Monday, September 19, 2016

2017 | AML_X | AML EXTREME


2017 | AML_X | GRAND DEPART
FRIDAY - OCTOBER 6TH 2017 - 6:00am


NO ENTRY FEES | NO PRIZES | NO SUPPORT

AML_X is a Billy Rice-inspired "Yo-Yo"... pedaling 252 miles north from Virginia Tech's War Memorial Chapel to the WV/MD border... there and back again.
The EXTREME route adds many miles of gravel and climbs NOT PEDALED on the CLASSIC AML_400 loop.

In total, the AML EXTREME pedals 504 miles with more than 56,000 feet of ascent in the "yo-yo" format... a Tour Divide shakedown that will leave riders well-prepared for the rigors of Canada and Montana.
This solo, self-supported adventure will observe the bikepacking ethos of other "ultras" in this discipline.

The "Challenge"

A "Grand Depart" (i.e. mass start) of Individual Time Trials is proposed each year on the first Friday in September at 6:00am (local time)...
The AML_X challenge is based on one simple idea...

Complete the 504 mile route as fast as possible.  Above all, attempts are intended to be solo (in essence), self-timed, and observed as one stage, i.e. the clock runs non-stop.

The intent is to ride self-sufficient between towns and to function self-supported when in towns.

This end-of-summer adventure is planned when almost any type of weather is possible along the Virginia/West Virginia border.

This IS a Self-Supported, Bikepacking Adventure...



If YOU choose to "toe the line" 

at the Grand Depart or any other time of year
AND 
would like to have your effort recorded for posterity sake,
YOU
are encouraged to RSVP by sending a Letter of Intent (LOI) via email to...
RidetheAML [at] gmail [dot] com



IMPORTANT NOTES

The AML_X route IS NOT MARKED...

It shall be the SOLE RESPONSIBILTY of each challenger to successfully navigate and safely complete the entire route via bicycle.

This challenge is voluntary... participate "at your own risk".

Participation in the Grand Depart is NOT mandatory and is at the discretion of the challenger.

ITTs of the AML_X route can begin any day/time of the year.

There are no time limits or cutoffs.  The decision to continue or abandon the challenge is ALWAYS the discretion of the challenger.

In-person spectating is DISCOURAGED...

Remote spectating is ENCOURAGED...

The roads and trails along the route are open to vehicular, equestrian and foot traffic.  

During an ITT, participants would be wise to follow all rules of the road and to consider yielding to equestrians and hikers.

Participants are expected to finish with the same gear and supplies that they begin with, or like-kind replacements, or more gear, excluding consumed materials and wrappers. (e.g. participants SHOULD NOT ditch gear on the last day to finish more quickly)


BIKEPACKING ETHOS

The "ethos" of Ultra Long-Distance Bikepack Racing is occasionally refined, but nowhere has it been better stated than by the organizers of the "Grand Tour of MTB" (i.e. Tour Divide).

The information posted in THIS blog entry represents a set of ideals meant ONLY to "level the playing field" for those desiring to compare their personal efforts with those of other challengers. They are primarily based upon those of Tour Divide (link), and will require an honorable self-policing by the participants themselves for this challenge to have any meaningful and lasting relevance.

The intent is to ride self-sufficient between towns and to function self-supported when in towns.

Above all... attempts are intended to be solo (in essence), self-timed, and observed as one stage, i.e. the clock runs non-stop.



*** Support should ONLY be expected and/or taken from local businesses on-site during their normal business hours ***


An ITT is considered SELF-SUPPORTED if/when...

Accepting neutral assistance from the owners or operators of establishments along or off route, on-premises during NORMAL posted business hours.

Supplies (e.g. food, beverage, parts, tools, etc.) received from commercial establishments along or near the route are obtained/purchased during NORMAL posted business hours.

Campsites, camp fires and hotel rooms (i.e. lodging) are SHARED with other challengers.

Rendering aid to another challenger, HOWEVER the receiver of the aid must honorably withdraw themselves from the challenge.

Leaving the course at any time, provided that the return to the route is VERIFIABLE and within 100 feet of the point you leave the course. (i.e. returning on the other side of the road is permitted)


An ITT is considered NOT SELF-SUPPORTED if/when...

On-course assistance is PRE-ARRANGED (i.e. prior to ITT start).

