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  1. #1
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    La Ruta Reports...

    Well, here's some of my preliminary La Ruta 07 reports.

    So far so good. We arrived down here on Friday. Stayed a night at San Jose at hotel Irazu then up at 7am to catch the 8am shuttle to Jaco. Got into Jaco around 11am and unpacked the ride. Everything seemed to go together well, but one of the rotors was bent a bit from the flight. As for the flight, Delta, they didn't charge for the bike box!
    yahooooo!

    No major mishaps, yet... BCBike race, I stripped a caliper the night prior to leaving. Transrockies, I had a vast amount of mishaps with my bike. And, the hundies bring about pre-bike grief as well. Always something that goes wrong prior to race day. Murphies law I guess of something like that... What ever it is, please bike lords... may it go away. Give me good bike thoughts for the day!

    So, I got the bike together and headed off for a ride to see the aligators. I feel like I'm on a Mexican radio... Equanas are everywhere (I never saw them the previous 2 years here).
    Got in a good 60km ride with some good climbs. Then it was off to the beech afterwards. Loven' this weather!
    The roads here have bike lanes! Imagine that, a small country such as Costa Rica with bike lanes! In Canada we have problems putting through a bike lane on the new highway going to Wistler for the 2010 Olympics! (I sit on the roads and cycling committee for one of the cities in Ontario and trying to put a bike lane in is just nuts... councillors are squashed for even peeping a word about it! no tax payer wants them...). Oh well, thats another story.
    Drivers here can be a pain (don't give much room), but that happens every place on the planet it seems. David and Goliath sort of thing I guess... Love the bike lanes here though!

    The following days, I got in a good 90km ride with some great elevation on the roads and then a flat boring 70km ride yesterday. Today calls for a day of rest and relaxation!

    The food is just wonderful here. Fresh food!!! Pinapples, Mango, and fresh bannanas! Love it!
    I could live here just for the fresh food. Back home, the food tastes like its been froozen for years! Loven' the fresh fruit!

    Also, went to a frog zoo sort of thing. Funny as hell it was. I was looking at this green little frog with these big eyes. Anyhow, the thing is extinct. The next thing I know the thing is jumping towards my face. I jump, it jumps and I nearly jumped on it. Extinct it nearly became! ouch!

    Haven't seen any monkeys or rare birds yet. I'm hoping to though!

    Tomorrow is race day. The mass of motion will soon be here. I do not know where it goes... I'm hoping to the hills of Costa Rica. I heard the mud is horrible in the hills right now as they just had 2 months of rain.
    Mud on every orphis of me and my bike.

    The weather here is currently 30oC or greater. Just loven' every minute of it!

    post as you may...

    see yah on race day!

  2. #2
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    Thanks for the report!

  3. #3
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    cock-a-doodle-do!

    Holly crap... its 3am and time for wake up. I'm not much of a morning person, so the wake-up call goes rough and I feel like I've been dragged over the largest volcano on a mopad. I keep asking myself- why do I put myself through this. A boat cruise sitting like a roasting chicken on the sun filled deck would be nice. Must be my internal instincts or something. Or, maybe some strange curse I have with SandM or something... who knows... I gotta see a doctor about that, I think. Today will tell.
    Anyhow, I managed to get most of the stuff ready to roll. The over flow baggage, the water and refreshments for the day, the bike. The bike had some minor difficulties with the tire having a slight wabble and the brakes had some contamination. After a couple of adjustments... voila... seems to work fine... till I hit the first big decent! (time will tell).
    Through my poka dot mirror I see a lot of the known racers out there at BW Jaco. All are goobling up the fine eats as we speak. Yah end up liking the food now, but by day 4, I'm sure everyone will be bored with the beans and rice. But, the fresh fruit is to die for... mmmm.

    well, gotta get the remaining stuff packed up. Consume the remaining nutrients before the go.

    Best of chance to all that came. Have a hell of a day!
    mud and more mud...

    till next time. Hang loose like a busted der'l.

  4. #4
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    Day 1 done... that stunk..

    Well, I've done this race 3 times and this had to be the worst.
    They didn't have a free meal last night.
    This morning was mass confusion and the line-ups were long to get your bike out of storage. Then to figure out where everything went was confusion to some extent (the overflow bags for example).
    Other than that it went smooth for me.

    The fist 30km or so was mud. But, not as bad as previous years. Most of it was rideable. I loved the large down hill into chest high water. That was just fantastic. It appeared when yah wanted it.
    Things were going good for me. Keeping pace with Susan Haywood for the most part for a while (till about the 75km mark or so). She's one fast rider. She won the women's for today.
    Then a bunch of us took the wrong turn about the 80km mark (green arrows with orange painting into a farmers field). I didn't remember it from last year at all. It started going into cow crap and then a huge hike a bike up 10km!!!
    ouch! That cost three of us a good 45-60 minutes!!! (one of them being Heart Transverter's son... heart does La Ruta every year pretty much and so does his sons). So, my times really sucked for day 1 (off by at least an hour).
    There was a long uphill paved climb (on fresh just laid pavement - stuck to our wheels pretty much) for about 20km then some wicked decent down some gravel road (steep stuff). It was suppose to be gravel till the end. But, we took the wrong turn and ended up on some slippery mud like clay walking for 10km up hill!
    (I think a couple of others got lost as well - including Kip from Bike mag... I'm sure he'll have more to say on that horride hike a bike for 10km... I just stunk badly - literally with cow crap and mud)

    The day was long and hot for the most part.

    Then came the end. Ekkks! They are washing our bikes with Keorosine. For the love of biking! And, spraying into the field! Ekkks.... talk about environmental issues... anything goes here pretty much.
    Now I know why my BB and rear hub are just f-d after the race (I have to rebuilt the hub and change the BB)!!!
    The showers are pretty minimal as well and the food almost none.

    Encountered Timmy D (Tim Dougherty) on the side of the road. He passed me some time around the 30km mark just hauling it up the long muddy hike a bike. Man, he kicks butt!!!
    He was sitting on the side of the road - I said, Tim whats up... I gotta .... what? (I thought he said he needs a screw - I had a spare! But, he said he had to take a number 2!). I never seen anything like it.... funny it was. But, not so fun for him. He had the shts and was vomiting. But, he passed me again around the 60km mark hauling up a climb on his SS. Man, he kicks butt!

    Most of the field was won by europeans for the most part with Tinker coming in the top 10. That guy kicks butt as well... I hope I'm stil riding in my 40s.

    Well, overall a tough day (the last 10km hike a bike that we were not suppose to do did me in big time). My bag is busted. My ride will probably feel like crap tomorrow after they sprayed it with crap.
    Day 1 is always a tough day. Really makes yah ask - what the hell am I doing this again for...
    Next up, a trip across some content on a bike... wait... that is La Ruta in a messed up kinda way.

    Anyhow, don't let the ruts in the road get yah. Hang onto them bars and ride'm hard!

    (rating for today: stunk so, I give it 3/10 overall)

  5. #5
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
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    Wow......that sounds horrendously terrible in a grueling "i'm-gonna-get-thru-it" sorta way!!

    keep the reports coming ....and you're right...Tim D is one FAST mofo on an SS...dang freak...
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  6. #6
    Jose Abraham
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    Top five today

    1 Federico Ramírez BCR-Pizza 05:12:36
    2 Paolo Montoya Macosta Lee Cougan 05:20:01
    3 Thomas Dietsch Gewiss Bianchi 05:26:20
    4 Sandro Spaeth Ride Magazine 05:28:11
    5 Deiber Esquivel IBP Pensiones 05:40:04

    http://www.adventurerace.com/web-rut...07_parcial.pdf
    Jose Abraham
    Come to Costa Rica for a ride!

