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1  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2017 Alberta Rockies 700 on: December 27, 2016, 10:22:54 AM
How did you find the route overall for tree cover and camping? Anything of specific you can think of to suggest for a beginner?

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There was plenty of camping options.  I camped at a public campground the first night (just rode in and laid the bivy out on top of a picnic table at a secluded site) maybe 145 miles in.  2nd night I was in Canmore late evening where I grabbed some dinner, stocked up and hiked up the big hill outside of town and camped in a roadside picnic area.  You will be going the opposite direction if riding this year though.  Some rough/slow roads in sections (slower than expected) so make sure that you have a plan for food/water.  Be ready for some tough climbs.
2  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2017 Alberta Rockies 700 on: December 19, 2016, 07:30:02 AM
Last year most of the riders that I met were from Jasper or Calgary (or had friends/family there).  They either dropped a car at the finish or had family or friends pick them up at the finish.  Not being from the area (and with time), I drove to the finish (Coleman - as the 2016 start was in Hinton), dropped my car and biked west to Sparwood, took the Tour Divide route to Banff and then the parkways to Jasper and continued on the main road to Hinton.  6 days of beautiful warm-up riding.  There was at least 1 other rider that biked to the start.  I don't believe that any of the public transportation options were convenient.  Though public transportation to Banff and then biking to Coleman (about 160-170 miles if I remember correctly) via the TD route might be a fun (and faster than biking the whole way) option.
3  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Black Hills Expedition(BHX)2016 on: May 20, 2016, 07:58:05 AM
Awesome!  I can't make it this year (doing TATR in September) but am definitely shooting for next year if things fall into place.  So I hope to see this race continue for quite a while.

And good luck to Greg!  It looks like he is making nice progress.

4  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Tour Divide 2015 - race discussion thread on: June 26, 2015, 07:00:15 AM
If they were asleep they would have no idea. Neil and jp look to be slightly off the trail. Maybe kato doesn't realise he's two miles ahead. First on the road will probably win. However jp has shown in the past he's a classy guy regarding joint winning. I do hope a2750 mile race doesn't come down to a sprint. In 2013 3rd 4th and 5th came to a sprint. Should have all been joint 3rd.

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I definitely hope they race it out.  A 2 or 3 way tie would be extremely disappointing. This is a race and hopefully everyone races it to the end.
5  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: XVtMtBkRte - race discussion! on: June 22, 2015, 08:36:04 AM
Rick Gibbs was correct.  The course was very wet, swampy, overgrown, etc. etc.  Even when dry there will be a lot of tough hike-a-bike sections and there is a challenging bushwhack section.  I bailed at close to the halfway point for several reasons - the closing weather window, bike seat issues (broke a seat rail and the replacement seat was causing saddles sores), fueling issues (made some dumb food mistakes that I was paying for) but mostly because the course is very tough and I didn't have the energy to continue much farther.  I hope to be back with a better plan now that I know the (tougher) southern end of the course. George Lapierre's (CTR veteran) record is going to be tough to break though (even with gears)!  Definitely a worthy route for the toughest bikepackers out there to challenge!

As Groundshine mentioned - that Flatiron section (along Buffalo Brook past Camp Plymouth state park as seen in Spot pic above) is brutal.  Until then my Gore-Tex socks were keeping my feet fairly dry but lots of 1-2 feet crossings of the brook there and rough sections along the shore to navigate.

A route that requires good planning as long stretches without food stops (in the southern sections).  Plenty of water along the trail and a way to treat water is a must.  Unless you're willing to carry a lot.
6  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Tour Divide 2015 - race discussion thread on: June 22, 2015, 08:17:03 AM
What is more impressive??

Will Bodewes at age 17 in 15th place overall??


