Cyclova XC catches up with Joe Meiser on his EPIC Tour Divide Race

Continuing on from yesterday's excellent video log of Joe's Tour Divide Race experience, today we feature a some questions from a recent interview we had the privlidge of doing with Joe.

Joe's well thought out answers likely will give you some insight as to what makes an uber - ultra - ultra endurance athlete tick. Check it out...



Katie, Joe, and Frank logging in some off road commuting miles to work, a key part of his GDT training.

1) What inspired you to do the Tour Divide Race?
Racing other endurance events, specifically TransIowa, sparked my interest in a race like the Tour Divide. I began following around 2005 and set a goal to race in 2009.

2) How did you train for the Tour Divide Race? What type of training session do you believe proved to be the most important for this event, in hindsight?
I trained primarily by commuting year round by bike. Early in March of 2009 I began to ramp up with longer rides and lots of riding on the TD race machine, fully loaded. I got out for several overnight ride and camping trips to test my planned gear. Racing Ragnarok 105(fully loaded), TransIowa, and Almanzo was really the best training leading up to the event.

3) Tell us briefly about your equipment...
My bike was a Salsa Fargo drop bar adventure touring bike. Instead of traditional touring panniers I used frame bags to pack my gear. These are relatively new to touring and offroad touring, but are becoming popular quickly. All of my gear weighed about 20lbs. base weight. To endure the 2700+ miles of the TD it is important to go light and simplify what you need.

4) What was the most physically challenging moment of the event for you?
Hiking through mud covered roads, pushing or carrying the bike was most difficult. It was a rainy year on the divide and there were plenty of these. At time I would be carrying my bike on my shoulder slogging through the mud.

5) What was the most mentally challenging moment of the event for you?
Leaving the creature comforts of Breckenridge was difficult for me. It's not typically the type of town I'd like, but it was hard to give up good coffee and food for the unknown.

6) If you were to do this event again, how would you prepare/what would you do differently?
The (if) question is a good one. First, I'd go much lighter that I did, getting my base weight to sub-15lbs. of gear with a bike around 25lbs. would be my goal. Having done the race once I think I could do this. Second, I'd try to avoid some of the mental pitfalls of doing an event like this. I had a great time riding with others during the event, but in small towns a group of eight riders will cripple a restaurant and it takes longer to get everyone moving.

7) What are your cycling plans for 2010?
In 2010 I'll continue to race endurance events like TransIowa, Ragnarok, and Almanzo. I'll be putting on a 100 mile MTB event with a friend and possibly racing another ultra. I want to ride more singletrack and bikepack quite a bit more. It's hard to top an experience like Tour Divide!

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