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  1. #1
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    2018 Lumberjack 100

    108 days away. 15 weeks.
    How'd it go for everyone last year?
    What improvements?

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    I finished which is what I wanted to do(12 hours and 20 mins) I set out to do this around November or so or 2016 and hadnít rode more than 40 at a sitting and that was the Fargo sub 48. I was so ill prepared and such a fricken mess, but wow the people I met and suffered with made it such an amazing experience!

    This year I bought a gravel bike and trying to get in a crap ton of miles, currently abit ahead of mileage and also 5 pounds lighter so far.
    I would love to to complete this event in the fat category, but I donít think that in the cards this year with School. So end of day shooting for a more controlled sub 11:30 finish

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    Goal is to drop 7 minutes and go sub 8 hours this year. This year is my preferred direction and without the Firetower run-up I think it's doable. Just need to get my fat azz to loose another 10lbs.

  4. #4
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    Last year was my fourth attempt and it literally was crap. I had salmon for dinner the day before and it did not do any good to me digestive system lol. Had to bail out after two laps. Too bad because the time I was running I would have been within 9hrs. Just like the previous year. This year my goal is just to improve over me best time 8:57. Another dilemma that I have. I just bought a Trek Procaliber which is the "softish" hardtail. Should I ride on that one or on a full squish rig. My first two lumberjacks were on a Hardtail and it sucked, but the Procaliber absorbs the bumps slightly better, and it also is an awesome climber.

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    I wouldn't think you'd need full suspension for this course. Its pretty fast with out to many little bumps or roots

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    No, full suspension is definitely not necessary for this race. In my opinion, it's faster though. Less fatigue on a full suspension bike. Your back takes less of a beating. That added comfort goes a long way in keeping the pace up for the whole day.

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    It will be interesting to see how the wave system works this year. Potentially less bottlenecks early in the race but also more race leaders hitting lapped traffic later in the day which happens. Rigid single speed prior years might throw a shock on this year but IMO not necessary even for this race.

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    Quote Originally Posted by k^2 View Post
    Last year was my fourth attempt and it literally was crap. I had salmon for dinner the day before and it did not do any good to me digestive system lol. Had to bail out after two laps. Too bad because the time I was running I would have been within 9hrs. Just like the previous year. This year my goal is just to improve over me best time 8:57. Another dilemma that I have. I just bought a Trek Procaliber which is the "softish" hardtail. Should I ride on that one or on a full squish rig. My first two lumberjacks were on a Hardtail and it sucked, but the Procaliber absorbs the bumps slightly better, and it also is an awesome climber.
    I think you should buy a Fat bike, and then you always have that option.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SkolinIN View Post
    It will be interesting to see how the wave system works this year. Potentially less bottlenecks early in the race but also more race leaders hitting lapped traffic later in the day which happens. Rigid single speed prior years might throw a shock on this year but IMO not necessary even for this race.
    That backup 2 years ago when they tried the alternate rollout was a pain in the ass. Really hope the wave start alleviates that this year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sducomb View Post
    That backup 2 years ago when they tried the alternate rollout was a pain in the ass. Really hope the wave start alleviates that this year.
    agree - the only good thing about the early congestion is it helps control the urge to go out faster than you should. I am going to try to get in and out of my pit/SAG area quicker this year -- or not we'll see.

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    How is camping for this race? Are there good spots for just using a tent?

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    I have camped the night before in the overflow parking lot with a tent - which is permitted. I even left the tent set up until I was finished with the race then when back and packed up. It fills up later in the evening so claim a spot earlier in the day.Just make sure to buy a day pass from the kiosk. No camping in the main lot but the overflow is just a couple hundred yards away with trails leading to it for using toilets etc. If your looking for a campgrounds there are a lot of those around also - Pine Lakes, Twin Oaks etc..also since the race is in National Forrest land you can find your own spot off some of the 2 track roads, just make sure you adhere to the requirements etc. AND bring your bug spray!

