Friday, January 5, 2018

Piggy’s Revenge 2018 Game Plan

 First, look up once and a while and enjoy where you are. In today’s world, we are rarely alone with nature, you will be away from it all on this ride. Remember you are on your own, you are on your own, you are on your own, be self-reliant, be prepared.
Make sure your ride is in good condition, you have enough fuel/liquids and spare parts to get you to the finish line. Don’t mess with the Pig Traps, don’t mess with the critters. You are guest in their house be respectful. Help a fellow rider in need, it’s not a contest.
Download the course map to your phone and or GPS. The routes will be marked with painted arrows and signs (see picture) we also placed “comfort arrows” for the worriers in the bunch. There are several long straight sections, especially along the powerlines, stay on them till you see a sign.
Don’t overthink the course, there are no trick turns or un-mowed hike a bike. Follow the path of least resistance and the tire tracks in front of you. If by the very unlikely chance you get to a MAJOR CROSSROAD and there are no signs or arrows, you are off course. Go back to the last sign and change your direction. Unfortunately, the county has tilled some sections of the 60-mile course in the last few days. You will have to ride the edges or muscle your way through the soft stuff, if you can get a wider tire under you before the start do so. Or let the fast riders burn it in and ride their tracks.
Shortly after 6:00 AM we will start parking cars. The park officially opens at 7:00 AM and closes at 6:00 PM.

The planned start times are: 
60’s leave at 8:00 AM
40’s will go at 8:30 AM 
20’s will go at 9:00 AM
10’s will leave at 9:15 AM

 T. Mabry Carlton Reserve  
1800 Mabry Carlton Parkway, Venice FL 34292.
Take I-75 to exit 193 the Jacaranda exit. Go north on Jacaranda (away from the gas stations), take a right on Border Road. Stay on Border road till you see the sign for the Carlton, (blinking stop sign at the end of road) take a left onto the Mabry Carlton Parkway and you will see the parking area on your immediate right. Some GPS’s will send you to the wrong side of the river so make sure you are on Border Road.

Parking will be near the entrance of the park this year, where we will have a sign in station for the package pickups on site. To avoid the lines, you can pick up your stuff on SATURDAY at the Tap and Cork Pub after 5:00 pm at 101 West Venice Avenue #16, Venice FL 34285. The corner of Hwy 41 and Miami Avenue.

The Start/Finish is at the Pavilion in the park, about ½ mile from the parking area. Please only park in the designated areas as per the directives from the Property Managers.

Sags stops will be as follows:
20 miles loop at mile 13.
40 miles loop at mile 13, water only at 30, sag at 35.
60 miles loop at mile 16 and water only at mile 30 sag at mile 35, finish line at 40, parking lot at mile 42 and sag at mile 55.

At the finish we will have plenty of beer and bratwurst waiting for you. Have a blast! I hope you enjoy our trail system as much as we do, when you return next year you will get to enjoy all the hard work SCORR will have done thanks to your support.

See you Sunday!

Zoom in and see the painted arrow and the signs we will use.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The last route, the second loop of the 60 for 2018

Get out your long underwear.

After the morning rain, John and I mapped the last loop. This loop will challenge the tired legs of the riders. The trail does get bumpy in places but as the miles add up the riding gets easier. You will pass the sag stop with 5 miles to go. Between now and Sunday the volunteers will mark every turn and crossroad of the 4 loops, it will be very easy to follow the courses.

Looks like it will be cool at the start but it should warm up nicely. Plan for 40's at the start and highs in the 60's at the finish. Today was very windy coming out of the north. If this holds, you will experience head winds at the end of your rides. Sunday, we will open the parking area around 6:30-7:00 AM . The parking area is a mile away from the start/finish area. The 60's will start at 8:00 AM , the 40"s shortly after and then the 20's a half hour later . The 10 mile ride will leave around 9:00 AM with food service starting at 11:00 AM. The park does close at sunset.

See you all there Sunday!!!!.

