Tag Archives: race

The Loooooong road ahead…. our team and the Tour Divide race

Our little (and growing) international team sports some pretty decent talent. None of us are pros but we do o.k. Mat & Jochen in Switzerland, Jelle & David in Holland, Ed in Italy a couple of the guys in France and when Longo is feeling well, he can really crank out the speed and all of the rest of us. The list goes on…and keeps growing. Each of us does well more often than not. Plus,  we all have our good days and our bad days. This post is about a few people on the team that are doing something that still has a very small list of competitors and it really helps if you have about 3 weeks of back to back “best days of your life.” It seems that this year might be a record year with 45 participants signed up to try for that string of fantastic days.

Before I tell you what I’m rambling about I want to share something with you. A fact about our team that I find most interesting is that on our little team there are at least three of us planning to do one of the longest and most difficult mountain bike races on the planet in the next 3 years. That race is called the Tour Divide.

If you don’t know about it or have never heard of it click on the links that I’ve provided to go to the web site and look around. There’s a lot of info. there and I’ve shared some of it below.

Pulled directly from their website, here is the info. on the race.

The Race

Tour Divide was born of inspiration from John Stamstad’s watershed `99 Divide ITT, and the US border to border challenge known as the Great Divide Race (ca.`04). TD observes all the historical Divide racing controls save length. It pushes the envelope further by staging opening day racing from the top of the GDMBR in Banff, AB, where MTB-legal wilderness in Banff National Park serves as an immediate test of mettle. The Canadian section adds only 10% more trail, yet rewards riders with unforgettable geology, rugged terrain, abundant wildlife, and an international flair cycling has come to expect from grand tour racing.

A little about the route….

The Route


The GDMBR is the world’s longest off-pavement cycling route. It’s highlighted by long dirt roads and jeep trails that wend their way through forgotten passes of the Continental Divide. The route travels through Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, and the United States of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico (map). By route’s end a thru-rider will climb nearly 200,000 feet of vertical (equivalent to summiting Mount Everest from sea-level 7 times).


Divide racers must not only be conditioned to endure weeks of consecutive 16+ hour days in the saddle, they need to bring other skills to the trail. The route is unmarked and circuitous, requiring navigational acumen. It travels through remote backcountry with Grizzly and Mountain Lion density. Intervals between services are frequently 100+ miles and demand calculated food/water resupply – or else. Riders must also find shelter each night or bivouac trailside. In minutes the Rockies’ dynamic mountain weather can wreak havoc on route surfaces, skewing even the most near-term travel projections. Of course, it wouldn’t be a grand tour without the geopolitics of negotiating the, albeit lower-security, international border crossing at Port of Roosville, Montana.

If you’re interested, check out the rules. I think that you might be a bit surprised.


Anyway…. Phil is doing it this year (lucky number 13) and will be our Guinea Pig (not the kind you eat). Next year is Davids turn and then in 2012, the year that I turn 50 it’s going to be my turn. Why do it? Well, I think it’s probably very different and possibly very much the same reason for each of us (that actually makes sense if you think about it). For me (as I can’t speak for the others), it’s about pushing my limits to the edge and beyond. Along with that, it’s about the adventure. I only get to go around once so I might as well freakin’ explore every possible avenue while I can. No?  My 3rd reason, is that my friend David Guillot has heard me talk about this race for years and last summer he challenged me to do it with him in 2012 for my 50th. I love him and hate him for that, by the way.

I know that Phil has been doing an immense amount of training in the past because I’ve read his blog and he mentions it on our team email list. David is an endurance cyclist as well and he’s doing the 24 Hours of Finale solo and from recent reports, it sounds as though he’s riding from Holland to the race on the edge of France & Italy and the ocean. I suppose, that means that this might be about my last ‘play year’ before I seriously start training, loosing weight and gathering the supplies, guts and who knows what else to be able to pull it off.

Two things that you can do as an interested spectator is to follow along via podcast and/or watch the racers progress transmitted from their SPOT emergency transmitters.

Also, if you’re really interested, there’s now a movie out about the race. I would guess it will be available to buy as a DVD soon but for now….

For upcoming screenings refer to their web site http://www.ridethedividemovie.com/screenings/

Ride The Divide Movie Trailer from Ride The Divide on Vimeo. Check the previous links for movie previews. It gives me chills watching these. I suppose that’s a good thing.