  13. #13
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    Last year's Lumberjack was my first, and also my first 100 mile mtb race. My official time was 10:40, but I had stopped to spend a significant chunk of time coaxing a friend in to the finish. I was on track for the 9:30 range. I am returning this year to better my time.
    I had heard that they changed direction occasionally, but I was under the impression that it was every several years, not year to year. I'd love to not have to hike up that fire tower climb!

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    Last year was my second LJ, and I bailed after 70 miles (the first attempt I finished in about 10:40). I started running out of water on lap 2 and filled up w/ orange Heed at the aid station. It tasted like crap, and rather than drinking I went without. Bad decision. I tried to recover in the pit w/ probably way too much stuff and then topped it off with a V8. Why?! My stomach was a wreck and I was on the verge of puking with any exertion above a granny gear spin on the flats. So I turned off and called it a day.

    Before that I was on a pretty good pace to finish somewhere in the 9:30 range. I'm a bit ahead of where I was last year in terms of training. So I'm hoping to roll across the line in around 9 hrs.

    Got some weight to lose. Getting rid of the extra 15 or so pounds should help!

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    Sold out way too fast and I missed it. I was looking for something a little easier than the Mohican 100 this year.
    It sounds like a great race. I might grab a transfer if all works out.
    Have fun!
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    Quote Originally Posted by sducomb View Post
    No, full suspension is definitely not necessary for this race. In my opinion, it's faster though. Less fatigue on a full suspension bike. Your back takes less of a beating. That added comfort goes a long way in keeping the pace up for the whole day.
    Totally agree. There are a lot of areas with roots and undulating terrain. I'd have been standing and not pedaling as much if I had been riding a HT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JBarn View Post
    Sold out way too fast and I missed it. I was looking for something a little easier than the Mohican 100 this year.
    It sounds like a great race. I might grab a transfer if all works out.
    Have fun!
    it is a great race and course. You will have no problem getting in with a transfer if you keep an eye on the LJ Facebook page. I went for free a couple of years ago as somebody just wanted to get rid of the entry so it didn't go to waste.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by hey_poolboy View Post
    Last year's Lumberjack was my first, and also my first 100 mile mtb race. My official time was 10:40, but I had stopped to spend a significant chunk of time coaxing a friend in to the finish. I was on track for the 9:30 range. I am returning this year to better my time.
    I had heard that they changed direction occasionally, but I was under the impression that it was every several years, not year to year. I'd love to not have to hike up that fire tower climb!
    This year it's clockwise. They change every year. It's on the website. Lumberjack100.com


    Maybe I'm more use to this type terrain, but I don't think the roots are really all that bad. Never had to stand to ease my back, it's not rough in any sense, you cam just pedal to the max

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mbcow View Post
    This year it's clockwise. They change every year. It's on the website. Lumberjack100.com


    Maybe I'm more use to this type terrain, but I don't think the roots are really all that bad. Never had to stand to ease my back, it's not rough in any sense, you cam just pedal to the max
    Thinking back, you're probably right. I think it was just one section through the pines with a lot of short undulations where I recall saying to myself, "I'm glad I didn't bring my HT today."

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    Anyone know if the trail is free of snow and dried up yet? Would like to head up tomorrow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by joeduda View Post
    Anyone know if the trail is free of snow and dried up yet? Would like to head up tomorrow.

    I'm willing to bet theres still a good amount of snow/ice on the singletrack seeing that it was groomed for fat biking this winter.
    Live slow, Race fast!

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    I was up 2 weekends ago for my last snow ride there. Laid 1st tracks after the groomer, and some spots were still soft but mostly good. There wasn't much snow left but you are probably right, if i knew it was still snow packed i'd just bring my studded tire fat bike.

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    Still lots of snow and ice

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    I had a client meeting in traverse city last week so I drove the wellston route back south to see if I could get some miles in on the NCT. The maps online show that bikes are allowed at the udell river trail head north https://21124-presscdn-pagely.netdna...o-TrailMap.pdf
    Where as I could not find anything in that area that wasnít marked as no bikes, and ended up riding the dirt roads and heading home. Anyone have expierence riding NCT or when Big M might be visited?

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    According to federal law ANYWHERE on the NCT EXCEPT picture rockw in the upper peninsula is open to bikes. Now we can start a big argument where people will say certain sections are not open to bikes. Only one problem those people are full of shite. The friends of the nct a hiking group thinks they can put signs up that say closed to bikes. Those signs are illegal. A simple call to the us forest service will tell you that those signs are illegal but they let them put them there as a courtesy because the friends of the nct help maintain the trail. Disregard any sign that says no bikes except pictured rocks because bikes arent allowed in national parks except out here in Arizona at saguaro national park east the only mtb trail in a national park in america. The best sections IMO are from timber creek on i 10 just west of 37 north till marilla near 115. That passes through the big m. Theres is a water pump at the udall trailhead at 55, but none north up to 115 can hit a gas station, or south till a pump at Bowman lake. I have ridden everything i just talked about. Its super legit. Dillings section north of 55 till marilla is the hardest, has some 5 minute switchback climbs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    According to federal law ANYWHERE on the NCT EXCEPT picture rockw in the upper peninsula is open to bikes. Now we can start a big argument where people will say certain sections are not open to bikes. Only one problem those people are full of shite. The friends of the nct a hiking group thinks they can put signs up that say closed to bikes. Those signs are illegal. A simple call to the us forest service will tell you that those signs are illegal but they let them put them there as a courtesy because the friends of the nct help maintain the trail. Disregard any sign that says no bikes except pictured rocks because bikes arent allowed in national parks except out here in Arizona at saguaro national park east the only mtb trail in a national park in america. The best sections IMO are from timber creek on i 10 just west of 37 north till marilla near 115. That passes through the big m. Theres is a water pump at the udall trailhead at 55, but none north up to 115 can hit a gas station, or south till a pump at Bowman lake. I have ridden everything i just talked about. Its super legit. Dillings section north of 55 till marilla is the hardest, has some 5 minute switchback climbs.
    Thanks for the info Lane.
    I should clarify the postings of no bikes are stickers on the brown trail posts similar to all the other trails I have ridden, I could be wrong but it didnít strick me as something added after the fact. I am headed up that way in a few weeks for another meeting and if big M isnít rideable I will probably venture back over towards NCT and see if I can find a route. Several people have mentioned red bridge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yeah4me2 View Post
    Thanks for the info Lane.
    I should clarify the postings of no bikes are stickers on the brown trail posts similar to all the other trails I have ridden, I could be wrong but it didnít strick me as something added after the fact. I am headed up that way in a few weeks for another meeting and if big M isnít rideable I will probably venture back over towards NCT and see if I can find a route. Several people have mentioned red bridge.
    Ive seen all the signs. I usually stop and take a picture next to them as i ride right past them and ignore them. Why? Ive had multiple conversations with the US forest Service law enforcement officers and they will tell yoi to a man that you are absolutely allowed to ride bikes on every part of the nct except pictured rocks. I owned 20 acres 7 miles from the trail and would go up there to ride. I always make sure i know the actual law not what some treehuggers think they can enforce. Its sort of like riding on mud trails, while its shitty and a bad idea its perfectly legal and no amount of whining from treehuggers can stop you. You may even see signs the forest service put up or maps that say no bikes. Total bs. Thats more like signs saying please dont ride in the mud, even though its legal. However to be fair most of the sections that are "closed to bikes" suck to ride anyways cause they are more hiking paths than trails. Have fun up there. Red bridge is actually going to be closer all summer while they put up a new bridge on coates hwy. Red bridge is just a generic name for the bridge on coates hwy north of dillings rd. So youll have to start at dillings or marilla where as a lof people like to park at "red bridge" so they can avoid the hard parts near the start of both dillings and marilla. Its 15 miles from dillimgs to marilla so 30 out and back. About 4k feet of climbing.

