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bicycleguru said:
aahhhh screw that guy then! ....... USA! USA!

HEE HE HE
Guru, being US-centric is OK.

FWIW, Stamstad has *hinted* (preferring to stay out of the debate) that if the CA section was completed when he ITT'd the route in `99, he would have included it in his benchmark effort. End-to-end is in the spirit in which he raced the route. Is end-to-end in the spirit of a records-driven GDR design? Maybe not. MC says definitely not. Does it mean end-to-end isn't in the best interest of any/all divide racing? Maybe, maybe not. But who's to argue no until we try it?
 

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Hey Kev'

You forgot the sarcastism indicatiing laughter in quoting me. Wanted to make sure your chamois wasn't getting bunched. It's is only that I looked forward to seeing you at the grd as well as Mr. Nice, seeing the joy on your faces as you finish. Maybe I still will. Well I got a couple water ballons with your names on them waiting in Roosville. Do you know if Nathan has a throwing arm? I'll buy beers at the last chance!
 

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bicycleguru said:
Hey Kev'

You forgot the sarcastism indicatiing laughter in quoting me. Wanted to make sure your chamois wasn't getting bunched. It's is only that I looked forward to seeing you at the grd as well as Mr. Nice, seeing the joy on your faces as you finish. Maybe I still will. Well I got a couple water ballons with your names on them waiting in Roosville. Do you know if Nathan has a throwing arm? I'll buy beers at the last chance!
heh, No, I knew it was sarcasm, but isn't that picture absolutely priceless? I couldn't resist.

Are you planning to be up at the border that early? I'd personally recommend hanging around in Whitefish before the race--it's a much bigger and cooler place to be. Scott H., Joe P. and I all discovered how awesome the KOA was days before the race. A bunch of free food, hot tub, etc.

There is also a great lake in Whitefish that you can fill up the waterballons. If it is as hot as it was in 2006, I'm sure none of the TourDividers will mind getting hit :D
 

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Jammin15 said:
I sincerely hope Matt comes back. Clearly he is still affected by, and much the wiser, his 06 attempt. It reminds me of the great print his brother in fixedness that year, Rudi Nadler created to raise funds for his GDR attempt. It was called "The Prisoner". It was inspired by riders of Grand Tours of old and has uncanny pertinence to the way one can get pulled into the Divide. For many, the only way out is through the portal called Antelope Wells.
 

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Much ado.

Lots of speculation and convenient misinformation being thrown around in here. It's gotten so messy that I feel the need to set a few things straight.

To be honest, I'm tickled that TD exists. If for no other reason than the volume of email from unwilling-to-be-pleased people has dropped to zero.

I'm truly glad there's a choice. As one of my racing peers so directly put it: "TD is looking like a good alternative for people that have no business in the GDR."

While the comment was flippant, it serves to highlight a great point: Not everyone wants to race, and not everyone is capable of nor interested in holding a 24-day-or-less pace. For those that aspire to go as fast as humanly possible, competing with others of a similar mindset, there is the GDR. For everyone else, in whatever style and for whatever reason, there is TD or an unrelated tour of the route.

The GDR was envisioned and created as a border to border race from Canada to Mexico. That was the easy part. The hard part was taken care of by ACA when they scouted and mapped the GDMBR. Please note the clear distinction between GDR and GDMBR. Any and all arguments of why the GDR should be extended to include a contrived extension into Canada fall flat against the basic premise of a border to border route. Invoking the name of God, Buddha, Stamstad, or Beelzebub makes no difference here.

The GDR has always been focused on the race, not the blogs or the coverage or the media hype or any of the other shenanigans that have attached themselves the past few years. With the advent of the TD as the 'touring alternative', the GDR can continue on it's purebred trajectory.