  7. #7
    TEAM TOPEAK - ERGON
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    more updates...with pics!

    http://www.jasonsager.com/blog/

  8. #8
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    la ruta

    Whoa la ruta is gangsta.... there was a guy in wyoming that tried to tell me that a couple years back in the divide everyone was walking their bike due to rain/mud.... that is a tru show of character when you can keep going and smile aobut it afterwards. Much less keep going... that takes bike riding and fun to a different level.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by KERKOVEJ
    more updates...with pics!

    http://www.jasonsager.com/blog/
    Great report on Sager's site. Looks like a piece of cake . ..

    Oops what I meant to say is I am glad I am eating cake instead of racing in the Costa Rican mud.
    BS'ing less, riding more.

    Supporting PAS
    Upstate SORBA
    SORBA

  10. #10
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    Day 2 - its a new day!

    Well, today was a new day for La Ruta (its 15th aniversary) and who goes and breaks their leg - the original race organizer! (took a spill on his dirt bike on one of the roads - believe me, roads are not normal here! Someone had a good term for the whole thing - organized chaos... everyone expects it).

    So, the day started out with long line ups to the outhouses (with no toilet paper! for the love of biking! everyone knows that one's hormones are running at full tilt and taking a crap is the number one priority of the body during the race morning!). The bike lock-up lines were long again which delayed the race from starting along with a car accident (another funny thing in Costa Rica - despite the organized chaos, there are not many car accidents! everyone expects chaos so everyone is 100% aware I guess?!?).

    The race started off fast and a hill climb. One of the Costa Rican girls took a nasty spill in front of us. Sue Haywood should be given Kudos though, she was going to stop and help her out, but she seemed okay. Yesterday she stopped to help out the Canadian girl that took a nasty spill. Then up a steep hike a bike section of gravel. Then it was off to the road... up and up and up.... I'm sure some of the grades were upwards of 20 percent! ekkkksss... who the hell lives up on these mountains anyhow.... and how do they get to/from work each day climbing these mountains! wicked climbing it was... another strange thing - is all the kids out of school just hanging about... guess they can't get a school bus up them hills or something. Its a strange sort of land.

    Then came the down hill. It was on some mud filled and gravel road. Believe me, when I say gravel roads I mean roads that are hardly ever worked on. Fun though.

    Then came the tour through the towns. More organized chaos. Things seem to move out of your way in the last minute. Like the pile of dogs hanging around the streets. At the last second, their butt moves just enough for the bike wheel to get by.
    Mass confusion arises with the cars coming up the roads as well. Vehicles going down the hills at great speeds and vehicles going up the hills. These roads are narrow. Then add us to the equation... bombing down at around 65-70km/h and going up in a zig zag fashion. Its organized chaos that seems to all work out.

    The end of the day, last 5km, was Costa Rican single track (most of the race is either gravel, mud, or road). This was a first for me. It was a small trail through the bush that was thick mud. So thick it was that we would sink up to our knees at times. There was one mud hole that was so deep that people were falling in and some guy at the top of one of the mud climbs helping us with our bikes (thanks bike helper guy! I'm sure most of us would still be there trying to lug our bikes up the small cliff).

    Overall, an interesting new day addition to La Ruta.

    I forgot to mention - yesterday there was fireworks prior to the race. That was pretty cool.
    Today, the course was well marked out. No one got lost (I think). Yesterday, a lot of people got lost with the spray painted markings thing at the last 10km. Lots of swearing going on. Today, the swear factor was less.

    Tomorrow is a long hill climb up the volcano then a long decent (Jeremiah Bishop crashed hard last year on the decent). I love the decent! Fun as hell!

    More from the mechanical side of things - I heard they are using motor oil for our chains! eekkks!
    today, at least they sprayed our rides with water and not keorosine! for the love of biking boys!!!!
    (my bike is going to be btched after the race - the hub and the BB and the chain....). Come with a new ride, but not too new. La Ruta eats bikes!

    I'd have to say today ran smoothly except for the morning chaos. So, 7.5 out of 10 for the day. It was a bit more organized.

    Tomorrow is another day and we are all transferring to another hotel. So, more chaos may arise.
    Anything goes in Costa Rica though... be prepared if you come for chaos. Organized chaos to some degree.

    Well, tighten up your cog and hang onto your lycra cause were flying down the volcano tomorrow folks!


  11. #11
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    Thanks so much for the descriptions! Your reports are great.

  12. #12
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    Simply amazing! Can't wait to read what comes next.

  13. #13
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    Unfortunately I can't find any info from today's stage.

  14. #14
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    day 3 brings rain!

    Well, I was pretty sick of waking up at 3am every morning. Just one more day to go!
    The day started off at Hotel Irazu in San Jose then a bus ride off to our starting point (the ending point yesterday). Mad rush to grab some early morning grub then off to catch the bus. Then the mass confusion for our bikes! (last year was much more organized than this year even though they went high tech with bar codes this year! I think the people organizing it counts big time!).

    So, this year brought about the huge climb up front. It was a controlled start according to the announcer. That means hill climbing folks!!!
    Up and up and up. A road climb then some mud fest climbing then more road climbing in the rain. Chilly it was! (last year was as well).
    Its kinda strange at times how people you pass all of a sudden show up going full tilt! (I heard there is a lot of cheating going on from people that have seen it first hand and food handouts only to locals. The rules state no one shall aid in the race, but anything seems to go. Heck, I even heard of people dumping their bikes into vehicles and getting lifts to the tops of the hills or people trading places half way through the race... anything seems to go in Costa Rica I guess. It would be easy to fix - having more monitors and possibly wearing wrist bands that are checked as well etc... we have the technology! Kind of unfair for those of us that trained for hours/months/years for such an event...)

    After the huge climb up the volcano came the decent. But, this year it was completly wet! Yikes! Mud fest all the way down pretty much. The real downhillers just loved it, but the no so gravity friendly folks just hated it. Many came out with scars for life (I had one from last year) and the ambulances seemed to take off every minute or so. Jeremiah Bishop took a nasty spill last year on the decent. Can really pickup some enormous speed on the decent (upwards of 60km-h if you really want it!).

    The day ended in more rain in a fine little coffee village. Gone this year were the locals selling food. I just loved that part of this stage.
    The food at the end of the race was pretty tiny and it hardly fills our hungry bellies!
    So, this stage really added some delight if you had that extra hunger.

    More cold showers. My girlfriend was a companion (a cost of 1200USD or so), but the bus didnīt arrive, so I was stuck out in the rain waiting and waiting for access to our baggage. That really kind of stunk.
    Last year was suppose to be amazing for the companions. They had a tour guide that provided a real history lesson on costa Rica. This year itīs yelling at crazy driving bus drivers and trying to self-organize (today they were going to be left on their own at the shopping mall! The starting point for the day). I and others would not recommend it. Shame really, because this group of people really adds tourism dough over the long term...

    Oh yah, and as for massages, I donīt recommend that either. I got one the first day and I might as well have gotten a feather out and messaged myself!

    The bike service isnīt as good this year either. Last year, at critical points, they would oil and do minor repairs. One guy got his bike back and it was more screwed up prior to bringing it to them (his gears were messed up). So, if I come again, I probably wonīt get that service either.