On Strava 60 part two
On RWGPS 60 part2

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Part one of the 60 mile ride: the first 40 miles

Today with the help of Uncle Tony, I got a clean GPS track of the first part of the 60 mile gravel/mixed terrain loop that winds its way around the Carlton Reserve-connecting the best gravel segments available. The start will follow a half mile of neutral riding, where I will be leading out the group to the start line. The route begins with 5 miles of gravel followed by a short grassy segment then onto the South Powerline, a very short paved section along the water plant and Wellfield Road. Around mile 16 you will see the sag stop, and after a brief respite at the Oasis you will ride the Venice Arcadia grade and then the North Powerline. Be warned, this last section has been recently mowed and the heavy grass clippings will make it feel like you are riding a false flat. Next, a little single track we call POLAR through the woods, which will get you out of the wind and sun but also show you the pig damage first hand. Then onto another grassy segment along Big Slough, a very pretty area of the property - I recommend stopping on the banks of the waterway and taking a minute to enjoy this piece of Florida at it's best. Then an immediate right turn will take you into the Pine flat woods for another grassy segment that will take you back to the South Powerline. You will pass an unmanned water station right before reaching it. The edges of the Souh Powerline are home to many alligators who like to sun themselves on chilly days, and while they can be close to the road  just go around them, as they are very lethargic when cold. Keep an eye out  as you cross the concrete bridge, for the very large gator "Big Al" who is usually found on the right side. After this, you are now close to the Finish-Start area. And a small segment of both the Orange and Red trails will bring you back. Keep in mind! You will have to reach this point before the 2 PM cut off, and if not, then this is the end of the road for you, as you will not be able to finish the next 20 miles before dark. Stay posted for the second segment soon!
links to GPS files:On strava  On RidewithGPS   .


The start area,ahead 5 miles of gravel.

The South Powerline
Some fast grass
Venice Arcadia Grade
North Powerline
POLAR Single track 

Keep a eye out ,they are everywhere

Pine Flatwoods

My rig today.I'm  running 35 MM tubeless tires with 35 PSI.

Friday, December 29, 2017

The 20 mile loop for Piggy's Revenge 2018.Only 11 spots left!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today I finalized the 20 mile loop, it follows the footsteps of the 40 for the first 13 miles after you get to the sag stop (if you ever leave it). You will turn around and retrace your steps for a short while then you will ride the south end of the Venice Arcadia Grade double track road through the flat woods and eventually back on the Orange Trail and the Red Trail to the finish. You will ride a good mix of groomed single track trails and some back country riding.

Here are links to the routes for you GPS freaks. Remember all the trails will be marked with paint and signs but having a GPS back up on you phone or device is a good idea.


Riding the South Powerline
Single track is looking good!

What? More groomed trails?
Almost home.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The 40 mile loop preview, only 10 days to the start and 30 open spots left

After having planned the loop both digitally and in my mind, I set off today to confirm the actual route in the dirt.We have 39 miles with a good mix of  groomed single track, technical single track sections, long grassy sections through a pine forest, gravel roads and tight twisty trails that have been chewed up by the pigs.
At the start you will do a 3 mile loop designed to spread out the riders before you dive into the 10 miles of Boldlygo single track trail, then you will stop at the sag stop at mile 13.5.  What happens at the sag stop, stays at the sag stop!!!. Make sure your fluids are topped off before you head down the gravel on the Venice Arcadia grade to the Mile of Hell (which is actually pretty tame this year), then a right on North Powerline, its just been mowed so the cut grass is thick on the road. After mile 23, you will venture into the POLAR trail, a tight twisty single track that has a lot of pig activity (the revenge part). Around mile 25 you start riding onto Live long and Prosper along the very scenic Big Slough. This trail is our favorite trail, as it combines a lot of flow with some challenging sections that you might have to walk. Keep your eyes open for baby alligators, fish, the skunk-ape and lots of birds. After this section, a left turn takes you on a double track section through the pine forest. At the end of it we will have a unmanned water stop around mile 30 (we wont be there to resupply the water if it runs out) And on your return is a ride on the South Powerline back to the Orange trail and the red trail.

