Tuesday, June 30, 2015

June, A Long and Confusing Month

June has been an extremely trying month. With her mom in hospital Sal had to return from Calgary a month early. Our plans to visit Calgary with Brandyn have changed completely. For more than a week I struggled with what to do, travel with Brandyn and leave Sal at home hoping she could fly out later, or wait. Pressure was mounting on every side, at least I was feeling pressure to try and make everyone happy. Hinging on our trip was Mike and Mel's trip to Vegas and Brandyn's visit with his cousins. A long bike ride on Sunday morning cleared my head and hopefully going in mid August, although not ideal, will make the best of a bad situation. Sal's mom is improving so we should all be able to head west together in August.

With an extra long commute this morning I surpassed my goal of 800 km for the month. Last June I managed only 277 with weather and injury holding me back. This is my biggest month of riding since September of 2013 and I only got out once on a weekend ride of any distance, just steady daily grinding on the same routes back and forth to work. I'm already ahead of my pace at the end of August 2014. That all feels great until I look at the Tour Divide where the top riders pedal totally unsupported from Banff to the Mexican border (2745 miles) in 15 days.

Compare that to the Tour de France that takes 21 days. Same distance but there's no riding in a pack to save energy, rarely a hotel room, no chef cooked meals, no masseuse, no mechanics following in a car, no spare bikes, in fact the rules state they can't even be given a sandwich. No help at all. Bikes weigh in at about 50 pounds fully loaded instead of 15 and the trails are often blocked by fallen trees, snow or grizzlies. Sounds like fun. Some of these folks are serious, the new women's record holder rode from Fairbanks to Banff as a warm up, got bronchitis which 'slowed' her down and then broke the record by more than two days. The men's new record holder rode ten days last year on a broken leg and torn achillies before an infection knocked him out. This year he was more than a day behind at day 12 and caught the previous record holder over the last two days. The top three finished 20 minutes apart after 15 days.

I would love to attempt that ride but getting the time and support in place would be nearly impossible, not to mention I'm not physically capable of riding 100 miles a day offroad for a month. It would probably take me more in the range of 2 months or longer. I would still love the chance to head south from the Fairmont hotel in Banff and see where the trail leads.

can't wait to see these little butts in person