    I also heard someone got their bag stollen. That would suck. I thought I lost my bag. After the race, one goes to the check-in to get their bag using their bar code scanning tag. I didnīt have my companionīs tag and I totally forgot that I checked in her bag, not mine. So, I guess they thought they lost it. I got a free shirt and socks! I guess thatīs comfort food? Iīd hate to loose anything here... I donīt think anyone would give a flying hoot really.

    I also heard of 2 guys getting lost yesterday. They had to do a muddy decent in the dark! I guess they past by the last check point and took the wrong turn off (hmmmm... kind of reminds me of day 1, doing a 10km hike a bike! Good thing I was just off the 7hour mark! Iīd hate to be someone getting lost nearing the check point closing time! I did mention to the race organizers of this discrepency in the signs and that it was misleading.... I just got - "well, its your fault for not looking at the arrows correctly" - yet, there were green and orange arrows... I heard upwards of 50 people got lost... a good thing no one after dark... Iīm really unsure if anyone would go looking.).

    Anything seems to go in Costa Rica. They have a saying here that goes something like ... " keep a smile on"... or something to that effect... be prepared for organized chaos I guess.

    The good:
    the transportation is okay.
    the hotels are okay. There are some pretty unique places on stage 3 on the eastern side of Costa Rica. Really natural like for the most part.
    the route and views are unique. Especially the views. Fantastic. If not for the race, at least come for the tour across Costa Rica. The country is beautiful, itīs just kind of f-ked.

    Well, hang onto your chamois cream... its gonna be hot one tomorrow near the atlantic!
    Love the ocean! Bring it on!

  15. #15
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    nice reports... awesome...keep them coming...


    jac02000, you are getting a pinhole view of the country in some aspects under out-of-the-ordinary conditions... but it is good to see things with one's eyes, I bet the whole thing is an awesome experience (well except for the organization mixups--I hope the manage to improve things for next versions).... anyhow, enjoy the race and have a good 4th race day, jac02000!

    can't wait to go back home for Xmas...
    Last edited by crisillo; 11-17-2007 at 04:51 AM.

  16. #16
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    day 4 - its raining again!

    Day 4 started off with rain, again! Last 2 years were just lovely, but the past 2 days have just been rain fests which brings mud!
    The day starts off with a climb up what we came down the past day. Up up and away... climbing up a dirt road climb to the road then some decent decents on pavement which produced speeds upwards of 70-85km/h with some hairpin turns to boot! Luckily the rain brought cool temperatures so the heat didn't get to us like previous years.
    What was rather bothersome though was the support vehicles. They polluted our pathway as though they wanted to be a part of the race. On one decent, they sat right in our way, luckily one fellow we were with spoke spanish and muttered the words - "get the f out of the way azzhole". I swear most of them couldn't care less if we were there or not. The rules state that no one shall be supported, yet many are supporting along the way forsure!

    (from the official rules chapter 3 of the charter:
    Only authorized support vehicles will be able to get to the feeding/check points...
    no vehicles will be allowed to follow racers...
    racers caught receiving feeding racers in the race course...
    etc...
    will receive a 30 minute penalty and next be expelled from the race.
    I have yet to see any of these rules enforced. Don't care state for the most part... )

    Not sure why they let this go on. The race organizers make very little dough off the support vehicles.
    They add mass confusion to the racers and so even drive pretty erraticly (to the point of almost hitting the racers. I also question, what would happen if someone was hit... I'm sure most don't have insurance to cover the loss they created for no good reason... but thats another story).
    They do make money off the companions though... and again, they were treated to mass confusion today. I wouldn't recommend the companion package. Last year was suppose to be fantastic. But, insted of improving it, they seem to be down grading it. Cost savings or something probably. At what cost though...

    The hotel we stayed at last night was just fantastic! But, others had less luck than us and were stuck with hotels without a tv, phone and were bug infested tree houses... Its difficult to determine what you are in for really. Guess of the draw.

    After playing the hills for about 50km of the day the road work came into play. Yah better be in a good group to make use of the pulls and tugs on the flat roadways. Then it was off to the rail line and the bridge crossing. The rail ine brought some pretty hairy bridge crossings with fast moving water beneath our feet. One false move and you become part of history.

    The roadway along the ocean brought washouts naval deep and then more railway... and more railway... and more railway....
    the profile stated 120km, but we tagged in 130km by days end. By the 120 mark many faded away as the heat and the never ending trail ate their last survival tactics away.

    The day ended with a fantastic meal though and beers from the bar for those that wanted to get the spunk out (many were just dead tired though from a hard day of going at it). Much praise was given to no more mud, early wake up calls for the same pinto and bean platter, and grinding away at the gears for a full day. I'm sure many won't be touching their ride for some time.

    The bus ride back to San Jose was another challenge. Take a rider who's legs have been churning all day then put them on a bus for 3 hours or so. But wait, the main highway had a mud slide or something as such (from all the rain), so the route home was going to take longer. Over the hills we go for a long way home. Then the first bus broke down. So, many took their carcus and shuved it into another bus. Bodies lined the hallway of the vehicle laying to rest their tired flesh on the bus floor. It was going to be a long ride back to San Jose. Some even took cabs back to the hotel only to find that the cab driver didn't know where to go. I would have to say that transportation in Costa Rica is pretty amazing though. (truely amazing that cars last the gruelling climbs here and brakes survive!)

    Then the bikes didn't get in until 1am and one just showed up at 4:30am as I'm typing this... I'd hate to be one of the lucky ones that have to catch a flight this morning... I seen them waiting...
    Me, I'm hiting the horizontal ground soon. Its been a long venture with little sleep.

    Congradulations goes out to those that completed it. Most of the top 10 have been europeans, but Tinker still showed that he has the power of the pedal offering up 7th place (yet to be confirmed). The SSrs pulled out some remarkable riding (I was riding with Timmy D and some other SSr on the final day, just powerful riders). Sue and Lou really battled things out. Some remarkable climbing from Louise Kobin!
    Congrats also goes out to Heart Transverter for his 10th time here!!!
    http://www.bikemag.com/gallery/2004_...1/index14.html

    If you come - here are some pointers:
    a) avoid drinking from the cups at aid stations! many got stomach illness. I noticed that cups were being reused at aid station. If one gets sick, then the probability of many getting sick drinking from the same cup is pretty damn good. Especially when the body is under a lot of stress from such an event.
    b) bring a cheap new good bike. Don't bring an expensive ride. La Ruta eats bikes and parts. I rode hard tail. Just loved it. Go simple and go middle of the road. Many spent thousands and now I'm sure they wish they didn't. All those expensive bike parts now have to be replaced as they have been beaten and torn to their limits! Make sure your parts on your ride are fairly new! I seen many with busted parts along the way.
    c) don't count on accountability. I heard of one person getting their bag stolen with their passport and another their computer from their bike. Be a bit proactive I guess cause their isn't much protection here. Beaware that anything can happen.
    d) many got lost on the course. Try to stay with a group of riders and look for the green arrows!
    e) get on those shuttles early. Line-ups form and you'll be way back in the line.
    f) bring lots of luv fluid for the skin. Cuts and bruises bite hard here and many have them. Bring stuff to ease the pain. Both my ankles look as though I've beaten them with a baseball bat.
    g) don't believe all you hear. Ask around and get a variety of opinions. Whole lotta bull chit goes around from time to time.
    h) enjoy the views. Remarkable!!! and some of the local foods, especially the fruit. Fresh as can be!
    i) pack light.
    j) double check your ride after bring it to the mechanics! I noticed a couple of small things missing and the tire was put on in an angle... Last year they were fantastic. This year, it seems as though they were trying to save some dough or something ?!?!
    k) its truely a test of your mental ability. Get some rest!
    l) on day 1, take advantage of the water! wash your ride and lub it up! Many were faced with busted der'l and chains from not taking advantage of it!
    m) don't burn yourself out day 1 and 2. Its a long race. Many are defeated by the last day. The heat is a killer.
    that's about it for now... (I'll post more as I think of them)

    If any company ever wants to test their products, La Ruta is the place to do it. I know mine were put to the test. From the hub through to the cranks (my chain failed horribly the last day and I pretty much lost the lower gears... I would recommend the granny gear... some did without and the human body's limits caught them horribly by surprise. The hills are many and the grade tremendous at times). My ride is dead now.

