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National Championship

Steve, I'm glad you brought this subject up.  I was planning to go to
the Nat'l Champship; however, did not for several reasons.  I have some
circumstances and considerations others don't have so my personal
perspective is probably slanted.  We take at least one out-of-state trip
a year.  One year it was the Big Horn in Wyoming; the ROC in Utah; Pan
Amer in Flagstaff, etc.  My hubby is wheelchair bound, so I MUST know
exactly where we are going and what sort of accommodation can be had
within a reasonable distance to base camp.  Then, because we are both
self employed (and so are my daughter and son in law who transport
horses, crew, etc.) I need an exact date so I can set up supervision for
the help, make sure the attendant for my husband can come and the
details go on for months.  Now, first of all the exact location is
helpful.  I have that now for next year (received four days prior to the
ride);  The date and time are crucial (a change can be dealt with if
it's early enough, because accommodations are hard to get for
wheelchairs)  So, date, time and location of ride with exact directions
Way Ahead of Time are essential to me.  Next, a trail description is
good for me because I need to know if it is one loop or two or what, to
determine crewing questions.  Are there any statistics for this ride?
How long does it take an average rider?  What are the elevations?
Temperatures?  How's the camping?  Water?  Water on the trail?  By the
time I got all the info a penalty was in effect to enter.   Now, I can
see this if AERC had sent me stuff or handed it out at the qualifying
rides, but they didn't and I didn't want to pay for that.    I agree
that normal (or even double) points should be granted.  If I am vying
for a spot on the regional awards, I couldn't afford to miss it and I'm
sure interest would be peaked.  Awards?  I'm not a big awards person,
but I'm always curious.   I really liked the idea they treated the
weight divisions like individual rides (not overall winner, etc.)  A
local ride did that last year and it was terrific.  I like to know who
the vets are, although it's not crucial.  Barney and Linda are two of my
favorite people, so that's a plus for me.  I did my own research before
this ride , i.e. questioning anyone I could find that had done the five
day ride.  The comments were quite varied, so I didn't know what to
expect and felt I would go next year, when the trail would be tested and
riding time recorded and I would know exactly where I was going and how
long it would take me and where I could stop along the way and what kind
of accommodations were at the site. I know I need a crew because it's
one loop.    All I need now is a date and the plans begin.....

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