Sunday, December 25, 2016

All the routes for Piggy's 2017 are here

For those of you who like to study courses or ride them in advance, here are the links to this year's  loops.
The 20 miles route: 2017 Piggy 20 miles
The 40 miles route : 2017 Piggy 40 miles
The 60 miles route has two different loops:
 a 40 mile route : 2017 Piggy 60 miles part 1
followed by a 20 miles section: 2017 Piggy 60 miles part 2
Announcing a fourth option :
"THE DIRTY PIG" only brave need apply,
You ride the 40 with all the single track then part 2 of the 60. You'll do more miles and they will be harder with the addition of the single track sections.Lets us know at the start if you are planning on riding it.

 Are you up to the challenge?

Regardless, there is a cut off for the 60 mile riders, after 2 pm you will not be allowed to go back out and ride the second section. You will have been moving too slow and it's time to stop.
If you scroll down the blog there are detailed descriptions of each section.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Piggy's Revenge 60 mile First Loop Preview.

Headed for the Red Trail, you can see
our namesake pigs of mass destruction.
The 60 mile ride is two consecutive loops returning to the start, the first one is the one described here. The second loop was described previously. The dry conditions have created fast hard surfaces and smooth grassy sections that roll easily. The hard parts are the pig damaged areas and some bumpy grassy parts but overall the conditions are the best we have seen yet.

The 60 has no single track in it but if you feel the need we are introducing the DIRTY PIG OPTION. You ride the 40 mile loop followed by the second part of the 60, you'll ride farther and include all the single track. Only the brave need apply........are you strong enough for the challenge?
The Red Trail. Double-track, grassy and smooth.

Right after the start, you will ride the Red trail to the Power Line.
It's a grassy smooth trail that twists and turns for about 4 miles.
There is a well ridden line to follow on this one. Soon you are on the South Power line.

Passing through a pine hammock on the Red Trail.

After 3.5 miles on the Red Trail, the route meets up with the 20 and 40 mile routes and you pop back onto the South Power Line.  
You will be ahead of the other groups traffic.
You will pass the sag stop at this point not to return 
until mile 31 so plan ahead.
A right turn down Venice Arcadia Grade and some power riding in grass will take you to the Border Road extension after crossing a gate (bypass on right side).
South Power Line.
Some power pedaling on the V-A Grade is
rewarded by some sweet gravel on Border Road.

On Border Road you will cross 3 gates, all have a bypass or a gate on the left side .

Next is a grassy mile on Doe Hammock then back to the South Power Line.

The South Power Line...a welcome reprieve from the grass.  At the Doe Hammock/South Power Line junction, the 20's head back toward the start.  The 40's and 60's head east toward North Port and the Carlton RANCH.

The Big Slough Bridge on the South Power Line.  The 60 milers roll right on across it and head out to do a loop in the eastern section of the RANCH.  This loop is called the 50/60 loop because the numbered navigation posts are in that sequence.

The 50/60 section will be the hardest part of this loop with grass and a few bumpy sections from old pig damage. If you can see and follow the Piggy trails you will be rewarded with a smoother ride. The animal trails are usually hard and smooth, you just have to read the terrain and follow them as best you can or just power through the 3 miles.

Soon you're back on the South Power Line backtracking and rejoining the 40 mile route heading north on the 30/40 (posst are numbered in that sequence) section of double track with smooth grass. See the pictures on the 40 mile route.

Unless you are the first or the last, do not worry about this guy on the North Power Line, he is a shy guy.

                                                                                                      What is that shadow thinking?

After 5 miles on the North Power Line, you will take a left on the Venice Arcadia Grade which is a fast gravelly 5 mile section.
Hey! Whats that on the horizon? Why yes It's the sag stop: Tom's Oasis. After a quick stop, you will return to the start area down the Red Trail. 