During an ITT, assistance with navigation, supplies or lodging is RECEIVED from friends, family or private individuals.

Supplies (e.g. food, beverage, parts, tools, etc.) are SHARED between riders.

Supplies used have been "stashed" or "cached" by any person at anytime.

A motor-powered vehicle (moving or stationary) is UTILIZED, doing so, indicates a voluntary withdrawal from the challenge (EXCEPTION - A bicycle in "un-ridable" condition and it's rider may be transported for repairs).

Drafting...  A "no drafting" rule is in effect at all times.


TRAIL MAGIC

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy website states, "the term 'trail magic' was coined by long-distance hikers to describe an unexpected occurrence that lifts a hiker’s spirits and inspires awe or gratitude."

Another definition reads... "any act of goodwill bestowed upon a day, section or thru-hiker by a total stranger who seeks nothing in return."

The term implies a random happenstance in which the crossing of the paths of both giver and receiver are serendipitous.  

During an Individual Time Trial, obtaining an item from another person can only be unsolicited and accidental (e.g. a dropped beverage, food, part, tool, etc.) otherwise, the receipt of assistance or supplies reflects a lack of self-sufficiency which renders an effort 
NOT SELF-SUPPORTED.


NAVIGATION

.Gpx files of the route and waypoints have been created and are available (see links below).

Maps and cues may be created/used by challengers if desired.

Riders are encouraged to use GPS and SPOT devices.

NOTE:  Receiving navigational assistance, supplies, or lodging from friends, family or private individuals during an Individual Time Trial is considered "support".


TRACKING

Family and friends can follow registered SPOT tracking devices in near real-time via the link below.

A properly functioning SPOT device or downloadable .gpx tracklog is NECESSARY to validate start and finish times and adherence to the route (post-race).

If you DO NOT own a SPOT satellite tracking unit, rental units are available from 

Trackleaders at a very reasonable cost ($55 which includes tracking).
Trackleaders registration ($20 without rental)
Trackleaders tracking AND rentals are available for ITTs year-round.


FINISH TIMES


An Individual Time Trial 

IS A RACE

against TIME.

As such, finishing times will be recorded and sorted from fastest to slowest into "places" and posted as a basis for future comparison, but there will be no podium ceremony or prizes.

Finishing times will be determined by monitoring the trackers and it is recommended that a SPOT "check-in/OK" message be sent at the finish of your ride.

Challengers who finish within the same minute will be shown as having the same time and place. There could be a tie for any place, including first.

Finish times will be displayed in a separate listing labeled "unverified" when the efforts of challengers cannot be verified referencing Trackleaders, or a .gpx tracklog file.

See FILE LINKS (below)
for the AML FINISH TIMES of past attempts.

Challengers may withdraw at any time.

DNF (Did Not Finish) will be posted for all challengers who withdraw from the challenge.

AML_X reserves the right to relegate (REL) a rider from the General Classification (GC) for confirmed rules violations.


FILE LINKS

AML_X | .GPX FILES | http://goo.gl/cyhV3E
AML_X | ROUTE MAP | https://goo.gl/N6htYP
AML_X | THE RULES | http://goo.gl/oVJYc2
AML_X | ROUTE BETA | http://goo.gl/xKLTZA
AML_X | PICS | http://goo.gl/0xoFnK
AML_X | VIDEO | https://goo.gl/mPfxtA
AML_X | FINISH TIMES | https://goo.gl/TKTsbQ
AML | MUSIC (Podrunner mixes) | http://goo.gl/wkhO8V


WEB LINKS

AML_X_16 | TRACKLEADERS REGISTRATION | http://goo.gl/HN7Hsl
AML_X_16_GD on BLOGGER | http://goo.gl/dtzb2Q
AML GROUP PAGE on FACEBOOK | https://goo.gl/Wk74hO
AML_X_16_GD EVENT PAGE on FACEBOOK | https://goo.gl/uIkVM8
AML WEATHER | HOT SPRINGS, VA | http://goo.gl/UGSBOH
AML WEATHER | BLACKSBURG, VA | http://goo.gl/y4KUnq
AML_X | Dry Fork River Gauge | http://goo.gl/9BpyWC
AML_X on MTBcast | http://goo.gl/MVZdDb


AML_X ARCHIVE

AML_X | (2015) TRACKLEADERS TRACKER (AML_X_15_GD2) | http://goo.gl/JnGibp
AML_X | (2015) TRACKLEADERS TRACKER (AML_X_15_GD1) | http://goo.gl/nvSu28


EMAIL

RidetheAML [at] gmail [dot] com


QUESTIONS, COMMENTS or SUGGESTIONS
are welcomed at any time

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2017 | AML_400 | GRAND DEPART

FRIDAY - APRIL 28th 2017 - 6:00am

NO ENTRY FEES
NO PRIZES
NO SUPPORT


The Allegheny Mountains Loop is a 400 mile bicycle route created and mapped by the Adventure Cycling Association.

