait another hour for a shop to open, he'll be back on the bike roughly 8.5 hours ahead of record pace. Can't wait to see where the others are time-wise as they roll into Steamboat. Forecasts for the next few days in CO are *ideal*--clear skies, light winds, moderate temps, and no precip whatsoever. Great time to be riding and enjoying the alpine.

    I'll be stationary (in N MI) for another two days here--lemme know if I can help clarify anything.

    MC
    Last edited by mikesee; 06-23-2007 at 04:56 PM.

  99. #99
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    Life is good.
    I'm hanging out in Nome waiting for the weather to improve, Its the finish for the "other" great race, (just 3 months late). Solstice fest is here complete with mock bank robberies, and swims in the Bering Sea... and I get to come back and see the GDR unfold on wireless internet in my hotel room.
    Like I said, life is good
    Thanks Tom, Scott and Mike for the Updates and commentary!

  100. #100
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    The Plot Thickens

    Just saw this on the blog page:

    Quote Originally Posted by JayP
    Good afternoon. 5:30 Saturday, and it's JP. And, I left Steamboat after some fixins and stuff. And it was quite a hot route. It's very very very hot out on them open roads in these dry country hills. And uh, sort of just ran out of some water and just pulled on over into Kremling here, and found the oasis of Shake and Burger. I hope everybody makes this little score, to hit this little place soon as you pull into town. And that should fill me up to keep going into the evening to my next destination. And then, uh, I'll talk to you then, but other than that things are going good, definitely hot, and just uh, yeah, going through with it. Alright, sounds good, thanks, hope everyone's doing well. Bye.
    Among many things that jump out at me from the above update is the fact that Jay rode off route to water up and cool down. Hard to imagine how much he must have been suffering to have to ride extra miles to get himself taken care of. Did he underestimate this section of the route? Did he make a wrong turn and ride bonus miles, thereby running short on what otherwise would have been enough water? Or did he just have a bad day?

    Probably won't know until it's all over and he can tell us.

    And maybe, possibly, I'm making a mountain out of a molehill outta this. The ride to Kemmling is not that far off route--just 3-4 miles IIRC. But I don't know of anyone that, in his position, is gonna ride so far as 1/4 mile off route unless there's no way around it. I sure wouldn't.

    I also love that, once he'd cooled down a bit and gotten some sustenance, he dangled the carrot out there, hoping to distract his competitors by telling them to, "C'mon in, the water's fine...

    Great stuff.

    Cheers,

    MC

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