A few more comments from my peers, at times paraphrased for brevity or clarity:

-"It's a bit disheartening to read the general response. 2 guys who barely scraped the surface of the GDR the last two years want to add 211 miles? The general cry of Mike won't use our house, Mike imposed a time cut off, Mike wont let me phone my wife on a cell phone, etc..."

-"I think TDs biggest downfall is going to be the fact that everyone headed there is doing so for selfish reasons: Time cutoffs for one, cell phones for another, ego I mean Canada for the third. Most of those guys won't see New Mexico."

-"It seems ML is still unable to find any support for his Canada crusade, so he has resorted to enticing people disgruntled with minor GDR rules. The result? A dumbed-down, longer version of the divide."

-"The GDR is about self supported racing the way that it's always been done. It's about holding to a standard and not evolving simply because a few haphazard, unprepared people want to make it easier on themselves."

The GDR has had a steering committee since its inception. Several of us were able to witness firsthand much of the ascent, dissension and ultimate dissolution of the Iditasport race and organization years ago. Among many others, the biggest lesson learned was that one person can never pretend to have all the answers. Many educated opinions need to be offered and weighed before proceeding in an endeavor such as this. Among those who have been a part of the GDR steering committee are Pete Basinger, Scott Morris, John Stamstad, Pat Norwil, John Weirath, Tom Purvis, Rick Hudak, Bill Merchant, and Jason Tillinghast. There has not been a single rules decision made that has involved fewer than half of these individuals.

The only thing that has been solely my work the past few years has been the website and it's "look". Blame me if the site doesn't tickle your fancy. For everything else GDR (as well as KTR and GLR) related, it has been a collective effort.

I will not participate in any further bickering about this event. Still, I'm 100% certain that a certain individual will continue to spin the facts to his liking, as he has done since he came on this 'scene' in 2004. While this individual has gained our respect for completing the route 4 times, I'd caution him to learn a LOT more about the history and evolution of this style of racing if he wants to be read as credible. I'd also caution anyone reading through any of this to get *all* of the facts before deciding which are plausible and which have been spun to match the needs and ego of any one individual.

Thanks to a colossal and passionate volunteer effort the GDR has evolved over the last 8 years to what it is today: The event that defines the genre. It will continue to evolve through racer feedback and peer review. For those who've completed the GDR: If you believe something about the race can be improved, please suggest a constructive way to do so and we will seriously consider it.

Best,

MC
 

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mikesee said:
With the advent of the TD as the 'touring alternative', the GDR can continue on it's purebred trajectory.
TD is a race, just to clear that up.

This kind of language is really tragic, Mike. Many people in the endurance community see you as one of the godfathers of our sport, but this visceral smearing will do more to divide the endurance community than a second race on the GDMBR. If you want to publicly insult every single person that races TD over GDR by saying they are not a racer nor up to the challenge, that's fine. If you need to validate your own extraordinary accomplishment by taking down people who have raced in your events, go ahead. I'll just feel sorry for you.

I still don't regret my participation in the GDR and I still wish you and the GDR steering committee the best of luck in 2008.
 

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mikesee said:
Not everyone wants to race, and not everyone is capable of nor interested in holding a 24-day-or-less pace. For those that aspire to go as fast as humanly possible, competing with others of a similar mindset, there is the GDR. For everyone else, in whatever style and for whatever reason, there is TD or an unrelated tour of the route.
I agree Mike. The race should be held as a race, though how many people actually race it? Should the speed tourers (20-25 days) be allowed in as well? The cutoffs for the 07GDR were a little last minute, are they being amended to allow for age or guys on a singlespeed- like any other race would?

mikesee said:
Any and all arguments of why the GDR should be extended to include a contrived extension into Canada fall flat against the basic premise of a border to border route.
I dont agree Mike. Your argument against is weak compared to the benefits of including the Canadian sector. What race hasnt changed its course over its history? Why shouldnt the 'basic premise' change? Should the GDR be renamed as the USGDR considering that it doesnt follow the entire great divide?

