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2,490 miles, one gear, no coasting
Denver’s Dave Nice to attempt ultra-endurance mountain bike race along Continental Divide
causeofitsHerculeannature,”Teasdale says. “This makes the Tour de France look like an afternoon joyDave Nice, a 26-year-old Denver ride.” resident,may beyoureverydayclasOne of the seven riders who sicallytrainedFrenchchefandwhis- dropped out of last year’s race was key distillery employee who enjoys Dave Nice, who had to, after his 160-mile bike rides before work, but bike, with everything on it, was stothis June, he’s going to try to do len on the second day of the race somethingspecial:Ridea fixed-gear while he took a nap alongside the mountain bike on the longest road near Bigfork, Mont. Nice off-road, self-supportedbike race in walked 35 miles to Polson, Mont., America. and spent the last of his cash calling The Great Divide Race follows a Scott Taylor, owner of Salvagetti Bi2,490-mileroutealongtheContinen- cycle Workshop in Denver, who tal Divide, from Roosville, Mont., to wired him enough money for a bus Antelope Wells, N.M. Nice will have ticketbacktoDenver. to carry everything he needs to surThis year, he’ll keep a closer eye vive — camping on his bike. His gear, repair goal is to finish tools, first aid in less than 25 supplies, food days,hesays,ridand water — ing an average and the lighter 110 to 115 miles and smaller he per day, if possikeeps his load, ble. “It’s a the better, bechance to push cause it will myself, but it’s a have to fit on a chance to spend small rack on 25 days thinking his handlebars, and meditatAaron Teasdale, Adventure a small pack uning,” Nice says. Cycling Association spokesman der his seat, and “It’scrossingthe a 1,000-cubic country, it’s inch backpack. through the He wants the bike and the gear to heartof theRockies.” COURTESY MATEO LEYBA weigh less than 40 pounds, not He’llpedalallofthosemiles.Heescountingfoodand water. timates he’ll need to eat 3,000 to Nice proves he’s not just a fair-weather mountain biker, at Green Mountain Park in Lakewood on Feb. All this on a bike that has one 4,000 calories a day, of whatever he 14. The temperature was 17 degrees that night. gear. Nice rides a fixed-gear bike, a can find on the remote route. His single-speedbike withoutgears or a mother is sewing him a one-pound single 24-hour period is 276, topping freewheel— when the wheels move, down quilt to use as a sleeping bag, five mountain passes, although he thepedalsmove.No coasting. andhe’lltakea 28-ouncetarptentto says it was “mostly pavement.” The Great Divide Race itself is no sleep under. He’s got a stove he Once home, he “proceededto sleep The GDR covers 2,490 miles, and 85 percent of the route is off small challenge,even on a non-fixie. madefroman aluminumBudweiser forabout16 hoursstraight.” pavement. Riders will climb 200,000 feet over the course of the ride Starting at noon June 15, the ride bottle, which will run on Heet gas But can he handle 20-some along the Continental Divide. climbs more than 200,000 vertical line antifreeze. He’ll purify drinking straight 110-mile off-road days on feetover 2,490 miles, spanningMon- water from streams and lakes with his fixed-gearbike? Aaron Teasdale tana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado chlorinedioxidetablets. and New Mexico, north to south. Nice managed to ride 937 miles in is less than optimistic. “I wish that The route was officially mapped in snow-covered Denver during the guy all the best; I hope he does it,” 1998bytheAdventureCyclingAsso- monthofJanuary,another1,178dur- Teasdale says. “I think his chances ciation,a Missoula,Mont.,nonprofit ing February, and had almost 1,200 areprettyslimofevenfinishing...it’s dedicated to developing bicycle milesin thefirsthalf ofMarch. a great idea; it’d be a seriousbadass routesthatexploreAmerica. His personal record for miles in a thingtodo.” The Great Divide Route was intended to be a cross-country off-road route that riders took 70 or 80 days to complete, according to Aaron Teasdale, spokesman for the • What: Dave Nice is holding a fundraiser to help pay for his race ACA. That was until John Stamstad expenses. $25 helps Dave and pays for all the Flying Dog beer, rode the entire route in 18 days, 5 Stranahan’s Colorado Whiskey and Snooze food you can ingest. hoursand 37 minutesin 1999. • Where: Snooze, 2622 Larimer St., Denver The first official Great Divide • When: 5:30-9:30 p.m. April 18 Racetookplacein 2004, and in three • If you can’t attend, you can still send donations to Dave Nice, c/o yearsofcompetition,onlysevenpeoStranahan’s Colorado Whiskey, 2405 Blake St., Denver, CO 80203. plehaveevenfinishedtherace. SOURCE: ADVENTURE CYCLING ASSOCIATION “It’sworthyof attentionif only be-

By Brendan Leonard

“This makes the Tour de France look like an afternoon joyride.”

Great Divide Race route

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