A few years ago 2 different people came up with the same idea of running an organized ride with limited numbers going from Paris Ontario to the small town of Dacre Ontario (north of Ottawa). As the crow flies a total km of something like 400km. BUT, when creative minds look at a topo map and backroads, access roads, skidoo trails, etc... a route that in reality is more like 780km! Well, last year one of the creative minds put on the 1st ever Paris - Dacre event and it was a large success, with guys chomping at the bit for the next year. (alas I missed it ) This year, the 2 creative minds put their resources together and changed the route and with various sponsors hosted a fantastic event that had a limited number entry (48 I think was the final count) and was done in teams. The event was to start at 4:00a on Saturday and the cut off time was 21:00 the same day. There were Check points along the route, lunch stop was arranged and to be safe due to the terrain, rider fatigue and the simple fact that this was NOT a race :eek1 2 Bail Routes were included that would by-pass some of the more difficult sections later in the route. The event was given as a GPS route, and each team (min 4 riders) had to have at least 3 functional GPS units, and be self sufficient with tools/supplies to service all bikes, considering some of the route had you in some pretty remote areas. They had support trucks with trailers at various check points, sweep riders as well as 2 roving riders (I was a Rover! ). But each team was responsible for themselves, but in dire straights could rely on the support of the organizers. There were cell phone numbers given and 2 satellite phones on the course at all times. (again, this was NOT a race). o.k., enough text... now some pics... Registration consisted of 3 stations... Sound check (I was the sound man, so no pic's!) if you were >96dB you had to make changes to your pipe to meet the requirements. Tech Inspection (basically a road worthy inspection, everything was checked from DOT tires to lights, bearings, etc...) Then you went to actual registration (your bike had to pass first) where you got your riders card, team card, and uploaded your GPS if necessary You ALWAYS have to have a couple 950's!! These were the Roving bikes!! Some of you know Jack Splash... well he drove up from New Jersey to attend And we put him through the inspections like everyone else... his KTM 640 blew the sound meter at 105 dBa - much too loud... so he had to go find a means to quiten down his machine. With some inner tubing attached to the end of the pipe he dropped down to 97dBa which we gave him a time penalty and allowed him to pass. At the 2nd inspection, his wheel bearings failed... and again he was denied. Rules are rules... and an unsafe bike is unsafe. Luckily at 5:00p on a Friday in farm country the local farmer parts store stocked Skidoo bearings... which as it turns out are the same size at the 640 wheel bearings (and much cheaper!!!) - Jack both 3 of them! (a wise move!). Riders Meeting, in which FastEddy and John are going over the route, cautions, etc... the biggest thing for the riders to remember was at way point #178 at the water crossing you MUST stay to the LEFT as the hole will swallow a bike whole! (some may recall the pic of Osteo on his 950 trying to be a submarine, this is what they were to avoid!). Breakfast at 3:00a Gearing up at 3:45a On route, 6:00a 6:30a, the sun will come up!! finally!!! lots of road signs like this... perfectly legal though! And the water crossing - the really long one was removed... Some people have great listening abilities when it comes to warnings... Jack Splash, living up to his name! And some people do NOT :eek1 , Personally if I was sitting in a water hole, I would not be waiting for the next person - he was lucky the water level had dropped about 12" over the past few weeks... As he did get out... but after sitting there with the bike off for a few minutes Probably about 200km of this type of access road, and in places much much tighter. The final Control Point... the mosquito's, black flies and horse flies were out in full force... We had to wait here for 60min ... you do what you can to stay sane. Clearly they affected some more than others! :eek1 My diversion took me around the corner to this little guy eating! lickity split! the nicest ass I saw all day From that final Control Point Dirtinblood and I had to sweep the final 60km or so in the dark in the woods, good thing we had aux lights on our bikes otherwise we would still be out there. This was the next morning, the bikes in the compound at the finish, tents in the background. There was some injuries... this was the worst Lots of prizes... compliments of the sponsors... The only female on in the event and she completed! I could not decide... the 2 closing photo's... Yes, there are longer days... but for us mere mortals - starting at 4:00a, finishing at 9:00p is pretty damn long!!! D p.s. - Once again, thanks to FastEddy and John B for putting on a fantastic event!!!