Robert Orr at age 60 in 16th place overall??
Robert rode in 2013 with a friend who wasn't as fast as he was and then Robert got stopped in Pinedale to deal with a leg (Achilles or knee I think) for 1.5 days.  Then he took off and finished in 23 days.  It looks like he is on pace for an 18 day finish at the moment.  He is definitely amazing!  I'm more impressed though when the younger folks are going so fast as I think it takes a lot of mental toughness and experience to be a good divide rider.  I was better @ 54 than I would have been @ 24.  Both are pretty cool!
7  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: 2015 Ultra Racing Calendar on: January 31, 2015, 07:38:01 AM
You are correct, my good sir.  New York is not considered New England, it's New *York*!  So much for my knowledge of "back east."

But the Adirondacks are pretty darn close!  I live in the Burlington, Vermont area and it is only a few short hours away (just across Lake Champlain).  True for many in New England.  This should be an awesome race.
8  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: The Spirit of the Tour Divide on: November 16, 2014, 07:04:35 AM
I like that the tone of this forum has gotten much better the last couple days with very constructive posts.  I think all the recent posts have been excellent - thought provoking, etc.

I agree with Marshal that making sure that riders understand the rules is probably a great start.  I still think going over the rules in the pre-race meeting might be a good idea.  Following is from one of my earlier posts -

One suggestion I have is for race organizers to make sure that any rules that apply in a given race are communicated clearly.  For the TD - maybe this means a quick e-mail (or text) to all the riders that have put their name down on the Google Doc spreadsheet and/or a quick summary of the rules at the pre-race meeting (run by Crazy Larry and Matt Lee is called in - at least in 2013 the year that I did it).  I believe that some (many?) riders might go into the race without a clear understanding of what the rules are (or what the expected behaviors are).  As they don't spend time in the forums, etc.  So maybe making sure the rules are clear before the start (and how a relegation could occur) would help to minimize the # of these situations.

I know that Matt Lee does get in touch with racers about Trackleaders sign-up, etc. but I don't remember these including any info on rules or expectations (but I may have just forgotten).  I do remember that Matthew encouraged all of us to ride solo in the pre-race meeting...  As a matter of good style.

I also agree with tanman that these posts are getting repetitive.  I'm new to posting in open forums like this and it does get frustrating that there is no moderator, no one facilitating the discussion.  My hope is that Scott (and Matt - if he is lurking) will take everyone's suggestions and maybe have the time to give more thought to the best ideas and maybe come back to the bikepacking community with some conclusions (or a proposal) for feedback.  I work in the IT world where we're taught that the more time you spend up front working (brainstorming, analysis, etc.) on a good system solution the less time you spend fixing problems later.  But only if there is a process for turning the well thought out ideas/solutions into a system. 

I'm also glad that we're discussing "racing style" vs. "rules adherence".  Should accepting someone's unsolicited offer of an elk steak be considered support (and thus a rules violation)?  Or maybe just poor style?  Or maybe just considered good luck?  I still contend that the greatest advantage anyone can get is pairing up or grouping up where there is constant moral support, etc.  Is this even considered bad style?  Should there be rules discussing this?  I think that bmike's suggestion is an interesting one.

I have a couple of questions (sparked by tanman's proposed start of an FAQ list) -

- in TD '13 - another rider and I were having a few beers in a bar in Pinedale and someone picked up the tab for our beers.  It didn't cross my mind at the time but now I'm wondering if some might consider that support.  Should we have refused their generosity?

- in my first race (AML 400 two years ago) - I was running low on water and saw someone working in his yard in rural WV so stopped and asked if I could fill up my water bottles.  Is that against the rules since it wasn't a commercial establishment?

- in the TD I stopped at a house (people were in the driveway and I saw a hose right there) and asked if I could borrow someone's hose to clean out the mud that was seriously clogging things up on my bike - would that be considered to be against the rules?

- also in the TD I flatted right in front of a house.  Someone came out and offered me the use of their air compressor.  I turned down this unsolicited offer but if I had accepted - would this have been against the rules?  I'm pretty sure this one is a "yes" but am curious if anyone would disagree.

