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  1. #1
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    Carrabassett Backcountry Cycle Challenge -- Maine

    Great event........being pushed to 100k this year, and a shorter 50k option.
    Race day also moved to a Saturday, July 13.

    Register here: https://www.bikereg.com/Net/17788

    NOTE: Registration increases on June 8th

    Good video summary of last years edition.

  2. #2
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    Thinking about it...

  3. #3
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    Awesome event
    Coming up fast
    All proceeds go back into the trail system
    Get registered!

  4. #4
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    Hi wgerow,

    I'm still thinking about it. I've never ridden in that area before and never attempted a race like this before. What can you tell me about course? I've got from the description that it is pretty mixed. How much technical stuff is there and how much climbing?

    Any insider suggestions for lodging in the area? It looks like $100+/night is the going rate.

  5. #5
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    Bedwards-

    I spend a lot of time in the area and am friends with organizers, but I am not part of the team putting on the event.

    For the most part the course is rolling. There are some steep climbs on dirt rds/jeep trails/nordic trails, but none last for very long, 1 mile max and that may be an exaggeration. Good mix of rolling, flats and downhill. As the descriptoin says it is pretty mixed. Some great single track, some which is fairly new and has good flow, other older stuff that is more technical. I believe this years edition will be very similar to last years course (but longer), and last year was really good. A lot of people really liked it. This event is one way to experience and somewhat learn all the trails the area has to offer. The long course is 100k this year, and for the most part is all within the Town of Carrabassett Valley.

    The race will be long but well supported. I tell folks that haven't ridden this long before to treat it like a well supported long ride and just take it all in. Don't worry about the "race" aspect.

    I believe they are allowing camping at the Outdoor Center. The center is a great facility with showers, etc. Building is only a few years old. I am sure the resort is around $100 for lodging, but just guessing. Alternatives would be Carrabassett Inn located in the valley, about 5 miles south. Typical road side motel with a good bar and restaurant. There is the Herbert in Kingfield (12 miles south). And past the resort 7 miles is the town of Stratton which has the White Wolf, Spillover Motel, Statton Plaza, and a few others. Those should all be well under $100 but I can't quote prices. A google search of any of those sould bring up phone numbers for them.

    This particular race is only a few years old, but these folks have been putting on races of varying types for many years and they do a great job. This year's event is on a Saturday which means a good chance for post race festivities. Should be great fun.

    Hope you can make it

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    I'm like 85% committed. The questions about the course are to help me decide what bike to ride, I've got a 26" & 29" GT Sensor. Neither that race worthy but both pretty ridable. I'm trying to decide if I want to take the slightly heavier 9er for a smoother ride. That's the way I'm leaning. If I'm paying my entry fee I'm racing! It may not be pretty but I'm racing.

    Thanks for all the info on lodging. Camping could be an option if the weather looks like it is going to be dry. Most of the places I've looked up were in the $100 range but once I commit to the race I'll figure that out.

    Your post's are getting me in the mood to do it, good job.

  7. #7
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    Its a great race, great area, and I think there is free beer at the end!!

    Personally I would go with the 29er in that area. There isn't nearly enough tight technical riding to warrant the quick handling of 26" bike, in my opinion. Last year i was on an older 26" bike, this year a Superlight 29er. Can't wait to hit this track with the 29er.

  8. #8
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    Cool, I want a superlight 29er.

    I found all the information I was looking for at the end of the registration page. There is free camping. There is free beer! There is a lot of climbing!!!

    The course for the 100K race is still being designed and we will be updating this description as information becomes available. The Endurance Course will cover approximately 100K of backcountry mountain bike terrain. The race will begin and end at the Sugarloaf Outdoor Center, and will roughly consist of 50% double track, 30% singletrack, 20% gravel road, and 6000 ft of climbing.

    https://www.bikereg.com/NET/17788/Ca...ycle-Challenge

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    That climbing number is a wild ass guess.
    Various wireless devices recorded considerably less than quoted last year. I want to say something like 3-4000 ft

    Don't get me wrong, its not flat. But you won't find yourself grinding it out on 25 min climbs. There are a couple of nasty ones, but for the most part it is rolling and civilized.

