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Tour Divide - Serge Chiasson is Off!
Serge cutting his cake surrounded by his young cohort of fans!
On June 2, 2012 a group of avid riders and friends gathered in support of Serge Chiasson just six days prior to the epic Tour Divide - "an ultra-cycling challenge to pedal solo and self-supported the length of Great Divide Mountain Bike Route...as fast as possible!"
This 2,745 miles route is the world's longest off-pavement cycling route, which took four years to map out. It travels through the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, and the United States of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico with competitors climbing nearly 200,000 feet! (That is the equivalent to summiting Mount Everest from sea-level 7 times - seriously.)
Last year the Tour Divide took Fernie by storm as two Fernie riders challenged the route - Paul Attalla and Frank Gimard. Unfortunately Frank Gimard had to cut his race short, while Paul Attalla came first among the North Bound riders, and third overall - in a tight race to the end with many of us watching little blue "spot" dots on computer screens religiously.
When the Fernie riding community learned of Serge's goal, the support quickly followed. Paul Attalla held a potluck style dinner at his home welcoming anyone interested in attending to send Serge off on a positive note and also raise some additional funds to help soften his ride.
"During dark times it will be a great help for him to know Fernie is behind him. Also, money to stay at hotels can be expense - I once paid $160 for a four hour sleep ...ouch but it was well worth it," said Paul.
Serge's journey began at 9am this morning. And he was all smiles four hours in, and as you'll hear he's finding it a lot less painful than his downhill racing days... so far!