Saturday, August 4, 2012

2012 Race Plans...

Plans are underway for the 2012 version of this race. Bruce, Jed and Rob want to keep it fun, exciting and also keep it a nice year-end wrap to the XC mountain biking season. I rode it in both directions yesterday and outside of a bit of ground growth trimming needed in connector sections, things still look pretty good. I keep removing dead fall, and trimming back bush growth every time I ride. Due to everything being so dry, the track is super fast. The drought has all of the grass in a dormant state, so no mowing has been needed and the bike tires are mashing things down where it needs to be mashed. If you haven't been out this year for a ride - get out there and test it out (I suggest clockwise). Gravel? I've heard concerns about the gravel that has been added, but to be honest, it really only is in a few spots and should not effect the race at all. In fact in two areas, it has actually helped and speeds things up. The steep climb on the southwest side of the lake can be made in granny gear or middle gear while staying seated on the bike. At least I'm able to consistently make that climb. Riding down it is hazardous, so that is out for a race suggestion. An alternative loop around that climb in the grass to the southwest and connecting up with an existing deer path is an option. I would be curious to hear from the Beginners on the possibility of making the lap shorter for the beginners, easier (less climbs) which would allow the beginners to do two laps instead of one of the entire thing. There are 2 sections that I could easily remove for the beginners (it would involve signs telling racer traffic where to turn at two separate points). One would be to remove the entire Mickey Mouse ear loops. The other would involve the Beginners going straight to the finish line are at the parking lot area and not turning up the hill to do the entire hilly east side section. This would take out all of the nasty climbing, shorten the course which would allow for 2 fun laps and a more beginner friendly track. If you have comments about that - post 'em up as I contemplate final decisions. Thanks. BB

9 comments:

Nathan Sleyster said...

I went out and rode 4 laps today. I had some trouble figuring out exactly where the race is supposed to be and rode a different route each time just for fun. I'm a beginner (haven't even done a race yet) and that SW climb is a real beast. I completed it once out of my 4 tries, but that was due to my fitness level and not technique. I certainly wouldn't mind doing it in a race. Challenges are good.

I don't know that I have a preference on 1 hard lap or 2 easy laps. The 1 hard lap is good because it's the same route everyone else is doing. My goal is to eventually move to sport class, but with the times I put up today that goal is a long way off. Still, it's preferable to do the same route. You do have a point with the two easier laps though. Going without the big hills would certainly be more fun. Either way, I'll be happy.

Bruce Brown said...

Thanks for the feedback, Nathan. Yes, unless one knows the route and all of the little connector sections - it's easy to not get all the turns correct. It will be well ridden in over the next few weeks and become clearer. I can't mark it, of course, until very close to the event. I will, however, have some evening group rides planned for those that want to come down after work and learn the full route.

The SW steep gravel climb is always a bust on lap one as riders bunch up and if one person dismounts or loses their line, then everyone is off their bikes pushing up the hill. That's true for a lot of races that have an opening difficult climb, or series of tight and twisty singletrack. That being said, one doesn't really lose any time if they plan to dismount and run up that hill (which is also not easy now that there is gravel on it). There's an alternative workaround for that climb that may be used on race day. More to come on that issue...

I am totally open to keeping the one lap for CAT 3's at the full lap, or adjusting it to something else. Decision won't be made until I vet it all out.

Nathan Sleyster said...

Rode Ahquabi this morning. Found the new connectors easily and put in a few laps. Made it up the SW gravel hill with no problems. Nice work on the connectors!

Bruce Brown said...

Thanks, Nathan. Glad you found your way around okay.

IA Bike Rider said...

I participated in the Beginners race last year and would like to do so again and two (or even three) laps would be great. I would be in favor of taking out the two climbing sections on the East and Southwest, not just for the Beginners benefit but also to keep us out of the way of the faster riders.

Bruce Brown said...

It's all under consideration at the moment. It would require more course marshals and extra signs/markings to pull it off, but we are talking about all of that at (Rob, Jed, myself).

doc finck said...

2 laps would be fun and as a beginner being out of the way on the 2 big climbs would be a benefit for everyone! plus the beginners wouldn't feel guilty slowing anyone down!!!

Bruce Brown said...

Doc - no need to feel any "guilt" about holding anyone back. The course - compared to typical singletrack - is a dream to pass on with skilled riders not having any problem going around less fast riders. The nasty steep gravel climb has been taken care of with an alternate and easier climb. The big pavement climb is wide enough for several bikes to go up next to each other.

Rob said...

Not sure if you're still taking in comments/suggestions on this topic. But, I'd rather go hard in one lap and keep the climbing section at the end. The climbing is a chore, but the down hill sections are great fun!