Friday, August 10, 2012

Moose Knuckles 2012

Back by popular demand!

Date: September 29th / 30th
Location: Musquodoboit Trailway Parking Lot
Duration: 24 hrs
Disciplines: Mountain biking, flat water paddling, trekking, orienteering
Team Format: Teams of 3
Cost: $300 per Team
Prizes: Not many
Contact: Andrew (

Registration: Available at Atlantic Chip

- 03:00:00: Check-in / Waivers etc.
- 04:30:00 Saturday: Pre-race briefing
- 05:00:00 Saturday: Race start
- 20:00:00 Saturday (Approx): First place team finishes
- 09:00:00 Sunday: Course Closed, all teams finished (cut-offs will be utilised to ensure all teams are off the course by this time.)
Note: There are no formal closing ceremonies since we anticipate teams will be finishing too far apart.  We hope to have a small celebration for each team as they finish, and we'll do our best to get some small prizes.

Required Gear:
At all times:
- Compass
- Matches or lighter
- Knife
- Whistle
- Cell phone (one per team... two are advised especially if you use two different carriers)

Bike section(s):
- CSA approved bike helmet
- Mountain bike
- Front white light
- Rear red light

Paddling section(s):
- Canoe, one per team
- ULC approved PFD (Also required during Stage 1 for advanced teams)
- Buoyant throw line
- Bailer
- Paddle

Gear Bins: Each team will be permitted one gear bin no larger than 190 L. A secondary paddling stash / bundle will be accepted provided it only contains required paddling gear.

Course Notes: I'll update this as things fall into place.

Final Note: I'd like to advise against doing a google image search for 'Moose Knuckles.'

Monday, November 14, 2011

Full Details on the Brrr-appp AR!

Hey guys,

Here are the full details on the Brrr-appp AR:

Registration: 6:45 a.m. - 7:45 a.m. at the Crowbar Lake Hiking Trail Parking Lot

Stage 1: 10 km Run
Stage 1 will feature a rugged trail run through the Crowbar Lake Hiking Trails. While challenging, the scenery is worth the effort! The winning time is expected to be under 1 hour, while a recreational participant should expect about a 2 hour time. This stage starts at 8:00 a.m.

Stage 2: Bushwhack OR Family Race
Do note, it is intended for participants to do one or the other. Or your family can do the family race while you do the bushwhack. Or if you think you're fast enough you could try to do both!

The Bushwhack will feature some ATV trail running and about 1 km of difficult bushwhacking. 1 km isn't to bad is it? Well, you need to hold that bearing! The further you are from your intended target the greater the time penalty. Various flags will be placed on the target trail, racers will report the message on the first flag they see on their return path. Note: You won't know what the message means until you're finished!

The family race will be a fun little adventure for the kids, likely most appropriate for those kids 10 and under. The orienteering course (Stage 3) will be opened for families with kids over 10, or some combination of the two. We can work out what exactly the family race is that morning if the event looks a little too "young" for your family! Parents do note: it is a VERY muddy location. Kids do note: it is a VERY awesome location.

Both the Bushwhack and the Family Race will be at the end of Myra Rd., just past the Crowbar Lake Hiking Trail Parking Lot and both start at 10:30 a.m.

Stage 3: Orienteering
The orienteering course, starting at 12:00 p.m., will also be held at the end of Myra Rd. in the challenging network of ATV trails. The course will be suitable for beginners, and veterans a like. I'll identify which controls are more difficult. The orienteering will be limited to 3 hrs. That is, I need you out of the woods by 3:00 p.m.! (Otherwise I get worried.)

General Notes:
It is hunting season, so wearing orange might be a good idea. To the best of my knowledge, most hunting in this area happens in the much deeper parts of the woods. This is a high traffic ATV area, I can't imagine anyone doing much hunting where we'll be and I have yet to see any hunting stands.

If you only want to do one or two of the stages that's just fine. Let's meet that morning to figure out what you intend to do.

Looking forward to seeing everyone!

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Natural Selection Adventure Racing and some other guy present...

Date: 11/19/2011

Cost: $30 per racer ($20 per Family for Family Race only, Family race is free if someone is participating in the rest of the race)

Team Format: Solo, Teams of 2, 3 or 4


Registration: 6:45 – 7:45 a.m.

Start Stage 1, 10 km Run: 8:00 a.m.

*Start Stage 2, Bushwhack / Family Race: 10:30 a.m.

Start Stage 3, Orienteering: 12:00 p.m.

Location: Porter's Lake, NS

*Do note that the Family Race and the Bushwhack are two different events that will occur at the same time. The Family Race is just for fun, a little something to engage the rest of the house! Any elite racers wishing to participate in the bushwhack and the family event will be accommodated somehow; finish the first stage early and I'll let you do the bushwhack right away!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Moose Knuckles Course Notes

Hey guys!

