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Canadian Travel Bug race?


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I was sure that I had read somewhere about someone wanting to organize a Travel Bug Race in Canada. As I remember it, it wasn't a sure thing yet but rather a 'Would you be interested?'


I have looked high and low in the forums and I can't, for the life of me, find this thread. (I hope that I have better luck finding the 'Box In The Woods' cache! icon_biggrin.gif


Anyway, I wanna play. Anyone know anything about this?


Thanks in advance


White Owl

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Now where was that thread??? Maybe I dreamt it.


Anyway, there seems to be some interest in this so I'd like to get a dialogue going to see what we can do.


I'd like to stress that these only preliminary ideas. I'd like everyone's input. I don't know if we have time to get this going for this year but if not, there's always 2004.


Here are some ideas:


1) A travel bug may be placed in any cache as it's start point.

2) The winner is the travel bug who visits the 10 provinces (and 3 territories?) first.

3) Travel bugs must travel by Geocachers (no snail mail)

4) Racers may ask the help of other Geocachers to help move their bugs along but may not use the help of non-Geocachers. (But if your brother across the country owns a GPS and wants to register, then that's great. Another member!)

5)Does the province of origin count as the first province visited or does the bug have to leave that province then come back?

6) If a bug goes missing, can the owner replace it and continue the race? I think it's like stock cars. Once you crash into the wall, that's it!

7) Racers may register travel bugs that are already in circulation but only those provinces visited after the race start date will count for the race total.

8) Are travel bugs owned by non-Canadians allowed? I think they should be.


We should have a web site to log the bugs progress. Nothing fancy here. Something on one of the free web space would be enough. I can do this but I don't really have the time to dedicate for this. If someone wants to jump in here and volunteer then great.


What about prizes? I think that corporate sponsorship is counter to the Geocaching's commercial free policy but could we get Groundspeak to throw in a few hats, t-shirts, etc.?


So that's all I have for now. Now looking for input from everyone else. Ideas, suggestions, volunteers, anything ....

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Gee; I'd be happy if people would actually move any of our travel bugs. The first bug we let in the wild has been in the hands of someone for 2 months now, and one that I released last week (with explicit attached instructions to not be held for more than 48 hours), was picked up by someone, not logged, and now in their hands for 72....


Is it me, or is it that a lot of people out there just don't get it?

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I'm willing to maintain a web page. The Geocaches up here don't get as much traffic so if the travel bugs are started in different Geocaches then I wouldn't have a chance of winning. I propose they all start in the same Geocache.


Every hour spent geocaching is added to the end of your life


[This message was edited by boreal jeff & sons on May 02, 2003 at 10:05 AM.]

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I think the idea of a TB race is a great idea. I also think they should all start and end at the same caches. The routes they take is up for grabs. Maybe the race start could have a rule that only one TB racer to be taken per geocacher visit. This would ensure a good race to follow. Perhaps Groundspeak would be open to running the web page for the duration of the race. It would be really neat to see all bugs locations on one map. One last idea, what about a registration fee for prizes? maybe $5.00 to $20.00. Since I am on the west coast I would love to work the start or the finish. A race from one ocean to the other perhaps?

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Things seem to be shaping up but I don't think that a 2003 race is realistic. This should have a start date of around April 1. I think that we should look at a 2004 race. What does everyone else think?


I still haven't heard from anyone saying that they were working on this.


So far, we have a web master and a west coast start/finish person. Anyone else want to volunteer? There is still a need for people. Hey! What about you? This project could really use your expertise! The 'chair' position is still up for grabs.

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I'm in, I would like to participate, and since I live in Ontario I really can't be a finish or start cache (unless we try for a mid-Canadian finish)


I'm willing to be an administrative assistant if need be....or whatever it takes, this sounds like a really fun idea!


I think it would be great, if you could see all the bugs positions on one map, that way we could watch the race progress!

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Here is the link to the 2003 Cannonball Run TB race in the US.


This race was concieved with the first post on Groundspeak Jan 6 2003


The race was started on March 8 2003 so I think we may be able to start this year if we all get going. One of the neat things they did was a group start at an organized event cache.

