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  1. #1
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    AES McDowell 70 roll call

    Ok... So with the race coming up, who's in?

    Bart and I pre-rode the course today. Took us just over 8 hours. It's a tough course, probably a bit tougher than ppp. The descent down the north side of Tom's is dicey... And with lots of hikers, you've gotta be careful. There's about 20 miles of track north of dynamite which is actually harder than what we expected. And lastly, the climb up prospector and bell after all those miles was brutal.
    Bring lights!
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  2. #2
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    Nice pre-ride, Ray. I'm not in it but I'll try to be riding in the area just for kicks.

  3. #3
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    I'll be there. Were you able to ride the full descent off Tom's Thumb or was there glorious downhill HAB?
    I ride the crappy trails so you don't have to
    My Two Schillingsworth

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    Quote Originally Posted by freeskier46 View Post
    I'll be there. Were you able to ride the full descent off Tom's Thumb or was there glorious downhill HAB?
    ^this.
    inquiring minds want to know. how's it stack up to East End and TT?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeskier46 View Post
    I'll be there. Were you able to ride the full descent off Tom's Thumb or was there glorious downhill HAB?
    you don't ride down the back of Tom's Thumb.... you drift down.

  6. #6
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    I'm in and feeling mean.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum View Post
    Ok... So with the race coming up, who's in?

    Bart and I pre-rode the course today. Took us just over 8 hours. It's a tough course, probably a bit tougher than ppp. The descent down the north side of Tom's is dicey... And with lots of hikers, you've gotta be careful. There's about 20 miles of track north of dynamite which is actually harder than what we expected. And lastly, the climb up prospector and bell after all those miles was brutal.
    Bring lights!

    This course was not meant to be that hard. However, it was cobbled together without anyone actually riding the entire thing. Now that Ray and Bart have scoped it out, I'm going to make some small adjustments to make it a little less brutal. Don't worry, Toms Thumb and the climb up to Bell are staying in - they are essential. However, there are some extras that got thrown in that can come out.

    More on this later today.

  8. #8
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    AES is not supposed to be easy. Perhaps a "Short" version of the course is needed? Picket Post has it... Kentucky Camp has it...

    Having two versions allows new riders to join in the fun and sample AES without getting in over their heads but leaves a real "Endurance" component in for those angry [singlespeeders] who look forward to a weekend of suffering and self-mutilation.

    I'll be there regardless of what shape the course takes and, yes, I am bringing a light.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by az3075 View Post
    AES is not supposed to be easy. Perhaps a "Short" version of the course is needed? Picket Post has it... Kentucky Camp has it...

    Having two versions allows new riders to join in the fun and sample AES without getting in over their heads but leaves a real "Endurance" component in for those angry [singlespeeders] who look forward to a weekend of suffering and self-mutilation.

    I'll be there regardless of what shape the course takes and, yes, I am bringing a light.

    Yup. There will be a short course.

    Working out the details.

  10. #10
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    its on a Sunday! hooray! no effing kids soccer!
    i am planning on it.

  11. #11
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    **important info if you are doing the race**

    The McDowell race is coming up soon. Couple of items to note.

    1. It is on SUNDAY, December 15.
    2. The course has changed dramatically from past years and now offers a long and short version.
    3. There were some corrections made to the GPS track today (11/30), so if you downloaded the track already you need to go out and get it again.



    Details on the site:
    9 McDowell Mountain | Arizona Endurance Series

  12. #12
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    I rode everything but the passes yesterday and had a few observations. #1 there are a couple road closed gates that I went around. Assuming that is fine? #2 A lot of the trails to the north after the Brown Mt climb look closed off. I cant tell you how many turns I missed even with the GPS. I see that the course has been modified but it looks like it still goes through that area somewhat and while it doesnt have a closed sign someone clearly put brush and debris in the trail to close it.

    #3 there is a new trail head parking lot at the bottom of the Whiskey Bottle trail. There is a barbed wire fence in the way of the GPS track. Unless I missed something you will need to follow the road down from the TH to the main road turn right and then left to get back on course.

