Author Topic: Tour Divide  (Read 1880 times)

vorsprung

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Tour Divide
« on: June 27, 2013, 08:57:38 pm »
I see that Mike Hall is leading the Tour Divide.  The Tour Divide is a several thousand mile MTB race across Canada.  It is generally believed to be the toughest bike race in the world, bar none.

You may remember Mike from the start of the Brevet Cymru 400 this year.  He is the current round the world on a bike fastest record holder
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woollypigs

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Re: Tour Divide
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2013, 09:25:05 pm »
We did a grand total for 40miles on the official route, from Santa Fe to El Rito, ok in a speed that was no way near that what they do in the race. Most of the race is above 2000m, in desert, often forest fires (link to active fires) right now the route goes past at least eight fires, this summer isn't as hot as last year but still it is summer US style, then there is the pollen and wild life!! 

Bloody well done Mike!

Karla

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Re: Tour Divide
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2013, 09:37:13 pm »
His round the world record was actually beaten by 3 days, by a guy who had a support van for most of the way round, and who rode in full knowledge of the rules that were changed between Mike finishing and getting validated. 

I see he now has a 215 mile lead in the Tour Divide, with 130 miles to go  :thumbsup:

PaulF

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Re: Tour Divide
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2013, 09:52:37 pm »
Sadly it looks like Mike won't get a record because they've had to route round fires :(

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Re: Tour Divide
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2013, 09:55:46 pm »
His round the world record was actually beaten by 3 days, by a guy who had a support van for most of the way round, and who rode in full knowledge of the rules that were changed between Mike finishing and getting validated. 

I see he now has a 215 mile lead in the Tour Divide, with 130 miles to go  :thumbsup:
250 miles, give or take - he's 116 miles from the next checkpoint (Silver City) and it's another 130+ miles from Silver City to Antelope Wells. This is assuming he isn't diverted (again) because of the fires in the Gila national forest.

He'll probably take at least a day off Jay Petervary's time (15d 16h) but it won't stand because of the diversion around the Santa Fe National Forest.

Still a mighty fine achievement, though.

EDIT: his tracker is here: http://trackleaders.com/tourdivide13i.php?name=Mike_Hall

Re: Tour Divide
« Reply #5 on: June 28, 2013, 09:43:36 am »
As far as I'm concerned, Mike holds the 'unsupported' record and will hold it until someone else rides unsupported and beats him.
The 'current' holder is for a different record.
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Re: Tour Divide
« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2013, 09:53:23 am »
As far as I'm concerned, Mike holds the 'unsupported' record and will hold it until someone else rides unsupported and beats him.
The 'current' holder is for a different record.
By definition, the race is unsupported - if you have any outside support your time won't be considered. End of.

However, the record is what it is - the JayP's record is a heck of an achievement, and Mike Hall's ride is too. For those who are so inclined, it'll give them something to shoot for. The rest of us can just hope to aspire to, say, finishing in the correct number of pieces.

The forest fires in NM have played merry hell with this year's race, which is a shame - looks like there's a big diversion round the Gila National Forest too.

Karla

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Re: Tour Divide
« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2013, 09:55:35 am »
MrC was talking about the round the world record.  FWIW I agree with him - it's just a shame Guinness don't differentiate.

marcusjb

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Re: Tour Divide
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2013, 10:05:55 am »
MrC was talking about the round the world record.  FWIW I agree with him - it's just a shame Guinness don't differentiate.

(going OT sorry) - totally agree - the latest attempt on the women's record seems to have taken it to a whole other level of support:

http://www.bikeradar.com/road/news/article/liz-dimmock-trains-like-a-pro-to-break-world-cycling-record-37756/

Whilst her money-rasing is to be commended, the use of a fancy Jaguar support car etc. is not really in the spirit of the whole around the world thing.

Ah well - suspect that is how it will be from now on, who can sink the most money into an attempt etc.
Right! What's next?

Ooooh. That sounds like a daft idea.  I am in!

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Re: Tour Divide
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2013, 10:06:52 am »
MrC was talking about the round the world record.  FWIW I agree with him - it's just a shame Guinness don't differentiate.
As do I - doing something like this (Tour Divide, Round the World, etc.etc.) with outside support totally defeats the object IMO. Or maybe I'm just too old-school for my own good.

I'm planning to do the Tour Divide next year - no support, no sponsors, just me, my bike and a number of like-minded lunatics. The goal? To finish ... simple as that (my 'aspirational' goal is 25 days - any less is a bonus)

EDIT: Looks like the route on trackleaders.com has been updated to show the diverted route.

woollypigs

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Re: Tour Divide
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2013, 11:47:04 am »
We were thinking 40-50 days, at a minimum, to do Santa Fe to Glazier National Park. Though we were packing more gear than most and is not keen on doing 60+ miles a day on rough roads like the Divide.

