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  1. #1
    VENI VEDI BIKI
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    1st SS endurance race

    I am doing my second endurance race this weekend--1st of the year, and 1st on singlespeed. Have not raced the SS before. I dont know if I am "in shape" enough yet, but we'll see. I am more worried about the lack of suspension than the single gear, as the course is very flowy and twisty and there is not a lot of flat areas---lots of cobblestonish rock areas though. I am going in with the meager goal of trying not to finish last....that way I will be pleasantly surprised if I do well.

  2. #2
    I Strava Hamburgers
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    OR!

    You could spend your day riding with a bunch of other people on a SS and enjoy yourself... you just happened to be timed

    I'm like you. I have an 8H race tomorrow and am part of a tag team. Should be awesome. I'll be dead by the end of the day, but hey I spent the day in the forest on my favorite bike burning my legs out.

    You got 3 speeds

    Ride
    Walk
    Pass Me a Beer

    Choose one, and enjoy it.
    My EBB so loud
    I'm mashing...

  3. #3
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
    Reputation: CHUM's Avatar
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    enjoy - SS endurance racing is actually fun....

    well....until it isn't....

    but mostly it's fun!....

    mostly....
    Visit these 2 places to help advance trail access:
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  4. #4
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    To report back:

    I did the 3 hour solo event. I brought both my 29ss and my geared 26er to the race, as I wasn't 100% sure which one I was going to use until I got there and wanted a backup. I used the 29er for the first lap and my legs were just wasted. I didn't think I could do the other 2 SS, so when I pitted, i switched to my 26 gearie. As soon as I got back on the course I knew I had made a mistake. The 26er "felt" faster going downhill, but I could definately tell I was not covering as much ground with each pedal stroke on the flats. I found myself downshifting to way low a gearing on the hills because I was exhausted, which just made me spin in place and get more exhausted. My last lap, I was a complete zombie and had a really nice wipeout in front of someone with a video camera. Finished near the back of the group, but not last.

    When I finished, I was surprised to learn that my lap on the SS (which included a run up a fairly steep hill at the beginning) was a few minutes better than my second lap on the geared 26er.

    It was pretty fun for my first race, although I felt like the walking dead at the end. I could barely eat when I was finished...I felt so sick. Despite that, I already signed up for another one. Next race is in 3 weeks. I plan on bringing my SS only.

    In retrospect, the biggest drawback to the SS was the lack of any suspension and the difficulty in "picking lines" with people crawling up your rear end. When I ride solo on the SS, I tend to ride at a fairly constant pace and carefully pick my lines. I found out real quick that wasn't going to work during the race...so my arms are pretty beat up. I am thinking about investing in a Niner carbon fork to help alleviate that.

  5. #5
    fresh fish in stock...... SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by skankingbiker View Post
    T....carefully pick my lines. I found out real quick that wasn't going to work during the race...so my arms are pretty beat up. I am thinking about investing in a Niner carbon fork to help alleviate that.
    congrats on your finish!

    i've found that a nice big-balooney-cush front tire in conjunction with OURY grips really help with racing a rigid bike.....

    also technique helps a lot...no death grip...fluid arms....core strength....line choice (as you mentioned)...etc....

    but a carpet fiber fork is sweet too....

    mt .02
    Visit these 2 places to help advance trail access:
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    http://www.facebook.com/SharingThePct

  6. #6
    I Strava Hamburgers
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    The Niner fork won't do much in making it less stiff. I ride one. It doesn't change much to be honest. At least not super noticeably. It does make the front end lighter.

    I finished my race on the SS this weekend. I also agree. Picking your lines properly is a skill you MUST develop when riding rigid. First lap crashout taught me quickly that you can't just muscle over everything, and that downs can be more dangerous then anything.

    Race report in blog if you're up for reading it. I'm not going to re-paste it here.

    TL;DR = Pick your lines. Or you crash. SS is actually alright.. till its not, but its fun. Pre-Riding is important.

    Glad to hear of your successful race!
    My EBB so loud
    I'm mashing...

  7. #7
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    Read your blog....

    Singlespeed is progressively harder and harder as the race goes on... and while I said SS is just as easy to ride... I should probably just keep my mouth shut, cause once you get into some of the areas where you're climbing forever... I was praying for a granny.
    Agree. I did the same you you did....powered up the first couple of hills like a bat out of hell, and then blew a gasket.

  8. #8
    Linoleum Knife
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    Quote Originally Posted by skankingbiker View Post
    As soon as I got back on the course I knew I had made a mistake.
    Yep - been there. 12hr Duo last year. First 3 laps on SS and then switched to geared for my last lap. Just made me lazy and slow.