    AES McDowell 70 roll call-2013-11-30_1235.jpg
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtownmtb View Post
    This course was not meant to be that hard. However, it was cobbled together without anyone actually riding the entire thing. Now that Ray and Bart have scoped it out, I'm going to make some small adjustments to make it a little less brutal. Don't worry, Toms Thumb and the climb up to Bell are staying in - they are essential. However, there are some extras that got thrown in that can come out.

    More on this later today.
    That makes it interesting. I rode everything excluding Bell and TT (total was 55 miles) and while I did that in 6 hours I thought to myself there is no way I could make this with TT and Bell thrown in there. Those northern most trails sucked the life out of me. I was actually going to back out. Guess I will have to reconsider.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

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    Quote Originally Posted by Douger-1 View Post
    I rode everything but the passes yesterday and had a few observations. #1 there are a couple road closed gates that I went around. Assuming that is fine? #2 A lot of the trails to the north after the Brown Mt climb look closed off. I cant tell you how many turns I missed even with the GPS. I see that the course has been modified but it looks like it still goes through that area somewhat and while it doesnt have a closed sign someone clearly put brush and debris in the trail to close it.

    #3 there is a new trail head parking lot at the bottom of the Whiskey Bottle trail. There is a barbed wire fence in the way of the GPS track. Unless I missed something you will need to follow the road down from the TH to the main road turn right and then left to get back on course.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    #1 Yep. The gates off the competitive loop are often open. If not, climb over. The fence at 128th - that's to keep the horses out so they don't disturb the mountain bikers. It's not an official AES race if you aren't going over a barbed wire fence or taking some random, unofficial path.

    #2 Yes, that is the "old" section. It is not part of the new stuff at Brown's Ranch. It is fine to ride out there. However, since it is kind of a mess now and more hassle than it is worth, I cut it out of the course.

    #3 That is fixed on the new track.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum View Post
    Ok... So with the race coming up, who's in?

    Bart and I pre-rode the course today. Took us just over 8 hours. It's a tough course, probably a bit tougher than ppp. The descent down the north side of Tom's is dicey... And with lots of hikers, you've gotta be careful. There's about 20 miles of track north of dynamite which is actually harder than what we expected. And lastly, the climb up prospector and bell after all those miles was brutal.
    Bring lights!
    and hiking shoes.

  16. #16
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    In for the Weenie course.

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    I've done this one the last 4 years, but I'm having the hardware taken out of my shoulder the Friday before, so I'm out. Kinda bummed. This one was my first big ride.

    Hopefully the Hidden Hills issue will be resolved for next years course so you can put Sunrise back in instead of going towards Brown's Ranch.

  18. #18
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    i heard Brown's Ranch got beat to all hell by horses, will the course be going through that?

  19. #19
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    yeah, it does. Two sections are particularly bad, the descent down Browns Peak (although there is a hardpacked, 6" wide strip to ride that isn't too bad) and the stuff leading up to and north of Fraesfield Mtn.
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  20. #20
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    Yeah I had a few choice words for our fellow trail users (didnt actually encounter any just talking to myself) while riding over, some up to 6 inch deep, post holes. Seemed to be 3 or 4 horses that went out too soon after a rain. Then again I figure our other fellow trail users will be having a few choice words about us when we all come down the north end of Tom's Thumb. That trail head has been packed the last few times I've been up there.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  21. #21
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    I used to ride the trails in Brown's Ranch area on my dirt bike before they took it away from us. My memory says they wouldn't be that fun on a pedal bike.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by dtownmtb View Post
    #1 Yep. The gates off the competitive loop are often open. If not, climb over. The fence at 128th - that's to keep the horses out so they don't disturb the mountain bikers. It's not an official AES race if you aren't going over a barbed wire fence or taking some random, unofficial path.

    #2 Yes, that is the "old" section. It is not part of the new stuff at Brown's Ranch. It is fine to ride out there. However, since it is kind of a mess now and more hassle than it is worth, I cut it out of the course.