One month until race day! The course questions are starting to roll in, and I like to make sure everyone gets the same info. I'm going to paraphrase a few of the more common questions and publish the answers here. Keep an eye on this page as it may update with more info!

Keep the questions coming! Let me know if you'd like me to expand on any of the questions below as well.

Lastly, remember that I need at least five teams signed up by October 7th!

Will I be finished in 24 hours or less?
I believe the winning team will finish in 24 hours or less, however weather conditions can be harsh this time of year so there may be longer than expected sections. I suspect that the slower teams will be closer to 30 hours. The race course isn't setup to accommodate any cut-offs or fast-forwards, save one section at the end that some teams might miss if they really struggle. Race materials will highlight details on this.

Can I use a GPS?
Not unless it's an emergency. That is to say, I won't allow GPS use, but if you'd like to carry one for piece of mind then you're most welcome. If you use it I expect you to let me know and I'll issue a penalty time of some sort. If you end up using your GPS, expect the penalty to put you at the bottom of the standings for the finishing teams.

Seriously, that's a lot of biking... WTF?
You didn't think it was going to be easy did you? The most challenging part of the biking is the distance. The terrain is smooth and fast, with minimal topography. Again, you will be riding at night! Bring as much lighting as you can, it will help. If you aren't on your bike regularly, it's past time you started!

What distance / discipline breakdown is correct; the one of Facebook or the one on your blog?
The one on my blog is the current data. Sorry about the confusion, it's hard maintaining several sets of information! Please refer to the blog for any discrepancies.

What is the paddling like? Can I use my fast but fragile canoe?
It is river paddling, and for the most part you'll be able to paddle without hitting any rocks. However, there are a few spots where we did get fetched up. Some of those were even a surprise. If you've got a sharp eye and you're quick to hop out for a portage, you could use a fibreglass canoe. However, I believe there is a good chance you still might damage the boat.

There are some rapids, fortunately they don't surprise you. Depending on your skill in a boat you may have to portage these. The water level will also play a factor in whether or not these will be able to be paddled.

I'll do my best to keep you up to date on water conditions.

We're not very good navigators, how will we make out?
This is a difficult question to answer. As local adventure races go I'm comfortable stating that the navigation is not 'difficult.' However, as I'll mention below, the bike section is quite long which does compound the difficulty of the navigation.

We're not very good at technical riding, what will the bike be like?
You're in luck, this is perhaps the least technical riding I've ever seen on an adventure race. But... the bike section is ~100 km long. That is a shit ton of biking and it's uninterrupted. What that means is, if you make a mistake and you don't notice for a while you could get yourself lost. Therein lies the adventure!

For the bike, here are my suggestions:
- Get some long rides in before October 22nd!
- Get as many notes as you can on the map before the race.
- Make sure your bikes are in top shape before the race
- You will need bike lights, make sure they work.
- Have at least two reliable bike computers with odometers and speedometers. Pay attention to these during the race.
- During the race make sure to keep that map handy! Verify your position often.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Moose Knuckles AR 2011

When was the last 24 hour adventure race in Nova Scotia? I can't remember either! Better host one!

Date: October 22nd / 23rd
Location: Eastern Shore, NS (Full details TBA)
Duration: 24 hrs
Disciplines: Mountain biking (approx. 100 km), river paddling (approx. 45 km), trekking (approx. 35 km)
Team Format: Teams of 3 or 4
Cost: $240 (team of 3) or $320 (team of 4)
Prizes: Not many
Contact: Andrew (

Registration: Available online, or by contacting Andrew

Schedule: TBA, expect a ~10:00 a.m. start on Saturday Oct. 22nd, with registration the night before / early morning.

Accommodations: Race HQ will be Spry Bay Campground. They are expecting us. I'll allow teams to make their own camping arrangements in our block since local teams with support crews may not require it. Contact me if you have any questions about when you'll need the accommodations.

Required Gear:
At all times:
- Compass
- Matches or lighter
- Knife
- Whistle
- Cell phone (one per team)

Bike section(s):
- CSA approved bike helmet
- Mountain bike
- Front white light
- Rear red light

Paddling section(s):
- Canoe, one per team*
- ULC approved PFD
- Buoyant throw line
- Bailer
- Paddle

*Teams of four must provide canoe specifications to confirm recommended weight limits are not exceeded by the team.

Gear Bins: Each team will be permitted one gear bin no larger than 190 L. A secondary paddling stash / bundle will be accepted provided it only contains required paddling gear.

Support Crews: If you have friends or family interested in support crewing for you it would make my job infinitely easier. More importantly, it would be advantageous to you! Support crews are not only welcomed, but encouraged. If you're unable to source a support crew we'll be sure we can accommodate you. Be sure to let Andrew know of your plans for support.

