Monday, May 10, 2010

Team Turtle

In one month (June 11th) I'll be at the start line in Banff for the 2010 Tour Divide. I'm riding from Issaquah to Banff as part of my final dial-in/prologue and if any Puget Sound folks can skip work on Thursday June 3rd, you are welcome to join me as I roll out of town at 10:00 AM. We'll have a leisurely, turtle-paced ride up to Snoqualmie Pass, mostly on trails and tiny roads. From there, I figure most sane folks will head back home. I'll be heading north and east. Ultimately, I'll head south for 2,745 miles. And then I'll head home.

My trip to Banff and subsequent race down the spine of the Rockies is not a solo effort. As I've noted many times before, I get by with a lot of help from my friends. Companies like Redline, Ergon and Adrenaline Promotions are helping me out and I'm very grateful to them for their support. And I'm also grateful to the people at Dirt Rag who think enough of my words to pay to put some of them into print. I'm not sure yet how this particular race story is going to end, but I want to thank all of you who make this story possible.

I make my modest living repairing bicycles, selling bicycles and helping folks discover the wonders you find when you explore the world on two wheels. I'm rich in many ways: I have the finest wife in the world, work I love with great co-workers and I live in a beautiful town in a lovely part of the world. And I'm very rich in friends.

My work pays by the hour or the word and when I take a month to ride, the dollars are not coming in. I live frugally on the trail but the dollars go into food and brake pads and things like keeping the rent paid and the lights on back at home. I'm only able to do something as vast as the Tour Divide because of the vast generosity of my friends.

A couple of weeks ago, I got a query from my friend Michael. "Do you think about the Tour Divide in miles or kilometers?" he wondered. "Miles," I replied, "it's too far if I think about it in kilometers." A few days later I got a check from Michael for $137.25. "For your Divide Ride," he said "The amount is significant, think about it." It took me some thinking, but I got it. If I had a nickel for every mile... Thanks to Michael, I do.

Thanks to Rob, I have a set of Tour Divide maps. Thanks to Sean, I have a set of Nanoraptors. Thanks to Beth and Peter and Donna and Larry and James and Bill and Dave...and you get the idea. All of you who've clicked a donate button or bought something from my Cafe Press Store or ordered something through an Amazon link help me turn the pedals on this journey.

I have a team behind me, a collective group of well-wishers I've dubbed Team Turtle. I'm hoping my ride will justify the faith you've placed in me and that my small tales from a vast place can convey some of the windswept wonder that I know is out there where the air is thin and the trail is rough.

The race is one month away. I've worn through brake pads and chains and tires and a bottom bracket in thousands of practice miles. Thanks to my friends, I've scraped together enough cash to replace those things, enough to roll the next few miles down the trail. I've got enough for the next snack at the next mini-mart. I've got enough to keep rolling.

Every time I wonder if I have enough to make it, I think of my headlight. It's a small headlight, bright, but not bright enough to cast a single beam from Canada to Mexico. It doesn't need to. A tiny beam illuminates enough of the trail for me to move ahead. That is enough.

Smarter folks than me go into this race with more gears, more money and probably better plans. They probably know how they're getting home from the Mexican border...

If you've helped me out already, thanks. You're part of the tribe, the team I call turtle. I can't do much to pay you back, but you will be getting stories. I can't promise the technology will work in real time but the plan is for updates to show up here on the blog. I'm hoping my solar charged Peek will connect from the wilds but there are also pay phones and post cards. With the help of my lovely wife, we'll get updates out to you. And a very big story when this very big race is run.

And if you want to help in some financial way, it's sure not too late to be a part of Team Turtle. Amazon or Cafe Press won't be cutting me any checks between now and race time, so the best way to send me cash is to hit the donate button at the bottom of this post. Or you can mail me a check at:

Kent Peterson
165 East Sunset Way #2B
Issaquah WA 98027

For the price of a cup of coffee you me a cup of coffee. I'll drink gallons of it in the course of the race. $27.45 is a penny a mile and it's also a couple of days worth of food at race pace.