To get the ball rolling I would be willing to start the event and will contact 2003 Cannonball organizers for any advice they can offer. If everyone else is OK with this I will create a starting cache and the collection of TB's. One thing I would really need help with though is a wizbang HTMLer as you can see I can't even get an avtar going. We also need an East Coaster for a finishing point. If anyone knows a cacher out there or would like to search Geocache for a dedicated cacher in the maritimes that would be great.

Anyway I am just trying to get things started so if anyone has suggestions please post. Anyone who would like to volunteer please feel free to email me and I will post a comittee team here. I see Cannonball needed 5 people for their race. FYI Cannonball is almost 2 months old now and still going. I don't think the current leader has fulfilled the race rules but we can watch and learn.

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Originally posted by WCoaster:

TO: boreal jeff & sons

Sorry boreal I missed your post to maintain a web page. Is that offer still open? It would be critical to the enjoyment of the race to be able to track the bags all at once.



Yes the offer is still open. I'm working on a preliminary design now. I'll post it once I've got something to show.


Every hour spent geocaching is added to the end of your life

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TO: WCoaster


Would you be willing to take on the position of 'chair' or 'head honcho' or 'bugeye' or whatever title you want to give it.


As I have stated, I kinda feel that that duty is falling onto my shoulders since I got this thread started but I really don't want it.


I'm willing to help out as much as I can though. I'll start by seeing what I can do to get an East Coast cacher to work on the end point.


I will also contact Groundspeak about prizes. If we can get enough people participating, they will be making a lot of money on TB tags so they may be willing to throw in a few items for prizes.

1st place

2nd place

3rd place

TB who has visited the most caches

TB who has travelled the greatest distance


It doesn't have to be much. Just a little something for an extra incentive.


To Boreal: Anything on that web site that we can drool over yet?

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To: Boreal

Sound good. I will contact Brogan (the organizer of Cannonball) to get pointers and some tips for a map page and tracking page.


To: white_owl

I would love to head up the organization of the race. I only ask for one rule though. No whinning on this thread. All suggestions are most welcome and will be discussed amongst organizing team and decisions will be posted here.

The only reason I make this request as I tried to read through the Cannonball thread and it just gets painfull trying to pacify everyones fears. I could sense the frustration in Brogan's posts at times.


OK now to business:

1. White_owl to contact geocache re sponsorship. I know when the other race was getting set up the run on tags caused delay so I am sure they would appreciate the heads up on that front as well. Maybe you could also ask if they would be open to mapping all the bugs for us. Maybe it is not an issue but who knows.

2. Boreal to prepare web page. As stated I have sent email for tips from cannonball. Boreal to update us as soon as able. I don't think it needs to be super flash just keep us up to date and I think map and leaderboard is important.

3. WCoaster to prepare starting cache/event. I could use some input on this. Do you think we should just hide one big cache with all TB's in it and let natural selection take its course or do a caching event like this.


4. Cannonball had no prizes just certificates for various acomplishments. If we dont manage sponsorship for the event do we prizes and if so the question of an entry fee must be addressed. Please advise.

5. Suggestions to get the word out and make it a great race.


Any other suggestions would be appreciated. I think item 4 is priority rite now as it will allow me to post entry info and get started.

OK gotta go order some TB tags.

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To: Boreal

Looks fantastic Boreal! Thanks for the quick start. I don't know what your thoughts are with the map portion, but provincial borders would be a nice touch. I don't know if this would make the map too cluttered though.


TO: gm100guy

You can enter any TB that suits your fancy but all TB's must be at the start line together. Although late comers will be alowed to start as soon as they arrive.



Well it looks like the ball has started rolling real fast. What we really need now is some entries. Perhaps to spread the word we could all make a note of this discusssion thread in any of the online cache logs that we do.


If any one is interested in entering the race please post your comments here. A pic of your TB would be an added bonus. If there is sufficient response I will post where TB's should be sent to be entered.




[This message was edited by WCoaster on May 04, 2003 at 11:13 PM.]


[This message was edited by WCoaster on May 04, 2003 at 11:14 PM.]

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I just found this thread today. I have been helping with the 2003 Travelbug Cannonball Run race from New York to California (I update the maps).