Keep in mind:
You will have to plan for almost 25 miles without support after you leave the sag stop at mile 13, and on the return leg at mile 35 you will have the choice of taking a small detour back to the sag or just riding  the next 4 miles to the finish line.
It will be a challenging ride that could last 5-6 hours for the slower riders  and there are no real bail out options to speak of.
Here is the link to the route:Piggy's 40 2018 on ridewithgps or  or also on Strava
Mile 5 Boldlygo actually the Sugar on the Rim Section.

More Boldlygo

Mile 10 The Pines 

Mile 15 Venice Arcadia Grade

Mile 20 North Powerline

Pigged up Single track at POLAR

Mile 25 Live long along Big Slough

Mile 30 South Powerline

Mile 35 Go right to the sag stop or power on to the finish?
Here is the link to the route:Piggy's 40 2018

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Get signed up before the 20 Th and get a T shirt.


Get signed up before the 20th of December and we will order a T-shirt in your size. You will still be able to sign up until the 6th for the same fee (no shirt) and we are capping the participants at 300 this year. So don't delay! NO RACE DAY SIGN UPS!!!!

Last weekend, I ventured out in the rain exploring the remote parts of the 60 and 40 mile loops. The course is slowly taking shape and the mowing is getting done but some areas are still wet. We have a little less than a month for things to get mowed and dried out. These are pictures are from that wet ride, you can get a feel for some of terrain you will be riding on during the 60 and 40 mile loops.

The 60 will be a mix of gravel, grass, dirt and a tiny bit of asphalt. The 60, like last year, is a combo of a 40 mile loop followed by a 20 mile loop. You will go thru the finish area after the first 40 miles. You must be there before 2:00 pm in order to continue on to the second section.  The 40 mile loop will have almost 50% single track riding and the rest will be double track with dirt, gravel and grass.
The 20 is mostly single track some double track in the mix.

I am still working on finalizing the actual courses, it is a work in progress. I will post the GPS track here as soon as I get them figured out.

 These picture offer an overview of the 60 Mile ride.
60 Early gravel

60 Faster gravel section

60 The gate to the mile of HELL

60 Grassy section, note the deer!

60 A little single track 

60 Gravel & grassy straightaway
60: Second loop grass
60: Second loop shady section

40 Nice trail along Big Slough

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Gravel and dirt road conditions.

The conditions at the Carlton Reserve keep getting better and better! The county mowers are doing their thing and mowing the network of old roads on the property. There are over 80 miles of old ranch roads crisscrossing the 38 square miles of the available land. Every year, we ride all of them and select the best combination for the 60 mile loop of Piggy's Revenge.

This year the conditions seem favorable to include a few new sections that we have not been able to use for last few Piggy years. Expect to ride multiple surfaces from a well maintained gravel road to long abandoned sections where we will mow a narrow path. Expect rough challenging sections with patches of pig damage, some really smooth fast sections, grassy fields and maybe a short section of asphalt.

The best bike for the 60 mile loop would be a monster cross rig, great for the fast smoother sections or a 29'r to get you through the rough stuff but would be slower elsewhere. The truth is, no matter what rig you run nothing beats a big motor. So we will continue exploring and evaluating until we finalize the route in December.

The 20 and 40 mile options are going to be mostly single track with some gravel connectors; the best ride for those is definitely a Mountain Bike and for the purist, a rigid single speed would be a option too. We don't have any hills here but we make it up with a lot of twists and turns.

The Sag Stop: "Tom's Oasis" will be back this year. The usual shenanigan's will be going on and new for this year, help from the Real Bikes Venice Special Assistance Crew (RBVSAC).

GET SIGNED UP TODAY and get a Piggy's Revenge T-Shirt in your size. After the 20th of December no t-shirt, but you will be able to sign up until 6:00 pm the night before the event. We have a field limit of 300 this year and no day of event registration.

A nice straight and fast section.

Freshly mowed section there is a good hard line but it's hidden by the cut grass.

The south Power line trail looking west.

Maintained gravel road.