Friday, June 15, 2007

2007 Great Divide Race Begins - Go JayP!

With the Great Divide Race kicking off today at 12pm MDT, I wanted to post a tribute to my stone-cold homie JayP and wish all the participants safe travels in this mother of all epics.

It is hard to wrap my brain around the raw numbers involved in this one. To equal the current record owned by Mike Curiak, a racer will have to maintain the following pace:
155 miles
12,500 feet of climbing
For 16 Days straight
Holy Crap!

I am excited and nervous for Jay. He is mentally tough like nobody else I know and he has been planning for this for a long time. His gear system is dialed in and he looks to be as fit as ever. His new bike, a carbon Orbea Alma 29er, is perfect for this purpose and his complete rig has to be one of the lightest at the start line. For long hours in the saddle he added aero bars, with some cutting edge machine shop work, and extra padding to the grips. He has a complete bag system from Carousel Design Works and is racing without a rack of any kind. Out of respect to Jay I told him I would not post this any earlier than 12:01pm on race day just in case there are any spies amongst us. :)

Here are few pics of the race rocket:




I met Jay for breakfast Tuesday, June 12th at the Bunnery in Jackson to see him one more time and to wish him luck before the race. He agreed to a quick interview for the Blog. Of course after we were done and I was driving home I thought of many more questions but at least I got glimpse into what his thoughts are on this race.

Me: How much does your bike weigh set up with the aero bars, unloaded?

JayP: 25.5 lbs

Me: Damn!

Me: Do you want to share your overall race strategy?

JayP: Race to the finish. I have it written down as one of my race notes to remind myself late in the ride to keep racing. It would be easy during a ride this long to just start riding and forget about racing.

I would like to ride every daylight hour as well as one hour before daylight and one hour after dark. So, ride until 10 to 11, bivy, get up at 4 or 5am, and keep moving.

Also, my initial strategy is to ride off of the front at the beginning and try to mess with people’s heads a bit and cause them to deviate from their initial plan. I am sure the guys who have done this before, like Matthew and Pete, know exactly where they want to sleep the first night, the second night, and so on. I want to cause them to question their choices. I think that just making them alter their plans one or two nights would be good.

Me: How are you carrying your water?

JayP: 200oz MSR bladder in a pack. That is the only thing in the pack.

Me: What are the Top 3 items you will look for at a convenient store when you stop?

JayP: The first thing I will grab is an ice cream and I will be eating that ice cream while walking around the store doing the rest of my shopping. Then I will grab a coke and a hot meal that I can cook in their microwave. Then I have to grab things that I can take with me to eat on the road.

Me: How many showers do you expect to take during the race?

JayP: 1 or 2

Me: What are the three biggest concerns you have about this race?

JayP: #1 – Being alone for such a long period of time
#2 - Encountering weird/scary people in the middle of nowhere
#3 – Staying healthy the whole time

Me: I would have thought that bears might have made the top 3

JayP: Nah, I am not too worried about the bears. Maybe a little bit in Montana.

Me: Are you taking a music player of some kind?

JayP: (with a smirk) I have a small XM radio with headphones and a 7oz solar charging unit for it. I can put the solar unit on my pack and it will hold a charge so that I can plug it into the radio when I sleep and it will charge the raio. I will be listening to music, talk radio, the weather…how cool is that to be able to check the weather?

Me: Do you have a pre-planned amount of sleep you will aim for?

JayP: 3-6 hours per night…but I am not sure how little I can get away with. Mileage will dictate the sleep as well. If I am feeling good and ticking off the miles then I will keep moving.

Me: If you could have any meal waiting for you at the end, what would it be?

JayP: The classic…a big greasy cheeseburger, fries, and a coke, and maybe a beer.

When Jay laid down the "Race to the Finish" comment it really hit me. This guy is going to stir some shit up! I would expect nothing less from my man JayP and I wish him the best. This is going to be really fun to follow over the next 15 - 21 days.

Check HERE for race updates.

7 comments:

LyndaW said...

Dave,
Thanks for posting the bike shots. Is his map holder/handlebar bag a Carosel Design product too? I like the look of that.

Dave Byers said...

Lynda,
I am 95% sure that the map holder/feed bag is a Carousel Designs bag as well. Jay mentioned that Jeff Boatman of Carousel was building him a complete system for this race.

Geoff said...

i had the privelage to meet and speak with Jay for awhile after the 2006 susitna 100. He seems like a great guy and a very determined racer. I'm pulling 100% for my friend and fellow Alaskan, PeteB, but should things not work out for him then I'd love to see JayP as the first to roll into Antelope Wells. I know Pete has a lot of respect for Jay as a racer and for how prepared he came as a rookie to the ultrasport this year. I think in a lot of ways this is Pete's race to lose, but Jay is one (perhaps the only one???) who could beat him even if things go really well for Pete. It's interesting to see the 2 of them running 1st and 2nd right from the beginning. Might have 2 weeks of them battling back and forth. anyway, thanks for the great post. can't wait to see how this one shapes up.

Jill said...

That is a great bike. Thanks for posting this interview. It's interesting to know he had a strategy to go out strong and fast and then to watch him do so in the race. He's really making the other top guys work for it, and that's great to see.

It's been fun listening to the call-ins on MTBCast. JayP is one who sounds like he is loving it out there, every minute of it, and his enthusiasm really shines through.

Dave Harris said...

Awesome, just freaking awesome Dave. I'm surprised you snagged such an honest, open interview! Just got back from KMC and have been scoping the developments...figgered you'd have a JP piece and it this is beyond expectations.

Go Jay!

Ed said...

Great interview Dave, thanks for posting it. As others have stated, it is interesting to read it and then watch the execution.

Godd stuff!

Ed

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