Tomorrow morning, Mike Dion, Hunter Weeks, Matthew Lee, and I head off on the next adventure, beginning in the Colorado mountains for a quick shakedown before heading off to bikepack across Scotland, through the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, the thin air of Nepal, and the rugged coastline of Alaska. The other guys also have some amazing riding planned in the French Alps while I spend a week at a conference in Bern (I really should probably do something work-related for at least a week this summer...). I hope I have everything packed that I might need for all that. And I also must mention that I owe Joe DePaemelaere of Primus Mootry a huge thanks for dropping everything and fixing some severe chainsuck-induced frame damage that needed repairing prior to our departure.
So I'll leave you with some of my favorite photos from the Divide.
Caroline at the start. Think she ever imagined that she was going to ride away with the women's race? Or finish with a broken rib?
A full moon rises over the Tetons on a very windy evening, some 15 hours into my rather unwise 37-hour push
Threatening evening skies over South Park, Colorado. A terrific lightning storm frightened me sufficiently that I spent the night sleeping beneath a camper.
Columnar basalt at the mouth of Carnero Canyon. I had hoped to get well beyond this the previous night, but the sleep monster gained the upper hand around midnight and I was forced to sleep not too far below the pass.
Sunrise over the Jemez Mountains was a welcome sight after Jefe and I had already been riding for several dark hours.
Deep in the Gila and already out of food for several hours, Jefe picks crumbs out of his bag. Running out of water only made the situation even more dire...
The southern border! Our mission completed, we were almost immediately asked, "So are you guys going to do it again?" I think that's a question for another month. We really pushed the envelope this year, in terms of sleep deprivation and body degradation, much farther than I thought it could be pushed, and I'm left wondering what it would have taken to ride more than a few hours faster. I'm really looking forward to seeing a few other headbangers time trial the route later this summer and seeing how many hours they can knock off the record.