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  • T1 training pics, stories, videos

    Post all of that stuff right here.

  • #2
    Team Head East had a successful D1 pre-ride yesterday. Here’s our ride report.

    We arrived at the Idaho/Utah border around 4:45 am and rolled up to the flag pole at 7 pm. 14 hours total with an hour stop in Lava for refuel and lunch. Due to a mistake earlier in the day we decided not to do the challenge section like we originally planned and instead scoped it out since it was on the regular route. It’s got some real technical sections and one should be prepared, especially on a loaded bike.

    The mistake early on could have been a day ender. I looped out on a steep section towards the top of the alternate route to Baldy. Riding a loaded bike is a whole different ball game. Add in a fresh knobby, big ego, and unknown territory and you have a recipe for disaster. I was lucky to not have broke anything more then the plastic deflector on my cycras and bend my radiators a little. Unscathed but shook we continued back to the regular route.

    Being from Idaho did not give us an advantage either. Even though we get to ride a lot of what this state has to offer, we have never ridden anything south of Pocatello. We have been missing out! To add to what others have said there is nothing quite like the Tour. It’s true you really just don’t know til you get here. It’s epic.

    Couple things we learned from our pre-ride hopefully others will find useful:
    * Riding a fully loaded tour bike changes things. Make sure you’re used to it and the bikes suspension is dialed for the extra weight or wear it.
    * Make sure to have charging power for your accessories. My backup gps died just past lava and my phone was running low.
    * Early starts are key, so get good rest the night before and wake before the crack of dawn.
    * Pay attention to the waypoints and read the route book. These have all the right information you need.
    Last edited by LeviMcco; 06-21-2020, 09:54 PM.


    • #3
      My son and I are studying for a 2021 T1 so we took a shot at Day 6 last week. We were at least a couple weeks early but still had a blast. We rode through a lot of snow out of Salmon but made it clear through to Shoup when we hit xyz29 it was too deep so we turned back. We cut LOTS of trees out of the way from salmon to where we turned around. The next day we decided to see how close we could get to stein peak. Lots of trees down, turned around at xyz68 we hadn't hit snow yet but the top of the mountain was very white and our start was late.

      On the way back, at the creek crossing, Max's bike blew a radiator hose. Maybe not the best plan but he ended up walking out. On the way he saw a bear track so he pretty much ran out, 7 miles. We left the bike for the night. The next day I found some radiator hose repair tape at carquest in Salmon, the guy (Dan) said it works so i bought it. I also grabbed some bear spray. We taped up the hose and rode back in, double most of the way. I hiked part of it. I saw more bear shit than you can shake a silky saw at, it was indeed spooky. Anyway the tape worked perfect, in fact it worked so good he put another 75 miles on it the next day not a drop leaked out. "Dorman Help silicone repair tape", I'm keeping some in my pack from now on. Anyway that's the story and lessons learned. More training and study to come. Happy Father's day!
      Last edited by Double D316; 06-21-2020, 10:33 PM.


      • #4
        Team UtHo completed Day 1 this past Saturday. I wanted to share some thoughts from our experience in hopes that it may help others.

        For context, most all of Day 1 is close to us. We are a Team of 3, and live in Northern Utah and/or Southeastern Idaho. The Oxfords and Bannock range (north of Malad) are pretty familiar to us but there were some trails that I had never ridden in that area. All of the trails to the north of Lava Hot Springs (Challenge Section and Robbers Roost) were new to me. Friend and teammate Charles Rhodes had made a Day 1 attempt a few weeks ago and tapped out after close to 200 miles after getting caught in a deluge of rain in the middle of the Challenge Section north of Reed Canyon and Robbers Roost. He was back to successfully complete the Day.

        Early last week we had some unseasonably cooler temperatures and fresh snow above 8,000 feet. The cooler temps kept the moisture in the ground and we had nice mild temperatures for riding all day in the mid-70’s. It was even chilly in the morning requiring jackets. The temperatures and trail conditions are relevant because August can and likely will be drastically different. The perfect trails we were riding Saturday will most likely be full of poofy dust in many areas and temps in the 90’s will be likely. That is a huge variable in a long day of riding.

        We are a team of 3 so we rode the full Team 3 route, including the Bonus Section and Day 1 Challenge Section. We started in Clarkston Utah which is south of the official start about 5 miles or more. We did this because it’s centrally located for the 3 of us and is a convenient jaunt across some dry farms to the official start of the Tour.

        The three of us have ridden thousands of miles together over the years, so that helps as we know how each other operates and some of the subtle nuances involved in a team dynamic. We’re all very experienced riders, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have challenges on obstacles or don’t get tired

        We had all done route planning separately, but had also compared tracks and notes. Even though much of the terrain was familiar, we still took a few minor wrong turns and had to turn around after a few hundred yards when we realized our mistake. I imagine when we get into days that are more unfamiliar, that will be even more likely. We did have a lot of discussion as a team after the day about GPS setup and navigation and did re-think through some of our options. Redundant systems are critical.

        Although I’ve used and tested my PLB (InReach Mini) for the past few months, I still screwed it up somehow and only tracked part of the day. I triggered tracking through the Earthmate app when we started and I don’t think I had it properly paired to my InReach and I didn’t realize this until we were about 70 miles into the day. This is something I’ll need to watch carefully. I also had my InReach attached to my Klim arsenal vest using a Giant Loop Tracker Packer. It’s on my right breast pocket and I think I was bumping it with my helmet because I had somehow sent some pre-composed messages that I didn’t intend to, and it also stopped tracking and I had to turn it on again later in the day. More testing needed on that.

        We had radio communications that worked well, and it was super nice to be able to communicate. We encountered a few sets of hikers and equestrians and it was nice to give warning to those behind. Additionally, it was really nice to warn of oncoming traffic, especially UTV traffic on some of the dirt roads.

        Our bikes were fully loaded. This was a full simulation. We carried everything we plan to take for the Tour. I carried a 2 gallon Giant Loop Gas bag for the first 80 miles or so just because I wanted to make sure I knew how the bike would feel and react, and also to test my mounting system. I need to make some minor adjustments to how I had it mounted.

        It took us close to 15 hours (inclusive of Bonus Section and Challenge Section), and actual moving/ride time was just over 11 hours. I was surprised our Stopped Time was as much as it was, but we did take a few luxuries by stopping for a drink, tots, and corn dog in Downey (and gas). By the time we got to the Challenge Section, we took several rest stops and helped each other through some obstacles.

        As for the trails and route, here are a few things that stood out to me.
        • The Day 1 Bonus section is all very comparable trail (difficulty and type) to the trail that you otherwise ride towards Old Baldy Peak. However, it’s the last half mile climb to the ridge that is the variable. You’re cruising along a regular ATV trail with a few rocks, and then it turns and goes straight up towards the ridge. That last “straight up” part is what will get you. It was easy to loop out on a fully loaded tour bike…don’t ask me how I know. The trail on the map turns a little the south and sidehills up to the ridge, but on the ground, it’s kind of a free for all that last quarter mile to the ridge. We had to get a little creative and sidehill and switchback it up and we all made it but it wasn’t pretty.
        • After heading out to Oxford Peak, watch for the little singletrack on the way back that avoids a gnarly loose rock climb getting out of there.
        • Kent’s Canyon in the Bannock Range (north of Malad) is super fun. The last quarter mile or so to the ridgeline was very rocky and gnarly. It was fun and totally rideable but I was surprised how it went from pretty mellow to gnarly in a hurry.
        • Challenge Section. I can’t believe I’ve never ridden these awesome trails even though they’re less than a couple hours from home. Charles had ridden them a few weeks ago and had a little PTSD after being caught in a major downpour right in the gnarliest sections of the trail. However, he was a good sport for me and Brent since we really wanted to ride them and agreed to give it another go. Reed Canyon starts off innocent enough. It’s a gorgeous nice singletrack with super lush green vegetation all around as it starts up the drainage. But that all changes quickly as it starts to climb the last quarter mile or so. It goes up through a stand of pines with lots of exposed roots and loose rock/dirt. You pass the “Lemonade Stand” sign (thanks Shane Johnson), and then one last good climb up to the top. The dirt was wet for us which was both good and bad. It was slick on the roots, but I think the dirt was just wet enough that it compacted some, allowing us to make the climb. I’ve ridden enough in these mountains to know that in August, that same hill has the potential to be a huge loose, silty, poofy, rut, all the way to the top. Throw in 90-100 degree temps and it could make for a different experience.
          • Once to the top of Reed Canyon you intersect the Bob Smith (or Girl Scout trail). Taking this to the north takes you along an exposed sidehill. This was a super cool trail, but be warned that there are at least half a dozen or more really good root or rock obstacles. It’s not that there’s any one single obstacle that is unrideable….it’s the fact that at this point in the day you will have ridden 175 miles and fatigue sets in, so the cumulative effect of obstacle after obstacle can take it’s toll, especially when hot and tired on a fully loaded bike.
        • I’m really glad we rode the Challenge Section but I admit, it caused us as a team to re-think our challenge section strategy. I was initially totally convinced we needed to ride that section on Day 1 during our actual Tour (knowing we had a rest day in Pocatello). But now we’re reconsidering and looking at the bigger picture of “what gives us the best odds of success as a team to complete 10 days….not just 1). As a result, we’ve prioritized some of the other challenge sections higher for us as a team.
        • Gas mileage. I averaged between 42-53 mpg on my 2018 500 EXC, depending on the section. Sections with the most road provided the best mpg.
        • Food. I stuffed my entire right front pocket of my Klim vest with a variety of trail snacks/food. We did stop in Downey and indulged on some Idaho Tater Tots, CornDog, and a cold drink, but that was a luxury that I know won’t exist most days on the Tour. We were all surprised how much of the “food” we ate that we took. We made it a point to eat and drink at all the challenge points. This was sort of a “forced” stop anyway, and was a reminder to eat and drink…..but otherwise keep moving down the trail in all other places.

