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Adventure Racing August 13, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, ar guide, extreme sports.
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I just read a new article on Adventure Racing and thought I would pass it along.

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Brush up on Your Navigation July 10, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, orienteering.
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There is a new product available to help you brush up on your navigation skills when you can’t get outside to do it for real.

It is billed as a “Table Top Adventure Race and Navigation Challenge”  and is available from ARNavSupplies.com

Check it out!

Race Report: Desert Rage Camp Verde Adventure Race March 30, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Events, extreme sports.
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Jonea and I competed as Team GO-AR on  Saturday in the DR Camp Verde Adventure Race put on by Sierra Adventure Sports.  Though we are old enough to be master’s, there weren’t enough to make the division, so we raced in the Co-ed 2-person division.

The race started off in the Verde River with a 10 mile paddle.  The flow rate was well below average, and we were told to expect to have to portage a few times.  We got off to a good start and were in a group of about seven vessels that put a little separation on the pack early on.  When we hit the first rapid at tree-island we felt what it meant to have this low a flow as we literally bounced down it on the rocks.  Dave, Windy and Brigid of Team Big Fish Creative were right with us, then suddenly they weren’t…..we found out later that Dave’s kayak had taken on too much water and they had stopped for him to dump it out.  The YogaSlackers and a solo jumped out to a lead over the rest of us, leaving a canoe with a 2-Male team, a tandem kayak with a 2-Male team, and us in our tandem kayak.  The canoe slowly pulled away from us, and for a long way, it was just us and Team Equipe Tortue, neck and neck.

We were actually side by side as we approached a section of rapids that was probably plenty wide for both of us, but we decided to let them go ahead as a courtesy, just as they had done for us on one prior.  Well, on this particular rapid, they hit a couple of big rocks and it threw them sideways and stopped them in their tracks (wakes?).  As we maneuvered around them, we asked if they were okay and upon finding out things were fine, continued on our way.  A while later I thought I heard them catching up with us again, but it turned out to be Team Those Guys instead.  They made a pass on us when we over-steered on a bend, and they pulled up to the bank at the takeout spot about 5 seconds ahead of us.  We carried our kayak the 200 meters up the bank and to the TA faster than they did however, and were 4th place overall after the paddle leg.  We were very happy to be in that good a spot at that point in the race.

We took a while to transition to the bike leg, and at least 2 teams that came in after us left before us, including Big Fish and Equipe Tortue.  I plotted the 2 CP’s that weren’t already on our map, and off we went.  We had a very small downhill, then a 3.5 mile 1000′ climb to the CP2.  Jonea hadn’t been on her bike much at all lately, so we agreed that I would tow her when I could.  At the beginning of the hill, I hooked the tow rope up and downshifted………

After about 500′ of climbing, I heard someone coming up behind us and moved over just as Team FLG went by us with Scott towing Amber.  Shortly after that we met the solo racer returning from the out-and-back, then 2 minutes after him was Big Fish.  We kept climbing and met YogaSlackers, and a 2-Male team, then FLG, and then just before we got to the CP, we crossed paths with Equipe Tortue again.  On the way down, we saw many teams climbing, and as we passed the location where we had met Big Fish, I noticed we were 23 minutes behind them.  When we hit the main forest road again, we bombed the long straightaway, and then hooked up the tow again on the climb toward CP3.  Just before we got to the cattle guard, I was pointing out to Jonea the trail we would be taking later on when a team rode out off of it, and I said, “Are you guys short course?”  They said no they weren’t, and then they started to follow us….I said, “If you are long course, then you want to go that way to CP2!”  They asked if I was sure and I hollered back that I was and good luck.

We arrived at CP3 which was a bike drop and a trek to 4 and 5.  I had forgotten to put my shoes in my backpack, and was forced to do the trek in my mtb shoes. Good thing they are soft soled!  On the way in, we again crossed paths with Big Fish (time check). We made quick work of scaling along the rock wall above Chasm Creek to get to CP4, then made the steep climb up to CP5.  We passed Equipe Tortue at 5, and then headed back out the canyon. When we passed my time check point, we were now 25 minutes behind Big Fish. We went on out to CP3 to pick up our bikes and continue to the other point we had to plot, CP6.

