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Pinetree, ME - what's it like?

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  • Pinetree, ME - what's it like?

    i'm trying to get some more info re Pinetree endurance ride.
    mostly what's the terrain like and what are the camping grounds like (are there trees where i could stretch my picket line? or at least one tree?). i'd like to try a 50 again but it seems that most of the rides in the North East in the Fall are held on relatively difficult terrain. a friend mentioned that Pinetree was easy. i'm just trying to get input from others.
    http://www.eponashoe.com/
    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

  • #2
    GTD - In my experience, it's better to ask riders who did the ride than the Ride Manager. The Ride Manager wants as many competitors there as possible so they tell you how wonderful everything is, but only the riders will tell you the truth. I found out the hard way about a ride I did last year.

    I was just talking to a person yesterday about my "bad experience" last year. She said - oh yeah, that ride is the hottest of the season, people always get lost on the loops, there's a long distance in between water, the checks are all out of camp and you NEED a crew, even for LD, the footing is really bad in a lot of spots, you share part of the trail with ATVs, and some people won't go back to the ride anymore because it's generally just a hassle.

    Well - the RM isn't going to tell you that on the phone.

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      GTD

      last year i relied on the RM's description of the ride in RI. what they describes as rolling hills with sandy gravel turned out to be mountains of serious rock. that was to be my first 50 and i surely didn't want it to be on terrain that difficult.

      so i agree with A2, for a variety of reasons, it's better to get feedback from teh riders than the RM.
      http://www.eponashoe.com/
      TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

      Comment


      • #4
        I know what you mean marta. This same RM also described the footing to me as single track, rolling hills through the forest.

        Well, she negelected to mention the miles of deep bog full of logs, and the 5 miles of blazing hot gravel road shared with about 150 ATVs doing an organized ride of some sort. (maybe it was a race? I can't remember.)

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          A2

          that's just crazy.
          i think that in the case of RM for the RI ride, she really didn't think much of these 'hills.' i guess that's what they're used to riding on. but for me, coming from central NJ, where all but one of our distance rides is held in sandy flat Pine Barrens, these suckers were monstrous mountains and the rocks were everywhere!
          so i also like to get feedback from folks who come from an area similar to mine, so that i can get their perception on what the heck it's really like.
          http://www.eponashoe.com/
          TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

          Comment


          • #6
            Great points GTD.

            One thing I've started doing is looking at the completion times compared to the distance. So if a 25 is being won year after year at 2:40, it's fairly safe to assume it's an easier trail. Versus a 25 that is being won year after year at 3:30. It seems that if the going is easier with nicer footing, the horses can fly. But if the times are consistently slower with many of the riders finishing it more in the 4.0 or 4:30 range, then I assume it's a tough trail with more obstacles to slow you down.

            I've become obsessed with studying ride results on aerc.org since my "bad experience" last year. I am determined to be more consciencious of trail conditions before setting off on a 3 hour trip in my trailer.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              GTD

              that's a great suggestion.
              i will try reaching out to these folks.

              i would really like to try a 50 this year but as you said, with gas prices what they are, i don't want to drive for hours only to find out that the trail is a lot more difficult than what i hoped for our first 50.

              i have a couple possible rides lined up in my head, the other is genessee, peace point, hickory creek. i even thought that maybe going for maine pioneer would make sense. i heard that's not too bad either.
              http://www.eponashoe.com/
              TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

              Comment


              • #8
                Marta - one more thing I've been doing is trailering to, and conditioning on, the trails that I know I will do rides on. That eleviates a LOT of stress. I know the trail, the horse knows the trail, and I can see first hand what it's like.

                I plan to try my first 50 at the conclusion of this season and I've already pre-ridden parts of the trail where it will be held so I have some clue as to what it's like.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I just tried to send a post about Pine Tree but the server froze up. It's an easy first 50 according to my neighbor but it can be humid. I have done all the other rides that you listed as possibilities and they aren not easy, Hickory Creek isn't bad, it's the easiest. I would call it moderate-medium. Genessee is very hilly, very hot and very humid unless you get lucky on July weather, it's the hardest. Peace Point can be hot and humid and has some steep and slick/muddy hills on it. Might freak out a NJ rider! I'd call it a medium in terms of difficulty. A lot has to do with weather. Hickory Creek being further north is less hot. No rocks to speak of, just a few scattered out, a few climbs but not long ones and the footing was nice when I was there last year. Some really lovely hemlock woods to ride thru. It also has a great camp ground with lots of room and lots of places to hang a high line.

                  Bonnie S.