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    Can anyone report on the trail conditions (race course)?

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    although I can't confirm the conditions at the Big M, but i did do a trail Run near there and the conditions were great. In the low spots there was ice and water but everything else was hard pack

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    Call spindrift cyclesports in Ludington or the lakeshore cycling club they would havethe best answers

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mbcow View Post
    although I can't confirm the conditions at the Big M, but i did do a trail Run near there and the conditions were great. In the low spots there was ice and water but everything else was hard pack
    Thanks, going to check it out this weekend.

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    For the people that have done it this years direction....

    Is it just exactly opposite of last year?
    Do they make us ride up the gravel road to the fire tower?
    Do we ride down what we hiked up last year to firetower?
    Is one direction faster than the other?

    Im trying to picture the downhills from last year being climbs this year. Last year there was that crazy fast descent near the end so that will be a climb, but the steep climb up to that will be a descent. Will there be a traffic jam again? Im lining up farther ahead this time for sure, i lined up in the 3rd area and on SS was behind people that finished 2-3 hrs behind me on the road. The first climb last year was kind of wide so i just walked past a bunch of people and rode the edge of the trail. This year the first climb is a lot narrower and is on a ridgeline dont think that will be possible. Im grabbing someones seatpost on the road haha

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    For the people that have done it this years direction....

    Is it just exactly opposite of last year?
    Do they make us ride up the gravel road to the fire tower?
    Do we ride down what we hiked up last year to firetower?
    Is one direction faster than the other?

    Im trying to picture the downhills from last year being climbs this year. Last year there was that crazy fast descent near the end so that will be a climb, but the steep climb up to that will be a descent. Will there be a traffic jam again? Im lining up farther ahead this time for sure, i lined up in the 3rd area and on SS was behind people that finished 2-3 hrs behind me on the road. The first climb last year was kind of wide so i just walked past a bunch of people and rode the edge of the trail. This year the first climb is a lot narrower and is on a ridgeline dont think that will be possible. Im grabbing someones seatpost on the road haha
    Clockwise course is a little bit different. We don't go up the gravel road, there is some single track there that works its way up. We completely skip that sandy fire tower bit this time. I think this direction is faster, for me at least. More sustained climbs versus repeated punchy ones. I do better with that. That opening climb that we bombed down last year is a lot wider than you think. Almost 2-track wide at points. You just don't notice it coming down at 35 mph. There is a ripping descent to the finish in this direction too. You just don't realize it going the other way as it kinda steps up in stages. The start was totally different for this direction 2 years ago and it was a shitty cluster****. We started by the trail head, went out Udell Rd a bit, turned left into the trail and then sort of doubled back to the start. It bottle necked bad. Like full-stop, unclip and wait bad. Dudes were being total ********s and running around the line of people waiting and cutting back in. I hope they don't do that again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sducomb View Post
    Clockwise course is a little bit different. We don't go up the gravel road, there is some single track there that works its way up. We completely skip that sandy fire tower bit this time. I think this direction is faster, for me at least. More sustained climbs versus repeated punchy ones. I do better with that. That opening climb that we bombed down last year is a lot wider than you think. Almost 2-track wide at points. You just don't notice it coming down at 35 mph. There is a ripping descent to the finish in this direction too. You just don't realize it going the other way as it kinda steps up in stages. The start was totally different for this direction 2 years ago and it was a shitty cluster****. We started by the trail head, went out Udell Rd a bit, turned left into the trail and then sort of doubled back to the start. It bottle necked bad. Like full-stop, unclip and wait bad. Dudes were being total ********s and running around the line of people waiting and cutting back in. I hope they don't do that again.
    Thanks Steve. I appreciate the info. I forgot about those 3 climbs near the end after the aid station last year, think they call them the sisters. They were super punchy, I rode them the first lap and wasted too much energy ss lol. Was chasing some friends had to be superman. I can see how they will be more steady than punchy in the other direction. The start climb I definitely didnt realize it was so wide, I was thinking its along that ridge then you bomb down so we would riding up that ridge. The part leading up to the first climb where we weave through the trail its kinda wide, where you guys had Belanger sitting is much wider than last year though that will help with traffic, * i hope.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    Thanks Steve. I appreciate the info. I forgot about those 3 climbs near the end after the aid station last year, think they call them the sisters. They were super punchy, I rode them the first lap and wasted too much energy ss lol. Was chasing some friends had to be superman. I can see how they will be more steady than punchy in the other direction. The start climb I definitely didnt realize it was so wide, I was thinking its along that ridge then you bomb down so we would riding up that ridge. The part leading up to the first climb where we weave through the trail its kinda wide, where you guys had Belanger sitting is much wider than last year though that will help with traffic, * i hope.
    don't forget this year is split up into 3 self seeded waves with a couple of minutes between each start so that should provide enough separation to make things flow better better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SkolinIN View Post
    don't forget this year is split up into 3 self seeded waves with a couple of minutes between each start so that should provide enough separation to make things flow better better.
    So will they adjust your time based on wave? Last year they had us line up self seeded but when they said go everyone went. Im lining up in wave 1/the front regardless though. SS sucks on the road and i spent so much time passing people the first lap. I jacked around in the pits and theyvall passed me back but thats a different topic lol.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    So will they adjust your time based on wave? Last year they had us line up self seeded but when they said go everyone went. Im lining up in wave 1/the front regardless though. SS sucks on the road and i spent so much time passing people the first lap. I jacked around in the pits and theyvall passed me back but thats a different topic lol.
    It's different this year. You pick what wave you want when you register and then have to line up in that wave. Not really sure how that's gonna actually work out on race day but I guess we will see.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LaneDetroitCity View Post
    So will they adjust your time based on wave? Last year they had us line up self seeded but when they said go everyone went. Im lining up in wave 1/the front regardless though. SS sucks on the road and i spent so much time passing people the first lap. I jacked around in the pits and theyvall passed me back but thats a different topic lol.
    this is straight from the Lumberjack site and what was sent to registered riders:
    Based on feedback from our racers weíre implementing two changes for the 2018 race.

