So here's my RR for the weekend
The route we put together was a slightly modified version of 2-3 days of the TCAT. The goal was first and foremost for everyone to have fun and be safe. The next goal was to get a feel for the gps files and how accurate they were, to see how the optional technical sections were suited to loaded bikes, to see what the main route of the TCAT was like in regards to terrain, scenery, etc. This section of the TCAT goes through my backyard. Juames and myself have spent many, many days putting it together over the last year. The TCAT has many sections (even weeks at a time) where big wide gravel highways are the only terrain, the "harder" parts of the main route are spread out here and there. Skibum has a few days on a rail line that he says can be challenging, I've seen some of Chris's section in Sask and can imagine it becomes very challenging when wet and slick, etc In between these are days of cruising gravel roads. I want to say that this section of the route is not the norm....but I think there will be a few area's where the terrain is similar to this.
After hearing many folks thoughts here is what I came away from the event with.
1. The technical optional (Hero) sections are suited to experienced riders who want to have a small challenge or enjoy rougher terrain. Folks seemed to enjoy them.
2. The main route is challenging when it gets wet. This is inevitable and predictable.
3. Knobby tires are a must
4. Beavers can make a lake in one day where there was almost nothing the day before.
5. Washouts can occur which will put a river across a road.
6. Not everyone knows how to use a gps
7. GPS units that don't do tracks and are not suitable for the TCAT ubnless you are a gizmo wizard
So is the terrain too challenging for a 15, 000 km route? I think I'll stand by our choices and say no. The trails used for the main are dead easy when dry. When wet they do become challenging for sure, but then so does any clay or dark dirt surfaced road.
I look forward to hearing others reviews, comments and suggestions in regards to the terrain for the TCAT