Monday, June 14, 2010

Falcon Swamp'O'Rama 2010

What a world cup course looks like? Perhaps not, but it does appear to be relatively common for the Canadian Shield, especially after nearly a month of rain. You have Precambrian Granite... and water... and a little mud and grass in between. I think it's something pretty special. Not fast-moving by any stretch of the imagination. When I rode the Mantario trail years ago it took me 19 hours to cover the 61km (with huge backpack). The latest installment of the Falcon lake race saw it all- 50-meter long swamps, waterholes with sharp rocks, former grassy trails reduced to a bowl of thai soup, and virtually unrelenting rock hopping with a few meters of fire road to stave off the suicidal thoughts. Double the trials of last-year's mud-O-rama. For sure. Remember the Swamps of Sadness from the "Never Ending Story"? Now imagine that your bike got very, very sad and sank all the way in... with you on it. There you go.

To sum up... It was AWESOME. Seriously fun. No world cup course... but FUN. A real Manitoba SPECIAL. Oh yeah, i should also say that it was also HELL. But sometimes HELL is...well...FUN. Maybe that's why I choose to do this in the first place.:)


cory smith said...

Took my bottom bracket apart last night because it sounded like somebody trying to put steel in a meat grinder.New bearings are going to be in order.

Anonymous said...

you've ridden mantario by bike? can you offer me some insight, I've been thinking on trying this feat.

JP said...

Mantario- my tips!

-try to do it when dry (er). It would be insane right now.

-I did it 12 hours the first day, 8 the next. Perhaps now I could do it in a day... definitely wasn't strong enough then. Regardless, plan to spend a night and pack accordingly.

-Expect to carry the bike for nearly 1/3rd of the trail. Fallen trees, large rock gaps, step climbs, beaver dams... and the list goes on.

-Pack light, but you still need the essential tools, spokes, spare this and thats, tubes, patches, tire boots, just to be safe. bike will weigh more as well with the added gear. I took a sleeping bag and a very light tent- you could do the bivy sac thing.

-I had a friend jog it behind me, he could almost keep up at times. Two is safer than one as there are NO outs on the trail. That is perhaps the biggest thing to keep in mind. If you crash half way and injure yourself, you've got 30km of hell to go either direction.

-that said, I opted for "safe mode" riding. This is not the place to "attempt" a cool shelf or downhill chute or whatever. The goal is to make it out as per plan, not to try stuff that you're not sure of. (i got out with only minor scratches).

-Lastly, Good luck!!