    No more cash, envelopes and paying the ďpoleĒ on race day. Your National Forest Service parking pass is included with your registration and we will pay the NFS one lump sum. One less thing to worry about on race morning!!
    For racer safety and to alleviate some of the congestion at the race start we will have three start waves. During the registration process you will self seed yourself and select a wave based on your expected finishing time. Wave #1 = under 8 hours, Wave #2 = 8-10 hours and wave #3 = 10 + hours. Race Directors reserve the right to add, remove or adjust any waves and racer seeding.
    Your official start time will be when you cross the start mat. If you trained more or less than you expected when you registered, no problem youíll have the ability to go into your bikereg registration and adjust your wave selection by 6/8.

    so it will be interesting especially if you get some issues with timing at the start. I would think a better way of doing it would like Iceman where each wave gets the same start time. Also like Iceman I guess you could get somebody coming out of the 3rd wave winning it despite not being first to the line. Regardless always a fun day in the saddle.

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    As a someone who planted themselves at the back last year, I am excited to see how this plays out and should be interesting. Last year I would say from the turn into the tent lane from Udell until around three miles in according to strava took 25 minutes which is the first hill.
    It was a wheel to wheel crawl

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    Quote Originally Posted by G-Choro View Post
    Thinking back, you're probably right. I think it was just one section through the pines with a lot of short undulations where I recall saying to myself, "I'm glad I didn't bring my HT today."

    a bit late now, but that section is the swedish fiddle. It sucks royally

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    My first time doing the Lumberjack and my first 100. So I have a few questions:

    * Are the aid stations right next to the trail, like is it impossible to ride by and miss it?

    * Am I able to leave a bag at (near) the aid stations and how does that work?

    * How are you pacing the laps? Lap 1 slower than you think, lap 2 about normal, lap 3 just grinding through it? Or try to stay consistent throughout and if you leave some in the tank just let it out in the last 10 miles? Negative splits?