The route begins and ends at Virginia Tech's War Memorial Chapel in Blacksburg, VA.

A "Grand Depart" (i.e. mass start) of Individual Time Trials is proposed each year on the last Friday in APRIL at 6:00am (local time).


The "Challenge"

The AML_400 is a challenge based on one simple idea...


Complete the 400-mile AML in a clock-wise direction pedaling north on the western half of the loop and southbound on the eastern half of the route as fast as possible.


IMPORTANT:  This "challenge" INCLUDES climbing the "Ridge Alternate" and the "Mountain Lake Cutoff" on the southbound portion of the route which are considered OPTIONAL segments on ACA maps.



!!! NEW in 2016 !!!

The 2016 route has been AMENDED to include MORE gravel and LESS pavement.

The new segments DEPART from ACA's "published" route for the AML 400 challenge that can be clearly seen using the "Maps.

ACA's maps are still LOADED with accurate LIFE-SAVING information and are HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for AML_400 challegers.



This springtime adventure is planned when almost any type of weather is possible along the Virginia/West Virginia border... which could include very cold rain or even snow during this time of year.


The intent is to ride self-sufficient between towns and to function self-supported when in towns.

Above all... attempts are intended to be solo (in essence), self-timed, and observed as one stage, i.e. the clock runs non-stop.


*** Support should ONLY be expected and/or taken from local businesses on-site during their normal business hours ***



This IS a Self-Supported, Bikepacking Adventure

If YOU choose to "toe the line" 
at the Grand Depart 
or any other time of year

AND
would like to have your effort recorded 
for posterity sake,

YOU

are encouraged to RSVP by emailing 
a Letter of Intent (LOI) to...

RidetheAML [at] gmail [dot] com



IMPORTANT NOTES


The AML_400 route IS NOT MARKED... 

It shall be the SOLE RESPONSIBILTY of each challenger to successfully navigate and safely complete the entire route via bicycle. 

This challenge is voluntary... participate "at your own risk".

Participation in the Grand Depart is NOT mandatory and is at the discretion of the challenger. 

ITTs of the AML_400 route can begin any day/time of the year. 

There are no time limits or cutoffs.  The decision to continue or abandon the challenge is ALWAYS the discretion of the challenger.

In-person spectating is DISCOURAGED... 
Remote spectating is ENCOURAGED... 

The roads and trails along the route are open to vehicular, equestrian and foot traffic.  During an ITT, participants would be wise to follow all rules of the road and to consider yielding to equestrians and hikers. 




The AML_400 is composed of... 
          • gravel forest roads (128 miles)
          • gravel rail-trail (78 miles)
          • grass-covered abandoned rail-trail (22 miles)
          • paved roads (175 miles)




BIKEPACKING ETHOS


The "ethos" of Ultra Long-Distance Bikepack Racing is occasionally refined, but nowhere has it been better stated than by the organizers of the "Grand Tour of MTB" (i.e. Tour Divide). 

The information posted in THIS blog entry represents a set of ideals meant ONLY to "level the playing field" for those desiring to compare their personal efforts with those of other challengers. They are primarily based upon those of Tour Divide (link), and will require an honorable self-policing by the participants themselves for this challenge to have any meaningful and lasting relevance.


An ITT is deemed SELF-SUPPORTED if/when...

  • Accepting neutral assistance from the owners or operators of establishments along or off route, on-premises during NORMAL posted business hours. 
  • Supplies (e.g. food, beverage, parts, tools, etc.) received from commercial establishments along or near the route are obtained/purchased during NORMAL posted business hours. 
  • Campsites, camp fires and hotel rooms (i.e. lodging) are SHARED with other challengers
  • Rendering aid to another challenger, HOWEVER the receiver of the aid must honorably withdraw themselves from the challenge. 
  • Leaving the course at any time, provided that the return to the route is VERIFIABLE and within 100 feet of the point you leave the course. (i.e. returning on the other side of the road is permitted)

An ITT is deemed NOT SELF-SUPPORTED if/when...

