Important info

Race Day is April 16th, 2011
9 am is the ride start time.

This may be obvious but I need to state the necessary things for riders to have with you on the ride. I won't be checking you over, but if you're missing one of these pieces you may find yourself stranded.

  1. Cycling computer with trip distance functions.
  2. Helmet. Don't be an idiot and show up without a helmet. No one wants to call the cops trying to describe where they are and have a helicopter come to pick you up because you smashed your head wide open.
  3. Handle bar map case. Cyco Active makes a sweet map case that Peak Sports will be stocking.
  4. Cash. I'm pretty sure the Burnt Woods and Summit general store take credit, but cash is universal and a safe bet for a small transaction, plus it comes in handy as a tire boot or home made bandage.


This is in no way a race more of a friendly uncompetitive group ride. It will be officially conducted as a group ride and until further notice will require riders to acquire their own Starker Forest use permit.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

written version of TURN by TURN

For the time being I'll post this, but I am going to work on something a little more coherent and wont have you squinting to see which way to go.

Hell of the NW turn by turn.

All mileage is rounded to the nearest tenth of a mile.

Leaving from the Benton county fair grounds proceed south on 53rd.

RIGHT turn at 1.9mi SW Plymouth Dr

LEFT turn at 3.1mi Bellfountain Rd

RIGHT turn at 3.4mi Chapel Dr

LEFT turn at 5.0mi Fern Rd

RIGHT turn at 5.7mi Evergreen Rd

VEER LEFT at 7.3mi

VEER LEFT at 8.1mi


VEER LEFT at 9.5mi

RIGHT turn at 9.7mi

RIGHT turn at 10.1mi

APPROACH GATE/LEFT turn at 10.5mi Ervin Rd

RIGHT turn at 11.5mi Decker Rd

RIGHT turn at 12.7mi Hwy 34

LEFT turn at 13.7mi Henkle Way

LEFT turn/APPROACH GATE at 14.6mi

VEER RIGHT at 14.8mi


RIGHT turn at 18.2mi Old Peak Rd

LEFT turn/APPROACH GATE at 18.8mi

LEFT turn at 19.6mi (go along tree farm)

FAST DECENT TO GATE followed by LEFT turn 20.7mi

RIGHT turn at 25.4mi (North Ridge trailhead)

RIGHT turn at 26.4mi Tum Tum Rd

LEFT turn at 26.6mi Shot Pouch Rd

VEER RIGHT at 27.1mi

LEFT turn at 27.2mi


LEFT turn at 27.6mi

LEFT turn at 28.6mi


VEER RIGHT at 29.6mi

RIGHT turn at 33.6mi Harlan-Burntwoods Rd


RIGHT turn at 34.2mi Hwy 20

LEFT turn at 34.8mi Clem Rd

RIGHT turn at 39.1mi Nashville Rd/Hwy 180


LEFT turn at 42.6mi Mary’s River Rd


RIGHT turn at 44.8mi Hoskins Rd

Cross bridge RIGHT turn at 50.9mi Hoskins Rd

LEFT turn at 52.7mi Kings Valley Rd


RIGHT turn at 53.4mi Price Creek Rd

RIGHT turn at 54.9mi

Continue straight APPROACH GATE at 55.1mi

Stay RIGHT at 56.6mi

Continue Straight at 57.1mi

VEER LEFT at 57.8mi

RIGHT turn at 58.1mi

Continue Straight at 58.7mi

GRADUAL LEFT TURN at 58.9mi (becomes double track w/ tall grass)