There’s a page with Letters of Intent to race. Phil’s is done in classic Phil Fogg panache….

I’m in.
Phillip Fogg
Age, 45
Gelnhausen, Germany

So, like I said, Phil is first up and we’ll all be watching and cheering him on from the ‘safety’ of our office chairs, couches and bikes seats. We wish him well and next year David as well.

Phil… good luck buddy, we’ll be thinking about you a lot and cheering you on the whole time!


Filed under Races, racing team, Team Members

Rockville (SSCXIT09) or SingleSpeed Cyclocross Italy ’09 – By Ed

So more stories of greatness, well trying to be at least less than bad, in the life of Ed.  The latest installment of my very bad racing career was at the Single Speed Italian Cyclocross Championships, 2009.  A very long title for a very short race, but the race was fun and deserving of the super long title.

The morning began with walking the dogs, Kinsey, the old girl who is supposed to be dying of cancer, took me for an hour long walk, and Willie our latest edition, tried to trip me nearly every step of the way.  He really needs to keep out from under my feet.  So the long walk put me way behind schedule for the morning.  But when Kinsey wants to walk we walk.  Hell, 14 years old and she want to stroll for an hour, so be it.

0945 on the road to Villarocca, getting me there 20 minutes before race time, so I would get a good warm up and be very relaxed at the start of the race.  Perhaps not, but getting all ready to race is really not my thing anyway.  With light traffic, and a bit of luck (who me have luck when it comes to getting to a bike race) I arrived with 15 minutes to spare.  Running into registration and getting my number I realized that the race would likely be starting just a bit later than published.  I took my time, changed clothes and talked to a few people.  I was pretty nice to not be at an official race where I might be denied entry, or be banned for the day because I look funny or something.

We all rolled out to the start/finish area about 11:20 and arrived at the locale about five minutes later.  Arriving in full winter riding gear, super warm jacket and vest and ten layers of fleece and well, you get the picture.  I needed to dump some stuff, and because BOB IS THE MAN, I was able to leave my warm up and after race clothes in his car.  Thanks Bob.

I don’t know why, but we always have a Lemans start at Los Lobos events, which is not my favorite way to start, but you gotta do what you gotta do.  I like running, in running shoes, not in carbons soled riding shoes.  Due to that, I ran slowly, this proved to be the biggest tactical error of the day.  I really must remember that being at the front at the start of the race really helps keep me out of the way of people just trying to survive.  Normally that is I, just trying to survive, but when everyone is single speedy, I have a chance.  Slim, but none-the-less, a chance.

Well, being near last leaving meant I had to pass nearly everyone in the first lap, and even if I didn’t pass everyone I passed about 40 people.  Sorry, guys, but I like cross, more than any other type of racing, and whether I am going to win or be mid pack I am going to go as fast as I can.

Any way, on the second lap I figured out I was in sixth place, I was sure I could catch fifth and fourth, but first through third looked to be getting away.  I really needed to go fast, I needed to have trained at least once in the last three months, I needed to be 10 pounds lighter and I needed to max out my heart rate.  I did max the heart, 191 beats per minute, but everything else required time before the race, not at the race.

I sat in fourth place for the next 45 minutes, I would pull back third and see that he was just 15 seconds ahead of me, only to see the next lap he was 30 seconds up, only to see that he was now 10 seconds up only to see that he was 45 up.  It was terrible, if I had only run faster I may have been in the mix for third, second and first, well honestly they are just faster than me, third would have been my first.  So as the race began to wind down I settled in and just rode my pace, knowing I wasn’t going to get third, knowing fourth it was, which is not bad, just not where I wished to have been.

Next time, run faster, train more and remember, it is only for fun.  It was, and in spite of me wanting to do well, I still did my best to pass with care as not to cause anyone to crash, myself included, shouted encouragement to everyone on the course, and thanked everyone for all the work they did putting together the course.  It doesn’t matter where you finish, if you are a tool on the course and a tool to the race director you loose.  One day I must win, one day.  Maybe next year.

As a footnote, Stefano and the rest of Los Lobos, the course was great.  It was a real cross course with the perfect amount of running, barriers and speed.  One of my favorite races of the year, so far at least, and will likely remain as such.  Thanks again and the food was great.  Next year I bring beer.  And I love the hat.


This link will show you guys my big ole belly

Lot’s more photos here too.

Leave a comment

Filed under Races