Course Notes: I'll update this as things fall into place. Right now there is a lot of biking! Much of it will be very fast though, so don't let the listed distances scare you. The paddling will exhibit one of Nova Scotia's finest rivers. Racers should expect some action on the river depending on water levels. The Trek will be another highlight through technical and challenging foot trails. Of course the Trek wouldn't be complete without some bushwhacks that will leave the most grizzled veteran racers in tears!

Final Note: I'd like to advise against doing a google image search for 'Moose Knuckles.'

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Team Trail Shop Does the Paternity Test!

364 days of the year my father is Richard Wayne Lowery. As it happens, Murray has the same father. While neither Murray nor I have met Brian's father, judging by Brian's outstanding personality we're sure he's a great guy... 364 days of the year that is. For all you amateur dayologists who've noticed that our paternal notification is short one day on the year, this is because of Who's Your Daddy?, Eastern Canada's most attended adventure race.

Who's Your Daddy? is an 8 hour adventure race typically hosted in the Greater Fredericton Area by Natural Selection Adventure Racing, you may have heard of these guys since they host Race the Phantom as well, which is Eastern Canada's BEST adventure race. Like any race, Who's Your Daddy? is challenging for anyone, but it also provides a beginner friendly atmosphere for those new to the sport. Fredericton is currently the power house of the Adventure Racing populous, no question that that is a result of events like Who's Your Daddy? The course consists of a biking section (typically having plenty of trekking / hike-a-biking!) a paddling section and the infamous tire pull. Yes, participants are required to pull a large tire some 500 m... loaded with a keg! No easy task, which is why the male and female racers with the fastest times are awarded the title of 'Daddy' and 'Mommy' respectively as per the namesake of the race.

Somewhere in Oromocto, NB Brian, Murray and I got our maps nice and early with about 1.5 hours worth of planning time. Right away Brian had a firm grasp of the course remembering many spots from last year's race. I love working a map with Brian. He has an incredible ability to see the map for only a few minutes and then remember every detail and every move hours later. We decided to attack the bike course first since we're stronger on bike and we wanted to make use of that to get as many controls as possible.

It's always fun to start a race when everyone goes a different direction. Some teams went on the water, some went up through town and others like us went along the Trans Canada Trail. Oh yea... the Trans Canada Trail! If I were to describe my ideal start for an adventure race it'd go something like this: The Trans Canada Trail. We threw down mighty in our big rings to leave the start line in a cloud of dust and man grunts. We collected the first batch of controls without incident starting in Lincoln and heading back down the Waasis Rd to the next batch in Oromocto. Our success continued and our speed never faltered... until Murray and I heard Brian curse horribly as we descended an ATV trail en route to a few controls on trails that were underwater. As cute as it is to hear Brian swear in his gently accent, there was nothing cute about his demolished rear derailleur.

Unfortunately Brian's bike is a dual suspension, so we couldn't bypass the derailleur with a singlespeed set up because the chain length changes and in general it would just slap around and constantly fall off. This was a catastrophic situation for any race, let alone an 8 hr race where the slightest mistake could mean everything. For a the next two controls on underwater trails (that was some fun map work!) Brian ran with his useless bike. It wasn't working. Enter Mad Dog.

Murray is a calm, mild mannered gentle sort. Mad Dog isn't. Murray is easy to contain on the race course. Mad Dog isn't. Murray is happy to go at a reasonable pace while appreciating the overall goal. Mad Dog isn't. It was a perfect time to unleash the Mad Dog. It went a little something like this...

Andrew: Hey Brian, this isn't working. Murray is the strongest runner and he can probably keep up with us on the bike on these ATV trails.

Brian: If you think it'll work and he doesn't mind...

Andrew: Murray, do you think you can keep up on foot while pushing the lame bike?

Murray: Yea, probably.

It's at this point that I can see Murray is no longer with us. His left eye was twitching, his shoulders hunched up a bit and I swear he picked up a scent of some prey somewhere. Mad Dog grabbed the bike like a predator claws into a carcass and hammered along into the ATV trail like his life depended on it. This kind of behaviour is generally foolish on an adventure race, but we only had about 5 km to go before we were on paved roads. The plan was to let Mad Dog go crazy and then Brian and I could push him on the bikes once we hit the pavement for the ~6 km ride back to the boats.

It wasn't long before Brian and I realized that we couldn't keep up with the Mad Dog. This was a problem because Mad Dog wasn't really concerned with the rest of the controls we needed to collect, he was of a one track mind to run fast with the bike. Through an extraordinary effort of our own we managed to track him down in time for the final control in the woods. Trying to get Murray back was a bit of a task that fortunately ended with only a few bite wounds and no need for animal control.