  • On-course assistance is PRE-ARRANGED (i.e. prior to ITT start).
  • During an ITT, assistance with navigation, supplies or lodging is RECEIVED from friends, family or private individuals.
  • Supplies (e.g. food, beverage, parts, tools, etc.) are SHARED between riders.
  • Supplies used have been "stashed" or "cached" by any person at anytime.
  • A motor-powered vehicle (moving or stationary) is UTILIZED, doing so, indicates a voluntary withdrawal from the challenge (EXCEPTION - A bicycle in "un-ridable" condition and it's rider may be transported for repairs). 
  • Drafting occurs.  A "no drafting" rule is in effect at all times.


TRAIL MAGIC


The Appalachian Trail Conservancy website states, "the term 'trail magic' was coined by long-distance hikers to describe an unexpected occurrence that lifts a hiker’s spirits and inspires awe or gratitude."

Another definition reads... "any act of goodwill bestowed upon a day, section or thru-hiker by a total stranger who seeks nothing in return."

The term implies a random happenstance in which the crossing of the paths of both giver and receiver are serendipitous.   

During an Individual Time Trial, obtaining an item from another person can only be unsolicited and accidental (e.g. a dropped beverage, food, part, tool, etc.) otherwise, the receipt of assistance or supplies reflects a lack of self-sufficiency which renders an effort NOT SELF-SUPPORTED.


NAVIGATION


.GPX files of the route and waypoints have been created and are available (see links below). 

Maps and cues for this route have been created by the Adventure Cycling Association and are updated at regular intervals. 

Riders are encouraged to use GPS and SPOT devices. 

NOTE:  Receiving navigational assistance, supplies, or lodging from friends, family or private individuals during an Individual Time Trial is considered "support".


TRACKING

Family and friends can follow registered SPOT tracking devices in near real-time via the link below.

A properly functioning SPOT device or downloadable .gpx tracklog is NECESSARY to validate start and finish times and adherence to the route (post-race). 

If you DO NOT own a SPOT satellite tracking unit, rental units are available from Trackleaders at a very reasonable cost ($55 which includes tracking). 

Trackleaders registration ($20 without rental)

Trackleaders tracking AND rentals are available for ITTs year-round.



FILE LINKS

AML_400 | .GPX FILES | https://goo.gl/ZqIaO3

AML_400 | ROUTE MAP | 
https://goo.gl/Wvr9Ct

AML_400 | THE RULES | (included above)

AML_400 | ROUTE BETA | https://goo.gl/VCDh9K

AML_400 | PICS | https://goo.gl/eIZYOS

AML_400 | VIDEO | 
https://goo.gl/TEBwiD

AML_400 | FINISH TIMES | http://goo.gl/y1rOZC

AML | MUSIC (Podrunner mixes) | http://goo.gl/wkhO8V


WEB LINKS

AML_400 | 2016 TRACKLEADERS REGISTRATION | http://goo.gl/PfKEEe

AML_400 | 2016 TRACKLEADERS TRACKER | http://goo.gl/wCJY2h

AML_400 on BLOGGER | http://goo.gl/IC8NO9

AML GROUP PAGE on FACEBOOK | http://goo.gl/Wk74hO

AML_400 | EVENT PAGE on FACEBOOK | https://goo.gl/15A43B

AML WEATHER | HOT SPRINGS, VA | https://goo.gl/2mwof9

AML WEATHER | BLACKSBURG, VA | http://goo.gl/y4KUnq

------------------------------

AML_400 | ACA MAPS & CUES (for purchase) | http://goo.gl/2q8Srd

AML_400 | ACA Route Description | http://goo.gl/SYTF88

AML_400 | GRT Description | http://goo.gl/5icXFF



AML_400 | WEB ARCHIVE


AML_400 | 2015 TRACKLEADERS TRACKER | http://goo.gl/173iDu




EMAIL

RidetheAML [at] gmail [dot] com



*** QUESTIONS, COMMENTS or SUGGESTIONS are welcomed at any time ***