2,745

Ok, big announcement number #1 time.  I didn’t get the job I was hoping for, but after pouting for two days, crossing my arms, stomping my feet, sticking my bottom lip out and swearing I was going to move to Alaska, I’m over it.  Side note, I’m not moving to Alaska.  I’m a better tourist than citizen, plus the cost of living is ridiculous.  Anyways…

Before I put in an application for a new job, I had put in for vacation to race the Tour Divide and it was approved, so I’m going to stick with that plan.  I’ve mentioned it before, but here’s for all you new people.  It’s a 2,745 mile mountain bike race from Banff, AB Canada to the Mexican Border in Antelope Wells, NM.  I’ll put it in perspective for you:

trev_map

 

My goal, as in fastest time I think possible, is around 24 days.  That’s an average of 119 miles per day.  Realistically I think it will be more like 25-26 days, but I prefer to be optimistic.  My primary goal is to finish.  That’s first and foremost.  Even if I don’t finish, however, it will still be an incredible adventure, and I’ll get to meet some really awesome people.  I’ve got a lot of preparation to do before then, however, most notably in the area of physical fitness.  At work we are getting ready to go into an outage, which means 60+ hour work-weeks, and it’s going to last until at LEAST mid-April.  My plan for work-outs involves a lot of HIIT (High-Intensity Interval training) on the stationary bike, and as many long rides as I can get.  The good part about outage is we won’t be switching shifts like we do now.  We’ll be on day-shift only, but it will be 12 & 1/2 hour days, with Tuesdays and Wednesdays off.  My plan for the week goes like this:

  • Monday – 1 hr Stat bike, med to low intensity, good upper body and core workout.
  • Tuesday – Long ride – 100 miles +
  • Wednesday – Long Ride – 100 miles +
  • Thursday – Rest day.  Light upper body and core, stretching
  • Friday – 45 mins HIIT on Stat bike
  • Saturday – 1 hour stat bike, medium intensity, focus on steady RPM
  • Sunday – 45 mins HIIT on Stat bike

Every other week we will supposedly have Monday off (*COUGH* BULLSHIT!), and if that occurs, I’ll do a two-night overnight to help get my gear straight and to get used to riding all day and sleeping outside.  I will also try to work in some extra arm, hand, neck, and core body exercises at work, if I can.  Also important is nutrition.  I’m planning on hitting up an sports-nutritionist at ESU tomorrow to develop a solid diet for doing this.  Hopefully they’ll do it for free (I’m the first person from Kansas to EVER even ATTEMPT this.  Will you PLEASE help me??!!).  We’ll see.  I also signed up for the Dirty Kanza again, and that’s two weeks before the grand depart, so it’ll be my big bang before I start two weeks of tapering.

Everyone always wants to see a gear list, so for all you (us) gear-heads, here it is for now:

  • Bike – 2012 Surly Karate Monkey (16″); 2×10 drivetrain with SRAM everything; SRAM Double-Tap Shifters; Salsa Woodchipper MTB drop handlebars; 29″ WTB Nano-Raptor Tires tubeless with Stan’s on DT Swiss Wheels; Avid BB-7 disc brakes, Shimano M520 SPD pedals (for now), Salsa Fargo Fork, and a Brooks B-17 Saddle.
  • Navigation – Garmin eTrex 20 GPS, Adventure Cycling Topo Maps, Adventure Cycling Cue Sheets, SPOT II (for tracking), GPS backup on iPhone (Motion-X GPS app).
  • Clothing – 2 cycling jerseys, 2 cycling shorts, cycling shoes, 2 pairs of socks, 2 sock liners, 1 pr gore-tex socks, 1 pr cycling gloves, 1 pr fleece gloves, 1 microfiber beanie hat, 1  Buff, 1 Smartwool mid-weight base layer, 1 pr cycling tights, 1 pr Marmot Precip pants, 1 66 North eVent (WPB) jacket, 1 Mont-Bell down jacket, 1 pr silk-weight arm warmers, prescription sunglasses and clear lens glasses, bike helmet.  (this list is VERY much subject to change)
  • Maintenance and Repair – two 29″ tire tubes, two spare spokes, assorted zip-ties, bicycle multi-tool, chain tool, mini-leatherman, small pump, tire levers, patch kit, small amount of Gorilla tape, extra screws, 1 spare plastic pedal, small bottle of loc-tite (this list also subject to change), chain lube and brush.
  • Bedroll – Western Mountaineering Iroquois Sleeping Bag (32 deg), Therma-Rest NeoAir XLite sleeping mattress, REI minimalist Bivy
  • Misc – small roll of TP, Chamois cream, sunscreen, lip balm, travel toothbrush, bottle Dr. Bronner’s soap, water purification tabs, multi-vitamins, iPod Nano and Shuffle, charging cables and wall charger, spare batteries, spare headlamp, small pkg foot powder, bear spray.
  • First Aid Kit – Asst bandaids, moleskin, Immodium AD, extra-strength Benadryl, Aleve, electrolyte tablets, emergency dental filling, tylenol PM, gauze, First Aid tape, small snake-bite kit, tweezers, extra water-purifying tablets, alcohol wipes.
  • Water Storage – 4L MSR DromLite bag, 1 24 oz water bottle,  2-1.5L Nalgene’s on Fork, spare 1L Platy bag.
  • Storage Bags – Frame Bag: Cleaveland Mountaineering; Viscasha Seat bag, jerry can, gas tank, and feedbags – Revelate Designs
  • Lighting – Princeton Tec Apex Extreme, Petzl Tikka XP as backup, red blinky on back.

Doesn’t seem like a whole lot, but I sure don’t want to be carrying a ton of weight.  Less is more is definitely the key to this thing, I think. Well, that and being bat-shit crazy, but hey, it just makes life that much more interesting.

So anyways, that was my big announcement I kept you all (mom) in the dark for.

See you down the (LOOOOOONG) road,

Matt

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About dingo41

I'm 34, from East-Central Kansas, and you could say I'm pretty heavy into cycling. This blog is about all manner of things. I find it's more interesting that way! I hope you enjoy.
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3 Responses to 2,745

  1. Bob says:

    Did I read that 2×10 drivetrain correctly?

  2. dingo41 says:

    Yep, it’s 2×10. From what I understand, it’s pretty popular among the SRAM Fans. Don’t ask me the gearing, lol.

    • Bob says:

      The nice thing about a race this long is that if the gear you’re in isn’t perfect or you miss a shift you won’t get passed. The main thing is to be sure that the lowest gear is low enough – there are some really steep grades out there and you don’t want to blow a knee.

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