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Re: Tour Divide
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2013, 12:05:41 pm »
We were thinking 40-50 days, at a minimum, to do Santa Fe to Glazier National Park. Though we were packing more gear than most and is not keen on doing 60+ miles a day on rough roads like the Divide.
There's not actually that much in the way of 'technical' off-road - most of the route is either gravel roads, Forestry Service roads (conditions of which seem to vary widely from state to state, with things seemingly getting worse as you head south!) with occasional bits of tarmac.

Read Paul Howard's book, "Eat, Sleep, Ride" (also available as "Two Wheels On My Wagon" for some odd reason) - one guy with very little off-road riding experience doing the Tour Divide in 27 days in 2009, a year noted for its particularly apocalyptic weather (rain, rain and more rain) and a higher dropout rate than usual. One guy he ended up riding with had barely any cycling experience at all and the only thing that stopped him finishing was breaking his collarbone about 100 miles from the finish after an altercation with a pothole filled with sand.

I can also recommend Jill Homer's "Be Brave, Be Strong", which is a cracking read in its own right, again its about the 2009 race - life in general took a great, steaming dump on her so she decided to do the TD and took the women's record (since beaten by Esther Horanyi) largely out of sheer bloody-mindedness (admittedly, she had a bit of winter racing experience)

I have copies of both if you wish to borrow them.

This isn't the sort of thing you take on lightly - I've been refining kit and whatnot for the past year or so to the point where I've got the bike+kit weight down to sub-22kg (coincidentally the baggage allowance of the airline I plan to use ;) ) and I've been ramping up the off-road distance accordingly, although training for anything like this is pretty difficult in the UK; the closest I can get is hooning round the fire roads at Dalby and Hamsterley with occasional forays onto the waymarked trails to keep my 'technical' mojo topped up.

Mike Hall evidently has this mantra written on the top-tube of his bike: "Nothing that's worth anything is ever easy" (http://normallyaspiratedhuman.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/photo-7.jpg) - I agree 100%.

Re: Tour Divide
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2013, 12:20:55 pm »
You might also be interested in Kent Peterson's account of his 2005 race: http://www.carsstink.org/peterson/Turtle/MountainTurtle.html

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Re: Tour Divide
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2013, 01:10:45 pm »
You might also be interested in Kent Peterson's account of his 2005 race: http://www.carsstink.org/peterson/Turtle/MountainTurtle.html
Any of Kent Peterson's stuff is worth a read - he also does lots of interesting things with corrugated plastic (mudguards, luggage, that kind of thing)
He rode the Tour Divide (as opposed to the GDMBR) one year, I don't recall which, and rode to the start in Banff.
From his home in Washington state (Issaquah, if memory serves) ... about 850 miles.

He's my kind of rider - not necessarily quick, but gets the job done. Eventually.

vorsprung

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Re: Tour Divide
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2013, 02:37:39 pm »
Description of Mike Halls bike and lightweight camping gear here

http://www.pivotcycles.com/news/item/138

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Re: Tour Divide
« Reply #15 on: June 28, 2013, 02:49:55 pm »
Description of Mike Halls bike and lightweight camping gear here

http://www.pivotcycles.com/news/item/138

"One of the coolest things about these wheels is that every single spoke is the same length, so I’ll be carrying just one spare."

That's pretty good design.
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Re: Tour Divide
« Reply #16 on: June 28, 2013, 02:54:01 pm »
Description of Mike Halls bike and lightweight camping gear here

http://www.pivotcycles.com/news/item/138

"One of the coolest things about these wheels is that every single spoke is the same length, so I’ll be carrying just one spare."

That's pretty good design.
The reason he's riding so fast is because he's evading hit-squads from DT and Sapim ;)

Good design? It'll never catch on ...

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Re: Tour Divide
« Reply #17 on: June 28, 2013, 06:20:33 pm »
Mike's on the 'home' stretch now - 117 miles to go along the aptly named 'Lonely Highway' to Antelope Wells which is, quite literally, in the middle of nowhere.

Record or not, bloody well done to him.

I'm also watching this fellow's progress with interest: http://trackleaders.com/tourdivide13i.php?name=Drew_McIntosh - he's riding fixed, y'see ....

EDIT: Mike Hall finished last night (UK time) - 14d 11h on a route that was a good 100 miles+ over distance due to diversions. Massive respect.

vorsprung

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Re: Tour Divide
« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2013, 10:03:54 pm »
We have a winner
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