    #3 That is fixed on the new track.
    Those changes probably shave off an hour off the long option. Those old moto trails were tough and hard to find.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by TurtleGerl View Post
    I've done this one the last 4 years, but I'm having the hardware taken out of my shoulder the Friday before, so I'm out. Kinda bummed. This one was my first big ride.

    Hopefully the Hidden Hills issue will be resolved for next years course so you can put Sunrise back in instead of going towards Brown's Ranch.
    Bummer. And you were one of the few survivors from last year's "weather event".

    Scottsdale bought the last little parcel of land that they didn't have in the McDowells last month. That clears them to create a trail from Sunrise over to Ftn Hills - bypassing Hidden Hills. Hopefully that happens before next year's ride. Interestingly, there is also talk about extending Granite - up to Thompson Peak. Now that would be a climb!

    More here:
    http://www.scottsdaleaz.gov/Assets/P...rve+Update.pdf

  24. #24
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    That's great news, the Sunrise bypass will be a huge enhancement. I just wish I had knees for the long rides, I may have to get new ones someday!

  25. #25
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    Not for certain, but leaning towards IN for the short course.
    ONE SHOX, ONE GEAR, LOTS of FUN! www.TrailFu.com My Rides

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyharris View Post
    Not for certain, but leaning towards IN for the short course.
    For people considering the short course, there really isn't a dramatic difference between the two and you will be missing out on a water source by the comp loops.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    For people considering the short course, there really isn't a dramatic difference between the two and you will be missing out on a water source by the comp loops.
    This is true. By the looks of it the short loop cuts out 10.8 miles of Pemberton, 3 miles of the Scenic Trail, and the first 1.8 miles of the Comp Long Loop. Other than that it only varies by its approach to Bell. The short coming up CoachWhip to WindMill and up Bell Pass from the bottom of the east side. And the long coming up Dixie Mine to Prospector and finishing off the upper half of Bell Pass on the east side.

    Then again 16 mile is 16 miles.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Douger-1 View Post
    This is true. By the looks of it the short loop cuts out 10.8 miles of Pemberton, 3 miles of the Scenic Trail, and the first 1.8 miles of the Comp Long Loop. Other than that it only varies by its approach to Bell. The short coming up CoachWhip to WindMill and up Bell Pass from the bottom of the east side. And the long coming up Dixie Mine to Prospector and finishing off the upper half of Bell Pass on the east side.

    Then again 16 mile is 16 miles.
    imo, the approach to Bell is about the same. Prospector is steeper but shorter, imo.

    So has anyone ridden down the North side off TT? If its ridable like East End, I'll plan on hitting it. But dont want to get into those switchbacks if they are unridable. For reference, I ride all of East End and the west side down of Tom's Thumb.

  29. #29
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    CB, you're a heck of a rider would think you can ride those. Bart (I think) rode all of them although his new name is drift-master. Lots of controlled sliding on the kitty litter off the north side. I walked some of the steeper stuff where an uncontrolled slide would have led to an ugly crash...plus, with tons of hikers coming up, you had to keep some semblance of control. Hate to think what would happen to our little race series if someone took out a hiker or three.
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    Like Ray said its all kitty litter. No chunk like east end. Ive actually climbed TT from the north and I was able to ride most of it with the exception of a handful of switchbacks. My concern coming down is keeping control with all the hikers considering how loose and steep it is. The last few times Ive been there the TH has been rather busy. Its not like a busy day on Camelback but coming up on a few groups of 6-10 hikers was not uncommon. I probably encountered around 3-4 dozen people during my climb up.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  31. #31
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    I am in and pre-rode from TT Parking Lot to the Brown's Ranch segment yesterday. Some great trails in that area and was bummed to see all the damage that some equestrians caused. Had a bit of a tough time navigating all of the turns in the BR area with my GPS, but was able to figure it out eventually. My Edge 500 was a little slow to update at times. I was using the GPX file converted over to TCX via the GPSies website. Anyone know if the CRS files work any better on the Garmin Edge 500?



