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[RC] [RC] Tevis Low Completion - Lucy Chaplin Trumbull

Darlene Anderson:
> I sure wish there could be better than a 43% completion
> rate though! What is it about Tevis that riders aren't
> able prepare for? I'm curious here...

Kathy Sherman:
> The trail out of Robinson Flat was changed this year
> to ?reclaim? a section that has been closed for ?I don?t
> know how long? due to a fire that had gone through Duncan
> Canyon and left it in an unsafe to pass through (dead trees
> in danger of falling over).

Years ago, the ride use to go through Duncan Canyon. The
WS100 run still continued to use this trail until the
Star Fire in 2001 that wiped out 100s of acres of forest.

This year, the Duncan Canyon trail was once again opened
for the WS100 run (Tevis riders should be thankful the ride
hasn't opted to use this beautiful trail - it's a great trail,
but adds yet another few thousand feet of descent/climbing. :) )

> A rider told me that it might
> have added 30 min to the ride. I know it added time at a
> place where you used to be able to make up some time.

I think Kathy hit the nail on the head with the above comment.

Prior to the new trail out of Robinson Flat, riders used to
travel down an dirt road for several miles. This section
has now been replaced with a section of trail that has many
switchbacks, rocks, and is obviously slower. IMO, the trail
is an excellent addition to the ride (the dirt road out of
RF wasn't a great option) but the extra time it takes needs
to be taken into account. I also heard people mentioning that
it would add 20 minutes to the overall trail.

> It looks like 19 riders were OT at Michigan Bluff compared
> to 6 last year.

Yup, I agree.

> an occurrence not too long out of
> Robie Park definitely contributed to many of the end group
> of riders being overtime.
> ...
> ...a very large group of riders...was held at a complete stop
> for 20 minutes (one rider timed it) due to what appeared to
> be at least one horse that wouldn?t cross a water crossing
> on the trail. When I heard that, I expected to come upon a
> huge obstacle that we?d have to overcome?instead we found a
> small trench with a few inches of water in it...

I overheard a rider during the best condition judging talking
about this trail "obstacle". She said that she pre-rode the
trail on Thursday and her horse took an instant dislike to
this small trench and refused to cross. She worked on it for
45 minutes, finally managing to persuade the horse to jump
the trench to the side where it was narrower and deeper.

On the day, she was able to squeeze past the horses that
refused to cross, by going around and jumping the trench -
but only because her horse had practised this ahead of time -
otherwise it would have been a dangerous option.

Another factor was the new method of starting the ride. To try to avoid horses standing waiting for the start for up to an hour (previously they told riders who wanted to start near the front to get there early, as they wouldn't be allowed to push through from the back), they separated riders into three "pens" and released them at five minute intervals to walk to the start.

The idea is a good one - but the main problem was how they
had to select who went into which pen. Next year will be
better because riders will be able to indicate where in
the field they'd like to start, but this year they had to
rely on people's ride records over the past year and use
that as an indication of the speed people ride.

Of course, that doesn't take into account people who have
horses that need to let off steam at the start of a ride
before settling in, or those who were concentrating on
putting slow strength bases on their horses, or even those
who were riding with slower friends over the previous year.
It might have meant that the start was messed up for some
people who, like Kathy, got caught behind other riders and
slowed down.

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Lucy Chaplin Trumbull
elsietee AT foothill DOT net
Repotted english person in the Sierra foothills, California
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