DEL NORTE— Local resident Steve Brigham from Del Norte finished the annual Tour Divide Mountain Bike Race on July 9 in 25 days, four hours, 52 minutes, averaging 108 miles per day on a single speed mountain bike. The unsupported race began in Banff, Canada on June 14 and follows primarily dirt roads for 2,732 miles, finishing at the US/Mexican border at Antelope Wells, N.M.
The race is considered by many endurance cyclists to be one of the toughest mountain bike races in the world. Racers must stock up on food and water at towns along the route and are not allowed to cache food or have friends or family provide support along the route. The race clock starts in Banff, Canada and stops when the GPS “SPOT” tracker carried by the racer reaches the Mexican border. Racers carry their own sleeping gear and sleep only three to five hours on average per night to cover as many miles as possible each day. Riding from daylight to 11 p.m. or later, racers often sleep in the ditch on the side of the road in a sleeping bag and bivy sack or small tent.
The race route goes through Del Norte, which is the start of one of the race’s toughest climbs and also reaches the highest point on the route near Grayback Mountain at 11,910 feet.
When asked about the race, Brigham responded, “Overall, the race was fun, but grueling. Each day is an adventure and a race in itself to get more food and water at the next town. The hardest part of the race was getting enough calories in the body and not losing too much weight. Bacon cheeseburgers and pizza kept me going!”
“The best part of the race was meeting all of the incredibly nice people along the route and having my kids run with me the last few hundred yards to the Mexican border.”
“I would like to thank Kristi Mountain Sports and Absolute Bike for getting my bike ready for the race! The bike set-up was flawless. I only had to adjust the rear brake once and replace one tire on the entire route.
Only 79 of the 162 racers that started in Banff completed the grueling race. Brigham finished 45th overall and was the first rider to finish in the 60 and over age-class.