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  1. #1
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    SoNoMas June 2, 2012

    I am looking at doing this race this year. Looks like a fun / challenging course. It is a pretty long race (for me). Either 34 Miles, 7,000′ or 24 Miles, 5,500′.

    Who's racing this year?

    Any tips from those of you who have done this race the past few years? The course description sounds pretty intense. Tires, pacing, hard tail vs squish, etc? Camelbak, bottles, both (wait to see how hot it is)?

    SoNoMas | Bike Monkey

  2. #2
    190lbs of climber
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    Hard tail, the lightest tire you are comfortable riding on loose over hardpack, and a camelbak unless you can carry two on the bike and one or two bottles in your pockets. I started with three bottles last year, took two feeds, and was out of water the final 30 minutes, and that was doing it in 3 hours. If you are willing to stop and refill three bottles at the feed zone, you could do it on three original bottles.
    THE BAY AREA... WHERE IF IT'S FUN, IT'S ILLEGAL

  3. #3
    YESBRO!!!
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    We will be there this year with the Superpro aid station.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Menso View Post
    Hard tail, the lightest tire you are comfortable riding on loose over hardpack, and a camelbak unless you can carry two on the bike and one or two bottles in your pockets. I started with three bottles last year, took two feeds, and was out of water the final 30 minutes, and that was doing it in 3 hours. If you are willing to stop and refill three bottles at the feed zone, you could do it on three original bottles.
    Thanks Menso... I'll probably ride my Blur XCc on this one. My 29er hard tail is currently setup SS. I like to race SS, but not on a race this long. Maybe next year.

  5. #5
    Lusus Naturae
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    I was going to ask what the 24mile route looked like on the map but looks like you can only register for it by riding as a beginner.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NoBalance View Post
    I was going to ask what the 24mile route looked like on the map but looks like you can only register for it by riding as a beginner.
    I saw that too. Although I don't think I'd call 24 miles and 5.5k of climbing what I'd call beginner. I am on the fence as to which course to choose. I don't have much racing experience, but I climb 5,500'+ non-stop on a fairly regular basis. If there was a 24 mile SS option, I'd be all over it.

  7. #7
    I like mtn biking, too
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    I will do this in sport women - sounds a lot like Henry Coe - weedy adventure trails. It would be nice to see some familiar faces there.
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    I did this race two yrs ago when Levi won the race. They (organizers) will tell you to pace yourself especially in the beginning of the race. This is harder said than done, because when people are passing you and you are amped up, it's hard not to chase. Just ride your pace. You will be better off saving some energy for the last 3rd of the race. If you blow up in the middle or end of the race, you will loose far more time than you give up in the first 3rd of the race. There are a lot of short/steep up and downs when you get on the dirt (following a paved uphill start) and you will expend a lot of energy trying to maintain your position. Stay seated and spin a quick cadence, because standing will cause you to use too much energy and risk loosing traction on the loose over hardback. We raced in Aug and it was hot, so I used a 70 oz light Camelbak + one bottle that I had refilled twice on the course. The last water station is a long way from the finish so make sure you get a full refill. Good Luck!
    "Time won't leave me as I am "

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    Registered!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Passenger13 View Post
    I did this race two yrs ago when Levi won the race. They (organizers) will tell you to pace yourself especially in the beginning of the race. This is harder said than done, because when people are passing you and you are amped up, it's hard not to chase. Just ride your pace. You will be better off saving some energy for the last 3rd of the race. If you blow up in the middle or end of the race, you will loose far more time than you give up in the first 3rd of the race. There are a lot of short/steep up and downs when you get on the dirt (following a paved uphill start) and you will expend a lot of energy trying to maintain your position. Stay seated and spin a quick cadence, because standing will cause you to use too much energy and risk loosing traction on the loose over hardback. We raced in Aug and it was hot, so I used a 70 oz light Camelbak + one bottle that I had refilled twice on the course. The last water station is a long way from the finish so make sure you get a full refill. Good Luck!
    Great advice... thank you!

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    Registered.

  12. #12
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    Racing expert, 3rd time doing this race. It's a fun, hard, remote race. Definitely get enough to drink and hydrate ahead of time.

    Morgan

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    Registered-u35(I am 33) cat 1. Got 2nd in cat 2 last year. It is brutal.
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    Been sick the last four days and racing single speed. Should be easy I'm thinking.
    "It's just that nobody likes Cornfish." francois

  15. #15
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    Did everybody survive?

    These trails were actually really fun despite being portrayed as being quite killer. If you really went all out on every steep hill and it was seriously hot out and did the full course, you'd be in heart-attack/heat stroke danger for sure. I think we lucked out as it warm, but not hellishly hot. I did the women's sport (aka short course) with the goal of not killing myself, checking out the trails for the first time and having fun. Met all these goals and managed to not come in last (5/9). Lots of fast guys who did the full course were passing me at the end. Thanks Bikemonkey for another great race and awesome t-shirt for the collection! Oh yeah, and thanks to the volunteers and daetenschwantz and company for the awesome cheering and manning the final rest stop. As soon as I saw the trail of Tecate cans, I knew it was you guys.

    Afterward, the hubby who didn't race was a bit anxious to do a fun ride and suggested Paradise Royale. So we had a nice little "side trip", and that was my Sunday recovery ride. There are worse ways to spend the weekend for sure! I think we might come back to Lake Sonoma for just a fun ride sometime.
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    I did the short course and finished 8th. It would have been nice to do better, but top 10 is pretty good for my 3rd race. I was happy with my time. I did a similar ride in length / elevation climb at Demo a week or so ago and I smoked that time by ~50 minutes @ SoNoMas. So I was moving pretty quickly for me.

    The course was fun. I plan to do the long course next year. Maybe SS. The event was great... I chatted with some nice people and had some good food / beer. I agree, the water stops teams and volunteers rocked! That last Gu Brew bottle feed was much appreciated.

    Thanks to all the folks that helped put this event on for a great race experience.

  17. #17
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    While my race was a disaster, I had a great time, and an amazing weekend in Sonoma with family after the race camping and canoeing. Race report here -> Sonomas disaster...with lesson learned, the hard way of course - The Call Up
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  18. #18
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    I had technical problems, and did not have a great race. Still, the riding was much more fun and less painful than I had been warned (presumably because it was not that hot). I enjoyed the race quitew a bit, but it's not one of those races that I feel like I have to come back every year and do without fail.

  19. #19
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    Finally had a few minutes to finish my report for SoNoMas...

    Clint Claassen: 6/2-3 - Doubleheader Race Weekend Part 1 - SoNoMas
    Thank you Lord for strength, endurance, and salvation.

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  20. #20
    Lusus Naturae
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    Damn great job keeping the faith through all those tire issues, Clint. Still that's unacceptable. Time for new tires!

  21. #21
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    It was really my bonehead move of just doing the "pinch test" at the start. Good for a short UCI style course but not a real MTB course. Probably was just 18psi in the front and maybe 25 in the back... or less.
    Thank you Lord for strength, endurance, and salvation.

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