    Of course, on the other hand - the 12hr solo I did all on SS, I just quit after 8 hours.

  9. #9
    SSOD
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    Quote Originally Posted by skankingbiker View Post
    It was pretty fun for my first race, although I felt like the walking dead at the end. I could barely eat when I was finished...I felt so sick.
    Congrats on finishing man and having the stones to go back for more in a couple weeks. That feeling of absolute fatigue at the end of a race is addicting and seems to never go away no matter how in shape you get. Keep at it man.

  10. #10
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    Did my first SS endurance race on the weekend, it was a 24hr Solo. I've done about fifteen 24 Solo's but this was the first time I ever did one on a hardtail, a 29'er or a SS - combine all three things and I'm now a convert.

    As for the racing... the Spokane course was a blast, it was easy and fun and the race organization was great. It had a grassroots vibe and my family enjoyed it a lot, particularly my 6 and 7yr old boys who both did well in the kids race on Sun morning.

    The course isn't technical at all in my opinion but the flow and route layout more than made up for it. There were a few grinder hills thrown into the mix but I've been told it was only 750' vert gain per 14+ mile lap.

    I made a major tactical error mid-race by chasing the leader into the cold temps while severely under-dressed, but the mindset at the time was go big or go home. Unfortunately (for me) the overall winner is a very competent endurance racer and it was hard keeping up to his gearing on such a steady state course, he totally deserved to win based on the effort he put in. I should have spent less time chasing him and more time putting on some extra layers and I wouldn't have had to waste 90mins in my pit hugging hot water bottles to raise my core temps up. I'm not sure how my wife could stand the whining in the pit as I was trying to pull it together; one minute I'd be complaining about losing spots while sitting there wasting time and the next I'd be complaining that I couldn't go out because of the massive muscle shaking convulsions from quasi-hypothermia. Stupid.

    Even though the freezing temps (and stupidity) messed with my plan to try and take the overall against all the geared soloists, I still did well enough to squeeze out a respectable 4th overall with 279 miles. In this race I don't think SS was a hindrance and I might have done better if I was a more experienced SS guy.

    For race bike, I was a Lynskey Ridgeline 29'er SL and never did anything to the bike in-race except lube the chain three times. Perfect.

    For gearing, on the pre-ride the day before I geared up with a Mono Veloce 32 ring and a King 17 cog, it felt great but after 14 miles I figured it would be waaaaay smarter to go with a King 19 cog for race day, and 32 x 19 is what I slapped on and never changed it for the rest of the race. I'm thinking a 32 x 17 gearing would have been even stupider than the hypothermia chasing mistake I made.

    Towards the end of the race I had a bit of bottom bracket creak from all the mashing and mud but nothing to be worried about. The chain also slacked off enough by the 22hr mark that I was being a bit more careful with my pedal engagement but not really a big deal, I suppose I could have tensioned it up a bit more but I was too busy racing hard to stop and fiddle around so I just got a little less 'slammy' on the engagement.

    No mechanicals, no adjusting/tweaking things, no wipeouts, no injuries - it really was a great weekend of racing. The SS style seems to suit me, at least that's what I've convinced myself of. I just wish I had adopted it a few years ago. The good news is it's never too late and I enjoyed it so much so that I've decided to spend the rest of this year doing all my races on only SS.

    My wife just shakes her head.

  11. #11
    Expert Crasher
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    279 miles.......I do that in about 10-12 rides, let alone all at once. Well done!
    Happiness depends more on the inward disposition of mind than on outward circumstances. Benjamin Franklin

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenLightGo View Post
    279 miles.......I do that in about 10-12 rides, let alone all at once. Well done!
    Thanks. I think most people could blast out a couple of hundred miles on that course with the right mindset and some decent pre-trg. Maybe you can give it a go next year? ;-)

  13. #13
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    Rep to all the SS racers in this thread. Esp. staylor -- you're hairy--like animal!

  14. #14
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    Wonder if I can get a Rep point for each mile I did? Then maybe apply the rep points to get an mtbr pen or mtbr mouse pad.

  15. #15
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    If there is anything you should've learned from your race, it's the lesson on greed.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by p nut View Post
    If there is anything you should've learned from your race, it's the lesson on greed.
    Haha, nicely done.

    2011 still has the chance to be the year of the 'rep point per race mile' initiative. I might have tried harder if I knew it was a rep point per mile. It could impact race results across the country.

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