Be brave, be strong by Jill Homer

A cycle journey across the Great Divide

Some books engage you in the first few lines, others take a few pages, and yet others never make the grade. I have a simple rule of thumb: if a book does not engage me within the first 50 pages, I consign it to the heap of the ‘great unread’.

Be brave, be strong by Jill Homer, however, had me intrigued from the first few pages. I had heard about the reputation of the Great Divide Race which, unlike the RAAM (Race across America), is a north to south adventure, following the upper levels of the Rocky Mountains, crossing the continental divide several times en route. This relatively new adventure (it’s only be going for about 15 years) starts at the Canadian border in Montana, and heads down to the Mexican border. The route that Jill Homer tackles has a 270 mile extension, starting in Banff (Alberta), following high altitude tracks for 2,740 miles, and frequently climbing over 10,000 feet.

Of the 42 starters in 2009, only 16 managed to finish, the fastest taking under 18 days, and a couple on a tandem taking only 14 hours longer. Jill Homer was the only solo lady to complete, and she set a female course record of just over 24 days. If you do your maths you will see that she averaged over 100 miles per day on rough mountain tracks, climbing over impossibly long ascents and ploughing through some of the worst weather imaginable.

The story of her derring-do is set against a backdrop of her recovery from frostbite on an earlier adventure across the frozen Alaskan plains, her uncertainties of leaving a secure job behind, and the break-up of her 8 year relationship with Geoff, a fellow-adventurer who had been her life-support system on previous escapades. Alongside her battles with self-doubt, anger, exhaustion, appalling weather and injuries, we see a person pulling through and completing the course, triumphantly arriving at the Mexican border where her parents are waiting for her. This is not a venture that commands the attention of the world, nor even the attention of anyone other than a small band of Great Divide enthusiasts, and there are no prizes other than the self-satisfaction of completing the course………. and being able to tell the story afterwards.

This is a great read for anyone (even non-cyclists) who loves the spirit of adventure. I read the Kindle version, which cost less than £2.

About these ads

About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on August 8, 2012, in Book reviews and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Thanks for the review. That ride is on my to-do list, yet obviously not at their pace… We love reading Jill’s crazy rides

  2. Impressive Alberto. That is one mighty tough ride…….. at any pace. Hope you get to do it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

round cycler

8 years of laziness, ended with the desire to ride again


Jan and Paul's cycling journey

Inner Workings of My Mind

Just another weblog

Fit Recovery

Stay Clean Get Fit

There And Back Again

Notes from a recreational cyclist

As Easy As Riding A Bike

Well it should be, shouldn't it?

Kitesurf Bike rambling

KITESURFING, CYCLING, SUP: ramblings, idiocy and not much more

Bike Around Britain

Blog on cycling around the coast of Britain

David Noble's Blog

Life, Loves and Living


The Weston Front - the destination of a road less travelled...


A ride isn't something we do - it's who we are

The Innocent Bikestander

It can be different

Bike, Banjo & Baby

They go together so well

My Biking Memoirs

Cycling, Life, and Everything In-Between

The Author Who Supports

Connect, Inspire, Dream, Create

Something for Pok

the adventures of Christopher Yardin - by plane, bike, through a lens, or the eyes of a child

The Pedalling Pensioner..

Cycling.... and Non Cycling


Just another site

Heart attack waiting to happen

I ignored the warning signs. A Heart Attack at 42. So what next?

Richard Tulloch's LIFE ON THE ROAD

Travel adventures on wheels and legs


A bicycle odyssey from London to China and Beyond

robert j. mang cycling/travel

cycling, travel, and photography


................."Cherry picking the nicest places in the world to cycle"

Northern Walker

Lightweight backpacking, hillwalking and bicycle touring adventures in Northern England and Scotland

Taking the road less travelled

Taking the road less travelled

nowhere2far - Blog

Taking the road less travelled

Cycling with heels

London on two (w)heels

The Rolling Adventures

Tales about bikes, cycling, riding, adventures, racing, training and being the unprepared adventurers!!

On Leisure

& other worthwhile endeavours


Just another site

Gippsland Granny

Musings from Metung

Serendipities of life

Taking the road less travelled

Grumpy Old Men On Bikes

Taking the road less travelled


Re: Cycling

I Do Not Despair

When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

Tom Allen’s Bike Trip

Adventures and experiments in two-wheeled travel

iniriba's Blog

The occasional rambles of a writer in progress.

All Seasons Cyclist

Real World Product Reviews For Avid Cyclists

"It's all good."

CycleTouring INFormation

A journal of new information received at CTC

Velo Richard

Riding around Cambridgeshire looking for some hills

machacas on wheels

Taking the road less travelled


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,073 other followers

%d bloggers like this: