Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Sir Mallory Memorial Race for Honor & Discovery could attract huge field of talented riders, according to Velo-News

The DBD proudly announces the first annual Sir George Mallory Race for Honor & Discovery.

Dear Readers:

In recognition of Mallory's contributions of late to the Club, we thought it a good idea to offer up a race in his honor. The following is an explanation.

This fully self-supported event shall commence from the DBD’s summer clubhouse, located on the spacious west-wing of the historic Kitchi Gammi Club, in Old Duluth, at the strike of midnight on Thursday, July 28th and finish sometime before 6:00 a.m. on Monday, August 1st [Note: once the clock strikes midnight— no assistance from one’s Man-servant(s) will be tolerated!]

~88% of the proposed ~380 to 400 mile route consists of rugged MN-DNR multi-use trails including most of the 160+ mile Taconite Trail, all of the Yukon Trail, all of the Tomahawk Trail, and about a forty mile span of the Northshore Trail.

The first segment of the racecourse involves riding the only asphalt on the route (~45 miles) to access the ALBORN-PENGILLY TRAIL. This ATV trail, is 42 miles long and follows an abandoned railroad grade through beautiful scenery from Alborn to Pengilly.

From Pengilly (near to Grand Rapids), one will access the Taconite Trail by way of a short snowmobile spur trail known as the Lawron Trail. The Taconite Trail takes one all the way to Ely, some 155 miles up the trail. It looks to be a reasonable stretch and promises to be most picturesque as well, if you are into that sort of thing. [Note: There appears to be intermittent shelters along the way, not unlike those found on the Arrowhead and Northshore trails.]

Once in Ely, the intrepid racer will access the mysterious Tomahawk Trail. This 86-mile segment looks to be the most remote and potentially most sporting of the course. To our knowledge, no civilized man has yet succeeded in forging through this segment of swamps and bogs in summer. Kershaw recently made an infamous attempt, but was quickly turned back in dishonor. He shall have to live with that shameful decision for the rest of his life! But I digress…

Finally after completing the Tomahawk, a whole man shall be treated to a 30+ mile passage upon the enigmatic Yukon Trail and then finally an ~ 40 mile segment of the Northshore Trail, which is doable but requires a stalwart steadfastness that is somewhat lacking in many of today’s modern men.

Equipment needs are up to you and your Man-servant(s) to contemplate. My man, Farrow, will be mounted upon his trusty Pugsley.

In sum: One should expect a fairly eventful multi-day challenge.

More specifics to be forthcoming in the near future including a listing of the participants.

Best regards,

Ernest Shackleton (DBD Member since 1908)

Addendum 7/21/2011: Note the addition of the Yukon Trail (which adds 40 miles to the effort); which is needed as it acts as a connecting spur betwixt the Tomahawk and the Northshore. By the way to my knowledge no one has ever done this whole thing before in summer in any form or mode of transport. Of course, a more impressive ride from an adventurous cyclist's perspective would involve tackling it in mid-Winter, but even in Summer one should find plenty to think about. Also of Note: The Northshore Trail has been ridden in the winter (with some outside support) by the Brothers John and Matt Evingson along with Pierre Ostor some five years past; whilst Farrow rode the Northshore route to Grand Marais in the summer of 2009.


  1. Is this by invitation only or is it an all-comers meet?

  2. Nevermind. My wife works that weekend and I will be supervising the munchkins and making sure they don't burn the house down. Open or closed, I wouldn't be able to attend.

  3. All are welcome. It is a route that I have longed to attempt for several years....should you find me corpse along the trail please feel free to take what you can use. Seriously, unless there is a terrible weather forecast going into that weekend, I am doing this trip...I am leaving at 11:59 p.m. on next Wednesday from Duluth with the goal of riding through into late Thursday night, take a few hours of rest and then go go go with only a few rests. I have to be back in Duluth by that following Monday. I am going for it, packing light....planning on little/no sleep and go go go...It looks to be a recipe for a classic epic effort...very remote course and success unlikely. I will add more to the blog as the start date approaches.

  4. Old men can be fools as well I see. If you aren't sucked dry by the mosqitoes I look forward to your accounts.

  5. The Alborn to Grand Rapids "old grade" via beautiful downtown Pengilly will test the soft mind for boredom. Flat flat and more flat.
    Keep an eye out for moose just west of Meadowlands!! I rode the Bunker grade (north/south) last week, with a short spin on the east/west grade. Two big bull moose were spotted just west of hwy. 5. Also a mating pair of mountain lions are in that area also; along with the arch enemy of the moose, the "ghost of the woods" the wolf. Two separate packs of 12 or more, one in the Meadowlands area, another further west.
    Sounds likes splendid pedal to me!!
    Peace, Joboo

  6. Dear Joboo...Yeah that ATV trail looks flat and straight but it looks to be the best "straight-shot" to access the Taconite Trail from my house. Plus I'll be riding that section in the that may be a good thing!

  7. She's flat Mr. Farrow, and then some!!
    Night is the time for the ghost's to roam!! ;)) lol
    The grade (Bunker) that runs north to south from Hibbing is where I did my training rides for the 1st running of the Heck. Then east to hwy 5 and then turned around and head west to Pengilly, then back again. 106.75 miles when all said and done. The Pugs eats up those old grades, I know mine loves them!!
    Very interesting deal you got going on here, I may have to spend that 1st night at the hunting shack and pedal with whomever to Pengilly.


  8. Good luck Weather looks hot and steamy