Whilst not much mountain biking has not been achieved in the last month I have spent some time researching my fears..
Wild animals in the UK conjour up images of foxes... badgers... deer... animals that are way more scared of me than I am of them. Catch a glimpse of one of those and it will be them that run away not me.
Therefore one of the more scary aspects of the Tour Divide is an unexpected wildlife encounter. On this ride it is me that is scared of the animals and not the other way round.
And so began the research into the native predators along the route and the likelihood of 'bumping' into one of these magnificent creatures... hopefully figuratively and not literally.
My reading pre signing up to the dotted line started with books and blogs documenting racer's stories... many of which had at least one mention of an encounter. This info has been backed up by comments on a thread on the Tour Divide group on facebook where nearly everyone who commented had a story to tell about a sighting or encounter with a bear or a mountain lion. Chances are then that I too will see some of the native wildlife... hopefully at a safe distance and not charging at me... mock or otherwise 😁
Recently I have delved deeper. Initially mostly at bears because I assumed that was more likely. With websites dedicated to 'bear awareness' full of info on how to avoid an encounter in the first place. Turns out bears like food smells... therefore advice on hanging all smelly items (presumably not including myself after several weeks on the road) from a tree... keeping food away from camp... bear proof cannisters.... the triangle rule, where camp and food and bike are kept away from each other in a triangular shape.