What the Hell is A Surly Pika? …and other info…
noun | pi-ka |
: any of various short-eared small lagomorph mammals (family Ochotonidae) of rocky uplands of Asia and western North America with relatively short hind legs —called also coney, rock rabbit.
first known use: 1827
Given their round, chubby stature and tiny little legs, it is safe to assume a pika would indeed be surly if it were in an adventure race.
The Surly Pika is not a triathlon or a relay. It is an adventure race in the front-country of Wyoming's largest mountain range, the Wind River Range. Teams of 2-3 will receive maps with pre-plotted checkpoints. Teams will make their way by bike, foot, and boat through the course to find checkpoints. Routes are not predetermined-racers will choose their own way from checkpoint to checkpoint. Teams do not have to secure all checkpoints to finish the race-this allows experienced racers to be challenged and new racers to create a course within their abilities.
Ask A Pika-FAQ
What is the Surly Pika?
- The Surly Pika is an adventure race! Teams of 2-3 will receive maps with pre-plotted checkpoints. Teams will make their way by bike, foot, and boat through the course to find checkpoints. Routes are not predetermined-racers will choose their own way from checkpoint to checkpoint. Teams do not have to secure all of the checkpoints to finish the race-this allows experienced racers to be challenged and new racers to create a course within their abilities.
Where is it?
- The Surly Pika Adventure Race takes place in Pinedale, Wyoming. The race starts at White Pine Ski Resort and ends at Lakeside Lodge on the shore of Fremont Lake.
When is it?
- The race begins at 8 am on July 23, 2017. All teams should finish by 5 pm.
How does my team win the Surly Pika?
- Winning is determined by the number of checkpoints first and time second. The team that finishes will all of the checkpoints first is the winning team. Following teams will be ranked by the number of checkpoints they completed and then by their finishing time. For example: a team with 20 checkpoints finishing in 8 hours will place higher than a team with 19 checkpoints who finished in 7 hours. All teams must finish in 8 hours. Remember: you must be burly to win the surly.
What are checkpoints?
- Checkpoints make up the race course. Checkpoints may be checked in any order, but must be completed in the correct leg of the race (you may not get boat checkpoints on a bike, etc.). Checkpoints may be skipped in the interest of time, but remember that your team's placing will be determined by the number of checkpoints achieved first and time second.
What kind of gear will I need?
- The Surly Pika has both team and individual gear requirements and recommendations. Check out the gear list for a detailed listing. Bring in a copy of your race registration to the Great Outdoor Shop in Pinedale to get a discount on any gear you need for the race!
Can I do it?
- You do not need to be a mountain climber, racer, or marathon runner to compete. You can achieve as many or as few checkpoints as you like, making the Surly Pika customizable to each team's ability. If you can ride a bike, hike, and paddle, you can race.
I can't navigate through Pinedale, how will I navigate the Surly Pika?
- Navigational skills are an essential part of the Surly Pika-find a teammate with good orienteering skills and attend our class at the Sublette County Library on July 12 to learn. Some checkpoints are easier to find than others. Customize your course to match your abilities.
What kind of distances are we talking about here?
- A large component of adventure racing is navigation and strategy. The fastest racers are not always the fastest finishers. A predetermined course takes away from this. The number of checkpoints completed and the route to reach them will vary by team, making it difficult to assess distances. This is an 8-hour race-be prepared.
Can we compete as a relay, or solo?
- No. The Surly Pika is a team race. Your team must stay together at all times.
Are GPS units allowed?
- No. All navigation must be done by map and compass. One-way safety devices such as the Spot Personal Locator Beacon are allowed.
I need more info!
- Join us for our orienteering and navigation training on July 12 at the Sublette County Library at 6 pm. You can also pop in to the Great Outdoor Shop with any questions, or email a Race Director.
Can I attend even if I am not racing?
Sign me up!
- Registration can be completed online. Links for the registration can also be found on our Facebook Page.
I don't want to race, but I'd like to volunteer-how can I help?
- Excellent! Races like these take an enormous amount of planning and help, and volunteers are greatly appreciated! There is an online sign-up sheet for volunteers-if you'd like to sign up, you can see the list here.Thank you!
More questions? Not convinced that this is the best way to spend a Sunday? Email a Race Director!
Be Rad & Kick Ass-The Gear List
The Surly Pika Adventure Race takes place in the front country of the Wind River Range in Wyoming. The terrain is rugged at times and can be thickly treed in places. The race is on United States Forest Service land, which is home to many different wildlife species, including moose, black bear, and grizzly bears. This is a compilation of gear that is mandatory (for individuals and/or teams), as well as some suggestions for recommended gear. The Great Outdoor Shop in Pinedale is offering a discount for any registered racers stocking up on gear-please bring in your registration confirmation to get your discount.