On the out-and-back to CP6, we crossed paths with the 2-Male team again, and then as we were pushing our bikes up the very steep and loose rocked hill, Team FLG came down it, and I could smell hot brakes as they went by us.  We picked up 6, and headed back.  On the way down one of the hills, I crossed paths with a big green pickup, and then as Jonea came by it, a huge dog stuck its head out the back seat window and snapped a her, almost getting her on the arm, and scaring he be-geesus out of her!!  We turned off the forest road onto the trail (barely) by the cattle guard, and headed down the last 2.5 miles toward the TA.  About halfway down, another 2-Male team passed us, and I had lost track of where we stood in the rankings at that point.

We changed shoes, fueled ourselves and picked up the map and directions for the orienteering leg.  It was a map showing Point A, and then had bearing and distance measurements (based on true north) to the next point, and so on, to all the subsequent points.  Had I been thinking, and not in such a hurry, I would have gone ahead and drawn in all the lines and plotted the points, then figured the most efficient route…..but remember, I said had I been thinking!  We took off in a hurry toward where we thought A was.  On the way up, we saw Team FLG on their way toward the finish, and knew they would win the 2 Co-ed division that we were in. This new map was a different scale, and I took us about 4oo meters too far up the trail then off in the desert to look for it.  After wasting about 10 or 15 minutes, we discovered our mistake and then zoomed through the 5 points without any further difficulty.

It seemed that my error in navigation was enough for the Equipe Tortue team to pass us on the orienteering leg and finish a few minutes ahead of us.  We finished in 2nd place in our division, and (this is a guess until results are posted) about 8th overall.

It was a great day of racing and as always a ton of fun to hang out with fellow adventure racers!

Friday Evening on White Rock February 7, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
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Except it is green now!  The white rock at the top of White Rock Trail has been painted green, so now what??? Change the name to Green Rock Trail? Nope. Call it Chamelion Trail? Nope.

Kent and I rode up Thumb Butte Road from just west of the park to the top end of White Rock Trail.  Then we took WRT back down to the park and back to the truck.  It was a quick ride (29min. riding time) but fun!  That was all we really had time for anyway, as it was getting dark.

The top end of WRT is in great shape, and the bottom more rocky end it just….more rocky!

Nice Ride in Granite Basin January 26, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
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Sunday afternoon was cold and windy, not exactly perfect conditions, but it didn’t stop four of us from spending some time in Granite Basin on our mountain bikes.

Hal, Rob, me and Mick (this was the first time Mick had been on a ride with me) put about 8.5 miles in on the fantastic single track trails in the basin area.

Because of the glue-like mud that is found above the cayuse area, we avoid it by doing an out and back on Ten Jumps Trail from the bottom.  Rob commented on how different that trail is when heading south and up hill on it instead of bombing it to the north.

It was a nice ride once we got our bodies warmed up, and most importantly, everyone made it home without injury!

Robyn Benincasa Talks About Teamwork January 21, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, Events, extreme sports, team challenge, Trail Running.
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I was scanning through the Primal Quest web site and found a very good article about the Importance of Teamwork in Adventure Racing.  This article was written by veteran adventure racer Robyn Benincasa.

As mentioned a couple of weeks ago in this post Robyn (along with one of my AR team mates) is on her way with the Project Athena Team to Costa Rica to participate in The Coastal Challenge strarting January 31.

I couldn’t agree more with Robyn’s article…..teamwork, and an understanding of your team mate’s strength and weaknesses is the core of AR

Adventure Racing Tidbits January 16, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, extreme sports, Just Stuff.
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Here is a quick overview of the History of Adventure Racing, that I found just tag surfing this today.  While it only really covers the big expedition events, it is a decent primmer.

Wikipedia has a much more extensive article about AR, and it even has a link to a race that I am the director of, the Gilmore Adventure Race.  Speaking of Wiki, we all know not to trust it as a reliable source right?  That is because anyone can go onto it and change info at any time…so reading from it is more like saying, “Someon told me……”  Lots of good info in Wiki, just use other sources to verify it!

Also found this article called Why I love Adventure Racing, and You Should Too! This is a re-publication of an article that world class adventure racer and all around AR stud Ian Adamson wrote a while back.

Racing With the Best January 4, 2009

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, Events, extreme sports, team challenge.
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My friend and adventure racing teammate, Jounea Mounsey, is going to be racing with Robyn Benincasa at The Coastal Challenge.  They are racing as part of the Project Athena Team.

Checkpoint Zero has a blurb on it HERE.

