The Divide can be a lonely place, even for me. But I never really felt alone, I knew I had a huge support crew who had helped me get out on the Divide, who had made the journey possible and I felt their energy the entire route, appreciated their support every time something went right, and thought of them endlessly. So before I lay this year's Tour Divide to rest (I may do a gear post, we'll see how the motivation is), I want to acknowledge the village it took to make my ride possible. Some helped out financially, others emotionally, others by putting a roof over my head. I want to thank all of them from the bottom of my heart. So, in no particular order, my Tour Divide Village.
Keith and Les - There are people in this world who you immediately connect with, who after 15 minutes of conversation, can say: You are one of my tribe. Keith and Les are two of these people as they put me up in their home in Banff the night before the race. We met through the Internets and they were amazing, gracious hosts. Keith went as far as taking me on a driving tour of the area to go see Lake Louise, some of his favorite ski lines, and then we went bear hunting. It was a glorious way to spend the afternoon before race day.
Cat and Matt - I spent countless days and nights in the Cat and Matt Mountain Chalet outside of Durango this spring and the first night off of the Divide. An endless source of inspiration on how to live the good life, there are no two people who I look up to more.
LW - Often times when I was out on the Divide, sitting on the side of the road, pouting, I'd get a sudden burst of 'You've gotta go! LW is watching!' I'd think about the amount of time and energy LW put into making sure I arrived to the startline fit ad ready and I'd immediately start pedaling. I feel blessed to have had our life paths intersect and to be working with a coach who somehow works her magic and makes me go faster than my wildest dreams.
Kep - Kep's Balls are rocket fuel. His willingness to make special flavors for my Divide ride was hugely appreciated and his ability to take my list of ingredients and make delicious trail food is nothing short of amazing. I'm also loving that I have some leftover Balls which have been a spectacular mid afternoon snack during work.
Alpine Orthopedics - The good doctors at Alpine Ortho love cycling. I love the fact that I could go in at the beginning of the season and lay out my three year racing plan, one which included not many high profile races, and their response was 'How can we help?' Good people.
My endlessly loving parents - I still can't tell if my parents think I'm completely nuts or if they've accepted that I'll probably never go back to grad school and they raised a child who is currently 30 and living in a tent. They were on a trip out of the country during most of the Divide so were only able to check in on my occasionally, which I think for a worrying mother, was actually a blessing in disguise. I would not be racing my bike the way I am now without their support (and even occasional encouragement!).
Jj - Thank you for the daily text messages. I'd turn my phone on while waiting in line at gas stations and it always made me giggle when it would explode in a series of beeps and whistles signifying messages from you.
Chris - I think there are very few husbands in the world who would agree to let their wife undertake an expensive endeavor like the Divide when we struggled to pay rent during the off season and then willingly live in a tent for the summer so we could save money and pay off all the Snickers bars and restaurant meals that I ate while out there. He's about to head out on his own CTR adventure and I'm excited to get to be the blue dot stalker this time around.
Buzz - Thank you!
The traveling circus - We had quite an adventure getting up to Banff with Jarral, Shifferly, and Jarral's family and film crew. It was as memorable as an experience as the ride itself and it provided endless amusement the entire way up north. A special thanks to Jarral's parents who loaned us their car and then drove it back to Colorado for us. Two of the nicest people you will meet in this world.
Matthew and Katie Lee - The meal at the Brush Mountain Lodge was nothing short of the best meal I ate out there. Thank you for loving and supporting the race like you do.
There are countless more who influenced me in big ways and small. From being sources of inspiration, to sending messages of support, to drinking post race beers with me, I love and appreciate every last person who was part of this adventure. I only hope I provided countless hours of SPOT watching entertainment.