Sunday, November 18, 2012

6/16/13 "Craig County Crusher" Mountain Bike Endurance Backcountry Event

CCC 8 Track (click for larger view)
The "Craig County Crusher" Mountain Bike Endurance Backcountry Event is FREE and exactly like the events in the Southwest Endurance Series following these rules. (A Virginia Endurance Series is currently forming!)

Date: June 16, 2013

Start Time & Location: 6:30am, New Castle, VA in the parking lot of the Craig County Library on the corner of 311 and Main St (State Rd #615): 6:20am Rider Meeting. 6:30am Event Start.

Camping: New Castle Park:
For the first time ever the Mayor of New Castle, John "Bucky" Johnson is allowing camping in New Castle Park to welcome and support participants in this Virginia Endurance Series event. I promised Mayor Johnson that we would leave the park (and the amazing backcountry trails of Craig County) as nice or nicer than we found them, and honoring that agreement is required of all CCC participants.

Event staging layout. Click on the image to enlarge.
The Route: The "CCC 8 Track Route". CCC = both Craig County Crusher and Civilian Conservation Corps, the group that made virtually all of the amazing trails on this route.

This ultra epic Jefferson National Forest backcountry mountain biking route combines two phenomenal XXC / Ultra / Marathon mountain biking race courses "The Escape" and "Dragon's Tale", and adds more great trails, fire roads and country roads.

On Sunday, November 11th, I rode this route, unsupported, in roughly 14 hours ... and it was one of the best days I've ever spent on a bike! Below are the ride with gps route details and a few videos from the first successful attempt to ride this route in a single day.

Join us on June 16th, 2013 to test the limits of your skills, mettle and endurance on the incredible, rugged, beautiful and challenging trails that make up the CCC 8 Track.

The CCC 8 Track is made up of two loops. The first / lower loop is 35 miles, includes riding North, Broad Run and Lick Mountains, and it brings riders back into New Castle where they can refresh, refuel and if necessary, make bike repairs, before continuing on to the second / upper 46 mile loop which traverses Nutter, Bald and Potts Mountains.

Riders are welcome and encouraged to attempt the entire CCC 8 Track, and if they're too exhausted to continue after the lower loop they can attempt the upper loop or the whole CCC 8 Track another day. Riders can also plan to just attempt the lower or plan to just attempt the upper loop on June 16th. Either loop is an incredible and epic ride by itself!

Navigating the Route

  • Via GPXClick here to download the GPX file. GPX files contain track information (a breadcrumb trail) and can be uploaded and viewed in most GPS units. With a Garmin 800, for example, just upload this GPX file to the device, it will then be available in the course list and you simply follow the blue line on the map on your Garmin 800s screen. Click here for Garmin 800 specific GPX file instructions. Note: actively navigating (following a course or route) will significantly decrease your devices battery life. Even if you're navigating via GPX I highly recommend that you, or someone you're riding with, has a map.
  • Via MAP - Click here to purchase the National Geographic Trails Illustrated Map 788. All trails and roads of the CCC 8 Track route are clearly illustrated on this great, durable and waterproof map. Purchase the map, then using the snapshot of the route above and the detail of the route below highlight the route on your map and stick it in the outside pocket of your hydration pack.

The *only* place to buy food or drink along the CCC 8 Track route is in New Castle - i.e. at the start (mile 0), after the lower loop (mile 35) and at the finish (mile 81). You may not be able to carry enough water to stay well hydrated if June 29 is a hot day, so bringing a water filter or water purification tablets is required. This course is very very tough if you are well hydrated. Trying to complete it in the summer while significantly dehydrated could be dangerous.


The fastest riders might complete the CCC 8 Track in 8-9 hours, while others may take as many as 15 hours. Everyone is going to burn a tremendous amount of calories. If you wait until you start to feel hungry or weak before you begin eating you will bonk - which is not fun. I personally recommend eating a variety of sport food (gels, bars, etc.) and normal foods (sandwiches, fruit, nuts) and take Hammer Endurolytes capsules to prevent muscle cramping.

*Note: All videos below were shot in November 11, 2012. There were no leaves on trees, everything was on the ground and trail. It was incredibly beautiful, and on June 16th these mountains will be lush green - another type of stunning beauty.