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Author Archives: hatepavement

DB Bikepack – Part 1

Note: photo credits to Lori, Jessie, and Luke! This post was written by Chuck, and Luke has added commentary in Blue while Bob has added some commentary in Green.

What happens when three manly men from Team Virtus team up with Jessie from Orange Lederhosen for an adventure?  An awesome weekend of bikepacking!

We had long planned a weekend adventure for the Nov 5th and 6th weekend, then things like jobs and conflicting plans starting making it look like a no-go.

Luckily some last minute changes brought it back to life.  We threw together a quick route plan and with a healthy dose of IWWIO we all met at the Loutre Market early Saturday afternoon.  We all filled up on Champs chicken and added to our already prodigious beer stash before finishing the final load-out of our bike packing rigs.

The loosely put together plan would have us ride gravel from the market (near the hwy 19 bridge to Hermann) to the Daniel Boone Conservation area, camp that night at one of the 10 primitive sites, then ride back in the morning via Massas Creek road.

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We hit the KATY trail and stopped for a quick pic of our loaded rigs

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Luke: I love the planning and tweaking of my rig for trips like this. Especially when I forget a bunch of stuff and have to rig up straps and attachment points with shit I have in the back of my van. Luckily, I have a bunch of shit in the floor and trunk of my van, so there’s plenty of stuff with which to improvise.

And then headed east on the KATY into a beautiful fall day

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I obviously have some bikepack learning to do before I get into longer trips.  The bike bags were really full, my backpack was bulging, and I don’t yet know what to do to lighten them up.  No way could the stainless steel 64oz growler of Friendship Brewery Stout be left behind.

Luke: It’s always a learning process. We need to learn to start leaving some of the bulkier items behind to save space and weight. However, leaving the growler of delicious beer behind is never an option. Never. Ever.

I’ve begun to just accept the fact that my rig will always be heavy. Screw it.

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I warned our eager group that there would be doing some climbing on the way to the campsite, but I’m not so sure they were happy with my day 1 route choice once we hit the hills.

Luke: Yeah. Chuck told us we had “some climbing” to do. But that was like saying Bob sorta kinda likes whiskey once in awhile – a serious understatement. Eff those damn climbs!

Those climbs were bullshit.  BULLSHIT!!!

 

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Bob at top of a climb

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Jessie and Chuck at top of climb

Once we got into the DB conservation area the hills leveled off and both sides of the road filled with tall trees of the forest area, we all started to feel good about the weekend ahead of us.  We rode past several camp sites, finding them all full.  With Missouri whitetail season starting in a couple of days, we suspected this was the last big scouting weekend. We were running out of options, but luckily we ended up snagging the very last site (IWWIO again!) on the far north end of the conservation area.

Luke: After the ridiculous climbing, riding along the top of that ridge was a blast. Beautiful, easy pedaling.

We had plenty of time before dark to get all our camp gear set up and firewood gathered for the night.

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Bob brought the biggest wood

Let’s be honest…i look pretty damn sexy in this picture.

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Lukes perfectly hung hammock

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My well hung hammock after some rigging help from NOLS graduate Luke.

Luke: That reminds me… Have I ever told you about my NOLS course?

We even found enough time before dark to practice our Survival Situation Skills with my newly replaced knife (the last one broke while being thrown at dead trees).

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After a little instruction, Jessie joined the elusive and exclusive ‘One-Spark Club’ by using  flint and steel to start our evening fire with ONE SPARK.

Luke: Well done, Jessie!

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Anyone that has been around a Team Virtus campfire knows it is only a matter of time before a chimney log is burning.  This weekend was no exception,  Bob found a great log not far from the campsite and it wasn’t long before it was blazing away and spouting jet-like flames out the top.

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I held a little tid-bit of info from the group until after dark…..My awesome and beautiful wife had a photo-shoot Saturday afternoon not far from where we were camping.  So it was a GREAT surprise for everyone when she showed up with deep dish pizza and a second growler of stout from Tin Mill brewery in Hermann.

Luke: Seriously. I can’t tell you how awesome the pizza and beer was. And the pizza was still hot and the beer was ice cold! In the middle of the woods while bikepacking! How freaking cool is that?! Big thanks to the always-amazing Lori.

That was so badass. She’s done that for us TWICE now. So delicious..i think I may have had too much and “fell asleep early”.

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So with our bellies full of beer and pizza we all fell asleep near the fire.  Lori and Jessie got a last picture of the three manly men before Jessie crawled in her tent and Lori headed for home.

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Luke: One of the best night’s sleep I’ve ever had in the woods. I call the middle spot next time!

(to be continued in part 2….)

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SHART #1 Finishers and Photos

“All good things come to an end.”

Why start the post with a 1374 Chaucer quote?  Two reasons:  Because the first SHART has ended.  And because, it was a ‘good thing’ judging from the big cheesy smiles plastered all over the faces of these finishers!

 

Lukas Lamb

Luke at CP3 of SHART #1

 

Bob F’n Jenkins

Bob's Peninsula at the SHART

 

Lo Mattson, Alice Butler, Ted and Sandy Weiss (with a great photobomb!)

