What an EVENT! So much planning and preparation went into this race/ride that I don't even know where to begin. I can definitely say that there was more mental than physical preparation. Finishing basketball in February only gave me a month to get some mileage in, but I started preparing and researching back in November. Thank goodness I talked Steve into going. (It took about 3 weeks of constant texts and emails to break him.) It's nice to have someone to suffer . . . I mean share the experience with.
There is so much to tell, I'm not even going to try. We started at 9:00 a.m. Friday and pulled in to Claremont at 2:00 a.m. Saturday morning. (137 miles) We pulled out at 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning and pulled in to the Central Motel in Inverness at midnight (88 miles). We pulled out at 8:30 Sunday morning and finished at 3:30 p.m. (60 miles).
- The Ocala National Forrest was HOT and SANDY
- Saw a BIG gator in the Seminole State Forrest
- Made it in plenty of time to the Rock Springs Run gate.
- The river crossing was actually AWESOME.
- The single-track in Wekiwa Springs seemed longer than expected.
- The guys at the store stop in Zellwood were huge support.
- Lake Apopka alligators are plentiful to say the least
- Sand-hiking out of Apopka sucked, but at least it was cooler at night
- Sugarloaf Mountain Road - who the hell put hills in central Florida???
- Fresh picked oranges can never be bad.
- Rich Loam could have been a LOT worse without the rain.
- The Withlacoochee Trail is an incredible Florida feature.
- Croom during the day was fun . . . Croom at night can kiss my @$$.
- Thank God for the Central Motel and Coors Light in Inverness.
- Potts and Halpata Tastanaki were actually enjoyable rides.
- Santos part 1 was technical and fun. Santos part two was fun and FAST.
- Beer at Greenway Bicycles was icing on the cake. (Big thanks to the fellow that bought the first round!)
I can honestly say that I have never been so satisfied after a ride or and event. And to top it off, Karlos informed me that I had set a new Single-speed Course Record. All you need is ONE baby!
Here are several fantastic write-ups from the race:
Click HERE for David Muse - 8th Place & my personal Bikepacking guru
Click HERE for Kari Lindner - New Female Course Record
Click HERE for Kelly Klett - 2nd Place Overall
I'm in the process of editing the "Gear List" of items that I actually took with me. It's too long and detailed to add to this post, but if anyone is interested I'll be happy to share that as well. It might be useful for someone else's first bikepacking experience.
RESULTS - per the Naked Indian
All times received a 10 min time bonus.
1. Shay Linder 23 hours and 59 min 2012 New Overall course record
2. Kelly Klett 1 day 3 hours and 35 min
3. Chris Tompkins 1 day 7 hours and 45 min
4. Jason Murrell 1 day 9 hours and 45 min
5. Kari Lindner 1 day 11 hours and 54 min 2012 New COURSE Best Female Record
6. Chad Parker 1 day 13 hours and 45 min
7. Ruth Cunningham 2 days 2 hours and 50 min 2nd fastest female
8. Dave Muse
9. Steve Julian
10. Vonnie McClung New Single Speed course Record
2 days 6 hours and 20 min
11. Peter Kraft 2 day 6 hours and 45 min
12. Chris Benkley 2 days 8 hours and 33 min 3rd fastest female 2012 MASTERS COURSE RECORD
13. Paul Schmitt and Lynne Daniels Latern Rouge 2 years running!!!
2 days 8 hours and 45 minutes