The view from the bridge in Banff
Headed into Banff
Me... with body fat soon to disappear.
Nervous energy at about 8:30 on start day.
Aaron Teasdale doing interviews and photos.
Just S of Banff
Forest fire casualties
S of Banff, day 1
Refueling in Sparwood, morning of day 2
Snow melt down the center of the road in Canadian Flathead valley
Canadian Flathead Valley
Canadian Flathead Valley, Day 2
Eric and Heather crossing a huge puddle, Canadian Flathead, Day 2
0.5 miles to the US, ~9:30 pm, day 2
Bear Whistle ready headed to Whitefish, day 4
Headed to Whitefish, Day 4
Getting close to Whitefish Divide, solo on day 4
Lunch spot on day 4, Whitefish Divide
Whitefish Divide, Day 4
The pass at Red Meadow Lake was snowed in for about 2 miles.
Red Meadow Lake
Roadside lake just N of Whitefish, Day 4
The stage behind Rocky Mountain Roadhouse in Ferndale. Slept there day 4.
The Rocky Mountain Roadhouse, Ferndale, Montana. The cook opened up after 10pm to cook me some lasagna and a salad. he said to wake up the upstairs tenant, named "The Swamper" for coffee in the morning. Decided not to.
Beyond Ferndale, Day 5.
Lunch, Day 5. Typical trail lunch.
Singletrack, day 5.
Singletrack, Day 5. Elk to left of path.
Nearing Richmond Pass, Day 5.
Beginnings of Richmond Pass descent.
Richmond Pass descent got really slow.
View from Richmond Pass.
View from Richmond Pass, evening of Day 5.
View from Richmond Pass, evening of day 5.
Collected water here. It's as small as it looks. This was late in the evening and I skipped Seeley Lake to get to Ovando. I was out of water.
Leaving Ovando, day 6.
Over the first pass beyond Ovando, morning of day 6. The cold rain started here.
Abandoned mine between Ovando and Helena, day 6.
Muddy bike, day 6.
This is why the bike was muddy, day 6. Silty soil, freshly scraped, then rained on.
Words of encouragement to TDR riders tacked to the post on the right. Day 6.
The sign says "Good Luck Divide Riders." In the middle of ranch country, Nowhere, Montana.
Dave Tremblay. We fought the snow together for a bit on day 6.
Dave climbing a steep jeep trail. Winds, snow, and frozen rain.
Last of two passes on day 6, two divide crossings and Priest Pass to go.
Tunnel #9, between Basin and Butte, Montana. Mid late afternoon, day 6.
Butte, Montana, on the interstate for a few miles.
Headed towards Fleecer Ridge.
Cricket Butler, headed towards Mt. Fleecer.
Stephen Huddle and cricket Butler, headed towards Mt. Fleecer.
Headed towards Fleecer, Day 7.
Cricket Butler from Charlotte, NC.
Georgeous section of trail headed towards Mt. Fleecer.
Mount Fleecer, day 7.
Mount Fleecer, Day 7.
Free range horses, day 7.
Free range horses checking out Stephen.
Up fleecer ridge. Muddy and wet.
Snow and mud on Fleecer ridge.
Top of Fleecer.
Cricket headed down Fleecer. Too steep for most to ride.
In the drops bombing towards Wise River, Day 7.
Beyind Wise River, day 7.
Beyond Wise River, day 7.
Long, cracked road headed out of Wise River. The cracks made your bike constantly click-clack...click-clack.... I was so tired it annoyed the heck out of me.
Headed out of Wise River.
Beyond Wise River, Day 7.
Elk? herds, day 7.
Dirt road, day 7.
More dirt, day 7.
Tom Moriarty and I chased Jake Johnsrud to a nonexistent cabin at the end of day 7.
Chasing Jake, Day 7.
Tom Moriarty, headed to the Old Bannack Road, day 8.
Mini-milestone. I'd seen this sign in pictures of earlier racers and I was finally there. Day 8. Note the severely swollen right knee.
The next few photos show my favorite section of the ride.
Dave Preston's backside. To be checked out by a lady at the next gas station.
More Dave Preston.
Dave is dropping me.
Ranch just before Lima, MT.
Dave Preston, Tom Moriarty.
Lima refuel. Restaurant and a gas station.
Loading up in Lima. The lady Dave is checking out checked him out after he turned.
Dave's flat. Luckily, it was after we raced the thunderstorm out of Lima.