To anyone considering racing, or just riding the course, I recommend riding the Canadian sector. It would help you prepare if you are racing, and the scenery is amazing.
 

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mikesee said:
Lots of speculation and convenient misinformation being thrown around in here. It's gotten so messy that I feel the need to set a few things straight.

To be honest, I'm tickled that TD exists. If for no other reason than the volume of email from unwilling-to-be-pleased people has dropped to zero.

I'm truly glad there's a choice. As one of my racing peers so directly put it: "TD is looking like a good alternative for people that have no business in the GDR."

While the comment was flippant, it serves to highlight a great point: Not everyone wants to race, and not everyone is capable of nor interested in holding a 24-day-or-less pace. For those that aspire to go as fast as humanly possible, competing with others of a similar mindset, there is the GDR. For everyone else, in whatever style and for whatever reason, there is TD or an unrelated tour of the route.

The GDR was envisioned and created as a border to border race from Canada to Mexico. That was the easy part. The hard part was taken care of by ACA when they scouted and mapped the GDMBR. Please note the clear distinction between GDR and GDMBR. Any and all arguments of why the GDR should be extended to include a contrived extension into Canada fall flat against the basic premise of a border to border route. Invoking the name of God, Buddha, Stamstad, or Beelzebub makes no difference here.

The GDR has always been focused on the race, not the blogs or the coverage or the media hype or any of the other shenanigans that have attached themselves the past few years. With the advent of the TD as the 'touring alternative', the GDR can continue on it's purebred trajectory.

A few more comments from my peers, at times paraphrased for brevity or clarity:

-"It's a bit disheartening to read the general response. 2 guys who barely scraped the surface of the GDR the last two years want to add 211 miles? The general cry of Mike won't use our house, Mike imposed a time cut off, Mike wont let me phone my wife on a cell phone, etc..."

-"I think TDs biggest downfall is going to be the fact that everyone headed there is doing so for selfish reasons: Time cutoffs for one, cell phones for another, ego I mean Canada for the third. Most of those guys won't see New Mexico."

-"It seems ML is still unable to find any support for his Canada crusade, so he has resorted to enticing people disgruntled with minor GDR rules. The result? A dumbed-down, longer version of the divide."

-"The GDR is about self supported racing the way that it's always been done. It's about holding to a standard and not evolving simply because a few haphazard, unprepared people want to make it easier on themselves."

The GDR has had a steering committee since its inception. Several of us were able to witness firsthand much of the ascent, dissension and ultimate dissolution of the Iditasport race and organization years ago. Among many others, the biggest lesson learned was that one person can never pretend to have all the answers. Many educated opinions need to be offered and weighed before proceeding in an endeavor such as this. Among those who have been a part of the GDR steering committee are Pete Basinger, Scott Morris, John Stamstad, Pat Norwil, John Weirath, Tom Purvis, Rick Hudak, Bill Merchant, and Jason Tillinghast. There has not been a single rules decision made that has involved fewer than half of these individuals.

The only thing that has been solely my work the past few years has been the website and it's "look". Blame me if the site doesn't tickle your fancy. For everything else GDR (as well as KTR and GLR) related, it has been a collective effort.

I will not participate in any further bickering about this event. Still, I'm 100% certain that a certain individual will continue to spin the facts to his liking, as he has done since he came on this 'scene' in 2004. While this individual has gained our respect for completing the route 4 times, I'd caution him to learn a LOT more about the history and evolution of this style of racing if he wants to be read as credible. I'd also caution anyone reading through any of this to get *all* of the facts before deciding which are plausible and which have been spun to match the needs and ego of any one individual.

Thanks to a colossal and passionate volunteer effort the GDR has evolved over the last 8 years to what it is today: The event that defines the genre. It will continue to evolve through racer feedback and peer review. For those who've completed the GDR: If you believe something about the race can be improved, please suggest a constructive way to do so and we will seriously consider it.

