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Time for the off - Tickets booked for the Tour Divide

Always Riding's good friend Kevin 'Blackhound' Cunniffe is taking part in the epic 'Great Divide' race through America this year, and here, the intrepid adventurer takes a step he can't undo, and wonders what Plan B is...

Air tickets booked! I am flying out to Calgary on 2nd June with my mate Martin to the start of the Tour Divide on the 10th June. I have to be back in Seattle for the return flight on 2nd August. Those of you with even the faintest knowledge of American geography will know that Seattle is a long way from the New Mexico / Mexico border.

Well, I woke up this morning feeling very nervous right to the pit of my stomach. What if the Tour Divide was all to much for me? What if something goes wrong and I can’t get to Seattle for the return flight? I lay there, stomach churning, and came to the conclusion that at the very worst I could make it to Colorado and get a train or flight from Denver to the West coast. So I walked to the travel agents and paid up. No backing out now. Though I am not sure a ‘Plan B’ is what I should be looking for. A friend is hoping to spend the summer in the Portland, Oregon area and the plan is to meet up for a few days and then me fly home from Seattle. Of course he has not booked anything yet and it is possible he may not be there. On the other hand Oregon is very much a place I wish to visit so it will be no hardship. I will pick up a flight from Tucson or El Paso to Seattle when I arrive - I have no idea when I may finish, conditions may be slow this year because of more snow than usual in The Rockies.

Getting into the American mood with Lucinda Williams playing in the background. My legs seemed to be working well this morning when I went out for a ride, average speed was 2km per hour quicker than most recent rides. This Sunday will be a test, a 200km audax from near Stockport, my longest ride of the year to date. Off to Majorca for 12 days riding in the warmth on Tuesday, hope to come back fitter and not with just a tan.

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About the Rider: Blackhound
Now retired, Blackhound can get on with the real business - riding! This un-assuming Derbyshire native completed the Tour Divide race in 2011, and in 2013 aims to ride the Highland Trail Race, traverse Spain in a Spanish border tour and, if all that was not enough, roll along for 1,800 miles of the Tour Divide Route.
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