I'm seriously curious about these situations.  I understand the concept of self supported but sometimes think that serendipity should be part of the spirit of the TD.
9  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: The Spirit of the Tour Divide on: November 12, 2014, 07:12:40 AM
Taking the suggestions made earlier, perhaps a solution is change it so the "Tour Divide" is for those wishing to ride/race and change the rules slightly so it allows for the 90% adherence and/or issues that don't affect (in the long run) standings/their race (including misunderstandings of the rules) so that those finishers still raced the "Tour Divide".  Then those wishing to strictly adhere to the rules, must expressly opt for it (with a different name - "Tour Divide Race"?? - or different category) in advance of the start. 

It seems like most riders are doing it for the experience (including the group experience) and to ride as hard as possible and have made a huge sacrifice just to line up (tremendous amount of time training, taking a month off of work and away from family, traveling long distance just to get to the start, etc.) and likely don't want to feel or be seen as being "downgraded", even though they may face minor rule bending after being in the saddle for weeks. Thus, the main category of riders will remain the same with a slight modification to the rules to adjust to this reality (but still have relegation for major/blatant cheating (however that is defined) so the "spirit" is essentially unchanged).  However, those wishing to go for the win or want strict rule adherence will have to expressly opt for it (perhaps they should swear an oath to "Do.It.Yourself" Smiley )   Anyway, just a thought on this cold, snowy day!

I personally like this idea (the idea of 2 separate races wasn't doing it for me).  Where most would be in a category where they would still be following the rules but recognize that anything could happen over 2,700+ miles including the bending of rules (and that they would not be relegated for minor rule bending).  Then there would be a category for those with an elevated status which would have to be requested when signing up on Trackleaders.  To get this elevated status the requestor would need to have an appropriate racing resume and would need to agree to abide by the strict definition of the rules.  And would need to agree that they could be removed from this elevated status at the discretion of the race organizers.

Maybe different dot colors for each of the 2 categories and possibly a 3rd color for those who break major rules and are relegated.  Or maybe no need for different colors if this would get too confusing.

If/when results ever get published again - maybe one would need to be in the elevated status to be listed as a top 10 finisher.  But if a person finished in the top 10 but was not in the elevated group, maybe they could be moved to that group post race by stating their case for having run a clean (with high standards) race.

Good luck with that. Every time someone suggests a rule change (to either tighten or loosen the format), everyone freaks out. What defines "major cheating" for one person is another person's idea of "Do what feels good." Which is what really brought us here in the first place, right?

Seems to me that the "Tour Divided" should defined as a race where people ride most the route, from Banff to Antelope Wells, in whatever style suits them. Need to skip a wet section because it's too muddy? Go for it. Need to beg some food from a residence along the way? Go for it. Need to draft another racer because your knee hurts? No problem. Accidentally miss a section of the route? No worries, just get back on track as soon as you can. That seems to be what a lot of people have been arguing for, so why not make it happen?

In other words, make a race without rules. Just a suggested route & start date, and a bunch of like-minded people out doing their own thing together.

I really don't like this portrayal of a possible 2nd race.  This and other similar posts seem to paint a picture of a race for the ethical and a separate race for the non-ethical or outright cheaters.  I believe that most of us see the need for certain rules (if you're looking to be part of the race) but as Scott indicated, the current rules were "designed with highly competitive racers in mind".

I never wanted to be one of those folks (either in these forums or in Facebook groups) that was always posting about their exploits.  What I call a "look at me!" mentality.  But am starting to feel that I need to mention a little more about my TD background to help explain my positions.

I could probably have been the poster child for the "mid pack" racer in 2013.  Finishing 48th (out of 143 starters - 83 finishers - if I'm remembering correctly) in a time of 23 days and 17 hours.  And I was perfectly happy with that.  The most important goal was to finish (due to the fundraising that I was doing) but a secondary goal was to finish in 23 days.  I'm sure that I spent a fraction of the time preparing (on and off the bike) as most others that raced so it was probably the best that I could have hoped for.  It was exactly the experience that I was looking for and I thought all the other racers were incredible people and the camaraderie on the course was great.  As far as I could tell - they were all there for the right reasons and all had outstanding character.  Thus absolutely no complaints...  I wouldn't have changed a thing about the 2013 race.