    Its truely a test of one's ability to survive at times (mental and physical). And, not many escaped without some battle scar. Would I do it again (this is my 3rd), not sure... probably once the stain on the brain fades away a bit. Its like SandM somewhat, yah gotta ask why people do it. Maybe it is that deep need to test oneself, to prove it to themselves they could do something challenging, who knows...
    I can tell yah one thing though - I gotta get horizontal...

    so, now I lay me down to sleep I pray to the bicycle jesus that its parts will keep. Its been through multiple days of mud and pain. Now I must put it down for some long awaited rest (I'm resting my soul and my bike for at least a week of RandR baby!)
    Last edited by jac02000; 11-18-2007 at 05:09 AM.

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the complete reports!

    and congrats on completing the race.

    Roger__

  18. #18
    Nightriding rules SuperModerator
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    enjoy the rest!

    Great day 4 report!

  19. #19
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    I'm back in the states now. Not quite home yet but spending an evening in NJ to rest up.

    Nice reports. I jotted down a ton of notes on the flights home. Wish I could have stayed longer but work has my hands tied. Blog updates of my experience in the next few days.

    The climbs were loonng. Hours upon hours spinning at 45rpm or less out of the saddle. I loved everyone's reactions when they saw my rigid fork. Then to see 1 gear and everyone went nuts. "loco" was pretty much what I heard the whole week. The descents were equally as fun. I bombed them and had the most fun on the two descents of day 4.

    29inch wheels rule all. I passed people like they were standing still on the descents and they negotiated the rail road tracks like it was their job when everyone with 26ers was getting their wheels caught between tressles and suspension compressing. baghh!

    I think the hardest part was waking up in the morning and getting moving. Once the race started I felt fine but prior to that I felt so tired and sore.

    So surprised with my performance. I never would have thought I had that much strength day in and day out. I've never done a multi-day race before and was shocked to see myself climb from 140th overall to finish in 51st overall by the end of day four (open class).

    Pretty sure I'm going back in '08. SS again too.

  20. #20
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    got home last night. brought a bug with me that is weaking havoc on my posterior. i had a really bad day, then a really good day, then a really, really bad day, then a really good day. i'm not an official finisher. i had to bail at the last checkpoint on stage 3, nearly hypothermic. stage 2 and 4 were an absolute blast for me, and really fun. i'll likely be back in 08.

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    Wow. sounds like a lot of people got sick going into day 4. I woke up with bad stomach pains but it all went away when the race started. The stomach pains came back after day 4s stage but when I woke up Sunday I felt fine. Still feeling fine and I drank the tap water all week. No bottled water for me.

    Hope you feel better Sean. Nice to meet you and ride/hang with you!

  22. #22
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    it was good to meet you to. and everyone else i met from here as well. bob, dicky, kevin, tom and everyone esle.

    big thanks to kevin for nursing me to the end of stage 1, then hooking my unprepared ass up with what i needed to get me through the rest of the race.

    overall the ssers represented fairly well down there i think. especially with timmy getting 24th overall in the open class. turned alot of peoples heads.

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    Thanks for the updates Jac, they were great to read everyday. Also, Well Done to everyone else that competed, and we (I am speaking on everyones part) want your write-ups as soon as you can. Congrats again.

    P.S. Cyclingnews had Tinker in 5th!! (Only 2.5 minutes from 4th). Nice work!

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    How was the singletrack?, berms turns? tech climbs, or downhills?

  25. #25
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    that was a joke, right motoadve?? there were some screaming fast, fun downhills that were passable by truck. there were some downhills that were technical in the sense that they were rutted out and you often had to hop from one line to another when the rut got too deep. there was one little singletrack on day 2 that involved ankle to axle deep peanut butter mud. you could ride it till mud clogged up between your tire and fork/seatstay brace, then you had to stop, remove the clog and try to get back on. it was aburdly slippery, and i really enjoyed it.

    there were alot of really, really steep climbs, but none that i would call technical. alot of the turns had ruts running all the way around them that you could use as berms if you wanted to maintain your speed....

    the race is more about perseverance and surviving the conditions better than your competitors than it is about mountain biking on sweet trails.

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    Yes was a joke.
    To me the organizer is just about the money.

    He could do the Ruta with almost no paved sections, and a lot more singletrack and better trails, but the organizers just seem to care for the money and not invest in finding new routes.

    I know all this trails myself

    There are trails, and all the paved sections are avoidable except for the entry and exit into San Jose.
    So at the end it could be a lot better race more offorad and more technical, staying a survival race and long at the same time.Hope they do it some day.

  27. #27
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    ah, should've looked at your location. a couple of us were doing the math on the bus to the airport, and realized that the promoter is probably making quite a bit of money off the race. you should try to organize an invitational group ride for the route you would recommend. just bring along people you know can make it at or above your pace and see how the feedback is in comparison to the current route. more trail sections would make the race alot harder, but would certainly be worth it to me. especially if there is singletrack involved.

    the other question is wether you think the singletrack in question can handle 600+ racers in a single day during the rainy season? that kind of abuse can rally damage a good section of trail if it's even mildly sensitive to traffic.....

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    The idea is good, will give it some thought.
    As for the singletrack and 600 riders, The last week of November will be a bit better, now that the terrain dried out.
    I just came back from 2 hr ride 100% singletrack and the conditionds were just perfect.

    Yes organizer is making good money, but good for him, he had the idea worked for it and its a famous race now.

  29. #29
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    No reports but some pictures. Report should be up soon

    http://thebikesite.org/gallery/thumbnails.php?album=35

    Good to meet all of you too. Glad I could help Sean.

    I had the same reaction with my rigid singlespeed as Doug. Yes 29er wheels do rule.









    Geared guys trying to get their sh!t working




    Kids cheering for us.






    The only way to go


  30. #30
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    great shots. are 1,3 and 4 on this page the downhill i missed out on at the end of day 3? might have been worth near death if it was that kind of rocky...

  31. #31
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    Yep that's the downhill. I was hugging the edge because my front brake were only at about 10%. Those rocks were really slick with cow sh!t and mud. It was only like that for a short section otherwise it was just washed out road.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kev0153
    Geared guys trying to get their sh!t working
    HaHaHa. Classic shot! I may borrow that for my write-up later this week.

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    Where did you guys get all those photos from? I need to order a bunch and was thinking of contacting these people (fotica.com).

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    Here's a good caption

    "I've got nothing in me and this guy only has one gear. WTF?.... Loco!"

  35. #35
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    yeah you guys can use any of those photos. I like that one too.