Sand Storm Race was Tough! October 22, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, orienteering, trails.
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I raced with Jonea as Team GO-AR in Tucson on Saturday.  Actually it wasn’t in Tucson, it was east of Tucson on Reddington Pass Rd.

We arrived at the race site at about 6:00am and began to get our gear together.  At the 6:15 pre-race meeting the race directors Aaron and Rick told us that those of us doing the long course would be doing things in the following order:  A short “scramble” to two points to pick up our checkpoint card at one, and a ziplock baggie for trash at another, then a mountain biking leg with a bike drop in it, at the bike drop there was going to be an orienteering section, then biking back to the TA, then a final trekking section.

Looking around, I noticed that the terrain was going to be a challenge.  It was rocky with lots of grass that had cat-claw and cactus hiding in it, and it most certainly was not flat!  The directors had suggested that racers have slimed tubes, and now I could see why.

The first two points on the scramble could be retrieved in any order, so at the start teams went two different directions.  We chose to run down the road, and let the uphill be on jeep trail.  Within about 100 yards, teams were already spreading out, and the white and yellow streak ahead of us was the last sign of Dave and Windy on Team Big Fish Creative that we saw all day! Not far behind them were 6 racers all racing as 3 different Adventure Racing Concepts teams.  We picked up our ziplock baggie (this was to help us control our snack and goo wrappers) and headed around a hill toward the next point.  The map we were using was an USGS topo that was old and did not show all the roads that were actually there now, and instead of trusting my sense of direction, when I saw another team coming down a road toward us from the point, I just assumed (yes, I know about that word) that was the right way to go….oops. It actually did take us there eventually, but not until we had gone half a mile farther than we needed to.  The silver lining behind this cloud is that two other teams that have great navigators on them (Rick Eastman on Sierra Adventure Sports, and Ron Birks on Team Tubac) both made the same mistake, so I was in good company in my errant route choice.  We got the checkpoint card and headed back to the TA to transition to mountain biking.

Rather than actually plot the biking points, I just looked at the coordinates and eyeballed the point locations so we could get to pedaling.  We biked a couple of miles up Reddington Pass Rd. to B1, then took a nice piece of single track that was part of the Arizona Trail down a long ridge.  We got B2 then continued down to a jeep trail that started back up the next ridge over.  Jonea had something weird going on with her breathing in that she was panting and out of breath, and 4 teams passed us as we headed for then found B3.  When the jeep trail hit Reddington Pass Rd. we crossed over and back onto more single track that was part of the AZ Trail again.  This trail climbed up, and up some more to B4 where another 2 teams passed us.  Then we started a descent that was filled with water bars and rocks, with a very tight hairpin thrown in for fun.  Right after the hairpin, we came upon a “rec course” team of two girls, and one of them was hurt.  She must have gone over her bars, because she had scraped up the knuckles on one hand, torn loose a fingernail on the other, and had a huge dent right in to top of her brand new helmet!  We stopped and checked on them, asking if she could see ok, and if she could move everything.  Once we were sure that they didn’t require emergency help, we continued down the trail.  Let me tell you, this single track was very challenging because not only was it filled with obsticles, but the grass on both sides of it was knee high.  When the trail ahead of you is straight, no problem….but when there are turns in it, you can’t see the trail ahead because of the tall grass. There was also a section that was thick with puncture vine and cat-claw on the trail, boy am I glad we listened about the slime! We got B5, then B6 was where the trail dropped us out on a ranch road.  As we turned onto the ranch road, we saw Team Tubac stopped and stretching out Brad’s leg cramps.  We asked if they were ok, and then headed toward the bike drop.  On the way there, we saw one of the teams that had passed us heading back toward us.  As we passed, he asked if we was sure that we were going the right direction. When I said “absolutely!”, they turned back around and passed us again….they didn’t know where it was!  Meanwhile, it appeared that Jonea had recovered and was breathing fine again.

