One key change being implemented for STT 2020 will be the discontinuation of the solo categories of the race. This was a difficult decision to make, but one that we feel is necessary as the course moves into increasingly more remote areas.
Adventure racing has traditionally always been a team sport - Storm the Trent was actually the first AR event in Ontario ever to offer a solo category. Given that the courses were semi-marked and based in more rural settings and more populated areas, a solo option was more feasible at STT than it was for pure wilderness-based races. But with the course moving further north to explore new regions, comes the need for increased safety measures, and we feel that a team-only format is one of them. We've been very proud to be the one of the few adventure racing options open to soloists over the past 18 years, so please know that it is only in the interest of safety that we are making this change.
We are more than happy to connect regular solo participants with others who may be looking to pair up into teams of 2 or 4. If interested, please feel to contact us and we would be glad to assist!
One of our favourite things about adventure racing is the fun to be had getting ready for race day. Here are some awesome early-season bike rides that are perfect for March and April because they avoid muddy trails, are relatively easy on the hills, and all feature options for a mid-ride rest stop!
1. Milton. Ride the Halton Agreement Forest doubletrack trails west from Sixth Line, then head over to Campbellford to the Flying Monkey Bike Shop for some amazing coffee. Check hafta.ca for trail conditions first (ride dirt - not mud!) If it is muddy, stick to the area roads and make a loop that has you popping into Dar’s Delights on First Line for homemade donuts.
2. Hamilton. Try the Brantford to Hamilton Rail Trail, starting anywhere along this flat-ish route that is ready to ride early season. To make it extra fun, start in Dundas by the Grit and Grains Brewery and go out as far as you feel like, knowing your car is parked next to some rewarding suds. This way also has you climbing a wee bit on the way out, making the ride-to-beer easier on the return.
3. Guelph area. Elora-Cataract Trailway. Another flat route has you starting from Belwood and heading west to the Elora Brewing Company, or for a shorter trip, lunch in Fergus. There are lots of options on this rail trail.
4. Durham. Park at Durham Forest, but be sure to hold your excitement and stay off the trails until they are dry. Instead, stretch your legs out on area roads while working your way over to Hy Hope Farm for butter tarts, whoopie pies and coffee. On the return, grab some fresh spring water near Lakeridge Ski Club.
5. Turkey Point A little further away for some, but Turkey Point offers an awesome network of trails and the best part of it is they are usually the first to dry out in the spring. After you’re done check out Charlotteville Brewing Company.
All these places are easy to find on Google. If you’re new to these spots, check out Mapmyride, RidewithGPS or Strava to help with route planning!
Where do you ride early in the season?
For many, Storm the Trent will be their first-ever attempt at an adventure racing event. A common question we start to get in these final months is around what the best ways are to prepare for Race Day. Here are a couple of simple tips by discipline:
Happy Adventuring! See you in May!