Sunday, November 1, 2009

Our Group Video...At long last!

At long last, we are ready to release the trip video. The 'footage' was taken with my SLR camera...caution, may contain words that rhyme with "truck" and have freak nudity.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Yup we're done. We are all now enjoying our celebrity status, getting recognized by fans wherever we go. Some of us have decided to pursue television opportunities while Grant here has decided to pursue his rap music career. Check him out in his debut hit.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Toronto, Canada - Some final farewell shots

So here we go. All great things must come to an end, and it has been a wonderfully challenging, epic adventure. And we did it! But not without the generosity, kindness and help from dozens of people at home and on the trail. Thanks for joining us on our adventure, it's been a grand one.

I'm sure with a bit of time to digest the trip each of us will post some closing thoughts and advice for future riders.

I'll have a video on YouTube in about a months time, and we'll put together a slideshow in Taupo for the end of October if you're in town.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Phoenix, Arizona. Antelope Wells: Been there, done that.

Just a quick update because we are all off to the airport in a couple of hours or so.

We made it to Antelope Wells on the dot of 10 am yesterday, after leaving Silver City about 14 hours earlier. Riding through the night did indeed eventuate to being the inspired and memorable way to end the journey that we had hoped for.

It was not a walk in the park by any means. With the five of us riding with camping quality headlamps, and with Ryan's and Trystan's failing early, lighting was in short supply over the 40 mile sand road section. This section was for the most part fast and fun, but invisible sand traps every now and again were cause for many a close call.

Riding through the night, when the body is tuned to resting, was not surprisingly tough. At times I found myself playing games to see how much of the time I could ride with my eyes closed (thankfully I never lost). Arriving in Hachita, 46 miles short of our destination, at 4am, we allowed ourselves a "sleep" on the concrete basketball court until 5.30am, at which time we made our final assault. Counting down the mile markers - the 30's, 20's, 10's, and single digits (!!), there was no doubt we were looking forward to the finish. Only some goat head punctures, interesting wildlife (including a couple of dead rattlers, a tortoise, tarantula (maybe?), and about a billion grasshoppers), and Ben and Ryan kissing the pavement just 8 miles short, delayed our arrival.

124 miles later, five tired, relieved, and satisfied cyclists rolled into Antelope Wells, which indeed lived up to the expectation of being not much at all. Just a small border crossing, a few trees, and an endless border fence.

A shuttle ride and a sleep later, and right now we are in an uncomfortably hot Phoenix, glad to be spending an minimal amount of time here. Phoenix is the means to an end - somehow the most convenient way to get out of this country.

Trystan is going to put up some photos when he gets the chance and no doubt there will be a few more closing entries to come. By tonight, Ben and Trystan will be in Toronto, and Simon, Ryan and I will be back in Vancouver. If just for a brief while.

Great Divide, check.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Silver City - we are drawing this one out!

Alright all you Spot Stalkers out there. Yes, we are still in Silver City. But in just 17 or so hours time we will be 124 miles away from here, five sweaty and smelly bodies rolling into a sweet All-American Cadillac sedan (I would almost call it a limousine) "with cold air conditioning" and being shuttled (chauffeured) to Phoenix AZ some 300 or so miles away.

But before then, we will have rode our bikes through the night - all 124 miles of it - from Silver City to the big smoke that is Antelope Wells. If this seems like a silly idea I can assure you we have conjured up some worthy justifications: We miss the oppressive day time heat, we get to knock out 124 miles in one go which is pretty cool, and even better we get to ditch our "beloved" Bobs for this final stint by not breaking the ride into two days - ah freedom at last! But perhaps most important of all, Matthew Lee rode 29 hours straight in his final stint to win the Tour Divide 2009 (the race along the same route), and in our efforts to be more like him the least we can do have the experience riding through the night to Antelope Wells.

So come 7 pm tonight, some cheap but satisfying mexican burrittos in our stomach, maybe a coffee and a coke or two, we will be on our way, headlamps at the ready, for what should be one hell of a way to finish this epic adventure.

But first we will have said goodbye to yet more local heros. This time is is Jamie, who's flat we have been staying at for the last two days, after finding him at the local bike shop on our arrival to Silver City. Jamie raced the Tour Divide this year on a whim and is quite the local legend. His flat is also nearing legendary status as a shrine to all things bicycles, with all five flatmates having an un-natural attachment to bicycles. Within moments of meeting us, Jamie had offered up his front yard for us (which quickly turned into unrestricted use of his flat) and being right near the down-town of Silver City the location is perfect. Jamie's flat has been a base for us as we have made and re-made our final plans. We also have his buddy and fellow local-legend, Jeff, to thank for our new ride to Phoenix, not to mention helping us out in many other ways to ensure a smooth departure. Legends! (And Simon, I don't use that term loosely!)