The Tour Divide I Price Point Rider Markley Anderson Finishes 11th

Markley Anderson

The Link recently caught up with Price Point rider Markley Anderson after his 11th place finish at the Tour Divide. The grueling 2,745 mile, fixed-course, off-pavement cycling race, stretched from Banff, Alberta, Canada, to Antelope Wells, New Mexico.

Anderson, who was projected to finish the race in about 20 days, beat expectations, finishing the race in 18 days with an overall average of 155 miles per day on his Price Point sponsored Sette Razzo bike. He held on to a top ten position for the first several days despite a pulled quad.

“I was so exhausted. I kept three of the racers off for awhile, but I just couldn’t climb with the left leg alone,” said Anderson. ”I went through a lot while I was out there. I just rode and rode until I couldn’t ride anymore.”

Markley Anderson

During the 18 day ride he faced a number of difficulties and hardships. He was unsupported during the race and did what he could to manage the weather and exhaustion. “I ate everything I could find.  I slept in ditches and open fields. It’s a commitment to be out there. You just go until you can’t,” said Anderson.

Markley Anderson

“I got caught in a lightning storm and had to hide out and sleep in an outhouse in New Mexico. When you are at six to seven thousand feet of elevation there is no cover. You just go where you have to go and do what you have to do.”

Anderson is currently taking a break from extreme ultra racing, but he is scheduled to ride in the “Fight for Freedom” race on July 27, 2013 in Williamsburg, VA and in a 24-hour race at Great Glen, New Hampshire in the beginning of August.

MARKLEY ANDERSON | Tour Divide Training Update

Markley stops for some facetime during a training ride in Shenandoah National Park.

Anderson stops for some facetime during a training ride in Shenandoah National Park.

March 29, 2013
“Did 100 miles and over 10,000 feet of climbing today in a cold Shenandoah National Park. Feeling good and the training is going well. This pic is me after I finished. You can see I’m still fresh. Could have done more easily which is a good sign that I’m on target.” 
-Cheers, 
     Markley

Mad man Markley Anderson continues training for his second Tour Divide. In gearing up the massive multi-day 2,700-mile race, Anderson is logging hundreds of miles per week both dirt and road, and consuming thousands of calories. It’s all part of his idea of fun.

Anderson gets some time on the dirt in before work on a crisp Virginia morning.

Anderson gets some time on the dirt in before work on a crisp Virginia morning.

April 1, 2013
“Here’s a little action shot of me getting it done this morning. I had a great training weekend. I got back to back 100-milers with 20,000 feet of climbing in and felt great. Out this afternoon with a buddy for a three-hour gravel roader.”
     -Markley

Markley’s next “warm-up” race will be 24 Hours on the Ridge on April 20 in Danville, VA.

by Don Stefanovich 

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INSATIABLE INSANITY | Markley Anderson gears up for his second Tour Divide

Markley Anderson in Austria during the 2012 TransAlp. Photo by Sportif.

Markley Anderson in Austria during the 2012 TransAlp. Photo by Sportif.

It takes a hard man to ride a mountain bike 2,700 miles along the Continental Divide from Canada to Mexico, gaining over 200,000 feet of elevation in the process. It takes an even harder man to ride it with his wheels rarely touching a paved stretch of road. It takes a really hard man to do it entirely self-self supported, carrying everything he needs.

It takes a mad man to want to do it again—the kind of mad man who would say something like, “Cross-country racing is fun, but too short for my liking.”

Price Point team rider Markley Anderson is no stranger to challenges, physical or mental. Formerly a paratrooper in the infamous 82nd Airborne Division of the United States Army, Anderson has competed in powerlifting, bodybuilding and endurance and adventure races such as the TransAlp and the BC Bike Race. But when he arrived at the Mexican border in the dark, shaking beneath a crusted layer of salt and dirt 24 days after leaving the surreal postcard-like setting of Banff, Alberta, Canada, he swore he would never do it again. Now Anderson is quickly learning the meaning of the old adage never say never.

Markley Anderson descends in Austria during the 2012 TransAlp. Photo by Sportif.

Markley Anderson descends in Austria during the 2012 TransAlp. Photo by Sportif.

“It has a magnetism like no other event I have ever had the sweet and painful pleasure of getting to know,” Markley writes in his 2013 Letter of Intent. “Funny how one can be attracted to something that beats you down to what I can only describe as a crushed saltine cracker in a bowl of chicken noodle soup.”

Much like the men and women who attempt it, The Tour Divide is an entirely different kind of animal. There is no entry fee, you don’t need a license and there is absolutely zero support—save for emergency extraction, should you need it—along the way. Not a single prize is awarded. And although there is a mass start known as the Grand Départ in June, the race can be completed by anyone any time during the year.

Anderson displays his bike and gear as he begins preparing for the 2013 Tour Divide.

Anderson displays his bike and gear as he begins preparing for the 2013 Tour Divide.

Mild-mannered high-school counselor by day, masochistic mile-muncher by night, Anderson has already begun training and preparing for 2013.

“After having some time to reflect and heal from the wounds that the Tour Divide inflicts, I find myself wanting to venture back and improve my overall time— some kind of crazy romantic quality about the Tour,” Anderson muses. “In 2013, I plan to race the Tour Divide again with the focus being more on speed. Now that I have the experience from having done it, I will be better prepared in regards to equipment, training and mental resolve.“

Anderson will be attempting to best his own 24-day time set in 2011.

Follow this blog to see if he succeeds.

Read more about Anderson’s bike and gear here.

Anderson learns during the 2011 Tour Divide that even when you can't ride, you have no choice but to keep going. Photo courtesy Markely Anderson.

Anderson learns during the 2011 Tour Divide that even when you can’t ride, you have no choice but to keep going. Photo courtesy Markely Anderson.

 by Don Stefanovich 

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