It seems that things are progressing nicely for your race. I can tell you a few things that we have learned from our race.


1) Require all entrants to be new travelbugs. If you want to have prizes for most miles travelled, etc. then it is easier to keep track of that way. You don't want to have to worry about if that bug had original miles on it that would need to be deducted.


2) Figure out the rules ahead of time. Trust me, there has been quite a bit of contention in the forum for the Cannonball run about if bugs are following the rules or not. Having them stated as clearly as possible at the beginning of the race should help.


3) When Brogan thought of the idea, he expected maybe a dozen bugs or so to enter - we have 74! Be prepared.


4) Choose your start date wisely. We started our race on March 8 in Western NY. It was still pretty cold, with snow on the ground. As such, it took quite a while for the bugs to get moving. You will want to start the race when/where it is warm so there will be lots of caching activity.


5) In our race at least, people seem to enjoy interfering with the bugs progress more than helping them achieve their goal. In some cases, this is seen in good humour, in other cases it is not. For example, one cacher has grabbed about a third of the bugs and moved them to remote caches in Northern NY - almost eliminating them from competition. You may want to place limitations on the amount of interference allowed.


6) Our rules allow the same cacher to move the bug as far as they want, as long as they log them into a cache in each state along the way. This may not be such a good idea. The leading bug has made it all the way to Arizona, through only 4 cachers, and has caused a bit of a stir. I think people want to see that rule changed for next year's race.


7) Our rules also state that anyone with a bug entered in the race is not allowed to touch another racer, or face disqualification of their bug. I think this will change for next year, since the entrants want to be involved too. I would prefer to see restrictions placed on how long they could hold onto the bug, or how far they could move them backwards. For example, any cacher with a travelbug entered in the race would be able to grab another racer, but could only hold on to them for a max of 10 days, and are not allowed to move them more than 100 km backwards.


8) We have our own server hosting the stats page. We had help from several people on this. One cacher developed a program to track the movements of all the bugs entered. I am manually updating the maps, but would like to change that to a more automated process next year as well.


9) Our rules state that Travel bugs are allowed to move only one state at a time, states must share a common border. Any bug that skips a state intentionally or not is required to backtrack to the last continuous state that it was in (not necessarily the same cache) and begin again from there. The same holds true for any bug leaving the country. This is not that easy to keep track of - especially with 74 bugs entered in the race. For a Canadian race, I would suggest a requirement that the bug needs to be logged in each province, but not necessarily in order.


10) You may consider ordering some sort of tag, similar to the travelbug tag, that would identify the travelbug as being a contestant in the cannonball race. It should include the URL for the stats page.


11) You may also want to consider an entrance fee to cover the cost of prizes, and the cannonball run tags.


Check out our stats page for the 2003 Travelbug Cannonball Run


And if you allow entrants from outside of Canada, I will be sure to send in a racer. Then again, if your requirements are that they must be Canadian, I still qualify! (I'm from Winnipeg, but living in NY now)


Good luck!




There are 10 kinds of people in this world - those who understand binary and those who don't.

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I am the guy behind the USA geocoins and could offer a USA Geocoin as a prize.


I also have a web hosting company and if you wanted to register a web page name I could host it for you cheap.


If the person behind the Canadian geocoins would get into this I think it would be kind of cool if we both entered a bug as a US vs Canadian side race.


Get your trackable USA geocoins at http://www.usageocoins.com

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Well I will throw this out for discusion.

We have 6 pretty much confirmed and a potential 4 more uncommitted. I think any more than 1 TB is enough for a race. Therefore I would like to suggest a race start date of June 21st 2003.


As to the finish line it looks like I have a good contact in the Halifax area rite now. Nothing confirmed yet but I am confident we will have a definate local soon. If anyone else is working on a finish line cache please let me know and we will pick the best candidate.


The Race is open to anyone who wants to enter a TB from any country.


Rules will be posted here and on the web page by tommorrow. Please read as you will probably want to attatch a card to your TB telling geocachers what your TB's goal is. One rule will be an official TB Tag. We want to get support from Groundspeak and any other potential sponsors so I am sure this rule would help. Most of my thoughts mirror those of junglehair so I would expect the rule to follow along those lines. I just need time to make it official.


