We spend a lot of time in The Duckhouse looking at routes that frankly we are never, for the most part, going to do. Wanderlust I think they call it. We first met Alex a year or two ago, a mutual friend of our favourite bike mechanic, and were immediately taken in by his all-round enthusiasm for riding his bike for very long distances in some outrageously niche categories (24hr Solo MTB being his newest specialism). In real life Alex is a genuine super hero working in his day (and night) job as a Paramedic. This year however Alex is taking a sabbatical.
This year is the year of Alex’s wanderlust as he takes on a few monumental rides topped off with not only riding the Tour Divide but then riding back again. A journey of around 5.5k miles that will take him 2 or so months.
“ 2 years ago I only had a 40% chance of getting out of hospital alive (for medical reasons, not due to the working conditions of the NHS) and afterwards thought I had to do some extraordinary things before going so far down the mortgage and job route, all I had left to do was retire and see out the rest of my days, so here we are...”
Alex in race duties at Hadleigh Park
Alex is no stranger to big days or multiday rides but the Tour Divide is going to be something totally unique. One of the banner routes and events for ultra distance cycling it runs from Banf in the Canadian Rockies down to Antelope Wells in New Mexico through the valleys and mountain passes of the continental divide. This is about as big as it gets. The route is the worlds longest off pavement cycling route highlighted by long dirt roads climbing a total of 200,000ft (the equivalent of summiting Everest from sea level 7 times). It covers 2,745 miles with recent winners completing it in around two weeks. Alex won’t be looking to complete it in that sort of time, although his hoped 140 miles a day is an achievement in itself as he then plans to loop west from the finish and tour the same distance back north to Banf taking on the same challenge again albeit with a more relaxed schedule. An utterly ridiculous trip of a lifetime.
Big terrain. Heavy going on body and mind.
Alex is going to ride his favoured Salsa El-Marriachi mountain bike, going for comfort over out and out speed (if there is such a thing on a two month ultra adventure such as this) and will pack as lightly as he can with, prepared to sleep anywhere in a small one man tent and cooking often at the side of the road. The planning for this sort of thing is remarkable, but when it comes down to it also remarkably simple. After all everything has to fit on the bike, the rest is done in the head. And boy he’s gonna have a lot of time in that head of his! About two months! Maps, both physical and electronic, homemade electric charging hub systems, camping kit, bike kit for all weathers, lights, spares all strapped to his person or the bike. For two months.
As a general rule we have steered away from brand ambassadors and such but we are absolutely proud as punch to be supporting Alex in his journey and will keep you updated on his travels through our social media and this journal, he’ll be riding most of this in two pairs of Mott St shorts and one of our jerseys. He is a man after our own heart.
You can follow Alex’s adventure on his blog/instagram : https://www.instagram.com/t_boy_alex/ https://wordpress.com/view/adventuresofateaboy.wordpress.com