Friday, June 15, 2007

The 2007 Great Divide Race Begins

As I am writing this, the racers are nervously chatting about the weeks ahead. No doubt they are making frequent trips in and out of the Last Chance Tavern and checking their bikes and bags for the one hundredth time. The jovial sense of community will continue as they make their way down the long asphalt lead up to the dirt roads and mountains. Most races, tend to settle into the groove within minutes of the start but this race is different. It will take days to get into the rhythm of riding, eating, navigating, shopping, getting water, sleeping and repeating the basic elements of this death march they have interrupted their lives to participate in. In the coming days the race will educate the veterans and newbies alike. The endless planning to account for hundreds of scenarios will be forgotten because it is always the unexpected that happens. Reacting quickly and with a calm head will be more valuable than the equipment the racers carry with them. Remaining focused and fighting depression after navigational errors add mileage to the already long days total can be the difference between quitting and finishing.
It is easy to pursue unbearable hardship when you feel the awe and disbelief of people who shake their heads at your willingness to conquer the seemingly impossible. Hundreds of miles from anyone who could be impressed with your adventure, lost deep in your thoughts that refuse to stray from the pain and fatigue that grows with each pedal stroke, the racer is his only spectator and his only adversary.

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