The “Andrea has no Friends” Challenge

This summer, a rockslide occurred smack in the middle of the Vapor Trail 125 route. Its location doesn’t lend itself to simple reroutes, and the difficulty in removal of the slide will likely render it permanent. So, Vapor Trail 125 2018 was cancelled. The organizers are now tasked with creating a new course since the Forest Service won’t permit a race using that piece of road.

I dreamed up with a 123ish mile route (every inch of which I’ve ridden, just not yet all at once). After showing it to VT125 Master Tom Purvis, the idea of getting some volunteers to ride the proposed course and give us some feedback was thrown around. In talking with a couple of regional endurance racers, I found that Liz Carrington and Micheal Franco (both Vapor Trail veterans) were looking for a big adventure. I sent them the route, and they made it through 80something miles before bailing.

They cursed me up one mountain and down the other. I didn’t know if they’d ever talk to me again. It was sworn to be too hard to be a Vapor Trail route. It’s substantially more singletrack- there’s definitely some extra hike-a-bike, and the descending is harder. One of the passes (Chalk Creek) requires cairn-hunting at the top, and they’d arrived at that section in the dark, which made it extremely difficult to navigate (some of the hunting is through a huge scree field, too, which ups the level of ankle rolling danger).

Needless to say, this won’t be a Vapor Trail route.

It’s still a route, though. And, I’ve had a couple of people interested in knowing what sort of horrible thing could crush two seasoned endurance racers with the prowess of Mike and Liz…

https://www.strava.com/routes/14572150

https://www.strava.com/routes/14572512

It’s two pages because Strava doesn’t recognize one of the road/trail connections, and manual mode on the route builder refused to work. If anyone can point me in the direction of a route builder that has all of the road & trail on it, I’ll update it.

You’ll need to filter water, and the only place where you can purchase food on the route is at the St. Elmo General Store, which has odd hours and will be closing for the season in the Fall. My suggestion would be to start sometime in the evening so that you get the high country riding out of the way before afternoon the next day.¬†Email me- andrea at brickhouseracing dot com if you want more information. If you do the route and upload the proof to the internet, I’ll post your time here.