CAUTION Fast decent with hidden boulders


LEFT turn at 60.5mi

Stay to LEFT at 60.5mi

Stay to LEFT at 61.0mi

APPROACH GATE following with RIGHT turn at 62.4mi

LEFT turn 62.5mi

RIGHT turn at 63.2mi

Continue Straight at 63.9mi

Continue Straight at 64.2mi

RIGHT turn at 64.7mi 200 Rd connector trail

Slight LEFT turn at 65.7mi 200 Rd


RIGHT turn at 66.0mi Tampico Rd

RIGHT turn at 69.3mi Soap Creek Rd

LEFT turn/APPROACH GATE at 70.7mi

RIGHT turn at 71.3mi 580 Rd

APPROACH GATE at 75.2mi Lewisburg Saddle


RIGHT turn at 75.3mi 600 Rd

Continue STRAIGHT with a slight RIGHT turn at 77.3mi (stay on 600 Rd)

APPROACH GATE at 80.5mi Oak Creek trail head

LEFT turn at 81.5mi Oak Creek Rd

RIGHT turn at 83.6mi 53rd St

RIGHT turn at 84.1mi Benton County Fairgrounds


RIGHT turn at 52.7mi Kings Valley Rd

LEFT turn at 58.1mi Cardwell Hill Rd

RIGHT turn/APPROACH GATE at 59.8mi

APPROACH GATE at 63.4mi Cardwell Hill trailhead

RIGHT turn at 66.2mi 53rd St

RIGHT turn at 66.5mi Benton County fairgrounds

The route

Here's an image and link to a fairly accurate map. I'll get turn by turn directions on here shortly.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

organizer a no show?

Hey everyone,

My personal life has been less than ideal lately and has forced me to move back to the twin cities. Ideally I will be back for the ride, but we'll see what my job future holds and how expensive plane tickets are. For now I will be posting a map of the route and I will be posting a down loadable version of the route sheet. I'll have that up in the next week.

I'm really sorry I can't make it, but I need my family a lot right now.


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

route sheets and post cards

So I've been a little absent from the blog lately. I'm working five days a week at the shop again. Having a Saturday and Sunday weekend made it easy to cover a lot of ground, but I'm working Saturdays so I really only have one day a week to work on the ride and it's logistics. I have 97% of the route written down turn by turn. I would have 100%, but Sunday's ride went a little late and it was the difference between getting home at 5:30 or finish the route and get home at 6:30. I had no lights and needed to call it a day regardless. I was struggling to hold 14mph on the flats. Next weekend I'll have all the route recorded and then I can then transfer the hand written route sheet to a digital platform and figure out how to print up something nice and pretty for you all.

Speaking of route sheets. So I figured a few of you may be on the fence about this ride. Can't commit right now since it's kind of far out, schedule speaking? So this is what I'm going to do. I know of a crew of riders who are tentatively coming, so my plan was to make a handful of route sheets for them. At this point I'm going to print 10 extra route sheets. If Kinkos or a local print shop have a different quantity break then there may be more. So for those of you who just aren't sure you should be ok if you chose to do the ride the day before.

Let me reiterate the header on the blog. You all need to get a Starker Forests permit. These are free. You don't need to go to the office to get them, you can call them up and explain you're busy/out of town and you'll be coming and would like to ride on their land. They'll need to know what areas you'll be riding. Ask for these three sections; Soap Creek, Ridge Route, and Tum Tum Tree Farm. If they ask you for a fourth section I might choose the land just off of Skillings Drive over by Oak Creek Drive. There is a serious climb there that will lead you to the west end of McCulloch peak, 1600ft of vertical climbing in i'd say less than 5 miles. Pretty awesome ride.

BTW I recieved my first post card today. Friggin' sweet! I would make this thing into a shirt it's so cool. Nathan set the bar pretty high. Lets see what you got. It doesn't need to be serious. The post card I made for the Almonzo was of scene of the woods with a deer(one of those picturesque hunting images) and I had some Knog stickers laying around and put a scarf and sun glasses on the deer.