    I ran into this girl from fotica.com. That's where I got mine. I bet you can contact them with your race number and they can hook you up.

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    Thanks. I'll shoot them an email tonight.

  37. #37
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    i got all the photos of me from them too. wish i had fixed my number plate for day four though, because i ended up with no pics of me for that day except at the finish.

  38. #38
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    my full report with photos is now on my blog
    \/
    \/
    \/

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    Of all the days to have a photo published on the internet.... Its the one day I'm wearing mis-matched clothing and look like Dicky's clone.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2dougyfresh9
    and look like Dicky's clone.
    Not quite.
    You still have sleeves on your blouse.
    WWW.TEAMDICKY.COM

    I get paid 3Ē every time I post on MTBR.

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    Geeezus you are insane / brave for riding a rigid 29er and single speed no less!! at La Ruta. Thas craaaayyyzee. I haven been to CR but the terrain seems similar to what Ive encountered in Puerto Rico where I live. Very poorly mantained roads / paths and plenty of 100m -1000m meter climbs. Lots of loose rocky terrain damaged with ruts caused by heavy tropical rains, mud from hell, dry sandy areas, very rooty forests, steep asphalt rural roads etc etc,sometimes all in one ride! (Last 60 mile day I had I encountered all that and so averaged only 10.8 mph, but in some segments it was more like 6)

    Man but ive read a few reports of this yeras La Ruta and it sounded just misserable, rain all the time!
    Last edited by sneakyracer; 11-21-2007 at 09:23 AM.

  42. #42
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    The rigid part didn't bother me. I was riding much, much rockier and technical stuff all summer. The biggest problem I had was getting stuck in traffic on the first climb of the day. I was forced to ride the worst line because I was riding up the hill faster than the granny gear guys spinning or have to slow down my cadence which would kill my knees. Once we got spread out it was ok. If the hill got too steep I'd just walk. I got to be real good at pushing my bike

  43. #43
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    Aloha all you SS'ers

    Kev, Shaun, Dicky and the rest of the SS gang at La Ruta - what a friggin blast that was! It was pretty amazing to race on a course like that - definitely the toughest race I've done to date. Ironman has nothing on what La Ruta puts you through. I'm glad I went with the SS - seems like I was able to ride a bit (definitely not all!) of what everyone else with gears could ride, and when it came to the hike-a-bikes, I was glad to be shouldering such a light bike! The 26er with the 1.8 Bontrager Mud tires didn't pack up at all so I never got "stuck" like you Kev...it was great riding with you guys - hope to see you all again sometime.

    The people, especially the kids, were awesome - and I love rice and beans!

    Aloha

    Robert

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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky
    Not quite.
    You still have sleeves on your blouse.
    And no sunburn





    Pinapplebob.. I'll still never forget when you passed me on some crazy muddy climb on day one. Shouldering the bike and walking up the mountain... err. running up the mountain. Yes, you were walking so fast it appeared as if you were running.

    Those visions came back to haunt me on day two when I tried to drop you and then we encountered that silly muddy incline and descent at the very end of the day.


    Agreed with Kevin on the fork. Riding Michaux PA is worse that riding La Ruta from a Rigid-Fork-Fatigue standpoint. My hands and arms actually felt better in La Ruta then they do riding Michaux.

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    Final last words...

    Final last words...

    I thought I'd summarize the chit I came across along the adventure. So, here it goes:

    The Race:
    a) the course: pretty much the same as both years prior but less mud this year. Did an extra 10km of hike a bike that I never want to do again on day 1 (I heard it was part of the really old track or something like that).
    Day1 brought mud walks and mud fest. Take advantage of the streams and wash your ride. I encountered a whole wack of people with busted chains and der'ls. Bring a fairly new cheap ride as LR eats bikes dead.
    Day2 brought a variety of stuff and was one of the easier days. The end of it brought a mud fest of hike a bike.
    Day 3 brought the long uphill climb that seemed to last forever, but then the muddy downhill (it is usually fun as hell, but when its muddy... not so much fun)
    Day 4 brought the hilly start and then the hot hot rail line. Damn, I nearly fell into the fast moving river below... that would have been history for me. Ensure you are in a good group of pullers and pushers for the road work!

    b) course markings: day 1 sucked for me, we took a wrong turn off. So, I would have to say that the course markings were poor for day 1. Day 2, I heard people got lost and had to do a hike a bike in the mud in the pitch dark (no one went looking for them, heck I heard people don't get found sometimes until a day or 2 later... even when transported to the hospital!). Watch out for the green arrows. Stay away from the orange arrows (spray painted).

    c) terrain: less mud this year. Pretty much the same as both years.

    d) technical: I found this year less technical (on the descents). It seemed as though some of the previous year rough spots were smoothed out, but perhaps the rain inhibited us from bombing down the stuff fast. I could have done it with a 1.8 wheel on the rear for sure this year.

    e) sleep overs: We spent 2 nights at BW Irazu and 1 night at Jaco. Typical 3 star hotels. I heard the smaller hotels were more unique to the experience. The last sleep over was the best of them all though. I give that joint 5 thumbs up!

    f) food: food was pretty slim after the race, except for the final day. Lots of food the final day. Breakfast were pretty typical pancakes, beans & rice, eggs and toast. Get sick of it after a while.

    g) organization:
    i) problems: couple of people got stuff stolen and it seemed as though there wasn't much the organization was willing to do to help the poor fella. The companion folks got screwed over a couple of times (no bus, lack of organization etc...). Massive line ups for getting the bikes in the morning (worries that mechanics screwed things up... heck, my back tire wasn't put on correctly for the love of biking!).
    ii) info/help/instructions: what help! Instructions were pretty vague for the most part. Make sure you read the book. If anything happens, the first phrase you will here is - "didn't you read the book!". Not as organized as last year. Last year had some key organizers that seemed to smooth things out just perfectly!

    iii) pre-race: The early morning Madonna music has to go! Variety is the spice of life for music... we must have heard the same stuff over and over again about 4 fold. Bike line ups to get your ride out of the cage was crazy. Don't bother looking for a toilet, they are full. Up at 3am every day then shuttle to the start line by 4:50 or so. Most of the time the race starts at 6:30. The first day started at 5:30 in pitch dark. Warm mornings for the most part. No need for extra clothing, but the 2 days it did rain, many brought jackets to avoid the down pour.

    iv) post-race: I heard people who didn't purchase the mechanic service were SOL the first day and had to wash their ride with what ever rags they had. No water was available. I'm unsure if I would get the mechanic service again. My ride was more messed up than when it went in (last day I only had 3 gears in the rear). Meals were thin, so bring some dough for extra eats! bring a towel for the cold shower. Bring extra cloths for changing. And, don't put your cloths that you need to race with on the truck in the morning! Pack light! Stuff is a pain in the azz carting it around from change station to the shuttle.

    Stain on the Brain Stuff:
    The amazing views left a stain on the brain and memories outside of the race definitely left a stain on the brain. Oppps, Timmy D and his shtty experience left a stain on my brain as well. That had to be the first time I ever encountered someone having to take a sht in the wide open during a race. Funny it was, not so much for him I take it. Now I have the shts (I must have eaten something bad on my last day downtown).
    Amazing descents in spots (especially the paved stuff... I was descending with one of the SSrs and having a hell of a good time just bombing it!).
    Kids cheering us on.
    Little villages of random nature.
    Jungle and streams that cooled the soul.
    beast of climbs that leaves bad dreams in my head.