Thus my opinions against some of the rules and the wording of the Afterword are not self serving.  Some things just seemed wrong to me.  The "competitive time" rule was a big one (how can we arbitrarily tell someone that they are competitive and somewhat that is a day behind them that they are not competitive?).  And I never liked the categorizing of riders into separate groups - like those riding ethically vs. those willing to break rules, those racing vs. those just riding the course, etc.  It seems that it is a spectrum of riders and that we can't look at things in such a black and white manner.  Relegating someone after they've made such a huge commitment to do the race can not be done lightly.  Especially if the relegation is made based on rules that some/many might consider to be outdated or too stringent for most racers.

So again - I like the idea that mtnbound has proposed above.  But maybe it is about time for this discussion to end (I know that I've gotten tired of it)  and maybe Matthew Lee and Scott Morris should review all this feedback and decide what (if any) changes should be made.

One last opinion - I don't see a need for age groups.  I'm in the over 50 crowd and feel that I've been competitive with younger racers.  At least in the shorter races and I hope to return to the TD and be more competitive in that race soon.  Look at what Blake Bochus has done out west...

And kudos to the job that Chris has done with the Cordillera.  I was an outspoken opponent to the Afterword but after reading all the posts and e-mails related to the topic I now better understand why he thought it was important to include it.  And think that something good might come out of this.

I would have liked to have seen more from the 24 that endorsed the Afterword (why did they endorse and what do they see as possible solutions?).  I know that Toby and Justin offered their opinions but I didn't notice that opinions were coming from any of the other endorsers (though hard to tell based on the handles used by forum posters).
10  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: The Spirit of the Tour Divide on: November 09, 2014, 08:08:04 AM
I've been a little hesitant to post again - after seeing the posts that seemingly ridiculed TD riders, the somewhat personal attacks (though nothing too bad), etc.  I really think that we should all try to state our opinions while being as positive and as respectful as possible.  But here goes (so please be kind!)...

One suggestion I have is for race organizers to make sure that any rules that apply in a given race are communicated clearly.  For the TD - maybe this means a quick e-mail (or text) to all the riders that have put their name down on the Google Doc spreadsheet and/or a quick summary of the rules at the pre-race meeting (run by Crazy Larry and Matt Lee is called in - at least in 2013 the year that I did it).  I believe that some (many?) riders might go into the race without a clear understanding of what the rules are (or what the expected behaviors are).  As they don't spend time in the forums, etc.  So maybe making sure the rules are clear before the start (and how a relegation could occur) would help to minimize the # of these situations.

I also hope that it will be possible to include results in "the Cordillera" in the future.  I would have been disappointed if they were not included in V5 as they help me remember all the great people that I met before and during the race.

I did see (or hear of) some rule bending in the 2013 TD which included the following -

- some sharing of food and bike tools
- some blatant drafting
- a person staying with his wife in a hotel in Silver City before finishing the ride the next day
- a course deviation (the same one that Chris mentions above before the Togwotee Mountain Lodge)

The drafting bothered me the most and me and another rider tried to let the 2 know (they were European) that what they were doing wasn't being looked upon kindly.  They either didn't understand us or ignored us.  However I later found out that the rider following in the slipstream of the 1st rider was having serious knee issues and soon needed to drop out.  The 1st rider (trying to help the 2nd rider survive) wound up finishing in a great time which likely would have been an even better time if he had just abandoned his friend.