At the bike drop, we were given a map and punch card for the orienteering section.  The Tucson Orienteering Club was going to have an O-meet the next day, so Monsoon Adventures had collaberated with them on this section, pretty cool idea!  We found O1 right away, then somehow on the way to O2 we lost the punch card!  While we backtracked to find it, Team Tubac passed us again.  Luckily, I found the card that had blown into some grass by the side of the jeep trail we were following, and we continued on toward O2.  On the way to O3 we caught back up with Tubac, and then dropped down into the wash that the point was in, then followed it up to the point.  We got there about 30 seconds before Tubac!  We headed up the wash again toward O4.  I took us too far up the wash, and we had to go up a different canyon than I had planned to get to the saddle that O4 was on, so we were pretty sure that Tubac was ahead of us again.  As we traversed a hillside on the way to O5 we could see a team ahead of us, but it wasn’t Tubac, it was someone else. Both our camelbaks were out of water, but I was carrying a small bottle in my hand, so we sipped on that the rest of the way.  We got O5 and headed down across a valley toward O6.  Now we could see the other team and ahead of them, we could see the guys of Team Freedom.  We went up over another ridge to get O7, then back to the bike drop.  The volunteers told us that Tubac had not come in yet. They also had lots of water there, so we refilled our camelbaks, and changed shoes again for the ride back to the TA.  We had done the 4 mile orienteering section in a little over an hour and a half.

We knew it was going to be a long climb, so we hooked up a towing system so I could help Jonea go a little faster up the hills.  When we were almost to the top, I could feel the toll that running out of water earlier and the hot mid-day sun was taking on me.  Nauseous and dizzy, I was about to bonk!  We unhooked the tow strap, and walked up the last steep hill slowly while I tried to get some electrolytes and water back into my system.  We rode into the TA, having done 16.6 miles on the bikes, and I sat in the shade beside the truck while I changed shoes again and then plotted the points for the upcoming trekking leg. We ate some bagels, and again topped off our packs with water.

As we headed out toward T1 I could feel the beginning twinges of a cramp in my left quad….bummer.  We got up to T1 when I tried to unzip the pocket of my shorts to get the checkpoint card, it was jammed.  I even broke the pull off of it trying to unzip it!  We need that card!  I had to take out my knife and cut my pocket open so we could punch T1 and continue.  We went down and across a small valley to a saddle where we got T2.  In looking at the map, I figured that the best way to get to T3 was to go across to the top of the canyon that it was in and just go down the drainage to it.  As it turned out, this descision probably cost us about 10 minutes, because the canyon was chocked full of manzanita and oak brush!  We battled through the thick brush and made it to T3 eventually.  We then continued down the canyon and across another wash to the bottom end of a ridge that would take us to T4.  We climbed for what felt like forever up this interminably long ridge, and caught up with another team just as we topped out and found T4.  It turns out that this other team was also a “rec course” team on their trekking leg.  I found myself feeling sorry for anyone who was using this “rec course” as their very first race!  At T4, we rested in the little spot of shade we found before our assault on the 5th trekking point that the race directors had labelled BFM.  They said that stood for Beg For Mercy, but after plotting it on top of a mountain, we knew that it stood for something else entirely!  We made the climb up to BFM by just putting one foot in front of another the whole way up.  I plotted our course on my MapTech topo program this week, and found out that the hill we climbed straight up to BFM was a 56% grade.  My cramping quad was killing me on this ascent.  At the top, we took a minute to high-five and look around at the amazing view of all the territory we had covered since the start of the race.  This was a very beautiful venue for an event.  The last point was on top of a smaller hill between us and the finish line, so we headed back down the other side of the mountain toward T6.  We picked up T6 and made the short trek to the road where we ran (barely) in to cross the finish line 7 hours and 43 minutes after we started.

We finished 3rd in the 2 person Co-ed division to ARC (Jim and Jane) and Big Fish (Dave and Windy), and figured that anytime you can podeum with those 2 teams, you are doing something right!  We were just glad to finish the entire race.

Looking Forward to Sand Storm III October 17, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, Events, Mountain Biking, trails.
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Tomorrow is the Sand Storm III Adventure Race near Tucson.

Produced by the guys at Monsoon Adventures, it looks like it will be another great race in an awesome venue.  We have learned that it will be held in the Chimney Rock area of Reddington Pass.  I have never been up there, but the topography looks like it should be a challenge.  Google Earth shows what appear to be a whole bunch of great single track trails, so I am definitely looking forward to the mountain biking.

Kent will not be racing with us this weekend, so team GO-AR will just be Jonea and me.  They don’t have a master’s division, so we will have to race against the young guns this weekend.  We are usually pretty strong in the navigation, so we are hoping that there will be tough enough navigation to help level the playing field a little.

Look forward to a race report!

Night Adventure Race October 12, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking, trails.
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On Saturday Jonea (my female teammate) picked me up at the hotel in Scottsdale where Tracie (my wife) and I had a room for Saturday night.  While Tracie was at a work related dinner and meeting, Jonea and I headed up to McDowell Mountain Park for the Extreme Heat Night Race put on by Rick at Sierra Adventure Sports.

