Unfortunately, the reality of this challenge started hitting me hard last Friday when I realized “holy shit, the race is only a week away!” Since then, I have been on an emotional roller-coaster, occasionally going silent for long stretches or even breaking into tears. Saying goodbye to my wife and daughters was excruciating. I was close to a panic attack when I walked into BWI airport this morning. WTF?? I have a pretty even-keeled persona and usually have no trouble keeping my emotions in check. Having no control of my emotions was uncharted territory for me and very unsettling. Maybe I should have gotten some Valium along with my prescription for steroidal cream!
Anyway, after a long day of connecting flights, I have arrived in Calgary and am on a shuttle up to the mountains. My nerves have somewhat settled since this morning and I’m hoping all will be good once I get to Banff . . . and even better once I am actually pedaling at 8am MST on Friday morning. The one thing that has given me great strength is the incredible support and encouragement that I have received over the last few weeks through words, deeds and First Descents’ donations from friends and family. I am both humbled and blown away by the collective generosity that has resulted in over $145,000 in cash donations and pledges for FD. Most of the pledges are based on miles ridden, but one friend made a very healthy donation and promised to double it if the Caps win the Cup. So another reason to root hard tomorrow night!
I will hopefully update this blog every few days when I find down-time in civilization. My location can be tracked 24/7 at http://trackleaders.com/tourdivide18
Please don’t hesitate to comment on this blog or on the automatic updates to my Facebook page. This will be a pretty lonely undertaking and your comments will be treasured as hours turn into days turn into weeks.