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The first thousand miles are the hardest.

Flirting with exhaustion on the tour divide.










This Pedaling Pensioner has made it through Canada and Montana. I am currently in Pinedale Wyoming getting some bike work done and heading out to catch the afternoon tailwind. It has been a really hard first thousand miles filled with difficulty and some really intense times. I can see why people come back to do this route, repeatedly, in part because you realize the mistakes you make and how it would be easier the next time. I put a lot of energy into prepping my bike for the trip, but neglected to really think about camping gear. I brought a minimalist tent with no mosquito netting and have been paying for it ever since.

On the nights when I am camping, I have not been able to get any sleep and as a result, I spend the next days in a sleep deprived haze, and end up crashing in a hotel room. I also brought an old sleeping pad that I ended up patching multiple times, but would end up having to blow up every hour or so at night.

These are all fixable mistakes. My friend Peta, who I met on the route is actually an athletic coach who coached the two winners of the race. So she has studied this race in great detail and commented that folks like me tend to bring too little gear to be comfortable. She is absolutely right, and I feel incredibly stupid not thinking this through before.

But now I am roughly halfway and hopefully have fixed these problems by purchasing a new pad and netting, and will head out toward the great basin this afternoon.

As I’ve said before on this blog, philosophically, the world is reinvented with each turn of the wheel. So if I have my head down over the aero bars and can’t see the world in front of me, does it get reinvented each time I try to raise my head? Perhaps more importantly will I ever be able to hold my head up straight again?









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