I hope that everyone has had a chance to recover and reflect on all the good times that were had. Just want to thank yall for all the kind words, and present some of my thoughts for what I would like to do next year.
First, while this is not a race, there is plenty of folks that wanted to go to the front and push the pace. Drew was chief among them, and was the first finisher on the first and last day. His dominance was only interupted by my faulty GPS track on the 2nd day going from Bearskin to Ely. Aaron Alto was able to capitalize on Drews detour, and was the first finisher on Saturday. I actually gave up trying to keep track of peoples times when riders started wanting to leave early and late, some staying on track, some taking more well established routes. Regardless, everyone got their monies worth.
Drew, Deathrider, Lisa, and Charly all have their own stories to tell, so I will let you check them out yourself.
After collecting feedback from the participants I think that we will make a few changes for next year.
- Stage lengths are going to get trimmed. I want these events to be a challenge to people, but I also have to recognize that not everyone is capable of averaging 18 mph, and having riders unprepared to finish in the dark was a little too risky. This also gives everyone a little more time to hang out and enjoy company. Expect to ride 60, 90and 80 miles next year, but expect a little more up and down.
- The date is going to be pushed back one week for the sake of Ted Loosens marriage and so that there is a little bit of a break between the Dakota-50 and the GC. Next years date is going to be September 13-15th, 2013.
- The GPX and TCX files that you get next year will be the actual route that I have ridden, not a transposed version that I created in Bike Route Toaster. This is what caused the one snafu this year on the 2nd day. If I feel the need to flag a route section I will use a VERY distinct type of flagging (like purple polka dots) or chalk mark the ground.
- I am probably going to have a short list of things that I would like to see everyone carry (front and rear lights, a space blanket, etc)
- We will be using plastic name plates next year. They will be waterproof, rigid, and will make a nice keepsake.