        It was a pleasure meeting Martin and thanking him for all his time. This is a Labor of Love and I realize he doesn’t have to do any of this. We’re all the benefactors of his efforts. These are all public trails that we all have access to at any time, but the time, energy, and effort to stitch it all together into a cohesive route and share it with all of us is just awesome in my opinion. I absolutely love this kind of stuff. I’m a total map geek and my wife teases me all the time when I will spend hours and hours staring at maps, connecting and dreaming about routes. The Tour has been a bucket list item for me since 2007. I can’t wait to get the rest of this party started.

        Bottom line, our Day 1 pre-run was 100% worth it. We absolutely learned some things and are making some modifications and adjustments to not only our physical configuration, but also to our overall strategy and planning.

        I recognize not everyone lives close enough to the exact route to pre-run some sections, but that’s ok. My recommendation would be, plan a 200+ mile route in your local area. Throw in some stuff that is new to you so you have to rely more on your navigation than personal knowledge of the trails. Load your bike exactly as you would load it for the Tour, clothes, food, gas, saw, etc. Plan to ride a minimum of 10-11 hours (actual seat time), and then take note of what adjustments you need to make.

        I’ve put together a video compilation of Day 1 that may be useful.
        Last edited by RideWithMike962; 06-24-2020, 08:47 AM.


        • #5
          Great write up, and awesome video Mike. Question for you, are you using a GoPro? I've been thinking about bringing a sport cam to video and was wondering about the additional hassle. Are you just turning it on and off in random places, or are you running it all the time?


          • #6
            Originally posted by Pundy View Post
            Great write up, and awesome video Mike. Question for you, are you using a GoPro? I've been thinking about bringing a sport cam to video and was wondering about the additional hassle. Are you just turning it on and off in random places, or are you running it all the time?
            I'm using a GoPro 7 with a Dango Designs chin mount. If you turn on the "Quick Capture" feature of your GoPro, it allows you to turn your GoPro on and off and start recording with a push of a button. I don't leave it recording all the time.....way too much battery and data usage. With the chin mount and Quick Capture feature, it makes it super easy to just reach up and push the button to turn it on and record, and then turn it off.

            I'm wearing a Fly Formula helmet and it mounts nicely to the front. My teammate has a Troy Lee Designs helmet and he bought the same mount and it doesn't work as well on his helmet because the chin piece is "peaked" in the middle so the mount is always sliding off to one side or the other.

            Also, depending on what helmet you use, you may or may not have to buy some GoPro arm extensions to get the camera rotated back far enough for the right angle. I bought mine through Upshift Online. On my helmet, I discovered that I don't need the arm extensions. I just rotate the camera as far back as it will go right against the helmet and it's just right.

            I admit that when I'm climbing hills and am bent over a little more, I don't like how much of the bars it gets in the shot, but when standing or when riding in a more upright position it seems just about right. I'm not a fan of chest mounts because I feel like the footage is nothing but the front end of the bike the whole time. My personal preference is when I mount it below my visor (which I do for racing footage.....but I only turn it on once and leave it), but for trail riding, I feel like this is the best and most convenient setup I've found.

            The other nice thing with the Dango mount is that you can easily detach it and use it for other shots. That's what I did when I was helping my buddies up the hill in the Challenge Section. There was a big dead tree so I just unclipped it, mounted it to the tree, and got a nice stable shot.