I had a beer at the Togwotee Lodge with a person that missed that dirt road section of the course prior to the Lodge (I had missed the turn initially myself and had to backtrack to it) and later we backtracked together to spend the night at the nearby NFS campground.  In the Lodge another rider gently called him out on taking the alternate route but I don't believe that he ever did go back to correct his mistake.  Did this bother me?  No (though I would have gone back and ridden that section in the morning).  Do I think he should have been relegated?  No - and I would have been disappointed if he had as I think he gained very little advantage and I think it was an honest mistake (he missed the turn, later realized it but didn't understand the rules well enough to know that it expected that he go back and ride it).  

The case in Chris's post (from the book) sounds different though.  If someone is purposely deviating from the course to bypass a muddy section then that sounds like that could be considered grounds for a relegation.  But would it be worth it?

Did the person staying with his wife bother me?  Not at all.  In some ways it would have seemed silly not to and he gained no time advantage from doing that.  He most likely lost several hours of time...

So here are some of my opinions -

- the less rules the better and a reasonability test should be applied to every situation being questioned - Did the person really gain an advantage?  Before questioning an infraction - is it really worth complaining about?

- I think results should be included in the book.  I would suggest maybe even more info.  Maybe age and country or state/province.  It is great seeing info on who the racers are - especially if you were in the race that year.  Probably also good for readers that didn't do the race to better understand the race and the international appeal.

- the Afterword in "the Cordillera" should be as uplifting as possible.  I love the V5 Afterword.  I thought the V6 version could have been better

- riding the TD is a pretty self indulgent act - maybe a $50 entry fee should be charged with all the money being donated to a worthy cause

- I love the fact that proceeds from the sale of "the Cordillera" go to David Blumenthal's daughter education fund.  I didn't know him well but David lived only 25 miles away from me in Vermont and I attended one of his map and compass courses a few years ago (left the class thoroughly impressed with him).  He was known mostly for his great work with the Green Mountain Club (hiking club that maintains hundreds of miles of trails including the 270 mile long trail) and is greatly missed here.  His wife and daughter also sound like amazing people from all that I've read...  So I hope that the book continues for years to come.

- True ITT's are much more difficult than participating in a Grand Depart.  The biggest advantage that anyone can get (greater than the minor bending of rules) is to pair up or group up for long stretches.  Solo efforts should be encouraged during Grand Departs.  This one is a little subjective as I loved riding and chatting with others at various times.  I just don't think people should group up for days/weeks on end during the TD.

- I think bikepacking (including ultra races) is one of the greatest things that has ever come along. I love the combination of adventure and competition.  The 5 races that I've done have all been amazing adventures and I hope to get to do TNGA, TNCA, CTR, AZTR 750 along with other races some day.  Much gratitude to Scott Morris, Matthew Lee, Joe Polk and race organizers like Chris Tompkins and Karlos Rodriguez Bernart for making these races possible!  I hope that things continue to grow in a positive manner.

Just my humble opinions...
11  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: The Spirit of the Tour Divide on: November 06, 2014, 08:46:42 AM
I'm just catching on the posts from the last 24 hours and thought I should clarify a few things about my earlier posts and my opinions.

First - it should be noted that when I responding to Chris (the e-mail that I included in my first post yesterday) it was after reading a draft of the afterword that included the following wording - "With that in mind, it is proposed future editions of the Cordillera will include the list of everyone who includes their name in the Google Docs spreadsheet—unless riders request not to be included. If riders are found to have deviated from the rules, or finish outside of the 25/29.5 day period, their finish time will still be recorded but with the term ‘Relegated’. That will both recognize that they succeeded in riding the Tour Divide, but also recognize those who were able to achieve the impossible within the rules."

So there has been discussion about relegating folks that don't finish within the "competitive time" constraints.  And I believe (if I'm remembering correctly) that there was discussion of actually moving folks to a 2nd tracker if they were following behind a "competitive" pace.  Or changing the color of dots.  I believe these discussions were in the 2013 TD forum but I didn't go looking for them to re-read (so hopefully my memories are not too far off).  I just remember at the time feeling dismayed by the suggestions being made and remember there being some strongly worded posts.   So it is nice to hear that there are no plans for such things...

