TOUR DIVIDE 2014—–ON THE ROUTE TO WHERE YOU ARE GOING…
They have become less frequent this week. Not many weary faces, dirty bikes and empty eyes left in our parts. The Tour Divide is coming to a close. Steamboat and Moots are on the route, our shop sits just 200 meters off the course and if you time it right you can see the blurry eyed riders coming down CR129 from the north off the top outside deck. Not many come our way, as it takes all the energy they can muster just to get to the nearest open bike shop for repairs. More times than not that shop is Orange Peel Bicycle Service. We are just a bit over half way on the course, so at this point there are some worn out bike parts. Brock (shop owner) and his crew are not new to the Tour Divide riders. They see this every year and can almost nail the hour the first rider will show up. (SPOT trackers are amazing little gadgets) They know what to do when one rolls up to the shop. It goes something like this:
*drop bags off bikes
*offer the rider a seat or point them in the direction of the closest food source
*put bike in stand
*drop off all offending parts
*”clean” what they can to get the work done
*they replace it all: bearings, cables, tires, tubes, brake pads, worn (or eaten by a bear) pack bags
Orange Peel has 5 work stands and during these heavy weeks of the Tour Divide they are all in service….usually at the same time. 5 bikes, going. Orange Peel operates like a well oiled machine….each shop wrench knows their part and is capable of doing it all. King bearings?…no problem….Mavic freehub body? Got it. Rohloff? Can do. Single speed cog & chain? Done. Those first 5-6 days of the route each year seem to be held underwater. Rain and post-holing through snow…..not so good for bike parts…..especially after you then ride them for 800+ miles without service.
This year some really fantastic people took part in the event. We tracked them and met them, for most they passed through in the night without as much as a hello. At last count there were at least 10-12 riders on Moots frames….out of 135.
One such visitor came in the form of Alice from Bend, OR. She happened on our door just before the lights were on…..riding her Moots Mooto X single speed. She was interested in seeing how her bike was made and wanted to meet us. I happened to be in work early that day and toured her around our place. She was quiet and somewhat shy. She didn’t want to bother anyone, just see where he bike had been made.
Several of our production staff got to meet her and congratulate her on being pretty much a super bad ass. Did I tell you she was leading the women’s division overall?…..on a single speed? She liked to keep her rig simple. Very little issues for her other than the normal wearing of tires and brake pads….and a bit of a sore butt. Simply an amazing ride, congrats Alice!
One other such amazing person on the route was Nic Handy. Nic rode a bike that he had the concept for a couple of years ago; the do-everything- go anywhere Farr Hoots. A name with a little of Moots, a little adventure. The bike itself featured at the Denver edition of NAHBS in 2013. It has its own Facebook page to boot. Once the show had passed Nic started putting the bike to the test, doing “short” rides into the Colorado Mountains for training for the big TD event. Well, Nic did it….on his first try. Overcoming some early rain and snow, a sore Achilles and day off the bike….he pushed on. He passed into Steamboat during the night and rendezvoused with a couple of the Moots crew at a local restaurant where he ordered just about one of everything off the menu. ….followed by a deep sleep. The next day he was on his way to Summit County where he met up with his girl friend. Off he went, all the way to the US/Mexican border where friends & family were waiting for him for his finish.
After the event Nic has been adjusting back to “normal” life, which could not possibly be too normal after 2745 miles out there….pedaling a bike, making due on your own, bears, storms, mud, heat, wind and your own thoughts as you push along the Tour Divide.
We have a close friend here in Steamboat that has done the event and finished 2nd in the geared division…he once told me that he put himself into a mode of thinking that “this is how the first Tour De France riders did it”…..no outside assistance, no team cars, no clean place to sleep at night,……just where your body put you is where you stayed. I think this event just nails it when getting back to how it used to be.
Congratulations to all the Moots riders that got out there…we are proud to your bike of choice for the Tour Divide.