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  1. #1
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    Swank 65 compared to the ORAMM?

    This is a stupid question, but how does the Swank 65 compare to the ORAMM. I know the Swank is shorter but is it just as technically challenging? I'd like to do it, if only for the fact that it's named after some of my favorite reading material... How was the weather last year? Pisgah can get b*ll-numbingly cold in November...

  2. #2
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    Do you have any other info on the specifics of the course? Just this morning some friends asked me if I knew the course and I said "no, but I hope it doesn't have Farlow Gap in it".

    I agree...early Nov in the south...both cold and warm is a good bet.40 degree temp swing morning to afternoon is common.

  3. #3
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    KP- the rumored route for this year will be shorter than ORAMM, but will include the exceedingly tech descents on Farlow/Daniel. There's just nowhere near as much climbing or mileage , even with the big climb up to Farlow and the additional trail . Look at it this way...
    Last year, on a slighty easier course than rumored for this year, Sam Koerber won the Swank in 2:53. Sam came in 4th in the ORAMM in 5:30. Even adding an hour to the Swank time with rumored changes, which is probably way too much, it would almost 1:37 minutes faster than the ORAMM finishing time...and in race time, 1:37 is A LOT. For a more average mortal comparison- it took me 4:07 to do the Swank last year with a plate and seven bolts in my shoulder, so I was proceeding cautiously. This year, in about the same shape( one month of training after last surgery in March) but no hardware, it took me 8:20 to do the ORAMM.

    Hope that helps

    Mike

  4. #4
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    Hello!!!!!
    Did someone say FARLOW?!?!?!?!
    Hmm... I had sworn this race off for awhile, BUT FARLOW!!!!!

    The Wonderboy on Farlow:
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky
    Hello!!!!!
    Did someone say FARLOW?!?!?!?!
    Hmm... I had sworn this race off for awhile, BUT FARLOW!!!!!

    The Wonderboy on Farlow:

    That pic doesn't even come close to showing the steepness of FG. As for the comparison FG aside technically they are very close. Climbing up to FG is tough but not as tough as Curtis Creek IMO.
    CC

  6. #6
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    [QUOTE=Cannon Ball]That pic doesn't even come close to showing the steepness of FG. QUOTE]

    Yeah, it is STIL. You can see that Josh is behind the saddle in the pic and hauling down on the brakes.
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  7. #7
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    [QUOTE=teamdicky]
    Quote Originally Posted by Cannon Ball
    That pic doesn't even come close to showing the steepness of FG. QUOTE]

    Yeah, it is STIL. You can see that Josh is behind the saddle in the pic and hauling down on the brakes.

    Not sure what STIL means, but my point is that one has to ride it to really see how steep it is.
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  8. #8
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    [QUOTE=Cannon Ball]
    Quote Originally Posted by teamdicky


    Not sure what STIL means, but my point is that one has to ride it to really see how steep it is.
    Steeper
    Than
    It
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  9. #9
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    Stil

    Steeper than it looks.....

  10. #10
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    Ever try riding up Farlow?


  11. #11
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    I think the attached pic is from the last time I rode up there 2003 (?). Used to have a nice shot with *rt* in it from 2000 (?). She's so tiny - it makes the STIL effect better.
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  12. #12
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    Anyone else notice that the registration and flyer say Nov. 6th., which is a Monday? I assume that's a typo and the race is Sunday. Anyone confirm?
    Last edited by Go Kart Motzart; 09-14-2006 at 07:34 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-U-M
    I think the attached pic is from the last time I rode up there 2003 (?). Used to have a nice shot with *rt* in it from 2000 (?). She's so tiny - it makes the STIL effect better.
    So uh, yeah... wheres the trail? Is it the skull-sized rocks?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenpuke
    So uh, yeah... wheres the trail? Is it the skull-sized rocks?
    I try to stay on the torso sized rocks as they are more stable. The skull sized rocks can tumble down if you bump into them and kill any riders in front of you.
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  15. #15
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    Another pic from this weekend at Farlow (there are more here: http://teamdicky.blog.com/1067651/ )

    Oh yeah, let's race down it!!!!!!!!!!!
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  16. #16
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    Someone say Farlow Gap?

    <img src="http://www.fototime.com/ftweb/bin/ft.dll/standard?pictid={C74B6841-2838-4FD2-B304-E547ABC4C372}&exp=f&moddt=38387.0165970023&ssdyn=1 ">

    <img src="http://www.fototime.com/ftweb/bin/ft.dll/standard?pictid={2A52F05C-C1A4-439E-85D6-9662837332E1}&exp=f&moddt=38387.0165881366&ssdyn=1 ">

    <img src="http://www.fototime.com/ftweb/bin/ft.dll/standard?pictid={6A4D1AEF-04CB-4087-BF9A-4AE12DB1528E}&exp=f&moddt=38387.0165790972&ssdyn=1 ">

    Looking down from the upper most section.