To Chris's credit - he did listen to the feedback and did modify this wording (removing the idea of relegation for those not posting competitive times).  However - I was under the belief that Chris was going to scrap the Afterword which I thought was the prudent thing to do.  I was very surprised when I saw it published and noticed that it still contained discussion of the "competitive time" rule, discussion of 2 distinct groups of riders, etc.  I really don't think those topics have anything to do with the "Spirit of the Tour Divide".

I think these discussions are healthy but I too wish that Matthew (or some appropriate person or group) could handle updates to them as deemed appropriate.  I, for example, would like to propose that the "competitive time" rule be stricken from the web site and never be discussed again.

I don't see a big problem with having a cut-off time though (despite what I said in my original post about all riders being equal, about it should be okay to finish in 35 days, etc. - if it is felt that it will help limit the field to those wanting to race).  For most events it makes sense for practical purposes - you can't have timers waiting at the finish line for an unreasonable amount of time, you can't close roads for days on end, etc.  If I remember correctly, Ironmen triathlons have a 17 hour cut-off and the Boston Marathon has a 5 hour cut-off (both more than twice as long as the expected winning time).  Tour Divide doesn't have the same practical constraints - as I assume that the tracker can be kept up indefinitely - but having a reasonable cut-off time might help keep those not racing from the start line.  Maybe a 30 day cut-off would be reasonable?  Though I would hate to be the one to bring up a proposed cut-off time to the masses as I'm sure there would be some disagreement...
12  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: The Spirit of the Tour Divide on: November 05, 2014, 08:57:06 AM
Toby - saying that a "competitive time" is 25/29.5 days (or 1.55 X the winning time) seems pretty arbitrary to me.  Nothing like that is done in the Boston Marathon, Ironman triathlons, etc.  As was pointed out in one e-mail that I read - using the 1.55 rule, even Chris Bennett's time would have been relegated in 2013.

I'm not saying that everyone is equal - just that everyone deserves equal respect (at least with how they are represented in Trackleaders, in finish results, etc.) as long as they have ridden the entire course and not blatantly broken any rules such as drafting much of the way.

Speaking of rules - it's funny to me that we're not allowed to even share a piece of candy with another rider yet it is okay to pair up (or group up).  To me this is the biggest advantage any rider can get - getting the psychological advantage of riding with others for days or even weeks on end.  Knowing that if you crash, your GPS craps out, your bike falls apart (or whatever) you're not alone.  Not to mention the advantage of the camaraderie that helps the hours go by and keeps you from missing home.  Partly why I consider true ITT's to be much more difficult than Grand Departs.  I have more respect for someone that borrowed a bike pump or asked for directions (but rode solo most of the way) than those who rode in pairs or groups much/most of the way.  

There will always be differences of opinion on what the rules should be.  And I respect that.  I just felt strongly that the afterword should have not been included as written.  I met many Tour Divide riders who I have tremendous respect for who never post in (or on Facebook) and I've often wondered what their opinion would be on topics such as this.

13  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: The Spirit of the Tour Divide on: November 05, 2014, 08:00:33 AM
When Chris sent an e-mail soliciting additional names to attach to the forward I responded like so -

Hi Chris…  I’m struggling with this a little bit. 

As others have mentioned – I have the utmost respect for your efforts to put out the Cordillera (along with respect for your dedication to bikepacking, your riding ability, etc.) and empathy for the position that you’ve been put in this year.   And I agree that an afterword is a great idea to help remind everyone of what the “spirit” of the Tour Divide was meant to be.

However - I’m not sure I feel comfortable putting my name to the afterword based (mainly) on my opinion that the rule for “competitive time” should be stricken (I hated the forum discussions on this in 2013).  And I completely disagree with putting ‘Relegated’ next to someone’s name that fell outside this time as this could happen for any number of reasons (age, medical condition, mechanical problems during the race, health issues during the race, weather issues, etc.).