Now it was time for Brian and I to pay Murray and Mad Dog back for the incredible feat of effort by pushing him on the lame bike. Fortunately the topography was mostly flat on the way to the final control on CFB Gagetown. The folks on the base thought it was strange that three guys covered in mud were biking around at ~30 km/hr with arms around one another, but we let them use their imagination. From the base it was all downhill to the tire pull.

Mad Dog apparently had a few minutes of glory left as he demonstrated how to successfully expend the most energy possible while pulling a tire loaded with a keg. Being team captain has some perks, most notably, I get to delegate who pulls the tire. Brian took our second pull while I ate food. Both Murray and Brian put in great times.

Next we were on the water. we made a few quick moves on portage for the first few controls portaging two islands. The mosquitoes were bad, but tolerable. On the second island we met a half dozen horses. I love horses so I called praise out to them, forgetting entirely that my big brave brother whom we occasionally call Mad Dog for his fits of insanity is petrified of horses. As fast as he could say "no man, what are you doing?" they were charging us. Some of our more dedicated fans may remember some cows chasing us down in Dalhousie, NB at Race the Phantom last year. Well, this time it was horses. No doubt they just wanted to see why some guys in tight clothes were dragging a boat across their yard... but it was still an intense couple of seconds when all the excitement of a truck commercial was charging at you. The stopped fortunately with about 25 m to spare, and Murray managed to keep from suffering a panic attack.

Our island hopping was done and we had to paddle down river to a larger island for the final three controls. It was here that we became reacquainted with Murray's Canoe. While stable as an ocean liner, it's speed could likely be matched with a bathtub... to say nothing of the two large men and one extra-extra large man occupying the thing. We gave it what-for and hit the island without any drama.

The first control was easy. Somewhere, on a direct bearing between the first and third controls was the second control. This is called a 'Line-O' and is usually a fun but challenging exercise. Then it happened. Every so often on an adventure race you're presented with something so awful that you forever compare future atrocities to that thing. We experienced 'that thing' on this island by means of mosquitoes. More mosquitoes than we'd ever seen before, and we've seen bad mosquitoes. This isn't your shirtless guy with a moustache in a tent type of mosquito infestation... this is wipe your arm and get a handful of 400 mosquitoes! You couldn't breathe without inhaling them, you couldn't stop moving or they'd plug your eyes, ears and nose. The only reprieve was swimming in hot stagnant bog water, but even then they'd still ravage your face and head. Trying to hold the bearing was nearly impossible.

On our first pass we missed the second control, but fortunately on the way back we found it. Motivation to get the hell out of Dodge came easily enough to rid ourselves of the mosquitoes. Congratulations Who's Your Daddy? participants,we've got a new bench mark for 'suck'!

The paddle back was against the current and while not terribly difficult, the heat and long day caught up to us. We tried singing some songs to stay strong, but we were fading. Even though we only lost about 15 - 20 minutes due to the bike malfunction, that is often enough in an 8 hr race to compromise your result. Plus our water speed just wasn't what it could be if we had a performance boat. We weren't expecting much when we made it to the finish line... it's impossible to tell your placing on a race like this! We were surprised to learn we were indeed the first team back!

We had a great day; we worked together, overcame a catastrophic bike malfunction, dodged some curious horses and endured mosquitoes of biblical proportions... and all of it was made that much sweeter with the win. Well done Brian and Murray... I had a blast!

Oh... I almost forgot... on our approach to the finish line the captain passing boat called something out...

Murray and I heard: "The guy in the back is doing all the work!"

Brian heard: "You're too low in the back, it's not going to work!"

Yes, I was in the back.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Orienteering for Silent Witness Nova Scotia

Orienteering for Silent Witness Nova Scotia

Wednesday July 6th, 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday July 13th, 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday July 20th, 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday July 27th, 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday August 3rd, 7:00 p.m.

All meets are at Shubie Park, meet at Fairbanks Center off Locks Rd.

Bring your compass… and maybe a headlamp!

Individual Cost: $10 per participant, kids 12 and under are free, Parents / guardians must sign waivers for minors
Family Cost: $20 for families of three or more
Series Cost: $40 for individuals, $100 for families


Charitable receipts will made for additional donations in excess of $10

For more information Contact Andrew Lowery at or 902-489-8096

For 48 women in Nova Scotia since 1990, their deaths came at the hands of their intimate partners, forever silencing their voices. The time has come to end their silence. Silent Witness Nova Scotia is a group of organizations and individuals working together to raise these voices.

Draw Prizes Every Night!
The Trail Shop will be donating an awesome prize for one lucky participant each night, and we’re working on a grand prize as well, be sure to stop in and say ‘thanks for the support’ at either their Halifax or Wolfville locations.

6210 Quinpool Rd.
Halifax, NS, B3L 1A3

465 Main St.
Wolfville, NS, B4P 1E3