The Tour Divide – Terrahawk speaks!

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The other day, we ran a story on Guy Martin, and his plans to race the Tour Divide in 2016 instead of racing the Isle of Man TT. You can read the story here. But he’s not riding alone oh goodness me no – his frequent partner in crime (well, cycling, anyway), our very own Jason Miles is riding it too!

It's that Terrahawk bloke!
It’s that Terrahawk bloke, and his Amazing Foreshortened Arm!

So we collared him to ask him a couple of questions about what’s to come in 2016…

You’ve got six months to prepare for around 2750 miles of self-sufficient riding. How do you feel about that right now? Is it realistic for you? Guy? Anyone?

I’m probably a bit too laid-back about it right now, to be honest. Six months? That’s like, years away isn’t it? Hmmm. Maybe I should pull my finger out and get some planning done. Joking aside, with each passing day things become more and more real and I’m starting to wake up in the night thinking about sleeping bags or titanium sporks.

It’s realistic though, course it is. We both know we’re going to be physically ready (we have a plan – always have a plan) and we’re both deep in negotiations with titanium spork sponsors.

Can anyone do it? Dunno. Do you mean can my mum do it? I’ll ask her.

Guy Martin Jason Miles singletrack magazine
“and I’ll make this face, and the bears will run away!”

Have either of you had to egg on the other for this?

Nope. I know an opportunity to do something very cool when I see one and I know Guy does too.

What kind of training plan will you two need to get yourselves up to doing 150+ mile days for several weeks straight?

Plenty of volume and short recoveries. I’ve always believed that you should train specifically for your target event. There’s a shedload of other stuff to work on and practice though, such as sleeping outside a lot, and “not getting lost”.

How do you reckon Guy would deal with encountering a bear? What would you do?

Aren’t there different strategies for dealing with different types of bear or something? Or did I just read that in The Sun? I think you can get a spray that they don’t like, a bit like that stuff you have to use in Scotland [Scotland has bears?? – Ed] Maybe we should look into firearms.[better to point them away from you, I find – Ed]

You’ve done a bit of bivvying with a bike. Are there any particular bits of kit you’d never be without for it?

Sleeping bag, bobble hat, pork pies.

Jason’s shopping list was disconcertingly comprehensive

Does it puzzle you when people don’t share your drive to be fit and win stuff?

Not at all! I do sometimes smile when someone tells me I’m ‘mad’ for going out at all hours for a long ride on my bike, because I think they’re even more mad for sitting at home watching the telly. You’re only here once! Each to their own though. I’ve heard there’s some good stuff on telly at the moment.

Is it competing that drives you, or is it winning?

The way I look at it is…if you put your heart and soul into preparing for a target event or race and you execute that event well, the result (win or not) isn’t that relevant. As long as I’m satisfied that I couldn’t have done any more and I did the job properly then I’m not going to beat myself up about anything. I was 7th at the World 24 Hour Champs last year, had some bad (bike-related) luck early on but I reckon that because I prepared properly for months I was able to stay focussed and put in one of my best-ever performances. I was miles off the win. I would have liked to have been higher than 7th but that’s life. The main thing is that I didn’t put in a crappy performance and did my best.

One from Chipps: “Don’t you get bored of being fit and healthy all the time?”

I was unfit and unhealthy once. Back in the early 90s. I had a bloody brilliant time….I think…

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