Thanks to this blog, it seems after every big event or ride I meet new folks. This may come as a surprise, but here in Durango I'm somewhat under the radar. Cycling is huge here, but so is the spirit of competition - NORBA, USCF, and collegiate type events dominate the scene. I don't know one person in the region that would be interested in most of the stuff I do on two wheels.
That all changed yesterday. I got an email from a guy offering congrats on the GLR finish and that he was about to head out for GDR in a few days - and that he lives in the neighboorhood & we should join up for some backcountry fun when he gets back (and recovers). That was a real shocker.
Meet Matt McFee.
Me: "Is there anything I can do for ya before you head out?"
I can relate to that sentiment. Turns out he was going for a sendoff ride on one of his favorite loops - Hotel Draw -> Corral Draw -> Hermosa creek. He wanted to make sure he remembered what it was like to have fun on his bike, or something like that ;) I hadn't been down Corral Draw before, so jumped at the chance to ride new trails with new friends.
It was an international group. Matt's wife Katrin (left) is from Estonia, Gabby is Czech. They were both as strong as you'd expect from Euro chicks!
If we did 20 miles, Sampson did 100.
I've seen Matt's food supply, it looks like he's got enough to cover the Great Divide a few times over. One of his "secrets" is the Big Sur bar. He gave me one to try out and wow - the calories of 3 powerbars in a package not much bigger than a powerbar, and tastes like pecan pie.
Just in case you didn't click that GDR link above and don't know what it is - that would be the Great Divide Race, a mountain bike race from Canadian border in Montana (yea Rocco, the port of Rooseville of strip search infamy) to the Mexican border in Antelope Wells, NM. It follows the great divide, climbs some enormous number of feet, and has never been done in less than 16 days - that honor is held by Mike Curiak. The race, like the Grand Loop, is fully self-supported. Hard to imagine how tough this one is...and yes, I'm keenly interested...
The race starts this friday (June 15) at noon. Updates will be made via text to http://greatdividerace.blogspot.com/ and via voice to http://mtbcast.com/wordpress/.
Matt, pack lots of chammy butter and have a great race!