Thursday, June 13, 2013

NaKeD On ThE DiVidE part 1: EnTeR ThE SoLraK

Welcome to the most expensive free race in the world!!!!
Now let's take a minute to define expensive.
Where not just talking $.
Where talking thought expense.....
Time expense......
Energy expense.......
And then add the $$$.....
And yes maybe now you understand why its the most expensive free race.
I learned a harsh lesson about bike travel in 2011. So when I planned the logistics for this start I made sure to:
#1 fly.
#2 arrive early.
I wanted to make sure I didn't lose my bike and also make sure you that if they did lose my bike , give them enough time to find it.
Flight 1 had me going from Orlando via united to Houston Texas. It was a very smooth flight, I made a friend on the plane and handed out my first 411 card. After a lay over and a way to grainy lunch ( should of skipped the rice) I got on the flight to Calgary. It was a very uncomfortable trip.... I swear I asked for a window seat but instead ended up sandwiched between two not very friendly people.
O well.... Plus since I am usually not a grain eater my stomach hurt and the discomfort persisted the entire trip.
I read a little , slept a little... But if anything my time in the military taught me it was to be patient.... as the saying goes... hurry up and wait!!!!
Once off the plane my first concern was the status of my bike. Sure enough I saw it, sideways laying on the tarmac.  Normally I would be bothered by the poor handling, but I was elated that the bike had made it.  I got my bike and the box looked solid, no damage to note.  I made it thru customs without incident.   Seems they are very aware of the race.. And the first thing I did was grab a Starbucks.  Then I checked in with my shuttle. They took my bike and I went to look for food..  That coffee had killed my hunger and I should of just stuck with my celebratory drink. But I ordered an over priced appetizer and left the place with another bloated gut feeling uncomfortable...
On the shuttle I met a nice lady who told me about a trail I could ride out of Canmore that would take me to Banff on an all dirt option. The trail was goat creek , so I made a mental note and got off the shuttle waiting for my warm showers host. 
The race starts in Banff, but you've probably noticed I got off at Canmore. Well I had initially reserved a room near the start. But austerity measures kicked in and instead I cashed in my warm showers karma ticket and stayed with some good folks.  They even picked me up.  I was all set in tune with my tight budget. 
I met Alex an Australian born fat/mountain/road touring cyclist.  The next morning I met Megan and there little ball of adorable named Finn.
Alex is very knowledgeable and when I asked him about goat creek I got a low down on that and more. Between his detailed descriptions and Megan's information, I ended up with a map and a destination for a test ride the next day after building my bike.
The bike was mostly fine. The stem that holds the bar took a big hit and was crooked. Along with my previous existing riv nut issue I had a few things to resolve..
The first shop I went too took care of retorquing my stem but he couldn't immediately look at my riv nut.  The second shop I went too fixed my riv nut on the spot.  In route I had noticed that my rear brake was not working and the mechanic noticed a bad kink at the lever. He told me the cost to fix it but also mentioned that he didn't have any openings for a week.  I told him I already had an appointment for Wednesday and I was off.
Not wanting to waste the day even though I was down to one brake I headed up whitemans pass towards the goat Creek trailhead.
I never know what's gonna happen when I get in the mountains. Sometimes I am blessed with super speed and power, Others I am barely scraping along. Regardless I thought it was important to test myself and see what my legs would do.  The pitch was moderate , the pace was steady and  only a few miles long.
As I made my way up, I passed a herd of goats and then came across two riders who after a brief chat , I discovered they where going to the same destination as myself. Naturally I was going faster and after snapping a pic of the well earned vista, it was only a mile or so before I made the trailhead. 
It was freezing cold up at the top and because I was alone I decided to wait for the other riders.  We took off together and again being more experienced I would get ahead then stop and wait for them to pass to take more pictures. The trail was super fun and was mostly downhill .
During the ride I introduced myself and Susan and Greg were soon my new friends. We finished the trail together then they showed me what Tim Hutton's was all about. After lunch we parted ways and I rode to the lodge to find some of the riders I had been talking too on the internet for so long.  We all hung out chatting for awhile eventually got some over priced dinner. During dinner it started raining and I layered up and left sprinting as fast as I could back to town on the legacy bike trail. The path ends abruptly and you end up riding on the interstate for a few miles before arriving back in Canmore.
I was soon back at my host home cleaned up and settled into another restless night.  The sun doesn't set till 11 pm and then rises at 5 am totally throwing me off..
The next day I got up and took my bike in to get worked on and not even an hour later it was done. After having drinks and lunch with Steve Martine I took the bus into Banff and spent another evening hanging out meeting and talking to racers.
I slept better that night but didn't tell asleep till 1 am.
Today I tied up loose ends. Mailed stuff home and then attended the big dinner. I returned to shop for the race food and packed up my bike tight and ready for the big long ride that I have ahead.
I'm very anxious to get out of Canada and back to the states everything here cost way more then it should.

