January 1st saw the launch of the BBH Cake TB Race. It occurs to me that the previous sentence might need a little decoding and explanation. BBH is short for Beds, Bucks & Herts and these are three counties in the UK. In this case it refers more specifically to the Beds, Bucks & Herts Geocaching Facebook group. A TB, or TravelBug race is where a group of geocachers release TravelBugs at the same time in order to see which one can travel the furthest. As for the cake part of the sentence, well it seems that a lot of cachers and particularly the BBH mob have a (un)healthy obsession with cake and therefore it was decided that a TB race should be themed in that vein. We decided to enter and are very excited as this is our first TB race.
In the run up to the start of the race we got ourselves a trackable tag and also a novelty “slice of cake” key ring to attach to it to act as our racer. There will be bonus miles added to your distance if your TB is photographed with real cake on its journey and also if it passes through geocaches with cake themed names. The race is automatically tacked using a special website called tbrun.com that retrieves all the needed information about where the trackables go from the geocaching.com website.
You could choose where to release your TB and I had spent a long time looking for local cake themed caches to take advantage of the bonus miles option. Being away in Norfolk over New Year we hadn’t had a chance to release it on January 1st but it doesn’t matter just as long as you don’t release it before the start date, the race runs for the whole year so there is plenty of time.
On Thursday we had a chance to get out and do some geocaching as the weather had improved a little and so it was that we formulated a plan. Stage one of the plan was to head to Hemel Hempstead where a fellow member of BBH had specially created a cake themed cache. We were going there for three reasons. First to actually find and log the cache, second to dip our TB into it to get the bonus miles and thirdly to retrieve some other cake TBs that were already in there to help them on their way in the race too. It is, after all, just a bit of fun and we don’t take it too seriously so are happy to help other racers on with their TBs in the hope that others will help ours too if they come across them.
After we collected 2 cake racer TBs from the cache in Hemel plus another non race TB we headed to Halton which is about another 10 miles northwest of Hemel to find a small collection of caches along a canal. One in particular was of interest because it was called, “The Story of Henry Sugar – A Piece of Cake” and this would make an excellent starting point for our BBH Cake racer.
We found 7 caches in all on that day and had to DNF one that looked like a lost cause to be honest. About 10 people had also recorded DNFs on it so I expect it might not be around much longer. Highlights included finding a portaloo in a churchyard at jut the moment when one was needed… that almost never happens. We spent a good 20 minutes in the woods off to one side of the canal searching for one and were about to give up when Sharlene finally spotted it. The weather was dry and the sun even came out every now and then but the wind was cold and bitter and my fingers were numb from the cold after I had spent 20 minutes on the last cache finger feeling every inch of the underside of a metal canal bridge looking for a magnetic nano. After that we were both well and truly ready for some hot chocolate and sandwiches back at the car.
We dropped off one of the cake TBs we retrieved in Hemel and dropped our own racer off in the Henry Sugar Cache with the hope that someone will pass by it soon and scoop it up and move it on along its way. The race can be tracked on the BBH 2014 Cakey Race page on tbrun.com. I still have one other race TB belonging to someone else in our possession and we hope to be able to drop this off on Sunday when we head over to Latimer in Bucks for a family caching day.