Remember, this is not some great cause. If you want to support a great cause and get a tax deduction and so forth there are tons of really worthy causes out there. MercyCorps, Livestrong,, heck there's tons of folks more worthy than me. Check out some of the other Tour Divide racers as well, pretty much all of us racing are stretching to the limits to make this happen.

Thanks for your support. It's folks like you who allow me to

Keep 'em rolling,

Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson
Issaquah WA USA

Support Kent's 2010 Tour Divide


Berita dari Gunung said...

good luck Kent.
from one of your loyal reader in indonesia.

Daniel W. said...

Good luck Kent. Look forward to reading about your travels...and always.

JuliaR said...

Only you would bike 627 miles to the start of a bike race! We should all be so inspirational.

Johann Rissik said...

Way to go Kent. There's a book in this. Inspirational. I'll be following you from South Africa.

D Housley said...

How are you getting home?

Kent Peterson said...

David (D Housley),

You know, you think I'd have that worked out! Given that I won't know when I'll finish until I finish and the fact that Antelope Wells is about a hundred miles from anything, it's a bit of a puzzle. My current plan is to ride from Antelope Wells to El Paso, TX & probably hop the bus from there.

Anonymous said...

Have stopped by several times to give you a little "gas" money at the shop but you're never there. What days do you work????

Turtle Supporter

Kent Peterson said...

Hi Turtle Supporter,

My hours have been a bit variable until we complete the move to the bigger location (across the parking lot) but I'm pretty much at the shop Saturday, Sunday, Monday & Tuesday. I'm almost always off on Wednesday & Thursdays but this week we're busy with the move so I'm working both of those days. Fridays are a wildcard, sometimes I'm at the shop, other times I'm on the trail. And since I live so close (4 blocks) I go home for lunch some time between 1:00 & 3:00 PM unless it's super busy.

Thanks for your support,


SS:Mtn Biker said...

Kent,I wish you great luck and fun in the upcoming adventure! I'll definately be watching to see your progress. It was your story in Dirt Rag a few years ago (Way of the Mtn Turtle) that fisrt introduced me to this race,so yeah,I'm a fan :-)

I haven't kept touch as much lately,so his plans may have changed,but a much loved/respected e-friend was also planning on riding it this year (Mimbresman,Barin Beard),if he makes it,please say hello from Longhaultruker2 (another alias of mine,LOL!).

Oh,and BTW,I won't tell my wife that someone is trying to use her title without her knowledge ("best wife in the world"),LOL! :p


Nobi said...

I like your images and your attitude.
Good luck.

Amit Ahuja said...

U have an exciting life Kent.....good luck buddy

KevinTice said...

Kent-What is your planned route from Issaquah to Snoqualmie Pass? I live in Fall City and thinking I'll join you on your first day's ride. Are you starting from the bike shop in Issaquah? Or, maybe I'll meet you along the way.
thanks and good luck!

Kent Peterson said...

Kevin (and any other interested Pacific Northwesterners),

I'll be posting more details in a blog post soon, but here's the basic plan:

Leave from the parking lot of the Bicycle Center in Issaquah at 10:30 AM on Thursday June 3rd, 2010. Out on Sunset & then on the gravel path on the north side of I-90 up to Highpoint. Highpoint Rd to Preston. Preston Trail & then Preston-Fall City Rd to Fall City. 202 & Fish Hatchery Rd up to Snoqualmie Falls & Snoqualmie. Join the Snoqualmie Valley Trail at the Snoqualmie Falls Golf Course. Trail up to Rattlesnake Lake. Iron Horse Trail for a ways, Ollalie State Park, then on the freeway shoulder for one exit. Then Tinkham Road to Denny Creek Rd to the top of Snoqualmie Pass. I'll keep heading east, rejoining the John Wayne Trail at Hyak.

People are welcome to show up at the send off or anywhere enroute. Feel free to ride as much or as little as you like. The pace won't be fast & the terrain is mixed pavement and gravel.