Montana down. The rumors of me standing in Idaho while taking a leak on Montana are untrue.
Dave, Tom, and I celebrate our first conquered state.
The endless, straight, loose lava gravel rail trail. I was bored for the first time on this beast. Broke out the earbuds and drowned the boredom in music.
More gravel rail trail.
Tom Moriarty on the gravel rail trail.
Note the exposed noggin'. At the end of this album is a pic that shows what happens if you sunscreen, instead of cover, your bald head.
Did not visit jackass meadows. Sooo wanted to.
Cool landscape at the edge of Idaho.
Headed to Moran Junction to camp. Racing sunset.
Togwotee Pass. Snow here and there. I was about to enter my last section of post-holing snow and gummy mud.
Togwotee Pass. A paved pass and they were doing road work.
The last snowed-in pass of the trip.
Shoes and bike completely gunked with mud.
Mud after the snow at Togwotee Pass. It stuck to the wheel, then scraped off on the chainstays and caked behind the crank. Had to pick it out with a stick. Did it three times.
Past Togwotee Pass.
A little scary. I blew my whistle. A lot.
That rock was my bathroom door. The critter on it did not hang around.
Pinedale. Breakfast. The pancake stack was 3" thick. Soooo yummy.
Left Pinedale with Tom and Dave.
Headed to South Pass City and the beginning of the Basin.
Headed to South Pass City. Monster tailwind. After the ridge in the distance I could carry most hills... 25-30 mph down every one and jammed up the other side... over and over and over. We rode the divide ridgeline also. Fun times. I didn't stop smiling for two hours.
The rollers. Huge tailwind. Jam at the bottom and carry good speed over them. Over and over and over.
The Basin. Riding the last few minutes of day with Tom. We spotted Jacob Jonsrud's headlamp after dark and pushed up a ridge to their camp.
The Great Divide Basin.
The last part of The Basin. 40 miles of flat, straight, cracked road. The only time in my life I've ever felt like I would fall asleep on the bike.
The highway into Rawlins runs along those hills in the distance.
Colorado bound from Rawlins.
Sign says: Leaving Wyoming. Third state down.
Headed towards Brush Mountain. Freshly scraped road, sandy and hot. It was miserable.
I'd just left Brush Mountain Lodge.
About to start a short, steep climb a few miles past brush mountain. That's right-- I walked it. I dare you to say I was a sissy.
Tough descent on a fully rigid bike.
Rode into the night (1:30!) to get on top of Ute Pass. That put me within 90 minutes of Silverthorne to get to the Post Office and pick up my new SPOT. It never showed up, and the Post Office was closed until 10:30 am.
Pony Express Station
Fun little stream crossing. Luckily, after rain swell had subsided.
Freakin' mosquitos. Each dark spot. I had stopped for maybe 2 minutes. I did not stop for long.
Bike Path beyond Breck
Jacob leading the charge to Boreas Pass.
Jacob and Derek pass an old water tower.
Top of Boreas. Highest point in the ride at that time. Note the duct tape on the right grip shift. I lost the cable cover. Never, ever leave home without duct tape. I had about 6 turns wrapped around my seat post. Also applied to my saddle sores. Check out my MTBcast.com webcasts.
Derek's flat on the way down Boreas.
We only caught a little of this rain, and no lightning.
Grant, Jacob, and Derek up front.
Washboarding visible lower right.
Everyone stopped to snap this pic. It looked like the sky was burning.
Convenience store on the left. We got a quick ice cream, re-packed, and away we went.
Fading light. This was a rough day and the shortest mileage of the race... think it was 96. Tom Moriarty and Dave Preston caught us.
Carnero by 9 am.
Friggin' washboarding. Still, I do not regret my decision to go fully rigid.
Grant, Jacob, and Derek. Dave Preston in the distance. Tom Moriarty got cut off on the left.
Doubletrack leading to a really fun section of singletrack, behind that closest hill.
There's singletrack in the somewhere.
Loose pebbly sand. We rode it pretty fast. It was challenging but fun. That's Grant ahead of me. Jacob took a spill here and his front hub trouble started. It's a miracle we didn't all wreck here due to the sand and downhill pitch.
Indiana Pass. The highest of the race.
Indiana Pass. The highest elevation of my life. Almost 12K feet (non-southeasterners are not allowed to laugh).
Superfund site. An old strip mine.