    Getting there and back:
    ~ airline there was good (used delta). No charge for the bike box.
    ~ airline back was a mess (used delta). No charge for the bike box, but one of my bags went missing then showed up at the final destination. 6 hour stop over.
    Overall, not bad.

    things I brought (for the ride):
    ~ extra bike parts - brought extra set of shifters and brakes (XT integrated), brake pads are a must! chain, seat clamp, chain links, oil (lots! bring it with you each day!), shock, crank set, pedals, BB.
    ~ gels and such.
    ~ day 1, brought a crappy pair of shorts and shirt (day 1 eats stuff), then shorts and shirt for each day. Good luck getting to the laundry facility - it is packed!
    ~ bring jacket for the Irazu volcano day - it gets cold. And, if it rains the other days, it can get cold at times.
    ~ hydration pack was very useful the last day. Everyone runs out of water the last day.

    Costs:
    race cost approx 1000USD with companion add 1100USD.
    brought 400USD each for food for the week. Ate full sized meals at 15000 colons per night. That buys a reasonable meal (equals 30USD approx). Conversion is 515 colons to 1 USD. Bottle of pop is about 500 colons. Stayed in Jaco for about 85USD a night. Got there 4 days prior. Could go much much cheaper if looked around. Transportation was 22USD from San Jose to Jaco through Grey line.
    Total cost: about 4800 (with airfare and odds& ends along the way). Not cheap at all.

    Costa Rica as a whole:
    During my flight into Atlanta, I was looking at all the concrete and patterns below. Then I thought back to Costa Rica - its pure randomness. Pure chaos for the most part. Pure capitalism. I realize most of the forests are second or third growth, but the beauty there is second to none.
    We in the Americas call Costa Rica a developing country. I kinda question why we term it that. For the most part, they are self sustainable (except for San Jose, its just a mess... built around the automobile and a mess of confusion f-iness). Its a random contraption of beauty for the most part. Sure, there are houses falling apart and garbage every place. But, for the most part its randomness. No stuck together patterns of human appeal.
    On the way home (at 9am in the morning), we chatted with someone from Montanan that was developing land there. The fella could barely put his drinks down to get a word in, but his plans were to cut down most of the jungle around his area and put up a nice big shack. He mentioned that land is increasing 25% per year. Ouch! Gotta get in there quick before the money is all gone I guess. I kinda feel sorry for the next generation of kids that may/may not be able to afford the increase in lifestyle.
    I kind of find Costa Rica unique with its feeble little shacks. They can't be in as much debt as most of our developed nations (?). Heck, yah loose your job there yah head off to the Atlantic or Pacific and take up surf boarding.
    I found my paradise near the Atlantic. All these little shacks along the Atlantic were looking pretty good. Very tempting next time to inhabit one of these forever...
    Heck, we met one fella who left for vacation to Costa Rica and never returned!
    Love it for the most part.

    As for My view on it all:
    Now that it is snowing here, I miss it deeply. The warm weather was just the best!
    Don't need much of an infrastructure down there. Just a pair of shorts and sandals will do (unlike up here - I need a house, some warm cloths, etc...). I kinda wish I got lost forever down there.
    The race created a swearing festival for the most part and my companion put up with a lot of chit. The early mornings were a pain in the butt, but the views during the race were incredible! I'm glad I looked over my shoulder ever so often to admire the views! Remarkable. If not for the race then for at least going across Costa Rica. Remarkable country it is. As I mentioned above, its a beautiful country its just kinda f-d. The views are incredible. But, things are kinda screwy. They talk about environmental sustainability, yet every single car spits out this black crap out the back end of it. No real infrastructure to enforce sustainability there I don't think. Many of the rivers are polluted and will take years to clean up. Many of the original forests have been cut down. Heck, I nearly fell in a sewer hole downtown (no regulations for the most part, its all for one...) and people just take a pee where they please downtown... I guess people are the same every place we go. Mindya, I felt pretty safe downtown (unlike a big city like Toronto for example...). It just takes some getting use to.

    Most amazing place had to be the east coast though. Seeing the Atlantic was just amazing. But, the west coast was amazing as well. Take your bike and venture out a couple of days prior you'll see what I mean.

    Will I do the race again? Well, I kind of ask - why do people do S&M?
    La Ruta is kind of like that. Its painful at times (heat, hills and mud). But, it also leaves that reward sensation on the brain. I've probably done it 3 times now because the reward stains are greater than the pain stains on the brain. Who knows. But, I'll probably do it again even though I was cursing it over and over again. Swearing at it every morning.... I guess its a true test of the survival machine or something. Its a hate now love later sort of thing as the bad stains slowly get filtered out of the grey matter over the next couple of weeks.

    It truly leaves a stain on the brain that will last a long long time. And, mud on my ride for a long long time.

    Till next year, probably. Enjoy.
    Last edited by jac02000; 11-21-2007 at 04:59 PM.

  46. #46
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    thank God for the light bike!

    Yeah, it was fun making up some ground on the hike up, helps that the bike was light! Seems to me you kicked my arse the final two days...it was fun trying to catch you, though. Vicious cycles right? Now if only I could get sponsored...

    Aloha

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by jac02000
    Costa Rica as a whole:
    During my flight into Atlanta, I was looking at all the concrete and patterns below. Then I thought back to Costa Rica - its pure randomness. Pure chaos for the most part. Pure capitalism. I realize most of the forests are second or third growth, but the beauty there is second to none.
    We in the Americas call Costa Rica a developing country. I kinda question why we term it that. For the most part, they are self sustainable (except for San Jose, its just a mess... built around the automobile and a mess of confusion f-iness). Its a random contraption of beauty for the most part. Sure, there are houses falling apart and garbage every place. But, for the most part its randomness. No stuck together patterns of human appeal.
    On the way home (at 9am in the morning), we chatted with someone from Montanan that was developing land there. The fella could barely put his drinks down to get a word in, but his plans were to cut down most of the jungle around his area and put up a nice big shack. He mentioned that land is increasing 25% per year. Ouch! Gotta get in there quick before the money is all gone I guess. I kinda feel sorry for the next generation of kids that may/may not be able to afford the increase in lifestyle.
    I kind of find Costa Rica unique with its feeble little shacks. They can't be in as much debt as most of our developed nations (?). Heck, yah loose your job there yah head off to the Atlantic or Pacific and take up surf boarding.
    I found my paradise near the Atlantic. All these little shacks along the Atlantic were looking pretty good. Very tempting next time to inhabit one of these forever...
    Heck, we met one fella who left for vacation to Costa Rica and never returned!
    Love it for the most part.

    As for My view on it all:
    Now that it is snowing here, I miss it deeply. The warm weather was just the best!
    Don't need much of an infrastructure down there. Just a pair of shorts and sandals will do (unlike up here - I need a house, some warm cloths, etc...). I kinda wish I got lost forever down there.
    The race created a swearing festival for the most part and my companion put up with a lot of chit. The early mornings were a pain in the butt, but the views during the race were incredible! I'm glad I looked over my shoulder ever so often to admire the views! Remarkable. If not for the race then for at least going across Costa Rica. Remarkable country it is. As I mentioned above, its a beautiful country its just kinda f-d. The views are incredible. But, things are kinda screwy. They talk about environmental sustainability, yet every single car spits out this black crap out the back end of it. No real infrastructure to enforce sustainability there I don't think. Many of the rivers are polluted and will take years to clean up. Many of the original forests have been cut down. Heck, I nearly fell in a sewer hole downtown (no regulations for the most part, its all for one...) and people just take a pee where they please downtown... I guess people are the same every place we go. Mindya, I felt pretty safe downtown (unlike a big city like Toronto for example...). It just takes some getting use to.

