Guy Martin confirms he is ‘not done with motorbikes’ but says that for the time being his priority is The Tour Divide, an unsupported 2,745 mile mountain bike race from Canada to the Mexican border along the Rocky Mountains.
Writing on Facebook, Martin says he fancies a change of scene. “I’ve been on about the Tour Divide, the toughest pushbike race in the world, for three years and I thought I’ll blink and next thing I’ll be 45, so I’m going to do it this year.”
It usually starts in the second weekend in June, but can also be completed at any time as an individual time trial.
The race makes use of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route, an off-road trail from Banff in Alberta, Canada, down through the United States, to Antelope Wells in New Mexico. The clock runs non-stop and the winner is generally the person who rests the least.
There are no entry fees, no sponsorship, and no prizes. The Tour Divide website mentions bears as being just one of the many challenges competitors could potentially face.
In his latest book, When You Dead, You Dead, Martin writes about his motivation to take part:
“It’ll take two weeks of cycling 20 hours a day. Anyone attempting it is going to be completely broken day after day, but it’s how you come back from it. And that’s what I’m interested in. It fascinates me that the injuries and bones I broke at Ulster will mend and I’ll come back stronger than I ever have been, then I’ll go to the Tour Divide and break myself again and repair from that. I like breaking myself. Even lying here, broken sternum, broken back, broken hand …”
There’s a bit more information about the Tour Divide in the video below. The award for stating the blindingly obvious goes to the guy who says “that’s a whole lot of climbing,” immediately after stating that the cumulative height gain of the route is equivalent to climbing Mount Everest seven times.