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Cheri Becker

cheri

 

Mickey Boianoff

mickey

 

Kate Geisen

kate

 

Sean Ross and Melanie Bateman

mel and sean

 

Jim Woodson

woodson

 

Susan Kubinak

kube

 

David Beattie, Kevin Minton, Amanda Lappe, Scott Shaw, John Nass, Hunter Nass

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Steve Fuller

fuller

 

Hope you guys had a great time playing in our SHART!  If anyone was missed in the finisher list let one of us know and we’ll get you added.

btw, Chaucer was full of shit with his “All good things come to an end”.  There is only a temporary pause and then the good things keep right on coming.  So don’t forget to follow the Virtus Blog and Facebook page for info on the next SHART to come splattering into the woods near you.

 

The SHART is Happening – RIGHT NOW!

You may have read the earlier post advertising an upcoming Team Virtus SHART.  Well, it is here!  Our SHART is now available for your pleasure, and just in time to brush up route planning and navigation skills for the Castlewood Adventure race.  We plan to leave the course set for a couple of weeks, but don’t wait too long. There is no guarantee the points wont be removed by other folks in the area or carried away by Sasquatch.

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This first edition is intended as a Mountain Bike-O, don’t worry about the picture above – that kind of stuff never happens.  But feel free to do it on foot if you like that better, its short enough to do either way.  The course is a combination of mostly sweet single-track and a little double-track (if you end up on pavement, you’ve made a big mistake).  There are 15 checkpoints spread around the trails.

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We intended the first SHART to be beginner friendly, so even though none of the CP’s are directly on a trail, all are within 50 meters.  Most have distinguishing features or a  handrail nearby.  Depending on your navigation skills and route choice they can all be found within an 18 kilometer ride/run.

 A quick reminder of how this works:

  1. Message one of our team members with the subject line: “I gotta SHART!”
  2. We’ll reply with a .pdf file of the pre-plotted 1:12000 map and a copy of the cluesheet.
  3. Print your map  – 11×17 paper works out great, or go paperless and just scan the bar-code into your phone.
  4. Complete the course – remember to record the letters written in each CP to complete the secret phrase.
  5. Message us back with the secret phrase and a photo of you (clothing optional) near your favorite CP.
  6. We list you as an OFFICIAL finisher.

 

You already know we aren’t into making a bunch of rules, so you can use map and compass, dead reckoning, sextant, phone, or GPS.  Whatever skills you want to work on, the course is available:  Adventure Racing –  Scavenger Hunt – Orienteering – Geocaching.

 

Come SHART With Us!

Team Virtus didn’t earn the title of Least Elite Adventure Racing Team in Missouri the World by simply cooking expired meat on campfires and drinking dark beers. No! We train. We train long and hard. And now we’re ready to share one of our top-secret training methods with all of you.

Sleeping Virtus at Thunder Rolls Adventure Race

Training paying off big in the 2015 Thunder Rolls Adventure Race

The SHared Adventure Race Training series ended up with an unplanned and entirely coincidental acronym that fits our middle-school level sense of humor so well, we stuck with it.

Here’s how the SHARTs will work:

We’ll set up a fun and challenging orienteering course that can be completed in a couple hours. We leave the course set out for 30 days. You come, play, and train on it for free!

How many times have you wanted to attend an organized ride, run, or O-meet but the calendar was already full with the kind of shit life throws your way, and you just couldn’t make it on that one-single-day?

Now you can pick a day, any day, out of the 30 or so days the course stays up. Bring friends or do it alone. Do it in the daylight the first time, come back after dark the second time. (Pay attention to the area rules wherever the course is set. )

High quality 1:24000 maps and a clue sheet will be provided in the form of .pdf files which will be linked on this blog and the Facebook page. You then print your own map from the file, as big (or as little) as you like.  Or forget about printing altogether by scanning the barcode with your phone for a paperless copy of the course.  Here is a sample of what the maps will look like with a couple CP’s plotted.

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Each CP will have a letter to record.  For example, CP1 has the letter W written inside. CP2 has the letter H…. keep gathering letters from the 7 checkpoints until you spell the secret word – in this example the word might be “WHISKEY”. You will then message us privately with the secret word and we’ll add your name to the growing list of distinguished SHARTer’s. If you want to record your time or share a GPS of your route, send that too, we’d love to see it.

Keep checking the blog and FB. The first Virtus SHART is coming soon.  In fact, the first course design is already complete. The course map is made and verified by GPS. Once the controls (custom made by my amazing and beautiful wife) are hung, we’ll publish the course.

We’re kind of excited about this idea and would love to hear your comments. Do you love it or hate it? Think it will work out or suck completely?

If this does work out and more than 1 person thinks it’s cool, we’ll set up additional courses at different locations in the future and challenge other teams to out-SHART us by creating courses of their own!

Quick note: This is not a race or organized sporting event in any way, shape or form.  Consider it the cool version of Geocaching.  There are no waivers to sign, no entry fees to pay, and there will be absolutely no involvement with the governing bodies of cycling, running, or shitting of the pants while farting. There will be no chip timing, no number plates and no hot apple cider with pickles at fancy Aid Stations. This is strictly a “For-Fun” outdoor challenge at a time and date of your choosing.

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