2014 is Open

I made a decision: the Bob Open next year will go from the Marias Pass rest area to the Monture Creek TH.  The course area is restricted to public land in the contiguous Bob complex.  As ever, no linear travel on paved roads is permitted.  Everything else human-powered is fair game.  Mass start date is a week late, May 31st, because my sister is getting married on the 24th and I get to do that.

My challenge to all you local lurkers is to not let crap weather or a fishing trip distract you. This is the year to come.

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This route is a little over 80 straight-line miles.  The previous two years have been closer to 50.  I cannot think of any route which does not have at least one potentially sketchy river crossing, and the only routes which avoid all potential snow slogs are circuitous.  That said, packrafting miles are not so easy to earn going south.  To raft or not to raft will be a difficult question for all.  There are also two completely distinct routes where bringing a mountain bike might not be totally irrational.

Next is likely the last year I’ll keep the event in the Bob itself.  New terrain and challenges for everyone, myself included, is always necessary.  A very snowy spring route in the Beartooths has appeal.  The Selway-Frank complex must have enormous possibility, but I don’t yet know enough about it.  Other areas, like the Missouri Breaks or Big/Little Belts are intriguing, but the non-roadless aspect will likely preclude them.  I even think about taking it out of state.

I hope to see some of you in May next year.

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7 thoughts on “2014 is Open

  1. Have you considered southwest Colorado? There are some fairly big wilderness areas, good biking and some rivers that could be rafted. This opens up some options that you don’t have in the Bob. Of course if you don’t plan it carefully it would just turn into another mountain bike race. The best route would be one where biking, rafting and hiking are all viable options. I’m sure you could create such a route, I’m just not sure exactly where. Maybe opposite sides of the Wimienuche Wilderness with a checkpoint (take a digital picture of yourself by it) in an off road but non-wilderness area. So theoretically you could mountain bike but you’d be going the long way around and carrying your bike to hit that one checkpoint. The hikers would have a more direct route through the wilderness/roadless areas. Might be easier for people to get there too.

    How about a start and finish on opposite sides of the Winds? The most direct route would be a hike over but if you were creative with start and end points you’d be forced to choose between technical routes or longer but simpler routes. I imagine you could mountain bike around the wilderness area but it looks like such a long way around I suspect it would even the odds.

    I wish I could come out next spring but I probably can’t get the time off then.

    • I agree about the balance of different forms of transport, that’s a key aspect.

      As for CO, I don’t know the area well enough. The Winds have been on my mind for the middle-future.

  2. I really want to stay informed about this event. I’ve never done it but love the challenge, especially the potential or necessity for mixed modes of travel. – Dan Larson

  3. Bookmarking this to stay informed. I live in Bigfork and get into the Bob every chance I get. Not sure if I can make this event because of the date, but it sounds epic. Thanks for organizing this Dave, since we’re in the same neck of the woods, perhaps we’ll meet up some day. – Fred Keiser

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