I will post final entry requirements by Thursday.


To: junglehair

I would like to personally thank you for your advice to the cause here. I think we will definately need your expertise going forward. Look forward to your entry.


Let's see some pics of the entrants folks.


[This message was edited by WCoaster on May 05, 2003 at 09:28 AM.]

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To: junglehair

I would like to personally thank you for your advice to the cause here. I think we will definately need your expertise going forward.


Feel free to email me if you like. I'll try to help out as best I can. You can use the email link through my profile.


One thing that I forgot to mention in my previous (rather lengthy) post, is about the end cache. We have a special cache set up for the destination cache. From my understanding, it is designed something like a mail box - you can place things in, but can't get anything out. That way, a cacher can't remove a bug that may have arrived there first. Once they place a bug in the cache box, there is a flag that they will raise. The flag is visible from the cacher's home. He will watch for the flag to go up, then go retrieve the bug so that it can be properly logged. After that, he will place it in a box for outgoing travelbugs, or mail it back to the owner if that is what they choose.




There are 10 kinds of people in this world - those who understand binary and those who don't.

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I was going to post the address this morning, but I thought it might be premature. I think we need to get the rules posted so that everyone can create instruction cards to attach to their TB's if they wish.


To: Boreal

Please send me an email so I can getyou some info and we can get the rest of the page running. Or at least some of the critical areas to get the entries started.

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2003 Canadian Coast to Coast

TB Race Rules

Start Point: TBA on July 5th, 2003

End Point: TBA

Rules are simple:

1. Travel bugs must visit any 7 of the 10 provinces and finish in Newfoundland. No bug shall be deemed to have finished the race unless it has been logged in 7 provinces.

2. Bugs must be physically placed in a cache in each province visited (no virtuals or locationless). I will be randomly checking with cache owners to verify that bugs have been logged in the cache log books and not just on the cache page.

3. First Racer to be logged at end cache in Newfoundland is the winner! (There will be other categories also) The cache owner in Newfoundland will be the final judges of first arrival. Any dispute during the race will be settled by vote in the TravelBug Forum at Geocaching.com.

You are allowed to attach any type of information, map, etc to your bug that you think will help accomplish it's goal.

Racer must be received by July 4th, 2003 in order to be released at the official start point, any late arrivals may still race but will be released from a local cache in my area ASAP.

Mailing Address for all racers is:



13362 61ST Ave.

Surrey BC, Canada

V3X 2K4


If you wish to have your bug returned to you after the race, you will need to include with your bug a mailer envelope, prepaid from the finish point to your home address. You can also forward the mailer envelope to end cache if you wish. All bugs without an envelope that reach the finish line will have any extra race related tags removed and then be re-released from finish point allowing you to modify their mission.

Enjoy the Race!

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Originally posted by boreal jeff & sons:

If anyone could direct me to a good map of Canada/North American I could use for tracking. The one being used for the Cannonball Run race would be great but it doesn't show enough of Canada.


If you have only a few travelbugs entered, you might consider using Microsoft Streets and Trips to create the maps. It is a relatively inexpensive program, and allows you to output directly to an HTML page. The benefits of that program is that it lets you hyperlink directly to the travelbug's page. The drawback is that it does not allow you to label the bugs on the map. Here is an example. This only shows a portion of Canada as well, but you just adjust the extents of the map to show Canada instead of the USA.


If several bugs are in the same cache - which will happen at the beginning of the race, then it only links to the top bug's page.




There are 10 kinds of people in this world - those who understand binary and those who don't.

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One comment on the rules as well. Why limit to 7 of the 10 provinces? The way I see it, the best option then would be to pick up the bug in BC and mail it to someone in Ottawa. Then it would only have to travel through QC, NB, NS, PEI and NF to win.


I know that there are not many caches in the prairie provinces, but this might stir some interest there and get more people involved.


I'm looking for a good travelbug to enter now. Actually, I will probably convince my brother (Marvin_from_Mars) and my mom (The_Old_Bat), both in Manitoba, to submit entries as well.




There are 10 kinds of people in this world - those who understand binary and those who don't.