    <img src="http://www.fototime.com/ftweb/bin/ft.dll/standard?pictid={0F26721A-34F4-4DE6-B6DC-C2CD20C0462C}&exp=f&moddt=38387.0165597454&ssdyn=1 ">

    Looking up from the same spot.

    <img src="http://www.fototime.com/ftweb/bin/ft.dll/standard?pictid={664FEE0D-961D-4DF0-8236-88ECE1D16AFC}&exp=f&moddt=38387.0165425694&ssdyn=1 ">

  17. #17
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    so where is the link to the flyer?
    I am not a "Role Model"

  18. #18
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    Course

    is this map for this year?

    http://www.blueridgeadventures.net/s...wankCourse.jpg

    it says 2009 ...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dailyuser
    is this map for this year?

    http://www.blueridgeadventures.net/s...wankCourse.jpg

    it says 2009 ...
    same route! it says 2009 because november 2009 has'nt happened yet

  20. #20
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    ingenious - I've not raced xc before so I didn't know if they posted the route or not... looks fun

  21. #21
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    Come race the Pisgah Stage race, you'll ride Farlow one of the days, then you can decide if you want to do SWANK...STIL....

  22. #22
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    I ride Farlow about once a week - I'm definitely going to Swank

  23. #23
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    Thinking about coming over from Chattanooga and doing Swank65. Single speed? or FS geared 26er? Is there a lot of extended climbs?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg44
    Is there a lot of extended climbs?
    Yep! good guess.

  25. #25
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    If the route is the same as last year, and it looks like it is on the web site, most of the serious climbing is on gravel roads or double track. The exception is the haul up Long Branch after you turn left off of Butter Gap. The first little stretch out up the campground is a climb, but not a really steep one. The grind up to Farlow really kicked my butt last year. It took me close to an hour to go 4 miles.
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg44
    Thinking about coming over from Chattanooga and doing Swank65. Single speed? or FS geared 26er? Is there a lot of extended climbs?
    Whether 26 or 29 some will SS and some will FS w/gears. In between you can find from 1-27 speeds and from rigid to full suspension. It's a fun race and camping @ Cove Creek is free the night. There will be a nice big fire going and you can kick back and enjoy the cool night air.
    many gears, some pies

  27. #27
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    Ok...I'm on the fence now. How long and steep is the biggest climb? I actually do better through the really technical stuff on my SS 29er. Took my first ride today on FS bike since July to knock the cob webs off. I really would like to do the race on the SS. Has anyone out there done Black Bear Rampage and this race. Maybe I could get a comparison.

  28. #28
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    Just quit worrying and do it. I finished (almost last) last year and pretty much anyone who owns a bike is faster than me. There are multiple bail-out points if you choose not to finish. The course is basically 4 loops, all of which start within a few miles of the s/f area. If you are too tuckered to continue, you can always hit the campground and beer early.

    The longest climb is probably about 5 miles and steep enough to put most people in their granny gear.
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  29. #29
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    I am not worried about finishing. Just trying to decide what weapon to bring. 5 mile climb makes me think I might need some gears.

  30. #30
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    I rode this course about 3 weeks ago on my SS with a 32x19 to train for the Starge Race....gear was perfect. All of the climbing is moderate except for the 4miles or so up t Farlow......but you just alternate seated and standing and you are good to go. I wouldn't go any taller on the gearing or you will spin out to much in my opinion.

  31. #31
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    Good info mtbboy2000. 32x19 was what I was considering. Are you running that gearing on a 29er?

  32. #32
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    Sorry, yes steel 29er single speed, set up at about 24lbs, so not crazy light. You will be fine.....bring it!

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg44
    Has anyone out there done Black Bear Rampage and this race. Maybe I could get a comparison.

    The Black Bear Rampage and Swank are both great mountain bike races. Each one takes place in mountains of the South and is roughly 40miles. Otherwise, they're quite different. The Ocoee area has fast, flowy trails with very few, if any, technical sections. Swank is Pisgah, if that makes sense. Also, September and November are likely to present different riding conditions.Took me less than 3.5 hrs. to finish the BBR. I hope to finish Swank in as close to 4 hrs. as I can get despite the distances being the same. Hope that helps...
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  34. #34
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    44gnats that is exactly what I was looking for. I also finished Black Bear this year in 3:25 and realize there is nothing technical at all about Black Bear. I have never ridden in Pisgah, but I enjoy Technical stuff. In your opinion is the extended climbs at Swank going to be steeper and longer than the one long climb at Black Bear?

