GDMBR -Part 2

Gdmbr -Part 2

I thought as a follow up to my post about how I want to race in the GDMBR I would show you the point of view of someone who’s attempted it.  What follows are his thoughts and views of the race.  Here is what he had to say:

Average view in Canadain section

Reasons for attempting the Tour Divide:  Simple.  Every year it seems I have been looking for something more challenging in the mountain bike realm but also more interesting.  Riding around the same loop for 24 hours doesn’t seem like fun to me, I want to go someplace and see something while riding.  Ever since, John Stamstad rode the GDMBR and published an article in Dirt Rag which I read and dreamed about I have wanted to ride it.  It seems like the last great adventure race for mountain bikes.  Never having the time, it seemed like just a dream.

It’s amazing how fast things can change.  In a matter of two weeks I went from being employed for over 10 years in the same position to being without a job.  So finally having the time I decided to do something memorable with the chance.  So the commitment was made and planning began; as usual I was way behind.  Had to order bags, figure out a bike setup, as single speeding the route didn’t seem like a good idea.  Got everything done and training was good until May.  It was then I suffered an overtraining injury.  I thought there was still time to heal before June.  Learn along the way, was my rationale.  I should have realized better, but being stubborn I went ahead.

Lunch Break

I showed up in Banff,  having got my frame bags just two days before the race and figured out packing while meeting the other riders.  I learned more in the first two days of the race about equipment and packing than during the four months of researching on the computer before the race.  Anyway, it was an amazing event.  Nothing like it!  I want to go back next year but we’ll see.  My downfalls were numerous, mainly lack of core strength leading to more overuse and damage to my knee.  Started the race with an inflamed Hoffa fatty pad in my right knee which was supported by some physio tape each day of the journey.  The first days were amazing and my body was holding up.

On Day 4, a relatively flat day, was where it became too much.  I ended up walking nearly 50 percent of the last 30 miles into Holland Lake Lodge.  Amazing place! I caught up to a couple of riders who were going over to Richmond pass that evening.  I was nowhere near enthused about that proposition especially when the rain started to come down.  More riders poured in and we kept inquiring with the manager, Christian, about how cheaply we could get a couple of rooms until he came through for us.  A warm bed didn’t alleviate my knee problems, but I decided to get to Seely Lake, another 30 miles where I could possibly get my knee looked at, some anti inflammatories, rest for a day, and planned on continuing that regimen.  500+ miles and a little over 30,000 feet of climbing brought me to the realization that if I kept going I could finish under 25 days and still get an official finishing time. (Riders must finish within a certain percentage of the winning time to be considered for an official placing. The next day I woke up and could hardly pedal so I knew it was over. There was no way to recover and keep going if after a day of Aleve, ice, & arnica I still couldn’t pedal pain free.  So, I called in and bailed.  I’m sad about not making it but thankful for the experience.

Yeah, more snow to hike on!

Things I would change would be my core strengthening and body alignment which has already been started, water carrying strategy, and sleeping system.  The only way to learn a lot about these things is to do them.  Some are personal, and some are critical.  Either way, it was the  best event of my life and something I will be back to finish!

-Brett Foster

Well, I’m in.  Where do I sign up!

Thanks to Brett for his thoughts and photos from his 2010 GDMBR experience.


Get out there!

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