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i agree with the opinion I beleive was posted by Junglehair. Especially since crossing the provinces while about the same milage as crossing the states would really only need 6 stops from the beginning. I think once a bug is placed in a cache the same person that placed it there can not move it again until it is moved to another cache by a different user. This will prevent a person taking a cross country trip from moving one bug 1/2 way through the race.


Get your trackable USA geocoins at http://www.usageocoins.com

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I'd like to take part in this race, but don't have any TB tags. Before I order any, I thought I'd throw out this idea. Does anyone in the lower mainland area of BC want to combine orders to save on shipping costs? The lowest price I could find for ordering a single TB was $16.00 (after shipping & GST).


But by ordering 4, I can get them for $10.15 each, and by ordering 8, I can get them for $8.21 each.


I myself may want more than one (1 for the race, and 1 or 2 for general use), but 8 is a bit much all at once.


Anyone want to combine orders with me, let me know by email through my profile (or reply to this post).


Alternatively, if anyone in the BC lower mainland area already has an extra set of bug tags they'd be willing to part with for $8 - 10, let me know.





*** Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry, and they laugh at you. ***

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We are going to have a rule that no racer can log a TB more than one consecutive time. That means the same person could log the same bug twice or more but someone else must log it in between them. There is discussion about only one other before relogging or more logs say 5 for example.


We are working on prize sponsors and would like to promote the purchase of all merchandise by race participants from race sponsor merchants. Please stay tuned.


Thanks for all the input. I see this page is getting lots of views. Hope to see some more entrants soon. Let's get some more pics going gang!


2003 Canadian Coast to Coast TB Race


[This message was edited by WCoaster on May 06, 2003 at 09:53 PM.]

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posted May 05, 2003 07:00 PM

I was going to post the address this morning, but I thought it might be premature. I think we need to get the rules posted so that everyone can create instruction cards to attach to their TB's if they wish.



If you could post a sample card on the race web page then every one could have the same instuction sheet

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Originally posted by Scouterkevin & Family:

Sounds great to me. Where can we sign up? On a side note, I live in New Brunswick and have a trip to Newfoundland planed for late July. If any bugs can make it to the Moncton area and only have NFLD left to visit, let me know and I may be able to make the final dash.


For joining instructions, check out the race web page


Every hour spent geocaching is added to the end of your life

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Question on rule 3.


3. Travel bugs must visit any 7 of the 10 provinces. No bug shall be deemed to have finished the race unless it has been logged in 7 provinces.


I take it this means unlike the current American TB race going on the provinces dont' have to be adjoining. A bug could technically go from coast to coast and then back track?


Get your trackable USA geocoins at http://www.usageocoins.com

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Yes that is the current thinking. It may change but sequence is not important. Of course not having to back track should be faster but you never know. The only two that have to be in order are the start and finish.


Sign up here


You can steer all you want, but it is all for not if your not moving forward!

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Can someone explaine the reasoning behind all of them starting at the same point? Will that not just leave a pile of them in one spot? Will that not give the people in that area a serious advantage by allowing them to help theirs moving and leave the "mailed ones" sitting at the starting line?


I would suggest a shotgun start where anyone can place theirs on that day (anywhere in Canada) and bugs are only activated on that day. I would also recomend a virtual finish line where you are done after having been logged into caches in 7 different provinces. My thinking behind this is again, people on the East Cost would have the advantage of orchestrating the final leg of their bug.

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Originally posted by Scouterkevin & Family:

Can someone explaine the reasoning behind all of them starting at the same point?


It comes down to a simple matter of math. Take this scenario for example using the city co-ordinates provided by Garmin.


A bug released in Vancouver has to travel 4441 km to reach Halifax.


If I release a bug here in North Bay and require it to hit the 2 coasts, it has to travel to Vancouver (3244 km), return to North Bay (3244 km) then on to Halifax (1250 km) for a total travel distance of 7738 km. This increases its distance by 3297 km almost doubling the distance of travel of the bug realeased in Vancouver. This puts anyone in central Canada at a huge disadvantage over anyone living on either coast.


To be fair, all bugs have to be realesed from the same point. This could be anywhere in Canada as long as all bugs have the same distance to travel.


I hope this answers your question.


White Owl

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