The Ergon-sponsored Pisgah Mountain Bike Adventure Race is not to be taken lightly. The race website tells the story:
“Teams of two riders will race to reach 4 of 5 checkpoints, in any order, and return to the start/finish. Checkpoint locations will remain secret until start-time and there is no suggested route. Routes will vary between 50-70 miles, will include 9,000-15,000 feet of climbing, and should take 6-12 hours to complete. PLEASE DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE EXTREME DIFFICULTY OF THIS EVENT.
The Pisgah MTB Adventure is held deep in the Pisgah National Forest, one of the most beautiful, rugged, and unforgiving areas in the nation. There will be little to no water or food support on course. Once you leave the start/finish you are on your own. There will be no drops, sag wagons, or other outside support available. Be prepared for any circumstances you may encounter including, but not limited to: medical emergencies, navigational errors, inoperable equipment, wild animals, and stinging/poisonous insects and plants.”
Eddie and Namrita O’Dea of Team Topeak-Ergon USA paired up for the 2010 event. 100 teams registered, 86 teams started, and only 55 finished. While the O’Deas did not have the same trail knowledge as the locals, their navigation and route choice proved to be quite good. They went for 4 checkpoints and were the third team to finish. However, thirteen teams went for 5 checkpoints and received 3-hour time bonuses, eventually putting the O’Deas in 15th place overall. They were the first male-female team to finish.
“The Pisgah forest is stunning, but very challenging on the riders and equipment. We were well prepared and luckily the only tool in the pack we used was our camera.
source: Jeff Kerkove
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