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    #10
                    i heard that genessee can be v hot and humid.

                    we intend to train on some of our nj 'mountains' and rocks to prep for the ride since i realize that hills and rocks are unavoidable at most rides in the north east.
                    thanks for the feedback re hickory creek. sounds like a nice ride. perhaps we'll shoot for that one. i just want to keep the stress to a minimum at our first 50
                    http://www.eponashoe.com/
                    TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I did Pine Tree two years ago ...

                      ... the 100, tho it was a different ridecamp than last year (and this year). So the trail may be a tiny bit different, although I think it is the same trail system.

                      I live in mountain country, but I thought this ride was one of the nicest "first 100s" going and have told many folks that. (I know you're planning on the 50.)

                      The footing had a little variety. I recall one section (maybe a mile and we rode that loop twice) that had some rocks. Not enough to be a rocky ride, by any stretch, but enough to slow me down for that mile.

                      There was a lot of hard packed sand (hard packed even as compared to NJ) and I'd call it rolling terrain. There was one hill that I recall, but it was not terribly long or terribly steep, although I do train in the mountains. I thought that the terrain was rather easy, with just enough variety to keep the horses fresh and using different muscle groups.

                      It will be my young horse's first 100 if I can swing it. I like the course that much. And Tom and Kathy are great hosts.

                      The black flies/gnats were cranky at one location with a couple of creek crossings -- I remember that. And the year I rode the weather was warmish, but not brutally hot as it had been the year prior. But hey, June in the NE ... <shoulder shrug> you never know.

                      I certainly hope if someone had a question about the terrain or camp at my ride that they'd call me or email. I think most RMs are honest about their course, although certainly one's opinion of hilly, or rocky, or lots of water, can certainly vary based on what one is accustomed to. Or hey, ask other riders around about my ride too. That's fine.

                      However, I've had riders call and ask me "Should I pad?" Well geez, I don't know. I don't pad and I condition all the time on the trails of my ride, but there's plenty of folks out of FL and NJ that pad for stuff that I don't even consider rocky. So sometimes such questions are not easy to answer. Is my ride rocky? Yes, compared to the NJ rides, it's rocky. Compared to the old OD? Not even close.

                      It's really helpful if you have a ride you can compare your own to as a RM. I tell folks a lot of times that the terrain at our ride is a lot like Elk Valley in PA. Unfortunately Elk Valley has been gone for a number of years, so that doesn't always help. ;-)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I did Pine Tree two years ago ...

                        ... the 100, tho it was a different ridecamp than last year (and this year). So the trail may be a tiny bit different, although I think it is the same trail system.

                        I live in mountain country, but I thought this ride was one of the nicest "first 100s" going and have told many folks that. (I know you're planning on the 50.)

                        The footing had a little variety. I recall one section (maybe a mile and we rode that loop twice) that had some rocks. Not enough to be a rocky ride, by any stretch, but enough to slow me down for that mile.

                        There was a lot of hard packed sand (hard packed even as compared to NJ) and I'd call it rolling terrain. There was one hill that I recall, but it was not terribly long or terribly steep, although I do train in the mountains. I thought that the terrain was rather easy, with just enough variety to keep the horses fresh and using different muscle groups.

                        It will be my young horse's first 100 if I can swing it. I like the course that much. And Tom and Kathy are great hosts.

                        The black flies/gnats were cranky at one location with a couple of creek crossings -- I remember that. And the year I rode the weather was warmish, but not brutally hot as it had been the year prior. But hey, June in the NE ... <shoulder shrug> you never know.

                        I certainly hope if someone had a question about the terrain or camp at my ride that they'd call me or email. I think most RMs are honest about their course, although certainly one's opinion of hilly, or rocky, or lots of water, can certainly vary based on what one is accustomed to. Or hey, ask other riders around about my ride too. That's fine.

                        However, I've had riders call and ask me "Should I pad?" Well geez, I don't know. I don't pad and I condition all the time on the trails of my ride, but there's plenty of folks out of FL and NJ that pad for stuff that I don't even consider rocky. So sometimes such questions are not easy to answer. Is my ride rocky? Yes, compared to the NJ rides, it's rocky. Compared to the old OD? Not even close.

                        It's really helpful if you have a ride you can compare your own to as a RM. I tell folks a lot of times that the terrain at our ride is a lot like Elk Valley in PA. Unfortunately Elk Valley has been gone for a number of years, so that doesn't always help. ;-)

                        Comment

                        • Original Poster

                          #13
                          thanks patti

                          as i said, it's subjective and based on what you're used to. your familiarity with the NJ trails certainly gives you an ability to provide feedback to a potential rider out of NJ (although north western NJ has its share of rocks and mountains).

                          sounds like pine tree, although far, may be worth a trip.
                          http://www.eponashoe.com/
                          TQ(Trail Queen) \"Learn How to Ride or Move Over!!\" Clique

                          Comment

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