Friday, June 08, 2012

Tour Divide - It Has Begun


This is Heidi.  I will be doing some writing on Ollie’s blog while he is riding the Tour Divide so everyone following him can have some inside information along the way.  I will try to keep you up to date as I get information from him.

Final preparation took place yesterday with Ollie packing his bags and mounting them to his bike.  One last minute additional item was a winter pare of riding gloves after experiencing a frigid pre-ride in Banff spring rain.  Last night we attended a Q&A evening at a local bar.  Riders socialised and discussed bike set up.  Lots of TC talk.  

Riders socialise at the Q&A evening
Crazy Larry (the host of the evening) attempted to comfort and caution riders of the dangers of bears and hypothermia, only succeeding in cautioning... not comforting.  One of his final statements went something like this ‘It doesn’t matter if you win this race or come last, one thing is sure.... this race will change you’. 

Crazy Larry
This morning there was a mixture of feelings floating around in the air at the WYMCA, where the race begins.  Some riders had the composure of one who is about to go for a fun, social ride on the weekend with their mates.  The more hardcore looking riders were serious; it’s business time.  There was a group photo which I soon became involved in as a photographer.   After the photos it was an informal start, just grab your bike and go.  I lost Ollie in the crowd so didn’t officially say good-bye, but he knows I love him. 

Ollie is ready to ride

Group photo - this is when I last saw Ollie (middle front)
What is left?  The scene is this – Women standing, staring blankly down the now empty road that their husbands, fiancés and boyfriends have just ridden down, now out of sight.  Several women are a blubbering mess.  I felt like hugging them all and reassuring them that it’s going to be ok.  But I can’t comfort them ALL so I choose one, Amy from Boise, Idaho.  Her fiancé is riding the Divide.  We shared race preparation stories as I walked with her back to her hotel. 

Now to the computer to check the tracker.  Go Ollie, Ollie, Ollie!
You can follow him at http://tourdivide.org/leaderboard  

14 comments:

Simon K said...

Thanks for keeping us up to date Heidi!

Ollie is right where he wants to be, eh? At the front (but not yet out the front).

Tim said...

Thinking of you mate. Cyclocross just won't be the same without beating you :)
Good luck!

Ian said...

Fantastic that you are keeping us up to date Heidi. He's riding with some company which will be good for the soul. Any news would be great!

roostridernz said...

Currently seating in 1st place, go mate go,

Helena said...

Hi Heidi,
great to read your update. I'm sending him lots of go-fast vibes! Hope you are having a fun time too.
cheers Helena

Tim said...

Go you good thing...

BikingBakke said...

I'm a very good friend of Craig's... Their team up looks to be working well. Craig is always a super helpful guy to ride with. They're covering so much ground!

Websissy said...

Congratulations!

BikingBakke said...

Congrats ollie and friends, superb riding you dished out. You look happy in the Antelop Wells border picture!

Wrinkled Linen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Wrinkled Linen said...

Is Ollie headed home? I can offer a place to stay in San Diego if he's going to be stopping this direction. pbridge130 AT aol DOT com

Tim said...

C'mon Oli, get out of bed and write us a detailed journal of your ride!

Martin 'mfw' Nichols said...

Yep, common Ollie we're eagerly waiting...

Michael Gasman said...

Perhaps Ollie is lining up movie deals. :) Heck - our family maybe naming a new puppy after him! My 11 year old daughters idea. Nice riding and thanks for sharing your equipment spreadsheet.