    I was considering the shorter course, but the lack of H20 stop might be an issue for me. Is is cool to drop a water cache somewhere on the route?
    Last edited by mcoplea; 12-02-2013 at 11:36 PM.
    Marty

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    Quote Originally Posted by Douger-1 View Post
    Like Ray said its all kitty litter. No chunk like east end. Ive actually climbed TT from the north and I was able to ride most of it with the exception of a handful of switchbacks. My concern coming down is keeping control with all the hikers considering how loose and steep it is. The last few times Ive been there the TH has been rather busy. Its not like a busy day on Camelback but coming up on a few groups of 6-10 hikers was not uncommon. I probably encountered around 3-4 dozen people during my climb up.
    my recollection from hab'ing it a few times was there were 3/4ths of a mile of straight walking, but mostly smooth. Probably a lot like the stuff leading off the TT summit after the cave, or on Sunrise. m'eh, i'll give it a roll and be sure to look downtrail for hikers. Odds are I will be near the back, so folks like Ray can get all the hikers good and pissed off for me .

  33. #33
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    Rumor has it that there is a time bonus for each hiker you take out.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum View Post
    Rumor has it that there is a time bonus for each hiker you take out.
    Might be the first time since I've started mountain biking that being 200 lbs comes in handy. Time to make like a 16 lbs bowling ball.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcoplea View Post

    I was considering the shorter course, but the lack of H20 stop might be an issue for me. Is is cool to drop a water cache somewhere on the route?
    I've only done a couple of these events but to my understanding that is not cool, would be considered cheating, and DNF. The name of the game is self reliance so if you have to ride the long course to get the water that's what you do.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  36. #36
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    Yeah, I mean honestly, if you tank up at Browns Ranch with 148oz, you should be good. You can always go off route back to Browns Ranch before heading south across Pima, but that would add miles such that you may as well do the long route.
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    I'm presuming that if change our minds that we can do either route during the race and just report it when we finish (if we finish)?

  38. #38
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    I noticed on the MMP map that it says and shows Sonoran in Fountain Hills is "hike only". Won't affect this years ride but is that a new thing ?

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum View Post
    Rumor has it that there is a time bonus for each hiker you take out.
    i dont take out hikers, I use my charisma and O-face so that they want to jump out of my way.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum View Post
    Yeah, I mean honestly, if you tank up at Browns Ranch with 148oz, you should be good. You can always go off route back to Browns Ranch before heading south across Pima, but that would add miles such that you may as well do the long route.
    I did not realize that there was water up at Brown's ranch. I thought that the only water stop was at the comp loops parking lot.
    Marty

  41. #41
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    Sadly, I will be showing up.

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by azepicriderandrunner View Post
    Sadly, I will be showing up.
    Just don't get near the sign in/out sheet... We know what could happen....
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  43. #43
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    Boom!

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcoplea View Post
    I did not realize that there was water up at Brown's ranch. I thought that the only water stop was at the comp loops parking lot.
    For the record I was carrying 2 bottles and so did Ray. I had 45 oz and it was more than plenty to last me from Basha's to BR TH. I was few ounces short before we got to the comp loops. I am guessing with a little easier course, 48 ounces and temps in the 60s - should be plenty for me in 2 weeks.
    I couldn't imagine someone having any water issues with a 100 oz pack.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    For the record I was carrying 2 bottles and so did Ray. I had 45 oz and it was more than plenty to last me from Basha's to BR TH. I was few ounces short before we got to the comp loops. I am guessing with a little easier course, 48 ounces and temps in the 60s - should be plenty for me in 2 weeks.
    I couldn't imagine someone having any water issues with a 100 oz pack.
    For the record and compared to Ray (and I'm assuming Bart ^), I am slow but steady, handsome like mule. If Ray did this in 8? I would do 10-11. I personally always have more water than i need, but I agree with the water assessment for a fit AZ rider. For me, up and down TT will be ~2.5. Out to BR ~1hr. The BR segment would be 3hr, the MMP and Pemby 2hr, and up and down Bell 2hr. Hope those number help some of you set expectations.