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    All signed up and ready to go! At this moment the weather looks amazing and dry until race day so the trails should have some time to dry out. This is going to be a long week at work.

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    Awesome! Yes, it will be a very long week.....was just thinking that.

    Logged three days of riding up there this weekend, about half with the race course guru. He is very tight lipped about the course and I did not push him for info, but I did ride with him twice while he measured stuff up. Looks like there may be a 3-4 mile climb never seen before....If he does what I think he is going to do it could turn out to be very climby.....but its gonna be great!

  12. #12
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    That didn't make me want a superlight 29er any less. I'm still going to bring the not-so-light 9er anyway. A 3-4 mile climb should be "challenging", it's all good though.

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    I've done this race the past two years and it is a good one. The trails get better every year and the event planners and volunteers to a great job. The aid stations are all over the place and are well stocked. You can ride it with one water bottle if you want. Looking forward to this weekend, there is a claimed 9,000 feet of climbing according to someone. Not sure I believe that but if it's true it will be a true test of my leg strength. Should be pretty epic.

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    The 9000 feet of climbing came from the registration page that has been updated in the last few days. My leg strength is going be be tested too considering the longest rides I've done this season don't approach 100K and most of them are over the road. Headed up there on Friday afternoon.

    https://www.bikereg.com/NET/17788/Ca...ycle-Challenge
    The design of the course for the 100K race is now complete. The Endurance Course will cover approximately 100K of backcountry mountain bike terrain. The race will begin and end at the Sugarloaf Outdoor Center, and will roughly consist of 40% double track, 30% singletrack, 30% gravel road, and 9000 ft of climbing.

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    Apparently the big climb we did will be a downhill.....and there has been a section added that is a big ski hill climb. It's gonna be painful!

  16. #16
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    Locked and Loaded

    The truck's loaded and ready to roll. Now if I can only get through these next 7 hours at work....
    Carrabassett Backcountry Cycle Challenge  -- Maine-2013-07-12-07.12.24.jpg

  17. #17
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    Ok, checked the course for myself....was given bad intelligence yesterday...we will be doing the 5 mile climb!!!

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    So, what's the terrain on this 5 mile climb? Early or late in the course? You seem to have the intel now. I guess the good news is the grade couldn't be too steep because the mountains are only so tall. I still can't wait.

    3:30......and counting.

  19. #19
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    My guess is around mile 30ish...and it's a gravel grind (dirt rd)
    Last part of race will be singlrtrack and narrow gauge pathway, all which is uphill but not steep

  20. #20
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    Awesome race! For those who haven't been up there, the venue was great. It lived up to its name, and was a real back country challenge. Tough. Support stations were well stocked and people were super friendly, and the weather was perfect.
    I will definitely do it again.
    The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.
    William James

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    Yup, great race. I did the 100K and it was pushing my limits. I'd never ridden any trails up there and may want to go try them at a more relaxed pace sometime. The climb up Sugarloaf was insane as was the trip down. I think my electrolyte levels are returning to normal.

  22. #22
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    Well that was quite a test. Even Tinker said he thought it was close to being a little too tough. The climbing after mile 29 really put a hurt on me, but luckily I was able to bring it back togeterh for the last 20 miles. Once again they put on an excellent event and set a killer course. After the first two years of suspect mileages for aid stations and overall distance I have to say they nailed all the mileages this year, which was great for racers and great for events. That was one sick 100K!!

    I can't wait for next year!!!

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    good account of the race. after reading your RR I remembered seeing you standing there at the end of the single track in the beginning.......I had forgotten I saw you there. Now it all makes sense!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by wgerow View Post
    good account of the race. after reading your RR I remembered seeing you standing there at the end of the single track in the beginning.......I had forgotten I saw you there. Now it all makes sense!
    +1 on the account. Here's another perspective from the race, for those who are interested. Qualey Granite/Rose Bike Racing
    The great use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.
    William James

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