Back on the Red Trail.  When you see these signs you are almost finished with your first loop.  Don't be distracted by the beer, the brats or the cheering crowds. 35 miles down but  you still have another loop to ride. You have get here by 2:00 PM (start time will be at 8:00 AM) or you will not be allowed to do the second loop. Congratulations you are ready to ride the second loop, look for a previous post for the lowdown on that section.
GPS file is here:

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Piggy's Revenge 2017 40 mile route preview

Today's ride of choice.
Today we checked out the 40 mile loop, the first 15 miles and the last 4 miles are shared with the 20 mile riders. Check out the previous post for the lowdown on those sections. At mile 15 you take a right turn on the South power line and head East.
East on South Power Line at intersection of Doe Hammock.
The South Power line is running fast, hard with a few bumps here and there. You get to cross the bridge over Deer Prairie Slough, don't forget to look for Big Al the huge alligator that hangs out in the weeds.
South Power Line entrance to Carlton Ranch

The ride continues into the newly annexed Carlton Ranch tract, the Power Line does have a few sandy sections in this segment. Soon you get to experience the newly developed single track trail along Big Slough. You take a left  before the next bridge onto the Livelong Trail. SCORR finished building this trail just last week, you will ride the 2 miles along the banks of a scenic man made canal. The canal was created more than 70 years ago the trees on the banks are probably that old. This single track trail is the most technical riding of the whole loop, don't forget you can get off your bike and walk the tricky sections. The right line through it might take a few rides to figure out.
Livelong Trail
Livelong Trail

 After 2 miles of Livelong, you get to cross Big Slough and start your ride on the Prosper Trail. It's 2 more miles of twisty single track it's some of the more scenic riding in this state.
Prosper Trail
The return to the  Power Line. 

Crossing Big Slough between trails
As you leave Prosper, you work your way back up onto the South Power Line and take a right backtracking for a short section until you get to a connector going north.
This is some of that SCORR grass, fast riding double track taking you to the North Power Line.
 Another section of the grassy connector.
Grassy road between south and north Power Lines 

Recently mowed North Power Line Trail
After the grassy connector you will be heading west on the North Power Line, then a left going south down the Mile of Hell. It's not living up to it's name this year.  
Mile of  hell, not really this year.
Soon the trail turns into a fast gravelly double track the Venice Arcadia grade that takes you back to Tom's Oasis for a much deserved break. Now you only have 4 miles to go to return to the finish line. Freshly grilled bratwurst and beer waiting for you. You have just ridden 40 miles congratulations!
Get signed up now so you'll get a t-shirt in your size and a reduced fee.
Venice Arcadia Grade 

Almost at the Sag stop don't slow down.
Check out the GPS course by following this link:Piggy'sRevenge 2017 40 mile loop.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Piggy's Revenge 2017. The 20 mile loop preview.

My friend Steve, a  SCORR board  member and co-designer of the routes for the 2017 version of Piggy's Revenge; joins me today in the recon for the 20 mile loop.
The weapons of choice for this course.
We start at the pavilion on a overcast, humid and windy day. The first section is designed to spread out the riders before the tight single track sections. The combination of a short section of the Red Trail followed by a segment of the Green Trail creates this loop. 
Shortly after the start.

The red trail/green trail combo.
Boldlygo single track.
 After a short gravel section we dive into Boldlygo, a 9 mile trail built and maintained by SCORR over the last 5 years.The terrain is pretty flat so the trail has many curves to add some thrill to the route. We also try to take advantage of any change in elevation no matter how small. 
We usually ride this trail on our regular Tuesday night rides, so riding it in the middle of the day is a welcome change.  
Boldlygo is very curvy.

Some of the prairie sections of Boldlygo.

Can you see the trail inside the pig ruts?

The Pines.
Near the end of Boldlygo.
 Soon we got into the rhythm of the trail, pushing a bigger gear and accelerating out of the turns and on the straighter sections. Boldlygo is not a technical trail, but you do get challenged when you increase your speed. Although the trail does get a little more technical in the last mile as the trail get tighter and has more roots. As we leave the single track, we ride a short section of the Red trail and soon we are on the Power line trail, at mile 10 we are where our sag stop AKA:Tom's Oasis will be. This notorious stop has been a favorite place to hang out and catch one's breath over the years.

Then we take a turn down the Venice Arcadia grade for a grassy section connecting us to Border Road. We noticed that we will have to mow a line in the near future, the grass is mowed but still quite long.
Venice Arcadia grade is going to need a little mowing.

Gator is a shrinking mud hole.

