For Paul Howard, who has ridden the entire Tour de France route during the race itself—setting off at 4 am each day to avoid being caught by the pros—riding a small mountain-bike race should hold no fear. Still, this isn’t just any mountain-bike race. This is the Tour Divide.
Running from Banff in Canada to the Mexican border, the Tour Divide is more than 2,700 miles—500 miles longer than the Tour de France. Its route along the Continental Divide goes through the heart of the Rocky Mountains and involves more than 200,000 feet of ascent—the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest seven times.
The other problem is that Howard has never owned a mountain bike—and how will training on the South Downs in southern England prepare him for sleeping rough in the Rockies? What’s more, the efficient backup team that helped Howard in the Tour—his dad—will be absent. Undaunted, Howard swaps the smooth tarmac roads of France for the mud, snow, and ice of the Tour Divide, fending off grizzly bears, mountain lions, and moose. Buzzing roadside fans are replaced by buzzing mosquitoes. Worse is the unshakeable fear that he might have to earn his wild west stripes by drinking whiskey with a cowboy.
Entertaining and engaging, Eat, Sleep, Ride will appeal to avid and aspiring cyclers, as well as fans of adventure/travel narrative with a humorous twist.