    * how does the bathroom situation work? I assume they have them at the aid stations? If I need to between I guess I just stop off the side of the trail? Could be interesting with so many riders.

    Iím typically an XC racer (Cat 2) with races ending under 2 hours, but trying my hand at XCM. Iíve been on 55+ miles MTB rides in training. Iím expecting 9-10hr finish for me with only 2 stops (33 miles, 66 miles after each lap).

    Any imput is appreciated. Thanks.
    2018 Scott Spark RC 900 World Cup | ďIf youíre not first youíre lastĒ

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    you cant miss the aid stations, they are right next to the trail.

    I know you can have a bag at the start finish area, not sure on the mid point aid station, you shouldn't it there, they have about anything you could think of.

    I got progressively slower each lap last year, i was just trying to finish though. I surely wouldn't go balls out on the 1st lap, i saw the result of that on the some of the other racers and it wasn't pretty. There is plenty of time to pick people off if you have it in you.

    There are port a jons and an outhouse type bathroom at the start/finish area, probably a port a jon at the mid point aid station, i didnt notice if there was one there or not, i would think there would be for the benefit of the volunteers.

    It is a long day in the in the saddle. The trail is fun, i took the 1st one as a learning experience and my only goal was to finish and have fun. I did both. Good luck up there!

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    Quote Originally Posted by joeduda View Post
    I know you can have a bag at the start finish area, not sure on the mid point aid station, you shouldn't it there, they have about anything you could think of.
    You cannot leave anything at the mid-point aid station. You can set up your own pit area with pretty much anything you want at the start finish.

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    agree no way you can miss the mid point aid station - its usually Hawaiian themed or something with lots of energetic volunteers. No drop bags offered at the mid point sag only at the start finish area.
    Since this is your first one I would suggest just let it happen as regardless the 3rd lap is going to hurt. I would suggest not passing up on the mid point aid station. I typically don't stop at it on lap one but I do on lap 2 and 3 as its a good quick break and they offer everything you can think of and will get you what you need. Its a eating and drinking contest really and especially if you plan on being on the trail for a long time. Stop for a couple of minutes and eat at the mid point SAG. I spend more time there than at the start finish because if you linger too long at the start/finish you might not start another lap - happens to a lot of people.
    I just ride it and try to stay consistent throughout the race and don't even look at my time until after each lap maybe.
    As far as bathroom situation yea its waiting for the start finish of just get it done off the trail. 1st lap you'll see people going 50 yards off the trail by the 3rd lap anything goes really, you'll see all sorts of carnage and sights.

  45. #45
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    Thanks for all the information regarding the race. Do they have ice at the aid stations that I can put in my bottles and camelbak?
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    I donít recall ice, but I could be wrong. The folks that ran the aid station are the best! On the third lap they brought me back to the land of the living for sure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MI-XC View Post
    Thanks for all the information regarding the race. Do they have ice at the aid stations that I can put in my bottles and camelbak?
    I don't recall ever seeing ice at the halfway aid station, but I don't usually stop there either so I could be wrong. I wouldn't count on it though. It's kinda out in the middle of nowhere. Your best bet is again at the start/finish. There is a a whole "pit row" along there. Get there on Friday or early before the start, throw up a tent or canopy and stash a cooler of whatever you want for the day there. Also a good spot to keep spares, tools, etc. You're allowed pretty much anything you want there aside from a 2nd bike.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yeah4me2 View Post
    I donít recall ice, but I could be wrong. The folks that ran the aid station are the best! On the third lap they brought me back to the land of the living for sure.
    The Aid station folks were great alright. I think the only ice you will get there is what is in the coolers keeping the drinks cold. On the last lap i was at the aid station and a woman racer came in crying that she wanted her husband, she had had enough. I made the mistake of saying that "you have to keep going, you are almost there". Then the whaling really began. The lady volunteers stepped right in and i got the heck out of there!

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