One of the final parts of my entire Tour Divide kit that I got together was my photography equipment. Like the rest of my gear, it had to fit some fairly extreme constraints: not too big, not too heavy and able to survive the trip.
Below is the Tour Divide Race Map! Find my personal page here to see how I’m doing. There are a TON of alternative routes because of snow, but I intend to tramp through as many as I can via snowshoes and pure, unadulterated will.
Four days, 420 miles, 4 continental divide crossings, 9 hours of snowshoeing, two days of minstrel headwinds,
snow showers and over-caffeine-ation.
“Well,” said the shaggy man, “let’s start on, or we won’t get anywhere before night comes.”
“Where do you expect to get to?” asked Dorothy.
“I’m like Button-Bright. I don’t know,” answered the shaggy man, with a laugh. “But I’ve learned from long experience that every road leads somewhere, or there wouldn’t be any road; so it’s likely that if we travel long enough, my dear, we will come to some place or another in the end. What place it will be we can’t even guess at this moment, but we’re sure to find out when we get there.”
“Why, yes,” said Dorothy; “that seems reas’n’ble, Shaggy Man.”
Dorothy Meets Button-Bright, The Road to Oz by L. Frank Baum
At around 1:00 am the previous night, I settled on the idea to try the, “Ring the Peak” route around Pike’s Peak. You can learn about the route here and here. I just thought, “Yeah, whatever” and took a few hours snooze and headed out the door from Denver, towards Pikes Peak, via the Rampart Range Road, a nice 50 mile track of fairly well maintained dirt road, with a nice elevation gain (up to 9,400 feet or so) and relatively little traffic. Time to try out some gear and get another over-nighter in.
Completed my first overnighter of the season! Haven’t camped out since November, where I road from Denver to the trailhead of Pikes Peak (~100 miles), hiked the Class 1 trail (~26 miles) and rode back the same way as I went, all in three days.
The plan for these two days was to ride to Rocky Mountain National Park, camp out overnight and then the next morning, hike up Twin Sisters and ride out the same day.
This weekend is the Paris-Roubaix! One of my all-time favorite one-day races, if not for the fact that it was first raced in 1896 on Sunday, April 19th – or on Easter Sunday – no one really remembers… – and I was born a little over 100 years later on Sunday, April 19th, which was also an Easter Sunday. These types of coincidences should not be taken lightly. So, when I found myself living in Paris, wanting to visit friends in Amsterdam, I thought it best to visit the route used in the race.
Below is what I wrote in November of 2009, after I finished up successfully making it to Amsterdam in 5 days. Certainly not a speed run, but the route from Paris to Roubaix, by first cycling fairly straightforward to Compiègne and then following the route eats up almost 400 km itself. Then there’s the simple matter of passing through an entire country in a day and finally traveling the Netherlands to Amsterdam in the final. Totally ruled.
“A venturesome minority will always be eager to set off on their own, and no obstacles should be placed in their path; let them take risks, for godsake, let them get lost, sunburnt, stranded, drowned, eaten by bears, buried alive under avalanches – that is the right and privilege of any free American.”
— Edward Abbey
These few paragraphs comprise my personal Letter Of Intent in racing the Tour Divide:
Summer totally flew by for me, but I was able to take a few little trips out and about to check out the, “backyard”. I’m moving soon, so it seemed like a good idea to see what’s out there. Here’s a small 4-day trip to Leadville and back, with a little side-step hiking.
First, here’s where we’re going:
Starting in Denver, we’re going South East on 285 to Leadville, CO, where we’re gonna climb Mt. Elbert, the highest point in Colorado. I’ve been scheming to do this for a while and finally found time to do it.