Thursday, July 7, 2011

Tour Divide Day 25.

230km. Single Track to Antelope Wells.
Total time: 13.5 hours.

This should be it. The home stretch. Only 230km to go.

*Only* 230km?

It is hard to reconcile the feeling of being so close to the finish with the enormity of the task ahead. This is not like the home stretch of a marathon, where I can drag myself through the last 45 minutes of discomfort, counting down the kilometres. This is probably going to take me 14 hours. At least the profile is flat; the only passes that I will see today are 'Do Not Pass' and 'Pass With Care'.

Looking at my odometer isn't going to help me. At all. Yet, I keep looking down. I create a distraction by telling myself the story of this adventure. State by state. Person by person. Epic obstacle by epic obstacle.

Sometimes it feels like this whole journey has been uphill. Like I could turn my bike around at any time and I could just coast home. Of course, I can't go back. I am a long way from where I started.

If I were blazing trail, maybe this would be easier. Maybe I would forgive myself for finding it so hard. Or maybe I would find it easier to throw in the towel and conclude that it is impossible. But, I know that I'm not the first. Not even close. And that tortures me. There are many others who have come through here before; many others who are coming through here *now*. They are coming through faster and stronger. Do they struggle the same way? Or am I just out of my league? I feel as though I should be capable of this since, clearly, others can do it. At the same time, I feel as though maybe I am not worthy of taking this same path. Maybe I am not cut out for this.

The final miles of this journey are flat and baron. I'm watching dust devils appear and then disappear in the distance. This is a wasteland and I'm moving away from civilization with every pedal stroke. Into nothingness. Total nothingness. And the road just keeps going and going. It is impossibly long.

This journey can be done in the opposite direction as well. Antelope Wells to Banff. At various points along the way, I considered that it would be better to start in Antelope Wells because Banff would be a more hospitable place to finish. I realize now that, for me, there could be no other way. It is so fitting to ride for so long in to this nothingness.

Antelope Wells is...the end.

...So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye...
...So you think you can love me and leave me to die...
...Oh, baby. Can't do this to me baby...
...Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here...

Thank you JP and Elizabeth Evans for getting me right out of Antelope Wells.

And thank you to the family, friends and strangers who offered their support and love along the way.
Mom and Dad, Meriah, Stappy, Erik B, Emma, Bill B, Gary B, Luke, John, Daniel, JP, Tom, Ray, Martin, Dave H, JohnnyP, Jill H, Matthew Lee, Cindy K, Carrie B, Horst S, Jesus, Kim F, Kim Ch, Lindsay G, Len DM, Ruth D, Kari V, Christina O, Shan, Kristian, Chris F, Kevin S, Alice M, Kendra R, Paul S, Paul W, Patrick P, Five Stroke, MOB, Miriam S, Sarah M, Cindy P, Lericson, Roy H, Claire S, Drei, Siew, Bonnie P, El Animal, TimmyD, Phil Touring, The Gang at Bow Cycle, Dallas, Craig M, Kate A, Steve W, The Ger, Linda G, Kyle H, Sandra Y, Dylan S, Henry Y, Steve A, Ed G, Katy C, Gary C, Shawna D, Gabor, Brent T, Mical D, Brenda D, Dana B, Ione H, Ali and Salima, Jennifer J, Elizabeth E, Gail E, Fred E, Cathy, Amy, Kelly, Sue, Mary F, Laurence, Martin H, kcab20, Angie, A mike from calgary, Big Bad Wolf, Cindy P, Michele, Yvonne S, Cate, Geri G, Scott at the Porcelain Rocket, Jeff and Jillian at the Wildlife Refuge, Rob and the gang at the Outdoorsman, Kirsten at Brush Mountain, Christian at Holland Lake Lodge, Dave at ComoDepot, Doug at the Tree House, Bev with the fifth wheel, Nita at the Toaster House, and the Jehovah's Witnesses, to name a few.

Sent from my BlackBerry device on the Rogers Wireless Network


Blogger Steve said...

amazing journey, Tori! Can't wait to hear some of the stories in person.

July 7, 2011 at 11:08:00 AM MDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been glued to your blog since i discovered last month. Thanks for giving us a great insight about this race.

EL Animal

July 7, 2011 at 12:42:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on an epic adventure !!! Can't even begin to imagine doing something like this. Your are amazing !! Loved reading your blog and living the ride a little through your eyes. : )

July 7, 2011 at 1:09:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG, you look great, despite having just finished climbing Mt. Everest 7 times! You and the boyos are my role models, Tori--


JP's Aunt Sue

July 7, 2011 at 2:43:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous Ed G. said...

I think the thanks go to you Tori ... what a great adventure to follow along with.

July 7, 2011 at 3:55:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Dori said...

So I have to ask, did you get a dingdong???

July 7, 2011 at 5:55:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Marty said...

Great job Tori!!!! I'm sure you have a love hate realtionship with lil Stevie, but I'm stoked for you and because of you!!!Way to go. you will forever be my "Regulator!!!"

July 7, 2011 at 6:40:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow!!! Way to go Tori!! To say you are persistent is an understatement. I don't know anyone who would fathom TWO TOURS back to back. Let alone accomplish them and be able to keep the world informed at the same time. Thanks for sharing your epic journey.

July 7, 2011 at 7:33:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WOW. So well done in so many ways. I love how you brought so many folks together on the journey with you. Keep on riding and writing.

July 7, 2011 at 11:31:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous Fred E. said...

Tori – What a great ride and grand finish! North to South on two Continents and still smiling! Yours is a story of courage, sensitivity, grit and determination. Thank you for including us all in your Tour Divide ’11. Be blessed in life, and ride safe.

July 8, 2011 at 8:16:00 AM MDT  
Anonymous Katherine W said...

Great job Tori, I loved reading your blog. Such insight to what it takes to complete this race. Please consider writing a book on this event! Will so much miss checking in on your progress every day. Congrats!
Katherine W

July 8, 2011 at 11:14:00 AM MDT  
Blogger BikingBakke said...

Ha! don't thank us - I thank you for some of the best vicarious entertainment and soul searching out there - plus just being down right inspirational!

July 8, 2011 at 6:49:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Jill Homer said...

Congratulations Tori! I've loved following your journey and remain impressed with the rich and lucid essays you managed to write amid all the suffering. I agree that it's fitting that the Tour Divide ends in a heart of nothingness. I too wouldn't have it any other way.

July 8, 2011 at 7:18:00 PM MDT  
Blogger kcab20 said...

I've been so intrigued by your writing (while also amazed by your riding and courage) - I went back on your blog to read a little about your Africa trip - I stopped when I got to the naked mile entry - lol - that seemed like a good place to end - ha! You really do have a gift - you probably could publish your blog and make a living on it (which might become a necessity if you continue to spend all of your time on a bike). Anyways, congrats again on conquering the TD and on getting your EFI in Africa (whatever that means??? - I am definitely NOT a cyclist!!!) and on being the first woman to finish! Good Luck with the future challenges you take on and conquer - both WITHIN and without!!!

July 8, 2011 at 8:39:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amazing - another check on your 'bucket list'..... with many more to come. So pleased to be able to follow you on the 'live tracker' and by reading your blog. aatctsltmlyabttys

July 11, 2011 at 10:43:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous EE & JP said...

I'm glad we were able to be a small part of your journey.

Can't wait to read about your next adventure!

July 12, 2011 at 7:45:00 AM MDT  

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