    Most amazing place had to be the east coast though. Seeing the Atlantic was just amazing. But, the west coast was amazing as well. Take your bike and venture out a couple of days prior you'll see what I mean.

    Will I do the race again? Well, I kind of ask - why do people do S&M?
    La Ruta is kind of like that. Its painful at times (heat, hills and mud). But, it also leaves that reward sensation on the brain. I've probably done it 3 times now because the reward stains are greater than the pain stains on the brain. Who knows. But, I'll probably do it again even though I was cursing it over and over again. Swearing at it every morning.... I guess its a true test of the survival machine or something. Its a hate now love later sort of thing as the bad stains slowly get filtered out of the grey matter over the next couple of weeks.

    It truly leaves a stain on the brain that will last a long long time. And, mud on my ride for a long long time.

    Till next year, probably. Enjoy.
    I couldn't have said it any better. Your thoughts coincide with exactly what I was thinking as I was driving home from work today. I only spent a week in Costa Rica and got to spend my non-race days with some locals deeply immersed in their culture. Yes, the country is not as developed as the 'States but I kind of like that. I told someone today at work that I could live down there for six months, or more. He voiced his concerns about medical, etc...and I just shrugged it off. I think it is a beautiful country and that beauty surpasses everything.



    Pinapple Bob, Yes.. Vicious Cycles. Carl is soliciting for riders. Shoot 'em an email if you like. I only caught up to you on day three because of your crash. Hope you're doing alright from that. Day four I felt unstoppable (even without eating breakfast and almost vomitting at the start line)... that is until halfway through the flat section and my legs could only spin at ridiculous cadences for short durations. I made up ground on the railroad tracks though. They seemed to destroy everyone and make me stronger. Must have been the 29inch wheels

  48. #48
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    Gracias

    Thanks Doug

    Maybe you can put in a good word for me as well I'll check out the site and drop him a line.

    Ciao

  49. #49
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    You don't have to be having fun to have fun. Looks fun to me.



    I thought of that while riding my bicycle. ~ Albert Einstein on the theory of relativity

  50. #50
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    Too bad...

    Quote Originally Posted by motoadve
    Yes organizer is making good money, but good for him, he had the idea worked for it and its a famous race now.
    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach
    the race is more about perseverance and surviving the conditions better than your competitors than it is about mountain biking on sweet trails.

    The way I see it: he's providing you guys with a service, something you pay for. This race is an expensive endeavor, not just the entry fee, but also the training involved and all the "extras"... from what I'm reading here and in the official web site, the organizer is not meeting his claims and promises. That's called fraud.

    3 years ago, when I was first learning about MTB I found out about this race as well. Ever since, it's been a wish of mine to participate and complete La Ruta. I thought maybe 3 years would be enough time to condition myself to be ready for it, but every year since, it seems that the race gets worse and worse. There are plenty of other endurance events, much better organized.

    I would really love for this event to shape up and become the toughest MTB race in the world (as they claim it is), but not because of kerosene washed bikes, stolen bags, broken down buses and un-rideable trails. If you can't ride up a hill, let it be because you didn't trained hard enough, not because it's a knee deep mudslide.
    semper ad excelsum

  51. #51
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    Finally finished writing my stories about La Ruta.

    Here's the table of contents to each day's recap:
    http://agilefahrrad.blogspot.com/200...-contents.html

  52. #52
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    edit: redundant post. Sorry.

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbnewguy
    The way I see it: he's providing you guys with a service, something you pay for. This race is an expensive endeavor, not just the entry fee, but also the training involved and all the "extras"... from what I'm reading here and in the official web site, the organizer is not meeting his claims and promises. That's called fraud.
    I disagree. I was very satisified with the event and I thought it very well orgainzied. The only thing I might like to see improved is the bike checkout in the morning. You are participating in an event in a developing country. There are going to be problems. I went in expecting that, if you don't you are going to get very pissed off. If I wanted to be able to climb everything and ride sweet single track I could have stayed home. I went down for the total experience, which includes crazy mud, broken down busses, sticky tar on the road while going up the hardest climb. The water and kersone was odd but it didn't mess my bike up. I need to regrease the bottom bracket but I was probably going to do that anyway. It's what makes it fun, at least for me. I have so many crazy stories as a result. I feel like I got money's worth.

  54. #54
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    Me too

    I agree with Kevin - for a developing country to construct a race that goes from coast to coast is a monumental undertaking to say the least! The fact that there were only a "few" kinks in the 4+ days of racing/transporting/feeding/sleeping/etc. is a tribute to the hard work of the organizers and volunteers.

    The course was challenging. It's definitely not a x-country MTB race. What it turned out to be was an adventure. You never knew what was around the next corner - that's what most of us (I believe) signed up for. So there were some glitches - the guy who lost his bag was able to borrow equipment from fellow racers and I think they found his bag later. The bike wash - well, maybe not eco or bike friendly, but it was great not to have to deal with washing your own bike after a grueling day on the course.

    Worth the time, effort and money.

  55. #55
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    really depends

    to me, it all depends...

    Three years ago La Ruta was just a mess of disorganization. The first night was a total mess. Many of us arrived burnt to hell from long plane rides in (a couple of weeks prior my mother passed away and I just went through a nasty seperation a month prior along with work committments etc.... so, I was expecting an organized event... I hoped. But got total disorganization). Many had to bunk 4-6 people to a small room. Some slept in the lobby of the hotel. The hotel over booked the rooms and it was just a disaster.
    Then came the mess of getting late to the start line ups etc...
    I really hated the disorganization of it all 3 years ago.

    Last year was just fantastic! The weather was the best. The whole thing was very well run. Heck, we even had a historic interpreter for the ride to Jaco from San Jose. Little things made all the difference. Very well organized. I heard the companions just loved every minute of it as well!

    This year was a bit of a mess. They had the bar code scanners going (new). That added more line ups. It was wet 2 of the 4 days. So, things were messy, but times were faster overall. Things were still fairly organized this year, but not as near perfect as last year. Last year formed the baseline pretty much that other LRs may be measured against.

    I guess it all depends on your total overall expectations, what other life events you have going on outside the race (they all add up), and the weather counts somewhat as well. But, damn... I miss that hot hot Costa Rican weather!!! Snow sucks.

    How I weigh the scales of choice vs pain:
    ~sitting on an all inclusive for about 2000USD. Not for me. I'd sooner sit in a sun tan room for a week doing nothing.
    ~sitting on a boat cruise stuck on a ship for about 2000USD for a week. Not for me. I'd sooner sit in a jail cell or the like for a week.
    ~biking around some foreign land for a week for about 1000USD. Now you're talking! Lets do it!~
    ~ biking around some foreign land and racing for about 2000USD (flight and costs). Do it up hun!!!! Can't get any better than this.

    point being: LR hurts like hell sometimes, but the experience is second to none. Great views. Some good biking for the most part. Heck, yah get to touch two ocean bodies in 4 days and traverse some amazing climates (9 of them) while getting the sht kicked out of yah climbing over 30000ft. No human came out un scratched.

    till next year most likely.