Here's a shot from today's ride. We'll see how snowy it really gets here later this week.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

where are my postcards and mapping has begun

Where are your post cards? Is this ride too intimating or is it just falling on a bad time for most people? March 1st will be the cut off point for receiving post cards so if you have the slightest inkling I'm more than happy to make a route sheet for you, even if you don't make it. My original intent was to get people going and meet riders at the half way point and help give support, but at this point I think I might be the only rider. Not the worst thing. I was worried I'd have a huge turn out. Looks like it may be pretty low key. Well it's not a huge deal, because I'd host this ride again later this year and again next year. My mentor Chris told me the first year he hosted a ride like this only six people showed up and this year over 700 people registered for his ride. Maybe I should change my ride date for a more desirable time of year. hmm...

Well at this point April 16th is still the ride day and I am still working on the route sheet. It's been fun planning this route because when it's all said and done I think I'll have ridden the route four times or so. Each time thus far the weather has been different and I have loved each experience. The other cool thing is I'm averaging about 120 miles of bike riding a week. 100 of those miles is pure recreation which is very different from my previous years of bike riding.

If people want a shorter loop of this ride I can think up a good shorter loop that will keep you in the range of a four hour ride.

Regardless thanks for reading.

PS. Would you rather have us ride up the North Ridge of Marys Peak? This weekend offered time to hike this trail with my dog Randy. This is some damn gorgeous country.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lost town in the hills

Just a reminder I need those post cards so I can start creating route sheets for all riders.

On Sunday I went out for a ride with Gregg and two guys from Team Dirt. Our ride started at Fort Hoskins and we rode out to Valsetz. What a great ride it was. The road was a well traveled dirt road following the Lukamute river with some great views. The ride offered some good conversation, mutual appreciation for the views, and having riding buddies made it a little more enjoyable.

I've wanted to go to Valsetz ever since I had heard of it. The idea that a hustling bustling town was completely obliterated is so hard for me to understand. Visiting the Adair Military Base is a weird place, but the choice for the military to close up shop and move else where is understandable and a common occurrence in our nation's history. The fact that here was a town in a little valley miles away from another town where there were over 2,000 people living here complete with a two lane bowling alley and a gas station and then one day the logging company just up and closed the town. Couldn't they have closed the mill and just let the town exist and do its own thing?

Well if you have the chance take a look at the website I hyper linked on the first occurrence of "Valsetz,"its pretty neat to look at all the old time pictures.

I think I need to go back and explore more and see what's left of the town. Maybe there are some lost artifacts or something there to tell a story about the life in Valsetz.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The route has been completed

I did the last of the recon today. Pretty tough ride for a single speed. As long as it was flat and smooth things were great. Once the route changed to soft dirt road things slowed down, but were still good, then the road turned into double track with golf ball to fist sized rocks laid every 20 feet or so in small groupings. I've ridden some of this portion of the route before and a geared cross bike handles it well, but maybe I'm a little ambitious with a 46x20 geared SS.

So I followed my planned route but soon realized the map I had showed some roads that existed at one time, but were now heavily over grown. So I followed some more traveled roads in hopes of achieving a similar route. My main concern is having the route on roads we all could figure out and not easily get lost on. So the map showed a large hill. I didn't know this large hill was just shy of being a mountain. The climb just kept going and going. Then at the top there is no gratifying look out, just lots of fir trees. The decent however was awesome. Really really fast with some wide winding turns and then just before you get onto a public road there's a sweet section of single track riddled with whoop-dee-dos and a creek crossing. The creek is about 7 feet wide and 7 inches deep. It's very rideable. But if you're going into it to quickly you're going OTB.

So after this portion I am debating on adding one semi difficult last short and steep climb. For me after 3 hours on the saddle I couldn't do the climb so I by-passed it. I can imagine what a short and steep climb will feel like after 5 hours in the saddle and I'm betting riders would prefer an easier way. The easier way is paved and is against all that this race is about. After the last climb it's flat with a nice long mellow down hill finishing at the starting point. So I'll debate with some people who've attempted this climb and see if a cross bike can do it.

Now since the route has been designed and traversed, it's time I attempted the route in one shot. I need to get the actual milage, real time gps route, and write down where every turn is per cumulative mileage.

Wish me luck! I might need two flasks for this.