Baja Divide: The Prelude

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Gee wiz, today is December 27 and we're already a week out from the first ever group start of the Baja Divide. Somewhere around 100 ultra cyclists from all over the world (about 1/3 are women) are gathering at the San Diego waterfront early on January 2 to begin a 50 mile trek to camp just north of the California/Mexico border at Barrett Junction. I'm pretty sure those 50 miles include 5,000 ft of elevation gain, but I'm trying not to think about it.

I'm going to try my best to keep everyone who's interested updated as I attempt to survive for 6+ weeks in Mexico while I live on my bike. I won't be alone! My dear friend, bike warrior Katherine Pierce, has agreed to be my tent buddy through the good, the silly, and the soul-crushingly difficult times. We're planning to make everyone else on the trail our BFFs, so you have those stories to look forward to as well (there's already deafening talk about desert dance parties).

Communication:
I will have unlimited talk and text for the duration of my trip (or my phone battery—whichever ends first.) Please abuse this knowledge as I'm sure the connection to familiar civilization will be super comforting at times. My phone number is (205) 317-0136. Also understand that I mostly plan to leave my phone on airplane mode, checking periodically each day to conserve battery. I'm also going to try to update this page every week or so with photos and anecdotes. I'll alert the Facebooks and Instagrams when that happens. The real fun is going to be getting 10 rolls of 36 exposure color film developed upon my return! Look forward to a formal write-up to accompany the film photos.

¡Órale! (I don't really speak Spanish yet, but I'm learning.)

Some additional things:
No, the first photo above is not Baja—it's Big Bend National Park. My friend Max gifted me the patch because he's really excited for me to self-propel myself 1700 miles from San Diego to La Paz. Second, I have never attempted anything like the Baja Divide before and it's equally terrifying and exciting to me. I look forward to compiling thoughts, emotions, and expectations before, during, and after this expedition in hopes of giving you (and myself) a nice idea of why the hell I seek this stuff out. The second picture is my awesome Cannondale Beast of the East 2, for which I am forever grateful to both Cycleast and Cannondale, who helped to provide me with a bicycle totally capable of taking on the Baja Divide.