Here is one more interview. This time, DC hits up Mark Farnsworth Tour Divide Interview. Mark is a man of cycling. He builds custom steel bicycles out of Raleigh, NC with the creative name of Farnsworth Engineering. A friend of mine told me about Mark and his fine bikes a few months back, turns out he is a big fan of DC, and agreed to answer some questions before leaving Banff. Enjoy!
DC: First and foremost, why would you want to do such a brutal ride?
Mark: I think riding on muddy roads for lots of days is fun so I don’t think it is “brutal”. It all depends on my mood. I control my mood and try to have a good time in all conditions.
DC: Are you worried about saddle sores, or any other riding related injuries? Are you taking any special precautions?
Mark: I have lots of butt butter to keep things moving smoothly on the saddle plus since I single speed my butt gets a rest when I go up steep hills.
DC: You are an engineer and a frame builder, how has that background affected your preperation (methodic, weighing components/gear/spare parts, etc?)
Mark: I think about all aspects. In truth I may overthink stuff… Building my own stuff makes keeps things interesting because it lets me control more aspects of the ride.
DC: Tell us about the bike you built up for TDR. Did you make any major alteration compared to other bikes you have built?
Mark: Nothing major on this bike. I focused on good clean welding plus real conservative design. No big risks or experiments on the bike. It has Paragon single speed sliders. The only real devide specific change vs. my normal bike was adding a third water bottle mount under the down tube. The component package is good strong stuff that is not super light but should perform well in all conditions.
DC: Are you bringing music? If not what are your plans for the long hours of being alone in the woods.
Mark: No music. I just let thoughts go round and round in my head on long rides. I actually like having the time to just think.
DC: How have you altered your diet to get your body ready for all of the gas station food you are going to encounter along the route?
Mark: I drink about 1/3 cup olive oil every night and tend to eat mostly oatmeal, rasions, and other grocery store foods that pack light. My plan is to ride big chunks and stop less often even if it means carrying more food.
My favorate bikepacking meal starts with a water bottle full of dry quick oats and rasions. To prepare simply add enough gatoraid to fully wet the oats plus 1/3 cup olive oil. Throw the bottle in your back pocket for 30 minutes then use a spoon to eat the stuff. No need to cook.
DC: How do you feel your chances are for completing the ride and what are your goals?
Mark: I think I will do okay. My main goal is to finish and “grow” mentally. I want to have fun along the way.
DC: Any last thoughts or thank you’s?
Mark: Thanks for the interview. Druck Cyclist is one of my favorate sites.