    (btw: I think most of the money made is reinvested. I heard Roman sends a lot of the local athletes to other races such as transrockies, BC bike race etc... so, its all good... I can't see people making millions off it all.... maybe the governments after the tax grab though.)
    Last edited by jac02000; 11-28-2007 at 12:55 PM.

  56. #56
    sock puppet
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    wow...

    then you just DONT RACE la ruta, and you will live happily for years to come... obviously, you can not even grow to appreciate what la ruta is and has been... it is what it is and there lays it's beauty... IT IS the toughest MTB race on earth, but if you dont like things that you listed - then it is not FOR YOU...

    it is a different civilisation, and i assure you, it is not going to change JUST FOR YOU...

    i'll go back again... and again...



    Quote Originally Posted by mtbnewguy
    The way I see it: he's providing you guys with a service, something you pay for. This race is an expensive endeavor, not just the entry fee, but also the training involved and all the "extras"... from what I'm reading here and in the official web site, the organizer is not meeting his claims and promises. That's called fraud.

    3 years ago, when I was first learning about MTB I found out about this race as well. Ever since, it's been a wish of mine to participate and complete La Ruta. I thought maybe 3 years would be enough time to condition myself to be ready for it, but every year since, it seems that the race gets worse and worse. There are plenty of other endurance events, much better organized.

    I would really love for this event to shape up and become the toughest MTB race in the world (as they claim it is), but not because of kerosene washed bikes, stolen bags, broken down buses and un-rideable trails. If you can't ride up a hill, let it be because you didn't trained hard enough, not because it's a knee deep mudslide.

  57. #57
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    No good are you a sore tico?

    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo
    then you just DONT RACE la ruta,
    I won't.

    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo
    and you will live happily for years to come...
    That's for sure.

    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo
    obviously, you can not even grow to appreciate what la ruta is and has been... it is what it is and there lays it's beauty...
    A rip-off?

    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo
    IT IS the toughest MTB race on earth,
    You mean the thoughest hike-a-bike mud-fest on earth.

    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo
    it is a different civilisation, and i assure you, it is not going to change JUST FOR YOU...
    Fine, be that way!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo
    i'll go back again... and again...
    knock yourself out. Literally.

    And merry xmas to you too.
    semper ad excelsum

  58. #58
    sock puppet
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    what are you talking about?

    sore tico?????

    a simple look at my profile will tell you that i am from canada... sore? what makes you think my post implied that i was sore?

    just stating facts for you my friend... it sure would be nice to have a race with only perfect, clean, dry and hardpacked singletrack, with birds singing along the way, that you can bomb along without much effort and arrive to 5 star Marriot at the end, with a gorgeous blonde in bikini taking the bike off of you for a dust off, and you heading for a massage done by Angelina Jolie... hey, sign me up...

    most of us knew what we were going to get at laruta... the official website WARNS potential participants that this is not the race for ordinary weekend warriors, although even as such, if one puts his/her mind to it, it is doable... it is not just a race - as the same site implies, it is a personal growth journey - and you just have to do it in order to realize what that means...

    costarica, as small and as "developing" as it is - is more cyclist friendly than G7 Canada, and has a big heart for everyone... it has the terrain for this epic race and a will of few people to make it happen... all the imperfections made it even more unforgettable - because WE MADE IT - despite everything that the nature could offer us on the top of our human imperfections and unpreparedness... no one can prepare for this race - you can only do your best and take it from there...

    after laruta, i have totaly changed my perception of mud.. i dont feel the urge to go around it any more, on my post laruta rides...

    so if cleaning handful of mud from your arse after the race is not your piece of cake - that is totally fine, but to call this race a rip off - without even setting your bike rubber on the course, is to say at least - unfair...

    if you want your ordinary weekend warrior race - you can always sign for Transrockies, or Transalps or Cape Epic... but beware: you WILL have to push the pedals even there... there is no totally (fat) free breakfast anywhere...



    merry christmas... dont take my comments personally...


    Quote Originally Posted by mtbnewguy
    I won't.



    That's for sure.



    A rip-off?



    You mean the thoughest hike-a-bike mud-fest on earth.



    Fine, be that way!!!



    knock yourself out. Literally.

    And merry xmas to you too.

  59. #59
    is buachail foighneach me
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    toughest mtb race on earth? i dunno. something tells me the 1100 mile iditabike, or the 2500 mile great divide race would be tougher. especially considering you carry all your gear with you and camp out on your own....

    i will be back to la ruta though, at least once. and no, it is not a ripoff.

  60. #60
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    I will be there next year and more than likely a belt drive SPOT SS.

  61. #61
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    Location

    Hi Sean,

    I thought you're from Ireland. At least that what you told me at one of the La Ruta stages.
    So which one is it, United States or Ireland?

    Quote Originally Posted by sean salach
    my full report with photos is now on my blog
    \/
    \/
    \/

  62. #62
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    Hey sokolo where is that place with hot blonde looking after your bike??

    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo
    sore tico?????

    a simple look at my profile will tell you that i am from canada... sore? what makes you think my post implied that i was sore?

    just stating facts for you my friend... it sure would be nice to have a race with only perfect, clean, dry and hardpacked singletrack, with birds singing along the way, that you can bomb along without much effort and arrive to 5 star Marriot at the end, with a gorgeous blonde in bikini taking the bike off of you for a dust off, and you heading for a massage done by Angelina Jolie... hey, sign me up...

    most of us knew what we were going to get at laruta... the official website WARNS potential participants that this is not the race for ordinary weekend warriors, although even as such, if one puts his/her mind to it, it is doable... it is not just a race - as the same site implies, it is a personal growth journey - and you just have to do it in order to realize what that means...

    costarica, as small and as "developing" as it is - is more cyclist friendly than G7 Canada, and has a big heart for everyone... it has the terrain for this epic race and a will of few people to make it happen... all the imperfections made it even more unforgettable - because WE MADE IT - despite everything that the nature could offer us on the top of our human imperfections and unpreparedness... no one can prepare for this race - you can only do your best and take it from there...

    after laruta, i have totaly changed my perception of mud.. i dont feel the urge to go around it any more, on my post laruta rides...

    so if cleaning handful of mud from your arse after the race is not your piece of cake - that is totally fine, but to call this race a rip off - without even setting your bike rubber on the course, is to say at least - unfair...

    if you want your ordinary weekend warrior race - you can always sign for Transrockies, or Transalps or Cape Epic... but beware: you WILL have to push the pedals even there... there is no totally (fat) free breakfast anywhere...



    merry christmas... dont take my comments personally...

  63. #63
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    The question is - now that the bad stains on the brain have dissipated somewhat and the good ones still etched in the grey matter, will yah be going again next year?

    I probably will. We have so much snow this year I'm missing Costa Rica just about now. Kinda wish I was down there with my ride, a pair of shorts, some sandals, and a small hut with some coconut trees around me...

    something like Heart Akerson's space
    http://www.cyclingnews.com/mtbphotos...a074/4_DSC2852

    cool! (this fella has, I think, 4 or 5 sons... they all race it! Was riding with one of them most of the race. This was Heart's 10th time at La Ruta!!! ).
    Costa Rica or bust! I have my sign made up!

  64. #64
    is buachail foighneach me
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    Quote Originally Posted by fast_biker
    Hi Sean,

    I thought you're from Ireland. At least that what you told me at one of the La Ruta stages.
    So which one is it, United States or Ireland?

    i did? i would never say that sober. i was born and raised in new jersey. i visited ireland for the first time in my life earlier this year. you sure i didn't just mention that i speak irish?

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