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Thursday, May 13, 2021

Hit It!

Elwood:  It's 106 miles to Chicago, we've got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses.
Jake:  Hit it.
Elwood Blues and Joliet Jake Blues, The Blues Brothers (1980).

Last week, I posted the date on which I plan to start my 2,500 mile, self-supported bicycle ride of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route ("GDMBR"). There's nothing quite like setting the date for a dream to come alive. Announcing it to the world amps up excitement and expectations even more.

Now it gets better. By arranging and re-arranging a bunch of vacation time built up over 30+ years, cycling buddy Paul Brasby plans to join me at the border on July 22, 2021 to ride with me as far as his time off allows. Hopefully, he'll lead the way through the grizzly country of Montana and Idaho, across the Great Basin of Wyoming, and perhaps into the high alpine of Colorado.  However far we ride together, it will be awesome.

Paul Brasby climbing to 10,000+ feet on Hunt Mountain Road on Day 3 of our 
Cloud Peak 500 last year. He's all smiles, with Dude's Downhill just ahead.

Paul and I have shared some long gravel rides and races together over the years, including the 210 mile Mother Lode, the legendary 180 mile Odin's Revenge, and the novel 120 mile Pony Express Bikepacking Adventure. But our biggest joint venture to date was our 2020 ride of the Cloud Peak 500 route that meanders up, down, and all around the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming. Over that week, Paul rode strong and steady to become the first, and only, official finisher of the entire 500 mile route. See, Cloud Peak 500 Wrap - Feeling Good

Over the winter, we've been studying maps, guide books, ride journals, videos, and anything else we can find about the GDMBR. We've also been scrutinizing every piece of gear and how it's packed, dialing in every aspect of our bikes, experimenting with a variety of food options, and riding our loaded bikes as much as possible to prepare for this ambitious endeavor. I've already posted my current thoughts on changes to my Gear ListGear Packing, and Bike, as well as some changes to my approach to Food on the GDMBR. More such posts are sure to follow as the date draws nearer.

Better yet, Paul agreed to share some of his current plans on gear, packing, bike, food, and more in upcoming guest posts here. I'm certainly curious to hear what he has in mind for the GDMBR. For a taste of Paul's writing, here are links to his ride reports from his final 3 days on the Cloud Peak 500. See Ghost Rider In The SkyWonder Where I'm BoundThe Road Less Traveled.

We're putting the band back together. Opening show - July 22, 2021.

Peter Gunn Theme, The Blues Brothers Original Soundtrack (1980).

For the full effect, here's the scene from the Blues Brother's movie, with the Peter Gunn theme song, Carrie Fisher as the Mystery Woman, and the "Hit It" quote.

The Blues Brothers, featuring Carrie Fisher as The Mystery Woman (1980).

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