            • #7
              Originally posted by LeviMcco View Post
              The mistake early on could have been a day ender. I looped out on a steep section towards the top of the alternate route to Baldy. Riding a loaded bike is a whole different ball game. Add in a fresh knobby, big ego, and unknown territory and you have a recipe for disaster. I was lucky to not have broke anything more then the plastic deflector on my cycras and bend my radiators a little. Unscathed but shook we continued back to the regular route.
              I appreciate that you can admit this. We had much the same experience and caused us to re-think doing the Day 1 Bonus section. We made it up fine but it wasn't pretty and we had a little carnage so it made us think whether or not we should do something like that so early on in the day and the entire tour. Thinking big picture.

              It was nice bumping into you guys on the trail. Team UtHo is rooting for you, especially being one of the first (or the first?) team out.


              • LeviMcco
                LeviMcco commented
                Editing a comment
                It sure was humbling. Having to turn back from something you know you could do otherwise was hard and is a lesson learned. As you mentioned, we started thinking big picture.

                Likewise, nice to meet you guys out there and look forward to watching team UtHo’s TOI run!

            • #8
              Team 2412 will be pre running D1 tomorrow 6/27/20
              PLB links on calendar and in forum. Ride report likely to follow.


              • #9
                Ive been out riding a few sections of the tour over the last week, including all of D3 and the southern third of D5.

                D3 was relatively straight forward. The only insight I would add is regarding the river crossing just outside of Ketchum that Martin described in his PBR series. This year (at least it was a week ago) it is easy. I turned off the main road at the waypoint, saw the trail on the other side of the river, and crossed directly to it. Boot top deep and no hunting for good crossing spots.

                Two days ago I tried to ride D5. Due to a massive downfall of trees I was only able to ride the southern third of the day. I was riding solo, but it took me seven hours to negotiate 12 miles of trail. I'm really hoping someone with a chain saw is able to get in there before the tour starts up. That aside, the picture below is from that day- incredible section of single track. WOW- can't wait.


                • #10
                  Hello Tour Friends. I wanted to pass on an experience from our ride this weekend and talk about one thing on the tour that I think can catch some people a little off guard once they are on the trail. Sidehills. There are a lot of sidehill along the route. Some innocuous, some outright scary. I am a pretty decent sidehill rider especially after the tour. But you need to the right mix of confidence and reverence for them because they can jump up and bite you pretty quick. You also need to be comfortable riding side hills on your tour bike, with the big tank and whatever additional width your bags create on the back of the bike. I highly recommend taking your fully loaded (bags as full as they would be on the tour), and find you some sidehill. All sorts. Narrow. Steep up and downs hill. Know exactly how much room you have to the side of you if you’re running sidehill up against a bank. Know how the weight of your bike feels if you have to creep around a protrusion. And above all, stay focused. A split second of not paying attention can put you off and out of tour pretty quickly.

                  This weekend, I rode an area that I am really familiar with on my two stroke. And on a trail I have ridden more times than I can remember, I clipped a stump in the greens with my bar and sent myself for a ride. Luckily, the dirt is soft in this area and there is a lot of squishy underbrush. And, It wasn’t a sidehill of considerable exposure. So what did I do? As soon as I started to go off, I saw there were some rather mean looking stumps and tried tuck and roll to avoid, which thankfully I did. Once I was stopped tumbling, I crawled up and activated the buddy alarm on my Trail Tech Voyager Pro. I have never had to scroll through the menu upside down. I might practice that. It was awkward. And if you’re not on a fuel injected bike (which I think most of you will be so this will be a non issue) turn that gas off. If you go off side hill and it takes awhile to get things sorted, you're going to want to keep your fuel in your bike (especially on some of those longer days with minimal stations). We don’t run the two strokes with bags for general trail riding but we do keep the recovery kit in the van at the staging area. We didn’t need it in this case, but we could have run down and gotten it if needed.

                  Also, if this was my fully loaded tour bike, it would have been a bear to wrestle out of there and we would have likely wanted to pull the bags before we tried to extract it even with the recovery kit.

                  So the lessons yesterday. The Trail Tech Voyager Pro is awesome because you can see if your buddies are moving and they can send alert to each other if there is a problem. Assess and manage the situation. Have the right tools with you to get out of trouble. And above all else, respect the sidehill!

                  I posted the full video over on the facebook group as it was too large to upload here.


                  • #11
                    Team WUN will be riding D9 backwards from Wallace to the Powell Ranger station leaving Thursday evening, but our main two days will be Friday and Saturday. We are going to be getting a jump by leaving Thursday evening with the intent of getting a couple hours of riding in, camping out then finishing the route backwards. We will ride the actual course leaving bright and early Saturday morning. We intend to hit the CS and BS as well.

