Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Thanks: Mum and Dad for frequent flyer points for tickets and support, Joe Polk and Tom Purvis for the transcripts (which my family and friends found fascinating), guys that I rode with (even for a short period of time): Nathan Bay, Hodge, Steve Wilkinson; Mike Curiak thanks for listing my time next to the fastest womens time on cyclingnews.

I am not going to write a list of stuff I took/stuff I didn’t use/stuff I needed as I enjoyed trying to work it out for myself from: experience and practice, reading others reports and looking at the pictures of racers bikes. You do take risks and you will have to live by them- for example I didn’t take a spare tube but had plenty of patches. I got 6 flats on the rear until I replaced the Nanoraptor, but I could easily have blown a tube beyond repair, stranding me. There is ten times the info I had access to for people racing next year due to the addition of even more blogs and photos. I think I had a better setup than some of the other guys, and I have ideas that would save most racers a whole lot of time, so I will answer specific questions about gear if you email or PM me on mtbr.com. If there are Australians considering this race, contact me and I can give you maps and show you some good training rides.

I am not sure if I would ever do this again- it was only the first or second day when I said to myself that there would be no chance of me ever doing this again, the boredom is unbearable. But, it was only two days after the finish when I got an email from Steve Wilkinson that I considered doing it a second time. If I were to race again, I would definitely be racing- I speculated when I was riding what my time would be if I rode the whole thing on my limit: with no need to navigate (I could probably make most of the turns from memory, eliminating the hour per day that I spent making sure I was going the right way), and the motivation that comes from being well prepared I was thinking that another 30 miles per day would be quite achievable. But, speed is speed, the time I finished in will stand as my best as I probably wont do it again. But, then there is the attraction of riding the thing a lot slower, spending time to see the sights in daylight and meeting more of the characters that I came across. I remember riding through the first parts of Wyoming, thinking that it would be awesome to do the thing on dirt bikes with a friend- you would travel faster so could see the same sights with less boredom. As a sort of a mental exercise, I thought if the route is possible on a recumbent, or even a recumbent trike- there would be considerable advantages and yet limitations.

Reading this report, I am not sure non racers would get an idea about the actual day in the life. For every interesting scene or time that is worth listing there in normally tens of miles of pretty boring riding inbetween. I had thought about doing a complete day in the life with everything that I remember seeing and thinking, but I think most people would get bored after an hour. I mentioned how I thought that it would be a great ruide to do on dirt bikes- the same scenery and people with less boredom. But in reality a day comprises of ride for an hour, stop to get food in, ride another hour, stop for food and to oil chain- repeat 7 times.