The time is almost upon us:
You can follow my tracker at
And listen to call ins which will update more frequently then my blog at

Its Game time baby,
The NaKeD InDiAN

Sponsor the Indian by using pay pal id or use the link on the side bar titled divide ride fund, thanks :0)

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

NaKeD oN ThE DiViDe: The EpiLogue

Its been years in the making.  This dissection of a continent via a human powered off road bicycle.... 6 or 7 years.....
Its been so long its hard to remember.... I am such a slow learner that what most folks can master in a few years it takes me many more. 
When I left the desert in the summer of 2011, after taking a feeble attempt at a south to north traverse, a journey began.
A transformation was started. When I came back I quit my job as a cable technician (insuring a life of financial simplicity) and started working as a bike shop employee.
There was a three fold logic to my choice.. Being on the divide had taught me life was too short to work for a living so instead I wanted to pursue something I was passionate about.  I also would like to maybe own a bike shop some day so this was a good chance to learn more about the industry. Finally , I had the chance to learn how to fix almost every little thing on my bike..
2 years later I can say mission accomplished and although I am only a sophomore level mechanic , I know enough to get my bike moving and get back on the trail.
These skills all helped me become a better Tour Divide racer and I realized if I wanted to accomplish my goal I was going to have to reinvent myself more dynamically.
So I started commuting to work daily. 30 mile days gave way to 50 mile days gave way to 80 mile days gave way to 110 mile days and then back to back 110 mile days. Eventually doing 3 centuries a week!
Almost a year to the day after leaving the desert I competed in a friendly distance challenge with some friends and rode over 2000 miles in one month.
That month felt like one long journey. But I learned alot.. I learned saddle sores can heal while u rider.  I learned truly what my body could do.
That following August I returned to the Trans north Georgia race besting all my time splits. That ride ended up being a fail and I learned a valuable pair of lessons.
Lesson 1: ultra racing is a selfish endeavor you can't babysit and you can't be babysat; it wears you out mentally and slows you down.
Lesson 2: don't eat anything you aren't used to eating; I was sick all day and eventually I ended up puking my brains out. Disastrous finish but I climbed well and the legs felt good.
That November the cross Florida individual time trial was my next test and I was able to wipe doubt from my heart.  I broke my personal 24 hour off road distance record and a personal route record of 250 miles in a little over 25 hours. That effort netted me a 5th place finish in a field of seasoned competitors.
The result was a grand reward and I spent the next few windy winter months training hard. I pushed my limits and rode another into another fifth place in the HuRaCaN 300. I bested my 24 hour off road distance by ten miles and finished the route in a little over 28 hours.
The month's following involved more riding and now I am sitting in a Canmore coffee shop ready and set to attack this route to the best of my ability. 
The previous races taught me many important lessons. Having good results built up my confidence. Having friends and family supporting me helped me be mentally stronger and on June 14th I will put it all out there in an efficient and calculated manor with the sole intention of making it to Mexico and slaying this dragon.
I dedicate this race to my Mother, my brothers, my sons and my step daughters. I dedicate it to my love Edith. I dedicate to all my friends who have supported me unconditionally.
This one is for all of you, watch me shred!!!!

On a final note...If you have ever been inspired and want to sponsor my ride, look on the side bar, click divide ride fund.  And buy me a drink a meal a hotel room. (If you prefer pay pal Id is
If not then friend me on Facebook at and give me moral support.  This will be a challenge of a life time and I will need all the support I can get.

May the shred be with you,
The NaKeD InDiaN

Thursday, June 06, 2013

So I RoDe My BikE to ThE EveRGLaDes Final!!!

     I could hear the shower running.  My host had left for work and their son was still there in the shower.  I would need the bathroom before I left so I waited.  I believe that young man took the longest shower I have ever heard anyone take.  I got tired of waiting in bed so I made up my place of sleep, folded everything, got dressed and once he was out, it was not even 10 minutes before I bid my farewells and pedaled off.

    This part of the route was flexible for me.  I wanted to get to the coast to rejoin my gpx and at the same time, get some coffee, get some food.  So with the help of google I found a Starbucks and then found a burger king and indulged in a huge meal.

    The traffic was crazy on the way to the coast, I had to hit a couple of windows and wake some people up that were just not good at handling cyclist.  Once I got to the coast the bike paths were beautiful,
the coast wonderful and the riding on the road included a sweet bike lane.  It was pretty much perfect riding all day with a tailwind to boot and I easily made my next  host in Boyton Beach.

  I got there a few hours before he was out of work.  I helped myself to the pool in the complex and charged my electronics once the afternoon storm rolled thru.  It was nice to see my friend again, it had been years.  We went to the grocery store and he cooked a magnificent meal and I got wasted drunk on rum and listened to his stories of debauchery, he is a wise dood and has had lots of very interesting experiences.

     The next morning I was off again, this time my destination was west palm beach.  I again found a Starbucks, and then headed off to The Bicyclery to hang out with old friends.  I got there early so I hung out at the shop all day, fixed my leaky front wheel and ate pizza that Tom had bought.  Since I work at a shop it was funny listening to the same conversations I have at my shop happening a couple of hundred miles south.

     My friend Bryan gave me a lift further north to Lynn Daniels place where I had another party and feast and settled into bed, with a full belly and good beer buzz.

     The next morning Lynn dropped me off at the Amtrak Station where I loaded up my bike and rode the train to kissimmee where my original Travel partner Bob came and got me in my truck, completing my successful summer vacation trip/Cross Florida North To south Segment scouting.  All went amazingly well and I have to say the trip was a success.  The train ticket was 29$ and when I finished my trip(original budget 200$) I still had enough money to fill up my gas tank for the drive home.

By far a wonderful experience.

Take Care,