Olivia and I are watching the West Wing and although I have seen the whole series four times this is her first. Its been fun the re-watch one of my favorite shows while also planning for my next adventure. So... What's Next!
The Arizona Trail race was epic but it was just the kick off to a summer of pain, devotion, sacrifice, and lifelong dreams. If you are new to my story or just need a reminder I will be racing the Tour Divide starting on June 14th. It’s going to hurt oh so good.
I do have an advantage in this race that I didn’t have when I raced the Arizona Trail Race though, I’ve done it before. Way back in 2016 I raced the Tour Divide and completed the 2,715 mile race in 22 days. For my first ever bikepacking race I was over the moon. Looking back on those formative three weeks three years ago I have grown a lot and I have much more experience going forward. Now I know not to eat sushi in Montana and not to try to ride on a flat tire. You can learn a lot from getting sick in the middle of nowhere and nearly crashing into a cow.
Anyways I am very excited to get another shot at this race and to put up a good time. The goal for this race is to finish it in 16-18 days. This times will be a challenge but one I am more then up for. I would also love to finish in the top 10 as well!
The Tour Divide is a polar opposite race from the Arizona Trail Race (AZT). It features many more paved sections, more gravel roads then single track and plentiful food and water resupply points. What the AZT has in technical trails the Tour Divide makes up in sheer distance. The AZT beat me up with its technical and rough trails while the Tour Divide will beat me up with its 100+ mile days. 750 miles vs. 2,715. The AZT and Tour Divide are like apple and oranges. Both are ultra bikepacking races but they are totally different beasts.
I feel like I am in great shape and the recovery from the AZT is going really well! I will begin doing bigger training rides in the coming days after I get my bike rebuilt from the minor surgeries it needed after the AZT.
The Giant Anthem I am using has had the front brakes bled, the chain replaced and in the coming days will need to get new tires, have its shocks rebuilt and new pivot bearings. It will be a lot of work and cost a bit but this bike needs it in order to be up to the task of taking on the Tour Divide.
As far as the rest of my gear goes it all held up very well! Kind of… my shoes are totally destroyed and I will need to either rock an old pair or get new ones. The decision between having enough money to get food for the race and having new shoes is an easy choice for me. The older shoes are tested and broken in and will make it through the race with some love!
Time to get back to rebuilding this beat up bike!