Checkpoint Zero/Inov-8 Team Blog
presented by Inov-8

No Bigfoot sighting, but plenty of rhododendron
posted Monday, December 08, 2008 by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 12:11 PM - 1 comments

For the second year, I helped fellow Trailblazer club member Greg Holland put together a mock race in one of north Georgia's best mountain biking areas.

This year's course at Bull Mountain was planned to take teams up to 12 hours to finish, but I think the cold temperatures Saturday, the long climbs, and the nasty rhododendron conspired against us all.

Part of the course took racers to the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail, at Springer Mountain, and along the scenic Benton McKaye Trail. Those that chose to take routes off-trail had to tangle (literally) with one of the largest stands of rhododendron I've ever seen. I was on my hands and knees crawling through the stuff just to put out the points the night before the race. Nasty!

Greg and I really were hoping a team would finally confirm the existence of Bigfoot. We put a checkpoint in a food-plot said to be frequented by the secretive Sasquatch (UTM 761549 3834345). But, Bigfoot apparently chose to be a spectator AGAIN and did now show himself. Still, we captured the above raw photo footage we believe to be a pair of the ape-like critters trying to escape the eye of our camera. You decide ...

The Trailblazer-sponsored event paired experienced racers with beginner teams. I had the pleasure of teaming up with a team of very good-natured college buddies, including Will O'Connor who joined us for the Checkpoint Challenge, and had a great time.

My lasting memory of the day ... one of my teammates (Joel) was hiking along on the first trek section when he tripped over a small branch, which stuck into his tights and jabbed him in the leg. He grunted with pain, then pulled the small branch free of his tights ... Not three steps later he tripped over ANOTHER branch, which reared up and stabbed him in the same spot just as the previous branch had done. So, Joel then looks down at the branch, and with the most incredulous look on his face, asked the branch "WHY?!?" as if he expected the branches of the world to explain why they held such contempt for him that they would join forces on that day to repeatedly persecute him. Classic!!

All four of us chuckled about that the rest of the day.

- Paul