The GR4 will be the third iteration of the Navigation Trials event based in Gold River, Strathcona Vancouver Island. In keeping with the spirit of previous events, the routes will be new and in large part, comprise gravel roads unused in previous events.
This distinction will be lost on new entrants, for whom of course everything will be new, but will be very relevant to riders who have ridden previous GoldRiver events and will want new/fresh challenges.
There are only so many roads out of Gold River and over the previous events they have all been used and might be considered "unchallenging" now by riders of increasing competence.
These routes between Gold River and Woss and Gold River to Sayward Junction will be used as transfer routes (called Liaisons in Rally-speak) between the village of Gold River and Woss and Sayward Junction which will be rest and refuel jumping off points for the new Trials routes.
These routes will also meet the stated aim of widening the accessibility of Navigation Trials. They will serve as the guided-groups routes for those rider-entrants who are new to backcountry navigation and travel and are not yet ready to strike out on their own.
As part of the preparations for next summer's event, the Gold River to Woss and Sayward Junction liaisons are published and described below. They also stand (hopefully) as encouragement to riders who would like to experience backcountry travel but are uncertain about how to begin...
Gold River to Sayward Junction via Gold River Rd, East Main, West Rd, W700 and White River Rd - 78km
Difficulty 1-2 (1 = easy, 5 = f. hard). The changeover section between West Rd and White River Rd (W700) has some steepish climbs and descents. Nothing that appropriate tyres and a steady hand and nerve can't overcome. I've seen road cars do this route!
Variations: Substitute Stuart Main/ST2/VIC30/Victoria Main for part of White River Rd
This route isn't likely to pose any serious challenges other that potentially leafy ones around the junction between Stuart Main and S2 to the point where the road becomes Victoria Main.
Gold River to Woss via Gold River Rd, M21 or Gold River Rd, Nimpkish Main South, Vernon Lake Road, Back Rd Rona Cutoff Rd, Railway Ave. 75km
Variation: substitute Vernon Lake Rd for continuation of Nimpkish Main South, past Maquilla Reload, over Hwy19, west on Nimpkish Main South, past Woss Reload to Woss
This route is not difficult, plenty of points of interest along the way worth stopping for.
Gold River to Tahsis via Head Bay Rd. 70km
This isn't a liaison route as such, as Tahsis is at the end of a road that only really goes to Tahsis - but it does offer another suitable route for a guided group ride - not difficult and with plenty of scenery to travel through.
Sayward Junction to Woss via Salmon River main FSR, Adam River Main, Hwy19, Kim Creek Main to Rooney lake main, Hwy19, Muskeg Main (becomes West Tsitika Rd), WC1000, Nimpkish Main South, Woss Reload, Woss. 75km
This route, joining Sayward Junction to Woss replicates the feel of the grander, backcountry routes without venturing too far away from what counts as civilisation in the North Island. There is some routefinding to do and some gravel roads that are somewhat off the beaten path, but not too far off... this would be a good tester after two or three days familiarisation with the backcountry. Plus there is food and fuel at both SJ and Woss!
These routes (with variations) can stand for both the liaison routes for those riders participating and competing in the Navigation Trials and also the routes for the guided tours. To avoid overlapping purposes, it would be reasonable if the guided "tour" riders rode a different route to the liaison riders on each of the four days.
In this way it will be possible to cater for four classes of GoldRiver400 entrants
Guided group, tour riders
Gaia navigation riders
Roadbook-only navigation riders (start at the same time as the Gaia riders
then, after an hour delay to ensure separation
Roadbook + Richta gps timing riders at 3 minute intervals (start order decided by lottery)
GoldRiver400 entries can be found at:
I hope to meet you next summer!