No I am not doing this race but I'm really impressed with those who are. Maybe someday if I can get 3 weeks off but for now I'm posting this about those who have prepared and are about to embark on the journey. It's a 2500+ mile race on the Continental Divide Trail and Mike Curiak describes it as "The Great Divide Race is a self-supported, solo competition following the 2,490-mile Great Divide Mountain Bike Route. Traversing Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico, the route demands over 200,000 feet of climbing along it's length. Competitors carry all equipment necessary to negotiate the backcountry, restocking on food and other supplies from the small towns along the route."
The race is self-supported, key words there. You can get race information here including the rules. Rules are important as there is no entry fee, no prize money and no glory outside the wonderful tight knit enduro community. These riders have no one to rely on but themselves to travel day and night for anywhere between 2 weeks and over a month. Can you sleep in bear country peacefully after riding your bike every day for a week straight while cooking all your own meals, maintaining your bike, navigating in the wilderness and carrying all your supplies? The Tour de France is one thing but this ride has no TV cameras, neutral wheel support, massuse, chef, coach, riders to draft or feed zones. And it's longer with less sleep and almost entirely off road.
One of my friends here in Denver, David Nice, is about to embark on this journey. Is he prepared? How many of you have ridden 1000 miles on a offroad fixed gear in the past 12 days? David has even with working 2 jobs and moving due to his apartment being broken into (and some of his race money stolen). Nonetheless he will take a Greyhound bus for 27 hours to Montana and then push his 36x16 fixed geared Surly CrossCheck (29er BTW) over 200,000 vertical feet in the coming month all while carrying his belongings with him. Checkout his awesome blog for info on his gear, audio updates during the race and to wish him well. Email him or me if you'd like to make a donation to his race fund. David has asked for no such donation but believe me when I say that he's certainly deserving of any change you can spare. Racers often fuel up with whatever they can find at small towns and gas stations along the way and any extra money will help him fuel his body with what sounds good instead of what's cheapest.
So over the next month, keep your web browsers and RSS feeds linked to Tom Purvis's awesome race tracking blog and cheer on David and all the other GDR racers. They're amazing and deserve all of our support. Good luck racers of the GDR!!!