Off to the Mud – Mountain Madness 2017

When I got home I worked on a seperate project – taking pictures of a triathlon team while they were training, and then completing their tri – so I didn’t do an special, particular motorcycle travel. I did ride around a lot, since I like riding motorcycles and my camera gear fits into the luggage (which might have been a requirement).

Horizons Unlimited was having it’s first east coast USA Mountain Madness event in Maryland during August, and I was going to “compete” in it. I put the qoutes on because I am not very competive, and even less so when I am riding challenging roads. If you didn’t know, the Mountain Madness event is an off-road scavenger hunt, similer to an Iron Butt rally (though with much lower daily miles). Before the event, someone went and rode around, placing small (1 inch by 1/2 inch) tabs at locations around the event HQ. Pictures were taken and approximate GPS coordinates were noted. This information was put into a very nice binder to help people find them.

The HQ Location was nice. They gave me money for the casino.

The roads were rated from one to five. Ones were the easiest, poor pavement rather than gravel. Twos weren’t much worse. Fives were where the roads that caused the guy placing the tags (who is a motorcycle instructor and apparently extremely good off-road) to fall over. There weren’t many fives.

Mountain Madness is a team event, so no one rides around in the woods on their own. This is a good thing. I was going to have a team, but everything fell apart not long before the event. This wasn’t a problem, since there are other solo riders. In my case I was added to a team with other solo riders. There are also two sub-classes. You can use a GPS or only maps, and the motorcycle were split between single or multi-clyinder machines. You had to pick one of each, so there were four groups. GPS/Single. GPS/multi, Maps/Single, and Maps/multi (which didn’t have any entrants for my event).

Before riding the event, I had to get there. I’d just done a long trip on my SR250, but for the Mountain Madness event I was going to bring my CSC RX3 –

I took a slightly different route, swinging through Pennsylvania on the way

Once I was there, I set up camp and headed back for tech inspection. Yes, tech inspection. Mostly they were concerned about spark arrestors, since we would be in state and national forests and no one wanted any accidental fires. My Roxxie (named White Rabbit, or just Rabbit) has stock exhaust, so it’s a non-issue, but since the bike is still a little uncommon it gets some extra attention.

Okay, technically I was the only bike in the tech area at the time, so there wasn’t anything for the people to do other than stare.

Eventually more bike started to roll in –

I totally wanted some of these guys to go

Okay, I’m kidding. It’s a nice riding area and attracted motorcyclists of all types.

where are you going to put that stick Mark? WHERE ARE YOU GOING WITH THAT STICK!!???

It's supposed to be like that.

There were a few people who did last minute bodges, but it wouldn’t be an HU event with a few interesting modifications.

Since I was through tech inspection early, and watching people have their exhaust pipes probed is only fun for a while, I relaxed until the evening program.

Definitely a nice location.

The evening (Friday) was going to cover how to use the binders and maps to find the tags, how to record the tags to get points, and other ways to get points while at the event (social media posts, picking up garbage, etc). No one was going to be able to get all the tags, so you had to pick and choose based on what roads you wanted to ride and the time available. Tags on harder roads were worth more, but they took more time to get so you couldn’t get as many of them.

We're going to talk, but it gets better.

Doomed, you're all doomed.

After all the rules stuff, we were sent off to our beds. A lot of the competitors were staying at the hotel/casino, but I’m cheap and had a tent site in a (very) nearby campground. I went to get a decent night’s sleep so I wasn’t too awful in the morning.


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