The race started just before dark at 6:00pm.  To start, teams had to punch their card at 5 points that were shown on our first map.  It was a mad dash, as all 5 points were easily attainable in less than 5 minutes because they were all around the perimeter of the huge parking area.  Then came our first mystery event.

Teams were allowed 1 frisbee per team, the object was to throw your frisbee into a 4′ fire pit about 40′ away, and each team member had to make it in the pit. This was pure chaos, as all the teams were lined up, throwing and retrieving the discs.  People were running in the way and getting hit as they were trying to pick up an errant throw.  Someone was yelling “on per team!”, intending to let us know the one disc per team rule, but confusing some teams into thinking that they meant one make per team.  It was really rather hilarious.  Jonea made her 3rd throw, and I think I took about 5 throws, and then we got the next map and were out on the bike leg.

We took the longer but faster pavement route partway to CP1, and arrived there just as there was no more light at all in the sky.  It was a gradual uphill the entire way to the CP, and Jonea’s legs were having a hard time getting going.  She was frustrated that she was struggling, but kept pedaling, and eventually her legs muscles decided to get in the game, and we pushed on to CP2.  We were now 8.8 miles of up hill into the ride.  On the way to CP3 we were crossing a whole bunch of little sandy washes, and some of them were pretty soft and deep.  Every time I would hit one, I would yell out to Jonea, “sand!” so she would know it was coming.  After I barely stayed on top of my bike going through one, I heard a yell from behind me, and when I looked back, Jonea’s bike was still upright, but facing perpendicular to the trail.  The sand had almost put her into a huge cactus!  We caught up to one of the teams that passed us earlier at CP3, then started the 2+ mile descent toward CP4.  The other team made better time than we did going down the ridge, but we were still really moving fast for it being pitch black and a single track trail.  We got to CP4 just in time to see some other team’s tail lights heading down a trail that we knew was the longer of the two ways that we could go. This gave us a spark, and we blasted through the campground then headed back toward the TA.  In the last half mile, Jonea’s front tire finally succumbed to the cactus incident, and she flatted.  She was yelling to me that she had a flat, and I was yelling back that I know and just keep riding!  We made it to the TA, and on to the next mystery event at CP5.

In this event, each team was allowed to have five pieces of 2×4 that were about 12″ long. With these they had to move from behind a line and around a cone about 15′ away and back across the line without touching the ground.  I have done something like this before, but it involved bricks on an uneven surface.  This was smooth wood on fairly smooth concrete, so I just stood on two of them like skis and bent over and grabbed the front of one as I slid my foot forward then did the same with the other.  This worked great, and I was done in about 1 minute.  Jonea was employing a different method using the other 3 blocks, but switched to the lift-n-slide after she saw the success that I was having.  We were done in a jiffy and then went to change our shoes for the trekking leg to come.

As soon as we got CP6, we turned off our lights and used the bright moonlight to see the trail.  We ran down a trail that paralleled a wash then at CP7 when the trail crossed it, we took the wash itself further down the canyon.  In the wash we came upon team E-Lyte, where Hollon’s team mate was lying down in the sand while Hollon was stretching out her leg cramps.  We asked if everything was ok, or if they needed anything, and then kept on toward CP8.  In an attempt to operate in “stealth mode”, we only used our lights when we needed to check the map, hoping other teams wouldn’t see us and either know how close we were getting to them (wishful thinking), or follow our lights (more likely to really happen).  The route from CP8 to CP9 was on the competative mountain biking trail in the park, so it was pretty gnarly.  We climbed up and over a ridge and were all the way down the other side punching our card at CP9 when we saw the first lights top out on the ridge behind us…..or….where other teams using stealth mode???  hmmmmm.

I am not a runner.  It hurts my knees, I get cramps in my calves, and I really don’t enjoy it.  BUT, for some reason at this race, I had some weird mojo going on and was able to run about 80% of the 6.1 mile trekking leg.  We had to look around a little for CP10, but once we had it, we were finally headed for the finish line.

We finished the race in 3 hours and 15 minutes, which was good enough for 3rd place overall, and 1st in the co-ed division!  Not bad for two old timers!

This was a super fun event, and racing in the moonlight was amazing.  I look forward to trying another night race.  The volunteers were great as always, and Rick and Kim put on another successful event.  If you haven’t tried it yet, sign up for a beginner friendly adventure race and get addicted!

