Am I getting soft?
So, being in NorCal and all excited about racing this Enduro stuff I've registered for the events as they've come on line.
Except for Peavine. Did that one last year and was blown away by the heat and type of trail being raced on.
I've got my gripes about N* and the crap they pull don Stage 2 last year too. (But in hindsight I talked myself in to shelving the gun and going on a rampage by reminding myself that everyone else had to endure that stage too. So that's fair. Sort of.)
Really excited about Ashland this year too, having never been there this is a great reason to go.
So here's my deal. I feel my technical skills are very up to snuff. But fitness just aint there. I suffered like a dog in all the hot climbing at Peavine last year. After practicing the day before, I was so shot after the climb to start Stage 3 that Stage 4 just about killed me. It was all I could do to NOT walk on that uphill section in the middle of it.
Now this year looking at the Mendo race. They released the elevation profile for the two days. Man, wind out of my sails. I'll be lucky to finish, let alone 'race' it.
Day 1 25miles, 4400' climbing.
Day 2 29miles, 4900' climbing.
Is it just me, but how many beginners are going to have fun with this? How many Sports will enjoy themselves? Sure the Expert and Pro's will have no problem.
So, truthfully, am I just being a whiney old man in wanting something a bit less 'extreme' and more 'fun'?
Maybe this is the writing on the wall that I shouldn't be racing. But it's a great excuse to get together with my buddies and have a weekend together 'racing bikes' and telling stories.
Anyone else in the same boat as me?
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I like the difficulty, whether it is skill difficulty or fitness difficulty. I think as a beginner or sport it gives you something to grow in to. Think about it if you were a Beginner but with an XC background the shoe would be on the other foot. I think its probably too late to build your base fitness up enough for the June race but the others are still a few months away!
What boosted up my fitness (and regeneration) were:
3)Riding 10 min as hard as i can and then doing some pause untill i coudl talk normaly.
4)Riding as much as i can while pedaling in standing position.
Riding got more fun after that.At start i was also huffing like a dog (and my asthma isn't helping) but i quickly noticed that i got better and any race got more fun.
I do agree that some races are getting out of control. I don't have issues with 2.5-3K of vertical per day in a multi day Enduro, but anything over that is going to exclude most amateurs that are not national level racers.
It appears that all of the events are trying to out do each other. The Crested Butte EWS round seems to be the worst offender of this. The stats are just stupid, Day 1 5600' of CLIMBING, Day 2 8200' of CLIMBING, Day 3 2600' of CLIMBING. Overall more than 16,000' of climbing over 3 days and all of it is guaranteed to be over 9K of elevation as a starting point topping out at 12.5K. I have an entry for the event, but have no interest in this sufferfest and my prediction is that less than 50% of the racers will finish.
Is it crazy to think that EWS races should be too hard for sport riders?
Originally Posted by Salespunk
I mean, these are races that are supposed to feature, and challenge, the best riders in the world. Should/Could they have shorter courses and the accompanying separate results for sport and beginner? Maybe, but if you want to compete with the pros, you should be at their level.
Should we be making it (too) easy for the Pros just so everyone else can play too?
There is still a limit. I am the last person to think that everyone should get a trophy but Saturday alone is more climbing than they do on all but the toughest stages on the Tour de France and they are on the road. Add to that the elevation. The Tour does not start above 9K or even get close to 12.5K in elevation. Should Enduro have more challenging climbs than the toughest road races? Local races with 3K of climbing? Sure. EWS with 5K at normal elevations. Game on. 9K of elevation as a starting point changes everything. I raced EWS in Colorado and Mammoth last year and the elevation is a killer. I can't imagine have to ride from the base of Mammoth to the top for every stage which is what they are saying will be a requirement. Unless they are doing shuttles it is going to be a race of pure survival.
Originally Posted by richde
That is not what Enduro is about. The great thing about the sport and the EWS specifically is the inclusion of amateurs. The pros were complaining about Whistler last year and that was 6700' of vert with lift assist. It also was not close to the same elevation as a starting point.
Sorry, but the EWS doesn't have tougher climbs than the Tour.
That's absolutely laughable.
No one is RACING up the climbs; it's the effort, not the climb itself. If I ride at 90% HMR for a 40km TT in the cornfields of the Midwest, guess what? That's the same as riding at 90% at 11,000ft. Power will be lower in the latter, but my body doesn't know the difference.
If your riding doesn't require you to regularly push yourself for long periods of time, that's your fault, not that of a race organizer.
One of the organizers of the California Enduro Series just called out "pro" EWS racers in an article on PB today:
Erik: Personally, I love that there is a movement to make the racing harder on all fronts. The fact that the Whistler EWS was apparently a major soul-crusher gets me excited about the future of the sport and the evolution of the athletes. At the top level, the sport is best served by a greater difficulty level. The idea that there can be pro enduro riders who donít need to achieve a world class level of fitness and endurance is bothersome to me. I would love to see our athletes recognized alongside of and respected with the same awe as triathletes. My non-cycling friends are so impressed and amazed by anyone who is an "Ironman"óitís impressive how they have been able to build that respect among the public. But like I said earlier, I am not involved at the top level, and itís up to the EWS to decide how they want to position themselves.
Interview: Steve and Erik from California Enduro Series - Pinkbike
I'm pretty much with le duke on this one. I think racing should be a challenge for avid, hard core cyclists. beginners and less fit/skilled amateurs should race in lower-level events that are more suited for their experience level. it won't be long before you need points to qualify for EWS races, and I'm fine with that, even though it means I probably won't get to race one for awhile. if you want to race with the big dogs you need to up your game. I don't think expecting top level racers to climb 5000vert per day, even at elevation, is anything unreasonable.
whoops, posted before I had completed my thought. anyway I was going to add that enduro seems to have a split personality or identity crisis, ranging from "what I do with my buddies on a casual weekend ride" all the way to elite racing at a World Cup level. the biggest problem/disappointment, at least here in California, is the scarcity of events. it would be great to see more local races along with larger "destination" races, with some courses suitable for beginners and challenging for experts/pros, but for now we have to take what we can get. which often means driving alot for short, nontechnical courses. but hopefully that's changing...
My memory is probably a little fuzzy, but I seem to remember the pros at Whistler saying that it was challenging, but it was the non-pros that were doing the real complaining about not being able to meet the transition times.
Just have additional stages for the pros, it's as simple as that. Most of us aren't pros, and we shouldn't pretend that we are by trying to race against them. Having the advantage of local knowledge doesn't change the fact that the pros are on a completely different level from most riders.
Sorry about the complete hijack, OP.
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