Between Indiana and Stunner Passes. All alone but feeling really good.
A rock ridge that was 100% crumbling rock. Really neat to look at.
Platoro. Stopped to get food. Waited for restaurant service for 20 minutes, then bought crackers and candy bars and rode away. I'm not sure anyone had a positive experience in Platoro.
Leaving Platoro. I could see three sets of MTB tracks here and the group I had been riding with was behind me. My competitive side kicked in and I wanted so bad to catch the next rider. The next 15 miles were an adrenaline-fueled pace ride.
Early morning on top of La Manga Pass, just past Horca.
Entering New Mexico! Last state!
New Mexico started out rough and stayed rough. Culd still see three sets of tracks.
Had to descend that. My rear hub did not like it. It was loose soon after.
Walked this. Fist-size smooth rocks on about a 7% grade at about mile 2000. No thank you.
Ton of sheep. The shepherd spotted me checking them out and came over to talk. In Spanish.
A shepherd, and a Sheppard. Both looking rugged.
Rode this since it was downhill. New Mexico was rough. My saddle sores began to reappear for some reason.
Brazos Ridge. One of the most gorgeous, pristine overlooks I've ever seen. I'd love to go back and camp casually one day.
Heading into El Rito.
On the hgihway between El Rito and Abiquiu. A SPOT-watcher named Sue yelled "Tour Divide!" from a car as I passed. I stopped to talk and she snapped a shot. She knew who I was when I said I had no SPOT. I felt like some sort of celebrity. I found her via MTBR forums after I finished. Thanks, Sue!
Washed my gear here. This was the second basin full. Every time I see a sink like this, I remember.
Derek, firefighter from Seattle.
Grant, contractor from Alaska. We spent a little time one night talking about woodworking and what we wanted to do after we finished. It felt good; I thought I was the only one missing home.
Jacob, firefighter/paramedic from Wisconsin. He was our strongest rider, leading fast-paced charges most of the time.
Tom. Of all the TDR riders, I spent the most time with Tom. Caught him at Bannack State Park and stayed with him pretty much the rest of the ride.
The gang, getting ready to leave Abiquiu. Photo taken by Sue. These guys will be life-long friends.
Jake leading the charge, as usual, out of Abiquiu.
New Mexico has neat rock formations.
We were re-routed around a forest fire, so Abiquiu to Cuba was all paved. Having trained on 75% pavement, I was flying.
Huge dust devil.
An amazing overlook. I think this was the farthest I've ever been able to see when standing on the ground.
Typical on-bike food stash. Carried more in the jersey pockets and in the front pouch.
Santa Fe railroad in Cuba, NM.
Dave Goldberg just ahead. Left him in Cuba, stopped at the next ranger station and he passed me, and here I was catching back up.
Mixed sand and washboard on top of desert heat. Really nasty and mentally taxing.
More rough roads. NM was wearing thin at this point. For the feel of difficulty, it was well placed. You're already exhausted and the roads just beat you up.
Nita, the Pie Town trail angel. We arrived around 4:30 and things appeared to be closed. As we were giving up to roll out, someone yelled at us. If we had not been able to resupply, it would have been ugly.
Nearing the end of day 20.
The post-Pie Town stash. This was about all I had. I ran out before I got to Mimbres and had to camp by the closed store to get food the next morning.
Leaving the camping spot at 8:30 am. Stayed in the sack while Goldberg left that morning.
Intersection of the GDR and the CDT.
The last really rough section of road I would encounter.
Headed to Silver City.
The road to Silver City.
Silver City, NM.
The gang, reunited, readying to roll out of Silver City and ride the half day to the finish.
Gila desert crossing to get to I10.
The sisters? I think thats what these were called.
Santa Fe railroad. Trains made me homesick. Every time I saw one I thought of Eli.
Got a lump in my throat and watery eyes when I saw this-- the last mile of gravel after 22 days.
At the finish, 3:07 am or a little after.
Jacob, Grant, and Tom woke up when I arrived. I asked where this sign was and no one knew. I saw it beyond the border gates. They said I would get shot if I tried to get to it. I didn't care-- I was getting this pic.
And everyone else followed.
Disassembling the bikes at Performance Bicycle in Tucson.
Post-shower. i was never sure if I was tan or dirty. It was a tan. Check out the bald head tan lines and the fingers. I didn't weigh, but I bet it was less than 190 lbs. 18 mos before I weighed 245.
Post-race phone calls.