So I'm just spit-balling here but I've been turning over the idea of "mental assistance" while racing the GDMBR and I thought I'd throw it out to the blogosphere for comment. I keep going back to the line in Rule #2 (http://tourdivide.org/the_rules) that states "the intent is to ride unsupported between towns and function self-supported when in towns." I will likely be taking my iPhone as it is unsurpassed for functionality versus weight though battery life is a challenge. Of course, smartphones provide ample mental distraction in the form of entertainment, race information, and a lifeline to friends and family. In the context of the race, this is bad. I think I've settled on the following guidelines for my attempt next year.
1. No phone calls (except emergencies) while on the trail assuming there is coverage.
2. No web browsing on the phone AT ALL.
3. While on the trail under non-emergency conditions, the phone may only be used for a GPS, camera, and notepad (text or voice).
4. Phone calls may be placed from the iPhone while in town. Any discussion of the race should be limited to the details of my effort and experiences.
5. No blue-dot watching AT ALL including the bikepacking.net forums (or similar).
6. Entertainment (music, movie, book, or audiobook, etc.) is permissible while in town or bivy.
7. I am still undecided about weather apps.
My goal here is to minimize the influence of external factors on my decision-making and overall effort. There is no doubt that hearing the voices of my wife and daughter will raise my spirits and knowing how much they will have sacrificed to allow me this chance will undoubtedly push me on so that has to be limited somehow. The rest of the motivation needs to come from my head and its reaction to my immediate situation. I am definitely leaning more monk than rockstar which fits my personality as I'm fairly introverted. In conclusion, I want to make clear that I'm trying to decide what will work for me and no one else. I certainly wouldn't want anyone telling me how to race if I already thought I was following the rules.