This is how I spent my weekend ...
For those not familiar, we were given "passports" with up to 10 checkpoints we could try to reach, taking a photo at each one to prove we were there. This was Choose Your Own Adventure at its best! Rules here. Required gear here. Passports here.
These were the routes Greg and I chose. Let's see if I can remember this correctly ...
Saturday - 12 hours on the nose
Mandatory start route: Cove Creek > 225A. Then 225 > 475B > 276 > 477 > Bennett (checkpoint 1 at Saddle Gap) > 476 > Clawhammer > Maxwell > Black (checkpoint 2 at Turkeypen Gap Trail) > Turkeypen Gap Trail (checkpoint 3 at Wagon Road Gap) > SMR (checkpoint 4 at Mullinax) > Mullinax > Squirrel (out and back, checkpoint 5 at Laurel Gap) > Laurel/Bradley > 5015 > 1206 > 5000 > Bear Branch singletrack (checkpoint 6 at top) > 5001 - Bear Branch road > 5000 > Spencer Gap (checkpoint 7 at Trace Ridge, lights on) > Spencer Branch > Never-Ending Road (checkpoint 8 at Middle Fork) > Middle Fork > Spencer Branch > Reservoir Road > 5000 > 1206 > Slate Rock - 320A (out and back, mandatory checkpoint 9 on Slate Rock) > 1206 > 276 > 475B > 225 (to gate!) > 225 > Mandatory finish: 225A > Cove Creek (finishing with a flat tire!)
Sunday - 9-1/2 hours of riding
Time Trial: 809 - Cove Creek Road > 475 > 471 (pick up passports at 471D). Then 471D (checkpoint 1 at Butter Gap) > Butter Gap (checkpoint 2 at Long Branch, lights off) > Long Branch > 475 > 229 (mandatory checkpoint 3 at Farlow Gap) > Farlow Gap (checkpoint 4 at Daniel Ridge) > Daniel Ridge > 225A > 225 > 475B > 276 > Pink Beds (checkpoint 5 at Barnett Branch) > 476 > SMR (out and back, checkpoint 6 at Wolf Ford) > Buckhorn Gap > Black (out and back, checkpoint 7 at shelter) > Black (checkpoint 8 at Pressley Gap) > Maxwell > 477 > Bennett (checkpoint 9 at Coontree Gap) > Coontree > 276 > 475 > 809 - Cove Creek Road > FINISH!
Just how close was it? After Saturday, the 2nd through 5th-placed teams were tied. As it was, 2nd through 4th finished overall virtually tied, with 2nd and 3rd edging us out based on passing an extra Mandatory Test and with time bonuses. I think it's safe to say it was the most competitive Double Dare yet!