Daily Archives: May 31, 2012

Tracking the Tour Divide: Become a Blue Dot Junkie

The 2012 Tour Divide starts in a week. Most of the racers will be carrying SPOT GPS units which transmit our position every 20 minutes. The best site for following the race is Trackleaders (http://trackleaders.com/tourdivide) where each individual rider is identified at their current location (I had to chuckle because I had my SPOT on last Sunday at Ironman Brazil so my wife could follow me and that is where they are currently showing me). 

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You can follow how each individual rider is doing and also get data on their speed etc.  I must warn you: it becomes so addictive that viewers have been known to be called ‘Blue Dot Junkies’.  It’s great when riding and one of the junkies comes out on the road and says hello!

UPDATE: Trackleaders has now loaded my individual profile to http://trackleaders.com/tourdividei.php?name=Christopher_Bennett 

A less elegant approach is my GPS tracking page at www.lpcb.org. This shows all the data for the last 7 days (at least when the SPOT works).

In addition to our GPS locations, racers have ‘call-ins’ which are recorded and posted to www.mtbcast.com.  Justin Simoni, who was the only rider to attempt the full route in 2011 due to the snow (he used snow shoes!) describes the call-ins: “It gives a strange little peek into the psyche of the rider, as they attempt to explain the past x days, in a somewhat unreal daze from the countless miles in rain/snow/sweltering heat and usually right before or after an enormous meal. It’s really amazing any of us were able to say anything of substance.” 

Justin has put his call-in contents on a web page and they tell an incredible story. Take time to read them here.  Anyone who thinks that I’m crazy will realize that I’m in a different league to riders like Justin, with his understatements like: “Thursday’s Richmond Peak North Face traverse was not without drama. As I was cutting steps in the well-over 45 degree snow slope with my stand-in ice axe, my bike slipped down the slide zone, hundreds of feet only stopped by a tree.” 

Of course the one call in all riders want to avoid is the one telling mtbcast that they are withdrawing from the race. Unfortunately, most of us end up doing that one …

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