  35. #35
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    greg44- it's night and day.
    Seriously.
    A good example related to gears:
    At Tansai/Black Bear, I literally never have to use my granny ring.
    There several sections where I'm happy to say I'd use Granny on the current Swank course (4 mile-plus climb, steep sections of Long Branch).
    I also get off and run the steep transitions on Farlow Gap.

    My .02....I really really really wish that Blue Ridge Adventures would go back to the older and in my opinion harder course for the Swank. I haven't done the new course, but if I read the map right, it looks a lot easier.

    Mike

  36. #36
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    What was the old course? The new one seemed plenty hard to me.
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  37. #37
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    Mike Brown..Great info. I agree with analysis of Black Bear. I single speeded it this year in 3:25, last year did it on my geared bike and never got into granny gear. I think you have helped make my decision. I'm running the geared full suspension bike. I'll have to knock the cob webs off of it and go do some laps at Raccoon Mtn to get used to changing gears again. Are you racing it this year? If so What class?

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg44
    44gnats that is exactly what I was looking for. I also finished Black Bear this year in 3:25 and realize there is nothing technical at all about Black Bear. I have never ridden in Pisgah, but I enjoy Technical stuff. In your opinion is the extended climbs at Swank going to be steeper and longer than the one long climb at Black Bear?

    Greg: If you enjoy the "technical stuff," then you will love Swank (and Pisgah in general); virtually all of the course is ridable for someone reasonably skilled as it is not a double black diamond whistler kind of route, yet there are some tough moves/sections nonetheless. Sam Koerber (last year's winner) rode a hardtail 29er and undoubtedly was on his bike for all but maybe one or two spots (uphill stretches on Farlow where the trail is washed out or too steep to pedal).
    As for the "extended climbs," the most challenging is the gravel road, believe it or not, up to Farlow. Takes me about 25minutes from the intersection with another gravel road to get to the top... it's a tough grind but not terrible. The climbing in Swank is generally a good bit tougher than anything at Black Bear, in my estimation, as it is either steeper and longer (such as is the case with the f.s. road up to Farlow - 229, I think) or more technical (such as the Cove Creek climb). If you knocked out BBR in sub 3.5 hrs on a ss, then you will be fine, regardless of whether or not you run gears and/or bring the squish. Best of luck and hope to see you out there...
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeridesabike
    What was the old course? The new one seemed plenty hard to me.
    There was a thread last year that had an older route posted. That would be significantly harder for sure.

    All the way out/back to Summey Cove via 5003/140A instead of Butter/Long Branch.
    many gears, some pies

  40. #40
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    All in all a mountain bike course should always have more single track and less two track.

    I liked the course last year.
    My one says BRAP!

  41. #41
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    This thread makes me want to try one of these adventure races even though I'd be lucky to finish in an entire day.

    Do you think if I can climb to the top of Greenslick only stopping 3-4 times that I could do the Swank?

  42. #42
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    Kenny, by race day the skull sized rocks will be covered with a layer of leaves. Exciting surprises!

  43. #43
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    This is going to hurt on a rigid 29er SS. But do you guys think it will hurt significantly more then the 32 mile Snake?

  44. #44
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    The Swank is a fun race with lot's of different features. It's gonna hurt, the depth of that hurt depends on how fast you wanna go. I have done it single speed and gear, on 26er' each time. I ALWAYS enjoy this race, the terrain is steep but rewarding with enough FS road to give you plenty of time to recover/eat.

    The attitude is very relaxed/grass roots feel,

    So, if you are wondering if you should try it? I say go for it. There are several spots where you can bail with relative ease if you need to. If you ride regularly and have done the Snake, BB Rampage, ORAMM, or anything comparable, then you are set to have a good ride.

    Just come try it out, and have fun!!!

  45. #45
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    Good deal.

    I haven't ridden that area yet so I think I'll run 32x22 on the 29er, just to be safe.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by drkenan
    This thread makes me want to try one of these adventure races even though I'd be lucky to finish in an entire day.

    Do you think if I can climb to the top of Greenslick only stopping 3-4 times that I could do the Swank?


    NO!!!!

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg44
    Thinking about coming over from Chattanooga and doing Swank65. Single speed? or FS geared 26er? Is there a lot of extended climbs?
    Lot's of extended climbs, lots of extended technical descents, a fair amount of dirt road climbing. I'd bring the FS geared bike if you've never ridden the course. You'll have more fun.
    My one says BRAP!

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