Tour Divide 2020- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Tour Divide 2020

    Who's in for the 2020 Tour Divide?

    I'm going NOBO this year. Trying to generate interest for a June 12th Midnight plus one minute Grand Depart from Antelope Wells (as opposed to the traditional 8AM one).

    Of course, Grand Depart is a relative term. I think there were six NOBO riders last year.

    I don't like the cold weather.

  2. #2
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    It's a dirt road. Life's too short.

    Lots of skinny (and empty) trails out there to be discovered tho...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    It's a dirt road. Life's too short.

    Lots of skinny (and empty) trails out there to be discovered tho...


    It's an adventure. It's probably not the most difficult bikepacking race in the world but it's probably the most difficult one that enthusiastic amateurs who have real jobs can attempt.

    And some of our top guys who finish it in 14-18 days are world class athletes who define suffering for the love of cycling (like Josh Kato and Jay Petervary).

    But it's more than a dirt road. That thing is a beast. This will be my third attempt. If you stick to the spirit of Tour Divide and respect the race it is a real challenge, physically and especially mentally.

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    I'm surprised there's not more interest.

  5. #5
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    I love rolling down my driveway, North of Boston and just ride. So much I haven't seen or pedaled here. Endless dirt roads, bike paths and some pave to connect. VT and NH are awesome. Great singletrack everywhere too. No desire to ever enter a race. Cheers. VT, where all the hills go up, and at the bottom good beer awaits.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ailuropoda View Post
    It's an adventure. It's probably not the most difficult bikepacking race in the world but it's probably the most difficult one that enthusiastic amateurs who have real jobs can attempt.

    And some of our top guys who finish it in 14-18 days are world class athletes who define suffering for the love of cycling (like Josh Kato and Jay Petervary).

    But it's more than a dirt road. That thing is a beast. This will be my third attempt. If you stick to the spirit of Tour Divide and respect the race it is a real challenge, physically and especially mentally.
    No doubt. For many, it's a huge bucket list item and major accomplishment. I've been watching some YT vids with racers such as Lael Wilcox. Amazing stuff....
    The only important thing these days, is rhythm and melody. Rhythm...and melody.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    It's a dirt road. Life's too short.
    How many times have you finished the Tour?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillbo View Post
    How many times have you finished the Tour?

    Once was way more than enough. I was ready to be done in Montana.

    edit: I rode the entire Colorado section as a primer in 2001. Then went back and ITT'd the route in '03, stopping at roughly halfway with a cracked frame, bent psyche, and pretty broken body. I had been pushing hard and was ~2 days ahead of the then record. Went back in '04 and finished, setting the high water mark of the time.

    I went back and finished it simply because I hate not finishing things that I've started.

    But honestly, looking back now? I stand by what I wrote above -- that once was way more than enough. I could have done so many other interesting *actual* mountain bike routes if I hadn't burned my body up on this silly, unsatisfying glorified gravel grinder.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ailuropoda View Post
    It's an adventure. It's probably not the most difficult bikepacking race in the world but it's probably the most difficult one that enthusiastic amateurs who have real jobs can attempt.

    And some of our top guys who finish it in 14-18 days are world class athletes who define suffering for the love of cycling (like Josh Kato and Jay Petervary).

    But it's more than a dirt road. That thing is a beast. This will be my third attempt. If you stick to the spirit of Tour Divide and respect the race it is a real challenge, physically and especially mentally.

    It can certainly be an adventure. But then that's a fairly nebulous definition. Running down to the corner store at lunch can also be an adventure.

    Something like 95% of the route is dirt road or pavement. That makes the wilder sections more enjoyable when you hit them, you just don't hit them very often.

    I'll agree that it's a mental challenge. Staring down a washboarded dirt road, seeing it roll over the horizon while on the aerobars, and getting dusted by pickups doing 60mph is challenging for sure. Especially knowing that there's another 1000 or 2000 miles of that to go.

    But there's nothing enjoyable about any of that, especially more than once.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Staring down a washboarded dirt road, seeing it roll over the horizon while on the aerobars, and getting dusted by pickups doing 60mph is challenging for sure. .
    It's no fun sharing the road with wanna-be Trophy Truck drivers

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccm View Post
    It's no fun sharing the road with wanna-be Trophy Truck drivers

    That might be laying it on a bit thick. More often it's just ranchers or even tourists, in a hurry to get from A->B. But the net effect is the same -- high speed truck traffic that's not particularly aware of nor concerned about your presence.

    At best you get dusted, repeatedly. At worst you get hit, or pushed off the road.

    Ask Pete Basinger how that worked out for him...

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    Quote Originally Posted by leeboh View Post
    I love rolling down my driveway, North of Boston and just ride. So much I haven't seen or pedaled here. Endless dirt roads, bike paths and some pave to connect. VT and NH are awesome. Great singletrack everywhere too. No desire to ever enter a race. Cheers. VT, where all the hills go up, and at the bottom good beer awaits.
    I was in New Hampshire last summer and was overwhelmed at the sites and beauty of state. Spent 2 weeks driving around back roads while the others I went with did the tourist attractions. I am shure I enjoyed myself much more than they did. I tried to get a bike but could not find one. Would love to live there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccm View Post
    It's no fun sharing the road with wanna-be Trophy Truck drivers
    I got about a thousand miles the last time. I hardly saw any traffic except going through towns and the few paved sections I hit (like Whitefish to Big Fork which was mostly paved). Even then there were not a lot of cars. Some of the roads were dusty.

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    go for it and have fun. do what you want, and don't worry about others.

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    Sounds like an exciting start, Ailuro.

    FWIW to anyone, I enjoyed the US portion enough to go back and ride it again. Both times at a touring pace with variations. Maybe thatís why we/I were able to finish it and liked it?

    We wanted to see the west, the GDMBR delivered. All respect to racers but that doesnít look like fun to me. I take at least twice as long and love every day of it. I digressÖ Have a blast and may the wind be at your back despite popular lore. Watch for dogs in Vallecitos.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by timsmcm View Post
    I was in New Hampshire last summer and was overwhelmed at the sites and beauty of state. Spent 2 weeks driving around back roads while the others I went with did the tourist attractions. I am shure I enjoyed myself much more than they did. I tried to get a bike but could not find one. Would love to live there.
    The class 6 roads? 100 year old logging roads, tress in the middle, still on maps. And class 4 in VT too. Snow machine trails? All over NH, VT and ME. All mapped out, in the middle of the woods you will find signs that point out, gas, food, lodging, with directions and mileage. ( Bills pizza, 2 miles on the left past the bridge)

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee View Post
    Once was way more than enough. I was ready to be done in Montana.

    I went back and finished it simply because I hate not finishing things that I've started.

    But honestly, looking back now? I stand by what I wrote above -- that once was way more than enough. I could have done so many other interesting *actual* mountain bike routes if I hadn't burned my body up on this silly, unsatisfying glorified gravel grinder.
    In a lot of places the dirt roads are the only way. But when it comes down to it, its the mental game that stops many of the people riding this route. Mike Hall once said (paraphrasing) '95% of the Tour Divide is mental- and the other 5% is mental'.

    Hal Russel, a well-known Tour Divide veteran, told me that 'People come to do the Tour Divide and then complain to me how hard it is. Its the Tour Divide! Its is not meant to be easy'. That was last year, Hal was 70 and has been down the route in its entirety six times. Hal: "Quitting? Quitting is the easiest thing you can do!"

    A few years ago more single track was added in Canada, Wyoming and New Mexico. This year Koko Claims is still in the mix; sounds like the reroute to deal with logging in the Missions won't be.

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