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[RC] [RC] howard and racing - rides2far



O I have been to some crowded rides before (Biltmore) 
where this 
type of thing is just an accident waiting to happen

Not at Biltmore. They have the finish line *far* from camp for that very
reason. You could race in, and have plenty of time to get them stopped
before they ever hit people in camp. There's two different places where
they put their finish lines...one is about a 15 minute walk from camp
along the river and almost nobody ever goes down there to see the finish
(O.K. maybe they've just left by the time I come in). The other is at the
top of about a 1/4 mile long hill in a huge open field. People do come
out to see that one but they're not distracted by any other activities
like taking P&Rs or anything and there aren't little kids running between
camps since it's about 1/4 mile to the nearest trailer. The Biltmore is a
huge, important ride but Ann has resisted the urge to make the finish
more dramatic by having it within sight of camp...thank you Ann. :-)

As for not getting hit in a car...don't bet on it. One of the biggest
safety hazards I've seen is when a dirt road is open to vehicle traffic
at a time when the frontrunners may be coming through. Nancy gets that
little white van well off to the side. >g<

I have done my share of managing rides with improper finish lines just
because I didn't know any better. The first one I managed had a major
highway crossing just before the 100 yard dash to the finish right
through camp. That one had been a tradition but we finally moved it. Had
to add about 5 miles of pavement to the ride to have the horses come into
camp from behind but I have a news video of Susan Kasemayer getting
knocked out when her horse fell on the pavement in "the good ol' days" so
I *guess* it was worth it. >g< 

A few years ago I helped pick the finish line for the first Longstreet's
Charge held on top of Pigeon Mtn. We chose a wide spot in the trail about
1/4 mi. from camp. It was a field with about 100 yards of open ground so
we put the finish line at the far end.  Unfortunately, where the dirt
road picked back up out of the other end it took a 90 degree turn to the
right. Nina Warren was riding either Desert Ballad or Jedi, forget which
but both were FAST and she told me later that she could have reached down
and scooped up some dirt in her hand when he took that turn. >shudder<
Note to self...either don't give them enough room to crank it up in the
first place, or give them enough to get it cranked back down afterwards!

What it comes down to is the finish line shouldn't be right at camp. It
is a dangerous place even when you're paying attention and keeping a tree
handy is not a bad idea at all.

Angie



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