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.