Best,

MC
What is really neat about this situation is that the racers themselves get to pick which race they want to do. Do they want to race from Banff? Great, they can do so. Do they want to do the race from something steeped in tradition, dating all the way back to the mythic days of 1999? They can choose that.

Matt's earlier attempts at change from within didn't prove fruitful, so he has taken the initiative to change it from without. While that does cause some debate about what is the "real" race, it opens the situation up to a competition of ideas. At the end of the day it will be the racers themselves who decide which is the better venue.
 

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Mike, thanks for speaking up. We're glad you approve of TD. I apologize for any misinformation and will endeavor to better understand the history of this style of racing, esp. as it pertains to the GDR. I know I have much to learn. I do respect the B2B vision that was parlayed into the GDR. I'm sorry if you have seen my efforts to share the Canadian stretch with GDR competitors as ego-based. Perhaps it's been my persistence as much as anything that makes it seem that way. For that passion I haven't a good exuse, really, but TD is the right way to spare you of it.

mikesee said:
For those who've completed the GDR: If you believe something about the race can be improved, please suggest a constructive way to do so and we will seriously consider it.
I hope going forward you consider my efforts with CA to have followed this proper channel. I never lobbied for it until i rode it for myself within the context of racing the GDR. I'm not sure the idea was ever afforded due course of the *committee* to which you speak but it was bounced between Pete B. and Scott M. and I guess that has to be enough for me.

mikesee said:
Any and all arguments of why the GDR should be extended to include a contrived extension into Canada fall flat against the basic premise of a border to border route.
First, the CA section is no contrivance. It's not a conspiracy against MC to groundshake B2B or take away his or anyone else's lower-48 records. CA is not even technically a GDMBR *extension* relative to the GDR as it existed before the inaugural GDR was ever held. A divide racing plan that didn't leave any room for CA's inclusion in the future is miopic. In `05 and `06 I chalked up your flat resistance to protection of your own record but now that it fell to two `07 racers (one of which rode from Banff), I understand clearly that B2B must be the do-or-die defining tenet of the GDR.

Second, I accept that a B2B race was always a plan tossed around. 110% to ACA's credit, this was made possible much sooner than otherwise achievable, if ever in our racing tenures. When John ITT'd the route in `99 I'm sure he had it in his mind that the GDMBR could be that B2B route ultraMTB was looking for. Jump ahead 5 years. The GDMBR (which already includes Canada) becomes the battleground to host the GDR. It was a simple decision really. Stamstad had set the mark. It couldn't be ignored. Starting from Banff was out of the question for most. We were gunning for John's lofty 18day mark.

The GDR is defined on its website as a race down the GDMBR. Where it is implicitly defined as a B2B challenge, it's not clear. Regardless, it had to be expected that eventually the converging ultraMTB ideologies that such a big race tends to attract would evolve to take interest in the upper stretch of the trail in Canada. So much so that some might even push for evolution of the format to become defined more by the GDMBR itself than by any original B2B premise. Jump to now. At least one camp believes in this idea. They see divide racing as ready to graduate beyond B2B limitations to emphasize the significance of the entire GDMBR over the significance of borders. It's argued the GDMBR is the asset, not the premise, and the GDMBR deserves to define the endpoints for racing on it. Just as one man could not alone define Iditibike, one rigid B2B philosophy cannot solely define divide racing. If the GDR wants to take a holier-than-thou, not-for-everyone, if-you're-a-real-man-race-the-GDR attitude to differentiate itself, that's fair but it doesn't serve to encourage or even acknowledge self-support racing on the GDMBR outside of the GDR. It really only serves to stifle, put more pressure on people *thinkering*. It makes the division less about where to start and more about, *how elite a rider am i?* Is that leadership? Is it how we *define the genre*, as you describe the GDR?

