*I won a free copy of this e-book in a LibraryThing Member Giveaway*
This is an inspiring story-though probably would have deeper meanings to cyclist.
Jill Homer made a wonderful job, story-telling and describing her journey beautifully.
The writing is well-written and expertly crafted, the words are soothing , encouraging and inspiring.
book had an ambience of seriousness,...but with alot of quotes(I really
loved those) and surely a great adventure story in its own way. Full of
philosophical and psychological views, this story narrates the beauty
of man's emotions, endurance and perseverance!
Jill Homer, a
newspaper editor from Juneau, Alaska, has an outlandish ambition: Racing
a mountain bike 2,740 miles from Canada to Mexico along the Continental
Divide. Her preparation plans are equally ambitious: A 350-mile winter
bicycle race on Alaska’s frozen Iditarod Trail, followed by two months
of focused training during a summer sojourn with her boyfriend in the
But in the tradition of best-laid plans, Jill’s
dream begins to unravel the minute she sets it in motion. During the
Iditarod Trail Invitational, Jill breaks through lake ice and suffers
serious frostbite on her foot. While she’s laid up on crutches and
unable to train, Jill’s employer coerces her into taking a job that may
prevent her from even starting the 2009 Tour Divide. Then, just two days
before their departure date, Jill’s boyfriend ends their
eight-year-relationship. This final dismantling of expectations causes
Jill to question everything she thought she knew about life, love and
her own identity.
Faced with a summer full of plans they’re both
reluctant to change, Jill and her now-ex-boyfriend embark on a road trip
from Juneau to San Francisco in an effort to salvage a long-term
friendship. She vows to repair her crumbling relationship with her ex,
but a chance discovery and a jarring bicycle crash reveal the truth —
that their past, and her heart, have been irrevocably broken.
returns alone to her family home in Salt Lake City, Utah, with a vague
plan to pick up the pieces and continue pursuing the Tour Divide.
Despite a lack of motivation and overarching desire to do something more
conducive to “getting on with her life,” Jill embarks on a series of
training rides to prepare her for the rigors of a self-supported
endurance race. She spends long nights huddled in a thin sleeping bag
beneath a wash of stars, trying to reconcile her heartbreak and
Just days before the start of the Tour Divide, Jill
travels to Banff, Alberta, where she meets kindred spirits who help
spark greater perspective and new enthusiasm for a solo journey. On June
12, 2009, she joins 42 other racers at the start of the Great Divide
Mountain Bike Route. Jill finds herself almost instantly in over her
head, facing a sudden deluge of loose gravel, rocky terrain, hard
fatigue, violent thunderstorms, difficult route-finding, stream
crossings, bear encounters, and seemingly insurmountable obstacles — and
she hasn’t even pedaled out of Canada yet.
On the third day,
Jill meets a veteran Divide racer named John. They agree to ride
together for the day, which stretches into several days as John settles
into Jill’s pace and Jill enjoys the company of a methodical,
results-driven athlete who loves cycling but seems so much unlike her in
nearly every other way. They part ways in western Wyoming, and suddenly
Jill finds herself facing nearly 2,000 miles of Rocky Mountains
backwoods, completely alone.
The difficulties compound quickly.
Mud and weather slow her progress, knee pains become chronic, food
planning errors leave her low on calories, and a rear hub failure nearly
strands her in the harsh desert of the Great Divide Basin more than 100
miles from the next town. Brake failure leads to a bad crash in
northern Colorado. Amid the mounting demands of her savage new way of
life, Jill’s sense of civility wears away and her emotions become those
of a child, raw and affecting.
But Jill’s adventure also swings
toward the sublime, from the unconditional kindness of strangers to a
deliriously beautiful descent from the sweeping mountains above Salida,
Colorado. Jill allows herself to believe the worst is behind her,
unaware that the most jarring discovery still awaits her beyond the
storm-ravaged peaks of the southern San Juan Mountains.
the story of an adventure driven relentlessly forward as foundations
crumble, proving that to succeed in "the world's toughest mountain bike
race," one doesn't have to be the world's toughest woman. Not even