                    I’ll update the trail conditions when we return.

                    Our PLB’s will be going!


                    • Martin
                      Martin commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Tour vet Donn Dennis emailed me last night with a report for this area. It's second hand but coming from Donn I trust it's accuracy. He says that there is still plenty of snow up high on D9 trails. I have little reason to doubt any of this because 1) it's from Donn and 2) I've encountered snow in the same places he describes in August some years. I'll be interested in your report. Carry saws, you'll need them.

                    • Hammy713
                      Hammy713 commented
                      Editing a comment
                      Thanks so much for the heads up. I’ll keep you posted.

                  • #12
                    Random Roots, I mean Robber's Roost is a fun ride. We rode it on 7/6. It is pretty much all either uphill or downhill with rocky spots and rabbit trails. For me the tricky parts were the luge like uphills with so much overgrowth that you can't see what is coming. You never know if just around the corner is a rock or root waiting to get you. There was even a bathtub size snow drift up near the top.


                    • #13
                      Originally posted by Julie Jones View Post
                      Random Roots, I mean Robber's Roost is a fun ride. We rode it on 7/6. It is pretty much all either uphill or downhill with rocky spots and rabbit trails. For me the tricky parts were the luge like uphills with so much overgrowth that you can't see what is coming. You never know if just around the corner is a rock or root waiting to get you. There was even a bathtub size snow drift up near the top.
                      Just wait until you get to Fish Creek Trail on day 8! LOL


                      • #14
                        Well, well, well, Team WUN - We were ambitious to say the least... A little update about 9D trail and conditions.

                        We left Wallace on Thursday evening and camped out about an hour out of town along the route. The weather conditions changed on us for the worst and rained all night. We woke at 430 and headed out by about 515. The problem we encountered was fog, lots of fog and wind. Trail 16A was the real deal in portions for sure. It is an amazing trail - single track, rooty, and rocky but challenging. At times I thought, no way this would be on the route, but it was. Riding along a cliffs edge with glacial type snow just below. We ran into some serious side-hilling but in the wet grass with fog it was really tough - scary tough. We had a really hard time finding the trail near WP 9Dxyz56. In the fog it was hard to get our bearings and could see a trail in the distance but it was lower on the hillside. So, off we went trying to make it through the wet slick bear grass covered steep hillside just to realize it wasn't the right trail. We spent about 3 exhausting hours trying to get back out of that hole and looking for the actual trail. Now, keep in mind, we were going backwards so coming from the other directions will help this problem a lot.

                        We are both experienced and competent riders but man, in the fog, wetness, and fighting a loaded bike (to include picking it up countless times) that side-hill heading to Stevens Peak had my nerves. We made it though, just to be rewarded with more cliff edge rocky single track and some of the best trails I've ever ridden - truly adrenaline pumping/white knuckled at times.

                        For the most part, the trails were pretty clear. We did run into snow in a couple spots but we have ridden a ton of snow this year and we were able to make our way through it and continue on. However, we finally got "nackered" near WP 9Dxyz35 at about 7200'. We ran into snow that we couldn't pass from the direction we were headed. It was up hill and would have been too much of a fight for a mere training ride. We felt the snow will most likely be melted in a few weeks but if not, it should be passable from the uphill side, which will be the route direction. We turned back around at that point and camped out for the night on the way back.

                        Today gave us clear skies and perfect warm temps. It was amazing how much that helped put things in perspective, just being able to see.

                        We are so excited to ride the TOI and want to give a big shout-out to Martin for putting this together, you have found some amazing and respectable trails to tie together. We also tip our hats to all the finishers, especially the solo guys (I thought I could imagine but at this point, have no idea how tough the trails will be). We just got a very small sample of what lies ahead, which was excellent because its hard to imagine just what completing the TOI entails. The trails we rode are the real deal and not a light undertaking.

                        Keep in mind, this was the last 55-60 miles of 9D so we have no idea whats further south (between WP 35-0).

                        Good luck to everyone and ride safe!


                        • RideWithMike962
                          RideWithMike962 commented
                          Editing a comment
                          Thank you for the ride/trail report. Living on the southern end of the route, I have a real good idea of what to expect up through about Day 4, but everything north of there is new for me so I appreciate the insight. Weather is such a huge variable that is totally outside of our control, so I realize that to be successful for an entire tour run, it takes more than just preparation and planning, but it also takes a lot of good luck to be on your side.
                          The common denominator in everyone's pre-running and planning seems to be, don't underestimate the task at hand

                      • #15