Busy Weekend Ahead! October 9, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, Events, orienteering, trails.
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This weekend, one of my adventure racing teammates and I are going to race in the Extreme Heat Night Race in Phoenix on Saturday night, and then on Sunday my wife Tracie and I are going to take part in the Orienteering Meet that the Phoenix O Club is putting on at Coon Bluff!

I will return with full reports of both activities.

Granite Basin was Gorgeous Today July 23, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation, Mountain Biking.
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Ray and I were the only two to show up to ride this evening.  Maybe because today was so hot, maybe because people were on vacation….who knows?

We went up the 349 today.  This is a trail that I have ridden down about 98% of the time, and hardly ever gone up.  It was really beautiful today, plenty of shade and because we weren’t bombing down it (yet) we had plenty of time to see things that are usually just a blur.  There are some big old ponderosa pine trees in there!  On the way up, Ray and I were talking about Adventure Racing, and I told him about the Gilmore Adventure Race.  He thinks he wants to get a team into it this year!  I told him to hurry though, as it is almost sold out for 2008.

When we reached the pavement we went down the 351 (lots of fun) to the Cayuse area. Then we chugged up the hill to the 2 gates.  Luckily it was getting a little cooler by then.  We absolutely bombed the “10 jumps” trail today!  What a gas!  From there we headed back towards the 351 and down towards the lake.  Part way down there is a little social trail that cuts over to near the camp host’s spot.  We headed across it and then started our climb back up the 350.

The 350 is always a pleasure because it is a “no horses” trail, which means that it is not torn up by horse hooves, and is smooth as silk.  Ray was climbing like a mountain goat, and I could feel myself running low on fuel.  We took the turn onto the 349 heading west (today was the first time I have ever actually made that climbing turn without dabbing). As we topped out before the big downhill, we admired the view of Granite Mountain and figured that the mountain lions that live on it have it made.  What a great habitat.

Ray and I bombed the 349 all the way to where it comes up over a little saddle facing west again.  That has got to be one of the funnest rides around, swoopy, and narrow with lots of ways you could easily blow a turn and end up in the pine needles 50 down an embankment.

From there, we played Michaels “coasting game” again.  Ray made all the right turns this time, I guess I just forgot to tell him not to pedal until you come to a complete stop…..that is the point, to see how far you can coast.  Michael’s record still stands.  I had a real chance at it, as I was carrying lots of speed into the last corner, but I started to wash out and had to dab to save it, thus blowing my momentum.

From there, we just road the pavement back around to the cars.  Great ride today, thanks Ray!

Stats:

  • distance 10.49 miles
  • total riding time 1hr 8min
  • avg speed  9.2 mph

Gilmore Adventure Race is Only 2 Months Away July 17, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation.
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I will have to be spending some of my time out on the course of the Gilmore Adventure Race in the next few weeks, so my blogs might be a little cryptic.

Because we don’t release the event location until 4 days prior to the race, I will have to make sure that my blogs don’t give anything about the GAR away.  I will continue to blog about my outdoor adventures, but try to be vague enough so that racers don’t figure out where I have been……yes, they are like that!  I have had racers try and trick me into divulging the location in the past, so I know that they will often go to great lengths in order to know the location in time enough to either get out and scout it, or spend many hours on the internet pouring over maps and aerial photos.

I will tell you all this much.  This year, as always, it will be a lot of fun!

Is PQ back pedaling? June 18, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation.
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It seems that there has been enough outrage over the aforementioned decision by PQ to allow GPS receivers that they are backpedaling it. See the PQ blog here.

Take (and view) a poll on this subject HERE.

There have been lots of rants and dissension among the ranks in the AR community over this. One of my favorites is one written by a member of Scarabs named Jason Quinn. Jason is formerly of the Silly Rabbits, and will be racing PQ with Team Bones this year. In it he says what many racers and race directors across the world are feeling. His comments are HERE.

It looks as if PQ management is feeling the pressure of the AR community.

Is PQ watering down Adventure Racing? June 18, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing, Adventure Recreation.
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The Primal Quest directors sent out a message to team captains this week that could lead a watering down of what Adventure Racing is all about. It reads:

Important Message for Captains

Primal Quest Race Management has made the decision NOT to prohibit the use of GPS units in PQ Montana. This decision was made due to the fact that the course still has a great deal of snow covering trail and road markings, and we need to ensure that competitors do not wander into avalanche and cornice hazard areas.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am all about safety, BUT this is Adventure Racing for God’s sake! The participants know the dangers, they know how to navigate, and they know what kind of epic event the PQ is!