mikesee said:
(quote from one of your steering committee) "I think TDs biggest downfall is going to be the fact that everyone headed there is doing so for selfish reasons: Time cutoffs for one, cell phones for another, ego I mean Canada for the third. Most of those guys won't see New Mexico."
The GDR can denigrate TD however they like, make its emergence about rule changes and disgruntlement. It's not. It's about racing the full enchilada. The basic fact is that TD is simply returning divide racing rules back to what GDR was 1 year ago before the need was felt to pull tight on the reigns and buck the horse. If you think repealing a mobile phone ban and removing time cutoffs *dumbs down* the racing then you're out of touch with the race. If you think adding Canada is an ego trip then you're out of touch with the GDR's history as well. I raced the CA prologue in `05 (for the personal challenge) well before taking interest in chasing records or suggesting improvement. Fact is, to ride CA's legal wilderness sections is to believe in its inclusion. That's something no one on your *committee* has first hand knowlege of. Since I supported your race 4 years in a row and singlehandedly brought you 8 of the 20 recorded finish times for your results page, maybe you can find the cajones to come support/race TD with us this year. We'll discuss how contrived the extension really is after the race. We'll see how dumbed-down you think the addition of 221 CA miles makes divide racing.

mikesee said:
Not everyone wants to race, and not everyone is capable of nor interested in holding a 24-day-or-less pace. For those that aspire to go as fast as humanly possible, competing with others of a similar mindset, there is the GDR. For everyone else, in whatever style and for whatever reason, there is TD
Indeed, it seems GDR ought be relieved to have TD bail them out from an ad hoc decision to exclude riders from credit who don't meet cut-offs. Now any disgruntled racer can be met with, *sorry, but you should have chosen TD*

Until `07 the natural selection that cutoffs now try to force was the job of the course itself; its difficulty, the consequences of mistakes. In a few years time this unforgiving reputation will become more and more clear and there will be fewer and fewer disillusioned attempts. Divide racing is still very young in the scheme of things. At that future point time cutoffs won't be necessary if they are indeed there to weed out unprepared racers. In the symbolism of ITT's as tests of truth, the *truth* element or control represents the course. We must have faith that over time the course will get at the *truth* of who's qualified. What does the course tell us so far? Everything we need to know: that racing the divide is extremely difficult and not for everyone. Racers beware. Your chances of finishing are 50-50.

Speaking of speaking, if we let the course speak for itself -and we listen- my sense is that eventually the full route will be heard over the squelching of a rigid B2B premise.
 

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To be more accurate, because I’ve heard it mentioned here several times, the cuttoff was a natural extension of the 25 day limit original drafted into the rules and published on the GDR website in back in October of 2004.
 

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pbasinger said:
To be more accurate, because I've heard it mentioned here several times, the cuttoff was a natural extension of the 25 day limit original drafted into the rules and published on the GDR website in back in October of 2004.
correct me if i'm wrong but that limit referred to being followed on course by mtbr coverage, not whether you were a finisher or not.
 

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mathewsen said:
cranking up the spin machine, again...
I chose my words precisely in that post, knowing that you were going to do your best to spin them to your needs yet again. Can't fault you for spinning them the way you do--to do otherwise would be to admit defeat.

I have tremendous respect for your passion and commitment to a cause. I see a future in state politics or even a career as an anchorperson for Fox News in your future.

See ya 'round.

MC
 

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mikesee said:
I chose my words precisely in that post, knowing that you were going to do your best to spin them to your needs yet again. Can't fault you for spinning them the way you do--to do otherwise would be to admit defeat.

I have tremendous respect for your passion and commitment to a cause. I see a future in state politics or even a career as an anchorperson for Fox News in your future.

See ya 'round.

MC
hey! don't assume my political orientation. fox is too conservative for me.

btw, what's up with the quote at the top of your post? those are not my words. speaking of spin... kettle calling pot black.

lets just all be friends here. we have the same goals.

mike, come race TD with me this year. it'll be fun...Pete? mano y mano?
 
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