And I don’t think that we can neatly put all riders into 2 distinct groups.   I think it should more likely be described as a spectrum and everyone in that spectrum deserves equal respect.  Though I agree that the “spirit” of the Tour Divide is that it is a race and the website (and other Tour Divide literature) should be “encouraging” those wanting to race to show up.  However - if someone shows up that is only capable of doing the ride in say 35+ days that should be okay.  He/she should not be considered to be any different in TrackLeaders, in any listing of results, etc.  In my opinion..

I was drawn to this “sport” by the unique combination of adventure and competition and also the simplicity of it.  Just show up at the start line and get yourself to the finish line under your own power without support.  I do see the need for some rules but have always felt they should be as simple as possible (ride/walk every inch of the route, no support, no drafting, etc.).  Though I know that I’m likely being a bit naïve…

And I saw e-mails from at least 5 others who also didn't want their names included in the afterword.  Several voiced very strong opinions against the afterword.

In my opinion the afterword should have never have been published as written (and I'm totally disappointed that it was).  There should not be a self appointed few interpreting arbitrary rules on "competitive times" and relegation and putting racers/riders into categories.  That is not what the "Spirit of the Tour Divide" is about.  In my opinion... 
14  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Trans North California on: October 17, 2014, 08:28:38 AM
Dan and Doug put together a great route! I highly recommend riding the Trans North Califoria as a race or a tour. I hope to have another opportunity to ride the route again. There's plenty of info on the Facebook page as well.

Blake - thanks for the info.  It sounds like a good route and it looked like you were real strong (again)!  Nice job...  I'll check out the FB page for sure.
15  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Trans North California on: October 13, 2014, 09:07:50 AM
Not sure what happened.  It looks like Blake wasn't able to complete the course and needed to take roads to the finish (bike problem?).  Also no points for Kurt for 11 hours before his dot showed up at the finish (maybe Spot issues?).  Did either of these guys finish the course?
16  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Black Hills expedition on: September 03, 2014, 02:51:43 PM
Thanks Jason...  I'm giving it serious consideration.  It looks like a great route.
17  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: Black Hills expedition on: September 03, 2014, 09:36:37 AM
Hi there...  I just realized that I could make this work.  Is there a start list?  And if so - many names on it?  This sounds like it could be a fun adventure.
18  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: AML 400 | Allegheny Mtns. Loop on: August 25, 2014, 08:40:37 AM
Just listened to Payton's call ins.  Nice job Payton on what is indeed a tough route!

Payton mentioned the store in Mountain Grove in his last call.  Just an FYI that it had a "for sale" on it last year also but I did catch it open (around 4Pm on a Saturday).  I think the lady behind the counter said it was closing at 5:00.  So it might just still be open this year if timed right.
19  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: AZT and CTR 2015 projected start dates on: August 08, 2014, 11:01:32 AM
Will CTR start in Durango in 2015?  As it did in 2013?  Not sure if this was a 1 time thing or if start will now alternate years (Durango in odd # years, Denver in even # years).  Thanks!
20  Forums / Ultra Racing / Re: TOUR DIVIDE 2014 on: January 16, 2014, 12:03:12 PM
Any advice about riding from Calgary airport up to Banff?? I'm arriving late Tuesday night and am trying to figure out a decent bike route out of the city and maybe someplace to camp as well. Any advice greatly appreciated.

I arrived in Calgary late Monday night last year.  Slept in the airport and then rode to Banff on Tuesday.  I just grabbed a local map from the airport and figured out a quick route west to jump on the main route to Banff.  Stappy (Craig Stapleton) can likely give you better directions out of the city (maybe on bike paths).  Just prior to hitting the Banff NP entry booth - cross over the highway to the south side and grab the bike path all the way into Banff.

I know that a couple of guys bivvied in a baseball dugout at an athletic field in Cochrane.  They arrived in Calgary late in the afternoon and then biked a couple of hours to Cochrane and rode the rest of the way to Banff the following day.
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