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  1. #1
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    Bear Creek Challenge- PA States/ local races

    Hello,

    I will be in PA during this event and wondering what the course is like? Would a 29er hard tail cut it or better off with my 26er FS? I'm a Cat1, 50+, riding the 21 mile course. Any info about elevation gains, type of dirt, muddy, rocky, rooty etc would be helpful.

    Also, any local races going on during the week from 08/3 thru 08/13 would be good to know about. I'll be near Sayre, PA(near Ithaca, NY) and State College area as well as Bear Creek.

    Thanks in advance!

    Steve

  2. #2
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    I'm sure others will chip in and say the hardtail is fine, or long live the rigid single-speed, but I'd definitely go geard full suspension. Why...well Bear Creek is ROCKS. Rocks, when climbing, Rocks when decending, rocks, rocks, rocks. Not many roots or mud. I'm sure there is a gps out there showing the =/- elevation. Actually go to gps bike maps and there is a Bear Creek map of the previous race on it to give ya an idea. Watch tire pressure! Pinch flats on da baby heads or boulders ya got navigate up, over, and thru.

    Check Bike Reg and search the Northeast races and see what else might be up.

    BW
    Live to ride, ride to live

  3. #3
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    It's rocky. There are a few newer sections with off camber roots but by and large there are rocks. You'll want the full suspension bike. I ride a rigid bike 99% of the time but I pull the fox off the wall for Bear Creek races.

    As for elevation, it's basically up one side of the ski slope and down the other with a couple other shorter climbs mixed into the bottom. There mountain is only ~500' tall. I think you can expect upwards of 1000' per lap.

    This is the course for the MASS series: GPS Bike Maps

  4. #4
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    I just did the Xterra event there this past weekend and the bike course was tough. I was on a 26" hardtail and I took a beating. If I owned anything full suspension I would of used it. Rocky, technical, roots on some portions. All the trails in the woods have pretty thick cover overhead so it got slick from the rain a couple days before the race and the traffic from the race.

    I got a nice sidewall slice on my rear tire and my tube was pushing through, somehow didn't flat. I was running schwalbe nobby nics f&r. Something with sidewall protection would be beneficial.

    If you are able to take both bikes with you and maybe pre-ride some trails it would definitely benefit you.

    Here is a link to our course info, maybe it will help you? Good Luck!
    XTERRA Dirty Grizzly

  5. #5
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    Oh my, definitely the full squish bike. I ride there often, and I'm far from one to recommend a full suspension where it isn't needed, but at Bear Creek, especially for a race, you're far better off with it.

  6. #6
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    Wow, thanks for the great replies! Sounds like a tough course.

    I'm coming from Vail, Colorado and was planning on bringing one of my own bikes. Sounds like the
    fs 26er it is. It's a 2007 Giant Anthem. My regular race bike is a Scott Scale Carbon but can be a rough ride on rough trails.

    Another option I considered was renting a high end bike in PA/ NY instead of bringing one. I'll be near Ithaca, NY/ Sayre, PA and traveling to Bear Creek the weekend of the race. Does anyone know of a bike shop that has high end bikes to rent?

    Just a thought. Thanks in advance!

    Steve

  7. #7
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    you should check in the ny forum or on cycle-cny.com for the ithaca hook up and try cutters bike shop and saucon valley bikes in pa for demos/rentals
    without hops the world stops

  8. #8
    West Chester, PA
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    The whole area to the right of the lifts is obnoxious fields of rocks. Its not that theres any extremely difficult spots, its just really hard to ride fast. Pray for dry conditions and don't even try to run tubes.

  9. #9
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    I've raced at Bear Creek a few times and as the others have mentioned, it is rocky and technical . In '08 and '09 I used a C'dale Prophet. In '10, I used an alloy Flash 29. My '10 race time was faster on the 29 HT than the 26 FS the previous year. Didn't race last year. Planning to use a carbon Flash this Sunday for the MASS finals and tubeless is recommended.

    Good luck,
    JD
    Last edited by jdinsj; 08-01-2012 at 07:52 AM.
    2012 Cannondale Flash Carbon 29er 3
    2009 GT Peace 9R SS
    2008 Cannondale Prophet 4, Lefty Max TPC

  10. #10
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    Did you race?? What'd you think of the course?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BShow View Post
    Did you race?? What'd you think of the course?
    If this was for the OP, my bad.

    No, I ended up being a spectator. Slammed my ribs at the Marsh Creek night race, but managed to finish. Took an easy ride on Thursday night. Seemed to make the pain worse, so pulled the plug on plans for racing.

    How 'bout you? I saw you on course at the first big rock garden.
    2012 Cannondale Flash Carbon 29er 3
    2009 GT Peace 9R SS
    2008 Cannondale Prophet 4, Lefty Max TPC

  12. #12
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    My son podiumed (tied for 3rd out of 4 entrants, ha ha) in the StriderCross race held after the big boy and big girl MASS race.


  13. #13
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    Rattling Creek 50 is this coming Saturday if anyone is interested. They'll be doing a 25 mile loop(non points) and a 50 mile loop for points events. Not sure of which organization is running it. FS or HT will work. Combo single track and fire roads. Some decent rock gardens to mix it up, but some fast single tracks as well. Located in Lykens, about an hour north of Harrisburg.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdinsj View Post
    How 'bout you? I saw you on course at the first big rock garden.
    I felt pretty good out there. I really like racing at Bear Creek and the course suits me well. This year I hadn't raced at all (other than one lap at French Creek) and had no expectations... I just wanted to have fun. I was happy with my finish just outside of the top ten.

    Sorry to hear about your crash at MC... Heal up quick.

  15. #15
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    Looks like its gonna be wet.

  16. #16
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    Incorrect info

    Brought the Giant Anthem 26er.
    Last edited by Cal44; 08-11-2012 at 06:21 PM. Reason: Incorrect info

  17. #17
    new but eager :-)
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    Good luck Cal44! What's your cat and race number? I'll try to cheer you on, it can be hard being an out-of-stater :-D

    Sent from my A500 using Tapatalk 2

  18. #18
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    Any idea where results will be (have been?) posted online?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldManBike View Post
    Any idea where results will be (have been?) posted online?
    Mid Atlantic Timing

  20. #20
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    Thanks. That's XC, results, short track is here. I don't see Super D, though.

    EDIT: Super D results now up on the Bear Creek site, here.

    Plus there are lots of photos up on the Bear Creek facebook page.
    Last edited by OldManBike; 08-14-2012 at 01:10 PM.

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