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.

Monday, October 23, 2017

We love windy and dry days!!

The trails are drying up fast and we get to ride further into the Carlton Tract on a daily basis. As the waters recede, we get to ride old familiar spots that have been inaccessible for months. 

We are slowly planning the 20, 40 and 60 mile routes and as usual, we will select the best combination possible. SCORR added several new miles of single track this last spring. We have 7 more miles in the planning stages, they probably won’t get built in time for this years event but we will let you know when they are completed so you can come check out the new trails. 

The loop will be challenging as usual, the beer will be free and the sausages are hot off the grill. Sign up today and get your guaranteed T-shirt, no day-of registrations and the field size limit is at 300 this year. 

Always striving to make our event better and better each year.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Piggy's less than 100 days away!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hurricane Irma left her mark!

The trails are in dire need of some cleaning up with several sections that are inaccessible due to seasonal flooding. Overall we are still on schedule for another great Piggy's Revenge.
Several trail work days are planned and we need our SCORR members to come help out.

Depending on our progress, we might be adding 5 brand new miles of single track to the inventory.
The 60 mile loop will be similar to last year but yet undetermined. As of today, we have not ridden some of the section since late spring. The 20 and 40 might be modified if we get the new trail built by January 7th.

The weather is the only factor we can't control. The trails will be fun and the distances will challenge you. This event will be a great way to kickoff 2018.

Sign up early and get you T-Shirt. No day of registration this year but registration will be open till 5 pm Saturday the 6th. register here
Beer and Brats at the finish line as usual.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

It's on !!! ,January 7th 2018 is the date.

Get your red pen out and put a big red X on January 7th 2018.
Piggy's Revenge is going to happen that morning at 800 am.
What will the weather do this year?
Will we be under water, half frozen or will the conditions be perfect?
You never know what January will be like.
New this year is a 7 new miles section of single track we are working on. If all goes right 5 more mile will be added to the existing trail network this fall .If you want to help with the new trails ,look for the posted trail building days on the FB page.
NO DAY OF REGISTRATION , but you can register online until 5:00 pm on Saturday night.
You must sign up before December 19th to get a T-Shirt after that same fee ($40) but no T-Shirt.
We are limiting the field at 300 riders this year.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Get inspired for tomorrow's ride

 SCORR has some very talented members, over the years they have been hard at work creating some Piggy's inspired tunes.Play them loud on your way to the event tomorrow. You'll ride faster with one of these tunes in your brain.

  Piggy's Revenge mp3's

Thursday, January 5, 2017

The lowdown on Piggy’s Revenge 2017

COW PIG The myth the legend!
The lowdown on Piggy’s Revenge 2017 

Looks like we will have one of the best Piggy’s yet, the rain that is expected on Saturday should greatly improve the trails, as the 4-month long drought has made some sections sandy. A little rain the day before will make the riding conditions perfect on Sunday, expect low’s in the 40’s and Highs in the 50’s with some windy conditions. It will be one of those blue sky, cool and windy days. The perfect kind of day for a ride in the woods with friends followed by some brats and beer.
We will start parking cars shortly after 6:00 AM. The park officially opens at 7:00 Am and closes at 6 Pm.
The planned start times are: 
60’s leave at 8 AM
40’s will go at 8:15 AM 
20’s will go at 9 AM
10’s will leave at 915

You are heading to the: 
 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, (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, 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 from 4 to 7 pm at 101 West Venice Avenue #16, Venice Fl 34285. The corner of Hwy 41 and Miami avenue.
The start/Finish is in the park at the Pavilion, about ½ mile from the parking area, Please only park in the designated areas as per the directives from the Property managers.
All the courses will be marked with signs and painted arrows on the ground, just follow the directions.
And if you are riding and don’t see one of the two regularly, turn around till you reconnect. 
A map of the venue will be available, on the map are numbers that indicate the numbers on post at trail intersections. So, if you are lost, stop, then go to the nearest post look up the number on the map and go from there. My phone number is on the map, if you need to call me and we will see if we can talk you back. 
But do remember to be ready, if you have mechanical or physical issues don’t count on us to come and get you. We will have limited access to the venue. 
All riders will cross 4 gates, use the Bypass on the sides of them. The third gate’s side gate opens into a pasture please close it behind you.
Don’t touch the Feral pig traps you will encounter, it’s against the rules. If you see pigs just let them be and they will get out of your way, some riders like to bark at them. The Alligators won’t be very active, and if it’s cold they might be lounging close to some trails to get warm, so give them some space.
The first single track section starts 1 mile from the start of the 20/40 loops, if you want to push the pace, make sure you are at the front before you get on Boldlygo , there are limited passing options on the trail. 
Or on the other hand, please pull over and let those maniacs yelling "track” behind you go by.
There is one sag stop but you will pass it twice.
20-mile loop sags at mile 9 and 15.5
40-mile loop sags at mile 9 and 35.5
60-mile loop sags at mile 3.5 and 31 but will also pass the start/finish area at mile 35
The 40’s and 60’s will pass an unmanned water stop at mile 18 so look for the water jugs!
If you are riding the 40 and 60 make sure you can ride at least 20 miles without a hug.
We will have coffee from Venetian Coffee roasters at the start.
The finish will feature beer from Fat Point, it’s free, and all donations will go to SCORR.
Plus, Homemade bratwurst hot off the grill and much more.
Some of our members are talented musicians, and they have been hard at work on several Piggy themed songs, I am sure you will hear them on Sunday.

Have a great adventure,

Eric Claessens
President Sarasota County Off Road Riders.