T-shirt fee is waived for Club Spinistry members! A portion of each entry goes to Support American Legion Post 653 and their community outreach programs in and around Terlingua Ranch. Additional donations are accepted and appreciated as well. An additional donation is not a requirement for entry.
This will truly be a one of a kind accomplishment and absolutely the best way to experience what the Big Bend region is all about. Route distances ranging from 50 to 130 miles. Single day, two day and 3 day options available. Supported aid stations available for all distances. Camping is included for all multiday riders as are Saturday and Sunday evening meals. Satellite trackers with SOS functionality are highly recommended for all riders. We will have a group locator map available for tracking purposes.
130 Mile Burro for those in it for the long haul. Truly the full, Big Bend experience. Every mile is different. 6200 feet of climbing per Ride With GPS which is usually low on backcountry stuff like this. All on "maintained" roads but some of these roads are extremely rugged. There will be sections that need to be walked both up and down. Current plans have aid stations and camping at miles 25, 40, 60, 80, 100, 120. There will be a town at mile 60 and the route goes by Terlingua Ranch Lodge at mile 40. We expect mile 40 and 60 to be the main overnight spots.
90 Mile Rattler will bite you if you aren't careful. While not as all encompassing as the Burro, it does still offer the peak Big Bend experience with majestic overviews included. The first half gets progressively tougher and will let you know if you bit off more than you can chew before you get over committed. The stretch from miles 40 to 50 will be momentous if you are up for it. There is a tamer bail out option after Terlingua Ranch Lodge (mile 40) for those who decide they aren't up for the full challenge of the Rattler. We expect most of our two day riders to utilize this option. Saturday camp at Terlingua Ranch Lodge after 40 miles. Do the last 50 on Sunday. It might not read like much mileage but most will consider it plenty. 4100 feet of climbing per Ride With GPS with a few big ups and few steep and long downs that will need to be walked. Current plans have aid stations and camping at miles 25, 40, 60 and 80. There are no towns along this route but it does go through Terlingua Ranch Lodge at mile 40.
70 Mile Coyote is intended as a classic, single day gravel grinder route. It is also available as a bit tamer multiday route for those not looking for a mountainous experiences for the trip. About 2500 feet of climbing spread out over the 70 miles makes it manageable for most who typically cover 100 miles of gravel on a somewhat regular basis. Water table at mile 25, aid station with camping at mile 45, aid station at mile 60. Please note, all routes must be navigated via GPS. We WILL NOT be marking these routes.
50 Mile Jackrabbit is our shortest option but it is not intended for beginners. This is some real deal, remote, backcountry riding. Cell service is not available and help is not just around the corner. Aid stations at miles 25 and 40. Please note, all routes must be navigated via GPS. We WILL NOT be marking these routes.
The rough draft bikepacking/multiday format looks like this:
Friday night main camp/staging area at Jackass Flats near Terlingua. This is primitive tent camping near to a store. This will be where everyone can park their vehicles for the weekend. There is the option to arrive early Saturday morning and depart with the group but it is the same price so might as well socialize with everyone Friday night. The American Legion Post is just across the highway and that will be the Saturday morning start point for all riders/distances. Single day riders will be able to park there.
Our main loop as mapped is approximately 130 miles to be travelled by bicycle Saturday, Sunday and possibly Monday morning. Saturday and Sunday camping is included as are "aid stations" with water, snacks, and "restrooms". Be aware that real toilets aren't generally available in Big Bend. "Restrooms" will consist of portajohns or camping buckets most likely.
Riders will essentially have the option to ride as far as they wish each day with the option to shortcut the route if needed. Our main camping areas will be spaced approximately every 40ish miles but the aid stations can be used for camping purposes if needed as well. We hope to have attendants at each of the aid stations through the weekend but we haven't started those arrangements yet. We want to finalize the route first, then verify the aid station locations. Then we will look into staffing options for the aid stations.
We will have sweep vehicles circulating the course for troubleshooting purposes. Most riders will likely make it back to main camp/staging/parking for Sunday evening festivities at Jackass Flats. If there is interest we will provide some route suggestions for ultra endurance/self supported/back country adventures for riders with previous experience along those lines.
Guided and semi supported add-ons will likely be available as well. Those pieces would be at an additional cost and with limited space. Kickstarter signups will get the first chance at those add-ons once they are available.
Q: What type of bike is best?
A: For the full route a hardtail 29er would be best (flat or drop bar). A full suspension MTB could still work but will mostly be overkill. A gravel rig with 40+ tires would be okay, 45+ would be better. Tubeless for sure. The 50 and 70 mile routes would be fine on a standard gravel bike but there might be short sections of hike a bike.