After we bypass a gate on the right side, we are soon on Border Road; a 2 mile section of gravel. We get into a good pace and work our way down this scenic path, while several gators were keeping an eye on us as we traveled into a head wind. This section crosses 3 gates, all with bypasses, and an active pasture. Riders will have to make sure the gates remain closed.
Border road  gravel.
Doe Hammock trail.
 After the last gate, we ride Doe Hammock in a Northerly direction. We realized that we might have to do some mowing here too.
Nice fat gator.

South Power Line trail.
 We turn left onto the South Power line. The route up to this point will be shared by the 40 mile riders and the last 4 miles by the 60 mile riders. All of the riders will end up at this intersection only to take different turns depending on their route. The 20's will go West and the 40 and 60's will go East. At mile 16 we pass Tom's Oasis' location again, then we are on the red trail riding toward the finish line.
Red Trail.

More Red Trail.
The loop ends up being right around 20 miles, and it should be a great experience for all involved.The following link will connect you to a Garmin route.
Piggy's Revenge 2017 20 mile loop


Saturday, December 3, 2016

Piggy's Revenge Loop Preview

After the annual sausage making party (100 lbs this year) and a lot of laughs; I decided to ride the 20 mile loop that is integrated into the 60-mile challenge. The course for the 60 miler's is two loops,with the first being around 40 miles long, and then returning to the start area where it continues to a second 20 mile loop.
I  pumped up the 1.8 tubeless tires on my old Vassago to 30 pounds, and then headed out of the parking lot at the Carlton Reserve. After a short asphalt section and a wrong turn down the power line, I was finally on the right track for a great ride on the beautiful sunny and windy day.
Old trusty Vassago. 

The first section of gravel is short but is a hard and fast surface, and just what I needed to clear my head and warm up my legs. After this comes a short grassy section.
Gravel after short road section.
 We like to call this SCORR grass: short grass covering a hard trail, and it feels almost like riding on carpet.
Short grassy connector.

As soon as I jump onto the South Power Line Trail, I know that I will be riding on gravel for the next 10 or so miles. After this section comes the Venice Arcadia grade, then Well field rd. This will be a section that allows riders to make up some lost time or take a break into a steady pace. 

As usual it is a great area to spot deer and pigs. And as I ride through this area, I begin to get into the pace of things, and I feel like I am moving along quite well. Of course, the tail wind didn't hurt either.
Venice Arcadia grade gravel.

Wellfield road.

Around mile 11 I take the right turn onto Stockade trail that is a mix of gravel,  grass carpeting, and short sandy sections. This area is driven frequently by the Pig trapper so if you follow the same path as his tires you will find it to be easy going.

I manage to follow the truck's path most of the time, having to change lanes a few times. This road starts out nice, but eventually gets much more challenging. 

"Am I supposed to sweat so much?  It's not even that hot out."
Stockade grass and gravel mix.

End of Stockade.

At the top of Stockade I stop for some replenishment; something sweet and a few sips of water. As I was standing there, I looked around for a few minutes to enjoy the isolation of this particular spot. This really is on of the best parts of riding at the Carlton, you can be completely alone and far from everything in just a few miles. 

As I go back into the saddle for another push, I take a left turn at mile 13 onto the River Trail. Now it is time to pay attention again, as this section has taller grass and few hidden bumps here and there. I find it is easier to push a bigger gear at a slower pace to keep my body loose so it is ready to respond to the sudden bumps. The terrain changes constantly from smooth to bumpy or sometimes soft. Patience my friend, and you are almost done. The rough stuff ends around mile 17.
River trail grassy section.

River trail shade.

Thanks Piggy! Typical pig damage.

As the River trail crosses the South Power Line Trail it becomes the Wild Turkey Trail. Time for a celebration, as the rough stuff is behind me and now I just have to cover the last few miles back to the parking lot. 

This 20+ mile loop is a great way to experience some of the best mixed terrain riding of the Carlton Reserve, it will be a fitting finish for the 60 mile riders. I recommend you load up the route on your GPS or mark it on a map.

Pump up your tires, and go to experience the loop for yourself before Piggy's Revenge!

Reserve your spot, Sign up today! Follow the link below for the route map.