  46. #46
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    A bit off topic but I wanted to get some input from the more seasoned veterans of these endurance events. So you know when you really start to hit that wall where you feel very fatigued, almost to the point you could just fall off the bike or just stop an lay down, is it better to push through this or do you find its better to stop and take a 15 min break?

    In the past few AES rides I have pushed through this, as I don't like the idea of not moving because I know I cant finish if I just sit there. But I always wonder if a 15 min break would have actually helped? I never feel better again when pushing through. If my fatigue was at a 10 and I push through it eventually comes down to a 9 for the remainder of the ride. Im just curious if a 15 minute break can get me back down to a 6 or 7 or will I be back up to a 9 anyway in the next few miles?

    Again I know this is probably different for everyone and this is why you need to train. I understand there is a no one size fits all solution I was just curious what others have found.
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Douger-1 View Post
    I've only done a couple of these events but to my understanding that is not cool, would be considered cheating, and DNF. The name of the game is self reliance so if you have to ride the long course to get the water that's what you do.
    My understanding is that these are self supported... any clarification would be helpful. I know this event is far from the AZT 300 but it is the same concept. What's wrong with stashing some items (water) for raceday??

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    Quote Originally Posted by timothyclaus View Post
    My understanding is that these are self supported... any clarification would be helpful. I know this event is far from the AZT 300 but it is the same concept. What's wrong with stashing some items (water) for raceday??
    Again Im relatively new to this but have asked the same questions. Basically if something is available to one it needs to be available to all. So riding a mile off course to a circle K is legit because its available to everyone riding the event. Or the water source at Brown Ranch Trail head since its available to everyone. But if I have to ride 30 miles with a 20 lbs camelbak with 200oz and you only bring 1 water bottle because you have several stashes of water along the course that isn't fair.

    Part of the challenge of these events is the logistics. You need to prioritize what is important enough to bring and how much. You need to map out your nutritional needs and distances between the available water sources. Does that help any?
    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did." Mark Twain

  49. #49
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    Nice, Ray.

    Couple of things here.

    1. Brown's ranch not only has water, it has bathrooms that are nicer than in some apartments I've lived in. They spent bucks on that trailhead and it shows. However, the Tom's Thumb trailhead does NOT have water. At any rate, you should be able to carry enough water from Brown's to get you back on the short course. Shouldn't be a real need to cache.
    2. Cholla, if you can make it around some of those rutted out switchbacks going down the north side of TT, I'll be duly impressed.
    3. All joking aside; Please, Please, Please, be courteous to hikers. This has been a popular race and I'd like to keep doing it. Pissing off other trail users is not going to help.
    4. Since the multi-loop thing happened late in the game, there is ONE sign up for both loops. You can specify on the sign in sheet, which you did.

    Looking forward to a beautiful day (unlike last year) for a big ride.

  50. #50
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    Reputation: dtownmtb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Douger-1 View Post
    A bit off topic but I wanted to get some input from the more seasoned veterans of these endurance events. So you know when you really start to hit that wall where you feel very fatigued, almost to the point you could just fall off the bike or just stop an lay down, is it better to push through this or do you find its better to stop and take a 15 min break?

    In the past few AES rides I have pushed through this, as I don't like the idea of not moving because I know I cant finish if I just sit there. But I always wonder if a 15 min break would have actually helped? I never feel better again when pushing through. If my fatigue was at a 10 and I push through it eventually comes down to a 9 for the remainder of the ride. Im just curious if a 15 minute break can get me back down to a 6 or 7 or will I be back up to a 9 anyway in the next few miles?

    Again I know this is probably different for everyone and this is why you need to train. I understand there is a no one size fits all solution I was just curious what others have found.

    Nancy and I are the "never stop moving" types. We don't push so hard that we blow up, but hate to stop for more than a couple of minutes. Slow and steady just works for us.

    I will say that there are times when my stomach feels awful and I just want to lay down and die. However, I just slow my pace, take in small amounts of nutrition, and keep rolling. Sometimes it gets better and I can ramp back up. Sometimes I just roll slow to the end.

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