MANDATORY TEAM GEAR (each team must have these items on hand at all times, or when relevant to a specific race leg)
- Emergency Blanket
- Race Punch Card, Map, and Guide (to be handed out on race day)
- Cell Phone (for emergency use only)
- Beartooth Publishing North Wind River Range Map
- Bear Spray
- Bike Repair Kit (tubes or patches, irons and a pump)
- Bug Spray
MANDATORY INDIVIDUAL GEAR (each racer must have these items on hand at all times, or when relevant to a specific race leg)
- Water (use good judgement with regard to the amount of water needed-dehydration is dangerous!)
- Food (again, use good judgement-calories are your friends in a race like this)
- Mountain Bike
- CPSC-certified bike helmet (must be worn at all times while biking)
- Boat and paddle-no motors or sails are allowed. If using a single boat or canoe for an entire team, each team member must have a seat.
- Type III PFD/life jacket to be worn at all times while in the boat.
RECOMMENDED GEAR (not mandatory, but strongly encouraged)
- Waterproof Map Case
- It may be useful to leave your bike on the course while you trek to a checkpoint. Bring a lock if you are not comfortable leaving your bike in the woods.
- Multi-tool, especially for biking
- Long pants and long-sleeved shirts
- Dry bags to house your gear while boating
- Small first-aid kit
- Rain gear
Remember, gear can be left at transition areas. The weather in the Wind River Range can change rapidly and without notice. Racers are encouraged to stage extra clothing, food, water, and shoes at transition areas.
Bike transportation will be provided after the end of the biking leg. Bikes will be transported from the staging area to Lakeside Lodge, where the race ends. If you do not want your bike to be transported for you, a bike lock is highly recommended to ensure the safety of your equipment until you can get back to the staging area to pick it up yourself.
If you have any questions about the gear list or required items, contact a Race Director.
Self-Inflicted Suffering-aka Register Here
So you've made it! You read all about it and you've decided to put yourself to the test.
Click here to get signed up. Each team member must sign up individually-be sure to enter your team name in the space provided. Cost is per person. If you are a first responder, EMT, or member of Search and Rescue, email a Race Director for a discount code!
Pika 101-A Racer’s Guide
Start: The race start will be at the Elkhart A-frame at 8:00 am. Bikes must be dropped off at the A-frame before 6:30 am. There will be a manned station at the bike drop-off point. Race map handout and breakfast will be at 6:30 am at White Pine, followed by a mandatory pre-race meeting at 7:30 am-at least one member from each team must attend the pre-race meeting. After the pre-race meeting, racers will be shuttled to the start.
Finish: Surly Pika will end at Lakeside Lodge (not Sandy Beach). Racers finishing after 4:00 pm will receive a scoring penalty. Teams finishing after 5:00 pm will be un-ranked. Racers will be allowed to leave a bin or bag at the start to be transported to the finish. The Awards Ceremony will be at 5:00 pm.
Registration: Online registration closes Thursday, July 20th. There will be registration available at the Surly Pika booth at the Wind River Mountain Festival. Last chance registration is on Saturday evening at the booth until from 3:00-6:00 pm. There is no race day registration.
Checkpoints: There are multiple checkpoints along the course. Checkpoints may be checked in any order, but must be completed in the correct leg. (ie you may not get boat checkpoints on bike). Checkpoints may be skipped in the interest of time, but your team's placing will be determined by number of checkpoints first and time second.
Transition Areas: TA's are check points where racers switch disciplines (bike to trek, trek to paddle). There are three TAs in this race. You will be able to leave bins or bags of gear at TA 1 and TA 3. Make sure your TA bin is well stocked-stash extra clothes, socks and shoes, food and drink. Unlike checkpoints, all TAs are mandatory. Racers are responsible for placing their own TA gear bins the morning of the race. Location of transition areas will be handed out at bib pick-up. Each TA will have water. Bring your own container – Surly Pika is a cupless race. If a team does not check in at a TA, Search and Rescue will be called to track down missing racers, so DO NOT skip a TA.
Mandatory gear: Mandatory gear is mandatory. There will be random gear checks on the course. There will be a time penalty for each missing piece of gear.
Other gear: Use good judgement. You must be able to get from TA to TA without resupply. Be prepared for weather changes and to be out longer than expected. Gear belts are not recommended. Lightweight backpacks are best.