I am sure that I wouldn’t be able to finish the PQ, and I know I am armchair quarterbacking this, but won’t it be like a 10 day Hi-Tech or Balance Bar race if GPS receivers are used? My 4 year old grand daughter can follow the arrow on my GPSr.

My personal feeling (in case you couldn’t tell) is that Adventure Racing is about using a map and compass to navigate. Pure and simple. If you have an area on your map that racers are not allowed to go into, mark it in red crosshatch, and let that be enough. They know at any given time where they are, and where they need to go, especially at PQ!! These are the best of the best!

My Rant is done.

A Couple of Good Adventure Racing Blogs March 16, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing.
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I have a couple of new Adventure Racing entries on my blogroll from blogs I found interesting.  The first is from a team that I have watched on several multiday races like Primal Quest, it is Team Racing With Giants.  The second is called the Weekend Warriors Guide to Adventure Racing, and it has got all kinds of cool tidbits in it.

There are many, many good sources of info about Adventure Racing out there, and I am sure that some of you know of great ones that I have yet to see, so if you do, please let me know!

Arizona Adventure Racing March 6, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing.
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The sport of Adventure Racing has introduced me to a really wonderful group of people.  Back in 2001 when we opened the Gilmore Adventure Race up to the public, I got my first taste of who and what Adventure Racers are really about.Now 7 years later, I can tell you that being both a racer and a race director has allowed me the privilege of becoming a member of the Arizona Adventure Racing Family.  I say “Family,” because that’s what it feels like, both out on the course in the heat an event, and any other time that I am around other Adventure Racers.

I have never seen another sport where your direct competitors cheer you on or even help you during the event!  It is amazing how you can be running up a rockstrewn canyon in the middle of nowhere when another team passes you, and as they do, they say, “Good job!, Keep it up!”  Don’t get me wrong, teams are competitive, but never it seems, so competitive that they would ever wish bad luck on their opponents.

Another great thing about this adopted family of mine, is that without exception, every location I have ever either raced, or hosted a race, has been picked up and left cleaner than before the event took place.  Adventure Racers don’t wait for someone else to clean up after them, in fact, they take the initiative and clean up after both themselves, and those other users of our great outdoors that seem to throw things anywhere they want to.

I am very proud of my Arizona Adventure Racing Family.

Heading Down to the Sand Storm AR March 5, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing.
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This weekend my two team mates and I will be driving the 265 miles down to Kentucky Camp to compete in the Sand Storm II Adventure Race.

We have done very well the last 12 months in the co-ed division on the short courses of the Desert Rage Series, so we are going to move up and try our luck on the long course this time.  They promise us 30+ miles to be comprised of mountain biking and overland trekking with some surprises thrown in to boot.  We (or should I say “I”) don’t run very well, so on the trekking legs we have to depend on good navigation and smart route choice.  We usually do fairly well on the mtb legs.

Our female team mate broke her foot not long ago, but swears she is ready to go.  I am sure she is because she is one tough cookie.  Our other male is strong on the bike and on the treks, but has had some problem keeping fueled well enough on longer outings, but he too swears he is ready to go.  After writing about my two team mates, it occurs to me that I am definitely the weakest link on our team.  The must just keep me around out of pity.

Good Lord willing and the creeks don’t rise, I will live to tell you all about how it went.

Primal Quest 2008 and more… March 2, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing.
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I have just added the PQ blog to my blogroll.  They just announced that Primal Quest has also decided to put on a PQ Sprint Series.  They will host two races in 2008 and 8 races in 2009.  The most exciting aspect of it from my point of view is that it will undoubtedly bring more attention to the sport of Adventure Racing.  As a racer and a race promoter, this is good news all around!

Arizona Adventure Racing February 25, 2008

Posted by Dave Of Prescott in Adventure Racing.
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Whenever I meet new people, in the course of discussion they almost always end up asking me, “What is Adventure Racing?” Well, here is the Wiki definition. Here in Arizona, we have a very active AR community. Most races are what fall under the “sprint race” category, meaning that they are less than 12 hours in duration, however, contrary to the Wiki definition, several of the Arizona races require teams to be very good at navigation and UTM point plotting.