Punch cards: Each team will be provided with a punch card. All checkpoints are marked by white and orange flags. A unique punch is at each CP-you will punch your card proving you were there. If you lose your card another may be provided, however, only the punches on the card you have at the finish will count.
Boats: Boats must be man-powered-no sails or motors are allowed. If you do not have a boat, The Great Outdoor Shop has a limited number of canoes for rent. All boats must have the Aquatic Invasive Species sticker available from Game and Fish. Boats must be dropped off at the staging area prior to race start. The boat staging area will be manned starting 6:00 am on race day for drop-off, or boats may be dropped off the night before as well. Note: Racers will not be allowed to start the boat leg after 3:30 pm, so please plan accordingly and watch your time. Surly Pika Adventure Race nor it's agents or volunteers are responsible for damage or theft of boats.
Bikes: While the Surly Pika bike leg takes place on trail, racers should still have a mountain bike-a road bike will not be sufficient. Bike drop-off opens at 6:00 am at the Elkhart Park A-frame to start the race. Bikes can be shuttled from TA 2 to Lakeside Lodge for racers at your discretion. If you do not want your bike to be shuttled, we would recommend locking your bike to a tree until you are able to either pick it up yourself, or arrange for a pickup by someone else. Surly Pika Adventure Race nor it's agents or volunteers are responsible for damage or theft of bikes.
Maps: Race-specific maps will be handed out at 6:30 Sunday morning at White Pine. Breakfast burritos, coffee and other snacks will be for sale at the lodge. It is recommended you get here at this time to enjoy breakfast look over maps to plan your route, etc. White Pine has been extremely gracious to house the race for the meeting early that morning, and any support you can toss their way is appreciated. Remember to bring (mandatory gear) Beartooth Publishing Wind River North Map, available at the Great Outdoor Shop. This is the most accurate trail map.
Entourage: Adventure racing is not the most spectator-friendly sport. However, family, friends and fans may cheer you along where able. Transition Areas are the best place for this. TA locations will be handed out with bibs. Remember no outside assistance, however, fans may pick up your bike or TA gear after you finish or shuttle you to the start. Lakeside Lodge will be a great place to gather, as well, as your cheering squad will be able to watch the progress across the lake while having some food or drinks.
Leave no trace: Pack it in pack it out. We are guests of the forest. The Surly Pika Adventure Race is permitted through the Bridger-Teton National Forest, and future races depend on you. Please be respectful of each other and of the area. Rules and regulations exist for a reason.
Bear safety: You are racing in bear country. Although an encounter is unlikely, each team is required to carry bear spray and know how to use it. Teams are also responsible for knowing how to travel in bear country. Take precautions with your food, please don't litter or leave food behind. This protects both you and the animals in the area. Safety should be a team's first priority-respect safe distances while in the presence of ANY animal.
Assistance: Racers are expected to be self-sufficient! Racers may not receive outside help, but are allowed to accept help from other racers. In the event of injury racers are obligated to stop and help each other. This is a team race, from start to finish. Stick together.
Manners: We do not receive special use of the trails as racers. We are required to abide by trail rules. Please yield to other trail users and say excuse me and thank you. You must yield to horses. Remember you are wearing race bibs and are representing Surly Pika Adventure Racing-everything you do, or do not do is a reflection of the entire race. The possibility of future events depends on you. Also remember your manners while interacting with race volunteers! Putting on a race like this is an enormous undertaking and our volunteers are taking time away from their homes and familes to help make the event successful. Treat all volunteers with respect-they certainly deserve it. Tell them thank you. Should you have a concern or a complaint, please reach out to a race director.
- Race director wins all arguments.
- No motorized forms of travel.
- No GPS/phone navigation assistance. Altimeters and odometers are okay.
- Racers must be within 20 meters on foot and 50 meters on bike at all times.
- Helmets must be worn at all times while on bikes and PFDs must be worn at all times while in boats
- Only ride on trails. Bikes are not to be ridden at any time off trail.
- Failure to comply with any of these rules may result in team disqualification or time penalty.
6:00 Boat drop-off opens.
6:15 Bike drop-off opens.
6:30 Map hand-out and breakfast at White Pine
7:30 Mandatory pre-race meeting at White Pine
7:45 Shuttle to start
8:00 Race Begins
1:00 TA 1 Closes
3:00 TA 2 Closes
4:00 TA 3 Closes No boats allowed on the water after 3:30 pm.
4:00 Official Finish-racers will receive penalty for every minute finished after 4:05 pm.
5:00 Awards ceremony. Any racers finishing after 5:00 pm will be un-ranked.
7:00 After-party for all volunteers and racers at group campsite #50.
Thank you to our Race Sponsors: