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Thread: Nationals

  1. #1
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    Nationals


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    East coast rocky singletrack - the pro course will likely be approx 3.5 mile laps. You can come race the same course as nationals on 6/2. If you are fairly local that should give you a big advantage over those who've never ridden the place. It is probably on the more challenging side of many XC races.

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    I'm planning on it. Just noticed that the Women's SS and Women's pro race are within hours of each other... OOF
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    Here's a link to the course maps Bear Creek USAC Nationals 2013 Course Maps

    Most of the second half of the course, from about mile 3.5 to mile 7 or so, is the most technical part of the course.

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    I'm coming out from Wyoming to race in the Cat 3 race (hey, we wanted to take a little road trip, what can I say?). I'm use to rocky technical, but not too familiarized with roots since it's really not what you find out here. It'll definitely be an experience! I'm just happy I train at 7000-9000 feet so my lungs should be well conditioned for the "sea level" type of elevation Nationals will be at! ("Sea level" to me like is anything under 3000 feet, haha!)

    Anybody have any idea what kind of miles the amateur racers are looking at? Looks like a lap is 7.5 miles, but surely we'll have to do more than one, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post
    Anybody have any idea what kind of miles the amateur racers are looking at? Looks like a lap is 7.5 miles, but surely we'll have to do more than one, right?
    Cat 3 is doing 1 lap, Cat 2 is doing 2 laps, and Cat 1 is doing 3 laps.

    At the last Bear Creek race from August 2012, the laps were 6.1 miles according to my gps.
    Last edited by Mucker; 05-14-2013 at 06:19 PM. Reason: wrong info see new post

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    Here's a video that shows what the trails are like. Bear Creek - Sep 2010 - YouTube

    The singletrack in the first 30s is the first section of singletrack in the race loop. The singletrack in the rest of the video includes sections that were done in past races and are typical of most of the trails that are in the second half of the race.

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    Oh boy, maybe I should upgrade my license... one lap just doesn't seem long enough to me (I've been doing 20+ mile unsanctioned races this spring for training for a 70 mile race in July, so I've become mileage greedy). I dunno if I wanna be Cat 2 already, though... ughhhh. But I want more miles! But the time does seem rather slow going (I'm Cat 3 30-39 women, so if that was men I expect even slower times in my class). Excuse my rambling, haha. I'm pretty darn excited for nationals!

    Thanks for the info and video, should definitely help since I've never MTB'd on the east coast before, and will be doing this very much blind. I will be there early enough for the practice time on the Wednesday before, luckily. Like I said, this is mostly for the epic road trip (and perhaps a podium spot if I'm darn lucky!)... can't wait to hit up NJ for some trails, and random places along I-80 on the trip out there and back!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post
    Oh boy, maybe I should upgrade my license... one lap just doesn't seem long enough to me (I've been doing 20+ mile unsanctioned races this spring for training for a 70 mile race in July, so I've become mileage greedy). I dunno if I wanna be Cat 2 already, though... ughhhh. But I want more miles! But the time does seem rather slow going (I'm Cat 3 30-39 women, so if that was men I expect even slower times in my class). Excuse my rambling, haha. I'm pretty darn excited for nationals!

    Thanks for the info and video, should definitely help since I've never MTB'd on the east coast before, and will be doing this very much blind. I will be there early enough for the practice time on the Wednesday before, luckily. Like I said, this is mostly for the epic road trip (and perhaps a podium spot if I'm darn lucky!)... can't wait to hit up NJ for some trails, and random places along I-80 on the trip out there and back!
    I gave the wrong times in my last post. I was looking at the cat 2 20-29 age group.

    Cat 3 16-29 males best time was just about 50 mins. Cat 3 under 40 female was 1:04. Here's a link to the results Mid Atlantic Timing

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    Is there strava times or segments out there for the pro courses? Need to take a look at some of the sections if anyone has any idea on the length of the climbs, etc.

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    Re: Nationals

    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post
    ... can't wait to hit up NJ for some trails, and random places along I-80 on the trip out there and back!
    Might be worth your while to check out the trails in the quad cities on your trip. Three fun trail systems within 10 minutes of I-80 at the Iowa/Illinois border!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mucker View Post
    I gave the wrong times in my last post. I was looking at the cat 2 20-29 age group.

    Cat 3 16-29 males best time was just about 50 mins. Cat 3 under 40 female was 1:04. Here's a link to the results Mid Atlantic Timing
    Haha ok, that sounds a bit better. I was thinking it must be some horrible trails if one lap took 1.5 hours!

    Kind of weird the inconsistencies in course lengths... I heard last year at Nationals in Sun Valley the amateur course was over 15 miles (and the finish times seem to mimic those distances in Cat 3).

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    I haven't seen any segments of the official pro course yet. There are some of the amatuer course though.

    -matt

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    I raced there a few years ago and from what I remember and like another poster mentioned, the second half of the course is the more technical part, I remember a lot of rocks!

    One of the earlier climbs can get super muddy and slippery even of it hasn't rained in a day or two.

    I can't wait to come back home and race this course!

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    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post
    Oh boy, maybe I should upgrade my license... one lap just doesn't seem long enough to me (I've been doing 20+ mile unsanctioned races this spring for training for a 70 mile race in July, so I've become mileage greedy). I dunno if I wanna be Cat 2 already, though... ughhhh.
    Just my opinion. If you are doing a 70 mile race and already doing 20+ mile races there is no way you should be racing with Cat 3 beginners. Last year was my first year racing, I raced Cat 3 and won my race series. So I'm upgrading to Cat 2 even though I'm going to get crushed. I've never ridden more than 40 miles on my road bike and have never done more than 20 miles on the mtb. Just my opinion but your obviously riding and training quite a bit. However, maybe in your area the Cat 3 riders are all experienced riders who train all the time. If so, my apologies.
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    Yall think big tires are the way to go here?

    Like Maxxis Ardent big?

    Still waiting for a high volume, fast rolling, low profile, race tire....
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    Nationals

    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    Yall think big tires are the way to go here?

    Like Maxxis Ardent big?

    Still waiting for a high volume, fast rolling, low profile, race tire....
    That would be a Conti Race King 2.2
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    Most people who race there are probably on 2.1 or 2.2's generally. Something with some sidewall durability as there are semi-sharp rocks. Know of a few guys running non-snakeskinned schwalbes that cut sidewalls. I've gotten lucky running lighter weight tires in the past, but usually opt for something all around (decent sidewall protection, decently grippy, decently fast-rolling). I think I was on (29") 2.2 X-King front, and a 2.1 Crossmark or 2.2 Race King rear last year.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    That would be a Conti Race King 2.2
    Love that tire. Would love to ride a 2.35 or 2.4 (actual) version.
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    Thanks Ski Bum. Race kings 2.2 protection may be the ticket. Ill pack all my tires though and swap if need be.
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    Anything with side wall protection would be best. Racing Ralph Snakeskin seem to be a popular choice at most races.

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    Quote Originally Posted by qdawgg View Post
    Just my opinion. If you are doing a 70 mile race and already doing 20+ mile races there is no way you should be racing with Cat 3 beginners. Last year was my first year racing, I raced Cat 3 and won my race series. So I'm upgrading to Cat 2 even though I'm going to get crushed. I've never ridden more than 40 miles on my road bike and have never done more than 20 miles on the mtb. Just my opinion but your obviously riding and training quite a bit. However, maybe in your area the Cat 3 riders are all experienced riders who train all the time. If so, my apologies.
    I've only been riding a bike for exactly one year and one day, so still quite the noob! Cat 3 in the Colorado area is a bunch of sandbaggers... think pro marathon sponsored riders who strangely show up to do 10 mile Cat 3 races. So I get my butt handed to me a lot, haha. I started doing longer distances in one of our bigger XC/endurance race series because nobody shows up to race the beginner/shorter distance races, and I got sick of super easy wins. I've learned the sandbagging is worse in USAC races, so I do the worse in those.... I do have one more USAC race in June before Nationals, and might play it by ear and see how that goes and then considering upgrading before Nationals. The biggest thing I struggle with is that Cat 3 doesn't mean beginner to a bike, it means beginner to racing...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post
    I've only been riding a bike for exactly one year and one day, so still quite the noob! Cat 3 in the Colorado area is a bunch of sandbaggers... think pro marathon sponsored riders who strangely show up to do 10 mile Cat 3 races. So I get my butt handed to me a lot, haha. I started doing longer distances in one of our bigger XC/endurance race series because nobody shows up to race the beginner/shorter distance races, and I got sick of super easy wins. I've learned the sandbagging is worse in USAC races, so I do the worse in those.... I do have one more USAC race in June before Nationals, and might play it by ear and see how that goes and then considering upgrading before Nationals. The biggest thing I struggle with is that Cat 3 doesn't mean beginner to a bike, it means beginner to racing...
    I'm kind of in the same boat as you too. Except in my area there isn't a huge amount of racers in Cat 3 and it's filled literally with weekend warriors, people just getting into racing and wanting to get their feet wet first. Which it should be. I'm moving up to Cat 2 this year and will run into the same problem you are at Cat 3. Big sandbagging.

    Sorry if my post came off the wrong way. I can imagine that Cat 3 in colorado is more like Cat 2 in my area. There is a guy signed up for the first series race in June in my Cat 2 group who at the Tour of Battenkill (road race) beat my buddy by over 12 mins and my buddy races Cat 1 mtb. I raced with this same guy at an "open" (no categories) race last month and he won the whole race and beat me by 40 mins. So I know I'm going to get crushed. I'm just hoping to finish mid-pack.

    Good luck this year. A friend of mine did race Bear Creek last year and said the rocks, if your not used to them in your normal riding, really will beat you up.
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    I raced there last year with either a small block or an Ikon. I can't remember exactly. They hooked up great on the rocks. I did not notice much loose, mostly big awesome rocks. Very cool descent! .... Either way, I skewered a large nail 1/2 mile from the bottom and ended up walking out. So I would vote for large volume, low rolling resistance and puncture protection.

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    Quote Originally Posted by qdawgg View Post

    Good luck this year. A friend of mine did race Bear Creek last year and said the rocks, if your not used to them in your normal riding, really will beat you up.
    No harm, I know I'm on the borderline and it's hard to know, as I go to USAC races and get crushed in Cat 3, but just won an unsanctioned intermediate race this weekend, so it's kinda like "ummm, am I cat 2 or no?"

    We definitely have a lot of rocky techy terrain here, so that should help with this PA rocks... hopefully! Ima play close attention to tire suggestions. I run the Spec Fast Track tires that my Epic came with, and they're doing good, but wondering if I should beef it up for PA since it'll be more damp and the Fast Tracks seem to like dry stuff better. Hell if I know... haha.

  26. #26
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    I sure wish they would hold Nats somewhere close to the West Coast one of these days. Oregon, California...something like that..

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    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk View Post
    I sure wish they would hold Nats somewhere close to the West Coast one of these days. Oregon, California...something like that..
    It was in Sun Valley, ID last year. That's right next to Oregon. I glanced through the results, lots of CA riders showed up.
    Fall is here. Woo-hoo!

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    Any thoughts on SS gearing? We normally run 2:1ish(29er) for xc races here in southern MI.

    I've done some riding around State College, Pisgah, upstate NY/NH, CO, UT, MI's UP, southern IN/KY, so I think I've got the rocks/roots part covered

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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy View Post
    That would be a Conti Race King 2.2
    Tire guru - how about something with a good strong sidewall. I've also been having an issue lately with small cuts into the treadblocks that Stan's won't seal.

    Give me your best rocky terrain tire recommendations.

    Thanks!

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattmor View Post
    Tire guru - how about something with a good strong sidewall. I've also been having an issue lately with small cuts into the treadblocks that Stan's won't seal.

    Give me your best rocky terrain tire recommendations.

    Thanks!
    I do not have issues with casing cuts or tears. Maybe 5-6 in 30 years. And the ones I have had I never expect sealants to "fix."

    Have used Schwalbe models with Snakeskin (and without), Conti Protection (and standard) in sharp rocky events without so much as a sidewall scuff. A few pinch flats (those can become cut casings without a tube in a standard tire).

    Cut tread blocks should not leak air at all, sealant or not.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    Love that tire. Would love to ride a 2.35 or 2.4 (actual) version.
    The RK casing is only slightly smaller.
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    I've been mountain biking since 1992(ish) and have never ripped a sidewall. I've also never bought the snakeskin tires, I'm assuming they cost more? Do a lot of people have problems with ripping sidewalls? In races or in general?
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    Is anyone racing in a couple weeks at bear creek? If so, can we get a review of the course? Video? Tire choice?
    I don't want to show up ill prepared.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by xgjokax; 05-24-2013 at 12:23 PM.

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    By the course maps posted on usacycling, it looks like amateur XC course is similar to what I raced last year: low angle climbing with some rocks and wet areas, and some technical handling. Probably more typical of east coast riding, than mountain states, but that is just my opinion. Seems to drain well (rained while I was there) and not a lot of loose rock or clay soil that I noticed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pixy View Post
    By the course maps posted on usacycling, it looks like amateur XC course is similar to what I raced last year: low angle climbing with some rocks and wet areas, and some technical handling. Probably more typical of east coast riding, than mountain states, but that is just my opinion. Seems to drain well (rained while I was there) and not a lot of loose rock or clay soil that I noticed.
    The Bear Creek XC course doesn't change much year to year. If you've done it once you have ridden the majority of this year's course. The middle 1/3 of the course is pretty new and was added for last year's races. That section is not too technical and has a nice little climb.

    Bear Creek drains very well. There are one or two spots that are always wet but it is minor and just makes the rocks slippery in those spots.

    The race on June 2 is going to run the identical courses that are going to be run at national's barring any last minute changes. The pro/open race at 3 is running the national pro course and the Cat 1-3 are running the same course that they would run at nationals.

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    Quote Originally Posted by qdawgg View Post
    I've been mountain biking since 1992(ish) and have never ripped a sidewall. I've also never bought the snakeskin tires, I'm assuming they cost more? Do a lot of people have problems with ripping sidewalls? In races or in general?
    I've been mtb about as long as you. Started in summer of '91 and learned to mtb in Michaux State Forest and French St. Park in PA which are extremely rocky. The most common problem I had was snakebites when running tubes. I think I only had one or two sidewall slices before going tubeless. After going tubeless I had a couple punctures from running too low of pressure. I did have a couple sidewall problems when running a tubeless without sidewall protection. I sliced one tire and had to boot it but most of the problems appeared after a race. I would usually rub the sidewall on a rock that would damage it but not enough to be catastrophic during the race. It would give out a few days later during a ride. I got tired of having to throw out tires because of that and changed to Schwalbe snakeskins. I've been lucky and haven't had an issue with sidewall damage.

    If you are going to run tires without protection be sure to put on a fresh pair before your race especially if you have been preriding the course a lot.

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    Any race reports from this weekend?

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    Rode the Bear Creek Challenge race this past weekend and it is surely on the tougher end of and XC course. If you can pre-ride, I highly recommend it.

    First three miles climb over rocks and rocks to the top of the ski area. Most of the climbing is mellow with on real steep one towards the top. Most of the rocks are baby head size and not loose. You can find a line through them pretty easy.

    Next mile is short descents and steep climbs from the top. Then you hit the descent! About 2 miles. It follows part of the Super D course and is pretty challenging. Nothing huge in the first few sections, but if you carry to much speed it can be bad. Way down in the descent there are a few really techincal switchbacks. You will know them by the mass of people waiting to see the carnage. If at all in doubt, run! You will probably be faster. This is the first race I have done in a while where there were large sections of people walking.

    The final mile is relatively flat, but rocky.

    If you were going to put together a strategy for this, I would recommend riding a reasonable pace that you can keep consistent. It's hard to understand how much energy the constant rocks take out of you. Like this weekends race, the fastest guy didn't win, the one who survived did.

    If you can pre-ride at all, consider it a very good idea.

    I rode it on a Pivor 420c. 2.2 Race Kings front and 2.2 Mountain Kings rear. Rear had protection, front did not. I think it was a pretty good choice, but it was mostly dry.

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    The course was quite slow and technical. The Cat 1 race was closer to 2.5 to 3 hours for ~21 miles. I wonder how they are going to shorten it to a normal nationals race time of 1.5 to 2 hrs? Other than being a long race I can't wait for nationals.

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    Shmack- thanks for the detailed review. It sounds like the same course that I race a few years ago. How long before you hit the single track?


    As far as I heard the courses that were run this past weekend are the same exact courses as nationals.
    The pros course is I think half the length (more laps) and more spectator friendly.

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    From what I hear it was pretty close to the course from previous years. It started with a lap around the lake and then back past the lodge and finish, up to the woods. This was probably about a half mile. As you hit the woods, there was a steep, wet section of new trail that turns 180 and heads along the wood edge. It was mowed grass. You followed this for a few hundred yards, then back out the road for a few hundred more before you hit the single track.

    Overall, I would say a solid 3/4 of a mile prior to hitting the single track. If you can, even race day, check out the mowed grass section. It is slick and off camber. It is also pretty wide, so there are really good lines and really bad lines. The bad ones will probably result in being off your bike.

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    Yea the start is a little different from when I was there.
    We would start at the finish line and then all bottle neck at the single track. This new way seems like it will open it up some.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post
    I've only been riding a bike for exactly one year and one day, so still quite the noob! Cat 3 in the Colorado area is a bunch of sandbaggers... think pro marathon sponsored riders who strangely show up to do 10 mile Cat 3 races. So I get my butt handed to me a lot, haha. I started doing longer distances in one of our bigger XC/endurance race series because nobody shows up to race the beginner/shorter distance races, and I got sick of super easy wins. I've learned the sandbagging is worse in USAC races, so I do the worse in those.... I do have one more USAC race in June before Nationals, and might play it by ear and see how that goes and then considering upgrading before Nationals. The biggest thing I struggle with is that Cat 3 doesn't mean beginner to a bike, it means beginner to racing...
    Your race organizers suck if they allow pros to race as cat 3s. Somehow I doubt that is happening.

    Also, "beginner" really pretty much means "lowest fitness level". Some of those Cat 3 guys bomb down hills like no tomorrow!

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    Well, it did happen, so you can doubt it if you want, but the girl raced Cat 3, and does professional level marathon MTB races. She actually just raced and placed high in an unsanctioned XC race in the pro class. Most of our racing is unsanctioned, so I'm guessing she showed up on a one day license at the USAC race as a Cat 3. I just don't get how a 11 mile Cat 3 race benefits someone who does 60+ miles normally...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post
    Well, it did happen, so you can doubt it if you want, but the girl raced Cat 3, and does professional level marathon MTB races. She actually just raced and placed high in an unsanctioned XC race in the pro class. Most of our racing is unsanctioned, so I'm guessing she showed up on a one day license at the USAC race as a Cat 3. I just don't get how a 11 mile Cat 3 race benefits someone who does 60+ miles normally...
    Sorry, but you made it sound like they pros are showing up in high numbers to race as Cat 3's. You are right that it is odd for her to do this. If she is on a "one day" license, then she should have at least raced as a Cat 2. Please tell me she did not stick around for the podium and awards!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk View Post
    Sorry, but you made it sound like they pros are showing up in high numbers to race as Cat 3's. You are right that it is odd for her to do this. If she is on a "one day" license, then she should have at least raced as a Cat 2. Please tell me she did not stick around for the podium and awards!!
    Ohh, I'm sure she did. That's how those types roll.
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  48. #48
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    You are going to have a great time riding on the East Coast. I have never been to Bear Creek but I can tell you that you are in for a massive wake up call if the trails are 'East Coast' technical. If it is wet, which I'm sure it will be somewhere on the course, you won't believe how fast local guys can go over wet roots and rocks. It truly is an art that takes a long time to learn.
    You do have a great advantage with the altitude but the humidity is going to absolutely crush you (it's the opposite for me heading out west ..... the dry air is a total killer for me more than altitude). Have a great time !!! Nationals are special races for sure !!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tmb View Post
    Any thoughts on SS gearing? We normally run 2:1ish(29er) for xc races here in southern MI.

    I've done some riding around State College, Pisgah, upstate NY/NH, CO, UT, MI's UP, southern IN/KY, so I think I've got the rocks/roots part covered

    T

    My normal gearing is 34/17 on 650b tires I'll be on 34/19 (or maybe 34/20) for Bear Creek.

    Probably my favorite XC course. I'd be bummed if I were a Pro though and had to race the shortened course.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rydbyk View Post
    Sorry, but you made it sound like they pros are showing up in high numbers to race as Cat 3's. You are right that it is odd for her to do this. If she is on a "one day" license, then she should have at least raced as a Cat 2. Please tell me she did not stick around for the podium and awards!!
    I don't race a lot of the sanctioned races, so I don't know how much it occurs, I'm just bitter :P . From my experience in road racing (mostly time trials) it's even worse with people on one day licenses in Cat 4 when they're triathletes that have been to the Olympics...

    But actually, she did NOT stick around for awards, hahaha.

    Someone made the humidity comment, not sure if it was for me... I lived in New Jersey for 3 years, so luckily I have an idea on how to barely function in humidity It shall be a great time...

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by qdawgg View Post
    I've been mountain biking since 1992(ish) and have never ripped a sidewall. I've also never bought the snakeskin tires, I'm assuming they cost more? Do a lot of people have problems with ripping sidewalls? In races or in general?
    I have been riding for about as long. I would say I have probably ripped at least 40 side walls in my riding career.

    I did one in today. Riding fast though a rock garden, wiggled the bike to the right when I should have wiggled it to the left. Sharp rock right through the side wall.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

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    Quote Originally Posted by LMN View Post
    I have been riding for about as long. I would say I have probably ripped at least 40 side walls in my riding career.

    I did one in today. Riding fast though a rock garden, wiggled the bike to the right when I should have wiggled it to the left. Sharp rock right through the side wall.
    Wow, that's a lot of sidewalls. I live in upstate NY so it's not like I'm not riding through rock gardens on a regular basis. I also pump my tires up beyond belief too because I hate the feeling of squishy tires, so I wonder if that makes a little bit of difference.
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  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by qdawgg View Post
    Wow, that's a lot of sidewalls. I live in upstate NY so it's not like I'm not riding through rock gardens on a regular basis. I also pump my tires up beyond belief too because I hate the feeling of squishy tires, so I wonder if that makes a little bit of difference.
    I think it has more to do with type of rock. Around here rocks are sharp, you could cut your hand on them.

    On a side note, I am not sure higher air pressure helps reduce slices.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  54. #54
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    Ha, around here our National level female pros that are hitting just a couple of our State series races will race Cat 1 Men Open, or Men's SS Open for the training, and I guess to not step on the toes of the regional level pros who are just trying to get started. Pretty cool in my book.

    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post
    I don't race a lot of the sanctioned races, so I don't know how much it occurs, I'm just bitter :P . From my experience in road racing (mostly time trials) it's even worse with people on one day licenses in Cat 4 when they're triathletes that have been to the Olympics...

    But actually, she did NOT stick around for awards, hahaha.

    Someone made the humidity comment, not sure if it was for me... I lived in New Jersey for 3 years, so luckily I have an idea on how to barely function in humidity It shall be a great time...
    Fall is here. Woo-hoo!

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    I rode Bear Creek a few weeks ago , and did one amateur XC lap and the evening practice race, which was great!

    The Xc course was really nice but on the technical side. There was a section off the back that I had never done before that was very nice. It was rooty and lined with beautiful ferns, not a typical ski area trail. There were new bridges and recent trail work that looked to take some of the big hits off the rocks and roots. I am a trail builder and can say that the work was very well done and appropriate for this level race. Although challenging, I could ride just about everything, and finished with a smile.

    At that time, the promoter was still saying he was planning to shorten the course, so we'll see what we get. I'm sure they'll keep some rocks. Nationals does not come east that often, so I hope some east coasters will come out and take advantage of this race, I myself am stoked to race in a few weeks.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by pixy View Post
    I rode Bear Creek a few weeks ago , and did one amateur XC lap and the evening practice race, which was great!

    The Xc course was really nice but on the technical side. There was a section off the back that I had never done before that was very nice. It was rooty and lined with beautiful ferns, not a typical ski area trail. There were new bridges and recent trail work that looked to take some of the big hits off the rocks and roots. I am a trail builder and can say that the work was very well done and appropriate for this level race. Although challenging, I could ride just about everything, and finished with a smile.

    At that time, the promoter was still saying he was planning to shorten the course, so we'll see what we get. I'm sure they'll keep some rocks. Nationals does not come east that often, so I hope some east coasters will come out and take advantage of this race, I myself am stoked to race in a few weeks.
    thanks for the update!
    i havent ridden or raced here in a few years so im excited to get back and to see what the course is like! one more week to go!

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    I was just up at Bear Creek yesterday doing a few practice laps. I was under the impression that they were using the same course that they ran for the PA States races a few weeks ago, but after talking to some guys up there and confirming with the maps on the USA Cycling website, they've changed it slightly. There's no loop around the lake, off the start you climb along the ridge right next to the lodge, but instead of going out on the road, they pop you into the single track sooner, and they also took out a steep climb during the first half of the course (for states, you had to climb to the very top of the mountain, bomb down, and then turn around and climb back up again. Now you just climb about halfway up, switchback down a little bit, and then go back up to the top).

    The course is still plenty rocky and will beat you up. I'm assuming they changed it to drop the race times in order to get everything in on schedule. I don't think they had any idea how tough the course was for states until they saw the long race times, broken bikes, and people trowing up all over.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by eness215 View Post
    I don't think they had any idea how tough the course was for states until they saw the long race times, broken bikes, and people throwing up all over.
    Awesome. Can't wait!
    Fall is here. Woo-hoo!

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    Mmmm, trail side vomit! Yum!

  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by eness215 View Post
    I was just up at Bear Creek yesterday doing a few practice laps. I was under the impression that they were using the same course that they ran for the PA States races a few weeks ago, but after talking to some guys up there and confirming with the maps on the USA Cycling website, they've changed it slightly. There's no loop around the lake, off the start you climb along the ridge right next to the lodge, but instead of going out on the road, they pop you into the single track sooner, and they also took out a steep climb during the first half of the course (for states, you had to climb to the very top of the mountain, bomb down, and then turn around and climb back up again. Now you just climb about halfway up, switchback down a little bit, and then go back up to the top).

    The course is still plenty rocky and will beat you up. I'm assuming they changed it to drop the race times in order to get everything in on schedule. I don't think they had any idea how tough the course was for states until they saw the long race times, broken bikes, and people trowing up all over.
    that sounds more like the old course we ran a few years ago for PA states in 2010.

  61. #61
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    Stoked for the race. Not so much for the 12 hour drive...

    Ill be racing XC as a 1, 19-24 on Saturday
    And Super D on Sunday.

    How much climbing is involved in the Super D? Would an 19lb XC bike be preferred? Or a 28lb 140mm Hardtail AM 29er with a dropper post?
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    I know nothing about the super D course. But the long travel and dropper post just sounds more fun to me!

  63. #63
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    Camping/watter bottles

    I'll be racing XC Saturday at 8am-cat 1 40-44... who from OH is showing up?

    Planning on hotel in allentown, (anyone know if there is there camping at the resort?)

    Also, for those doing the 3 lap amateur course, is there a place to put water bottles that's easy to grab during the race?
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    If it is the same course as last month only the top had a few spots where you needed the longer travel. I had the same choices and went with longer travel. The best answer would be 100mm FS 29er. That will be the weapon this time around.

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    Just rode the course today. Rocks on top of rocks on top of rocks, roots, climbing, then repeat that again then climbing then repeat that but all wet from being shaded. oh also some bridges. 90 degree weather all week and so far no rain forecasted.

    As far as feed zones, usually it would be near the start for races there but since its nationals I'm not sure.

    Tubeless saved me out there today.

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    Anybody happen to know if the course will be available to ride tomorrow? Not sure if they would have it closed or what not. Slowly making my way across the country, and will be getting into Allentown tomorrow so any extra practice would be nice! Planning on doing the practice session on Wednesday, but I race Thursday morning so not a whole lot of time for something I've never seen before.

    I have learned that humidity does not affect me at all! In fact, I think it helps my lungs... though I can't tell if it's the "sea level" elevation or lack of dryness... maybe both?! Definitely don't have my after ride death cough!

  67. #67
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    Re: Nationals

    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post
    Anybody happen to know if the course will be available to ride tomorrow? Not sure if they would have it closed or what not. Slowly making my way across the country, and will be getting into Allentown tomorrow so any extra practice would be nice! Planning on doing the practice session on Wednesday, but I race Thursday morning so not a whole lot of time for something I've never seen before.

    I have learned that humidity does not affect me at all! In fact, I think it helps my lungs... though I can't tell if it's the "sea level" elevation or lack of dryness... maybe both?! Definitely don't have my after ride death cough!
    It should be open. I'll be out there today too. Yeah, no lungs full of dust at the end of the race.

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  68. #68
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    Re: Nationals

    Also, course is marked. blue signs are the amateur course.

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  69. #69
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    It was marked yesterday, it starts behind the lodge, watch for the blues signs.

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    Wow, I never thought the course would be like Wyoming terrain! Seriously reminded me of a few of my local trails, so that was a refreshing relief! However, some of those rock gardens are on crack :/ Everyone was talking about how bumpy it is, and saying how they wished they could do the pro course instead.

    Saw some endos occur around me during practice. I stayed upright with some clever bailing techniques. Tomorrow shall be interesting, to say the least! I figure if I gotta bail and just run with my bike, so be it!

  71. #71
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    Well, that race was hard as shit. It was more of a 2.5 hour trials course!

    I dabbed and ran more times than I would like to admit.

    Raced my rigid bike to 8th place my age group cat 1 race.
    The rigid was a major disadvantage and I wish I had borrowed a suspension fork for the race.

    Super D was rough too. Hardtail definitely wasn't the tool of choice. I lost a lot of time on the top of the course. Wound up 10th.

    How did everybody else do?
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    I got 2nd in Cat 3 30-39 women - a pleasant surprise as practice didn't go well for me (nearly passed out, nearly puked several times, yadda yadda) so I figured that the other gals would walk all over me. Did start noticing signs of heat stroke about halfway through... bad goosebumps and chills. I quite enjoyed the hecklers on the techy switchbacks, definitely added flavor to the race! Afterwards I kinda just slumped in the shade and couldn't really form sentences. My boyfriend broke his arm 2 miles into his race, and still finished in 2nd, so he has a way cooler story than me!

    I really wish I didn't have my full squish bike set on full firm...

    Debating if I'll return next year. I upgraded my license, so I really don't know if I want two laps of that nonsense, haha. We'll see, I have a year to decide!

  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    Well, that race was hard as shit. It was more of a 2.5 hour trials course!

    I dabbed and ran more times than I would like to admit.

    Raced my rigid bike to 8th place my age group cat 1 race.
    The rigid was a major disadvantage and I wish I had borrowed a suspension fork for the race.

    Super D was rough too. Hardtail definitely wasn't the tool of choice. I lost a lot of time on the top of the course. Wound up 10th.

    How did everybody else do?
    Nice results!
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  74. #74
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    Did any of you see a dude with a Peaked Sports Jersey (men's masters) hit the deck, and get carted off? I guess he sizzled sizzled his organs a bit with heat stroke and whatnot. Really scary.
    Get well, Dave!

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    Anybody happen to know of any links to photos of the Thursday racing? Lots of photogs on the course, now the hard part is tracking them down...

  76. #76
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    Well, that race was hard as shit. It was more of a 2.5 hour trials course!

    I dabbed and ran more times than I would like to admit.

    Raced my rigid bike to 8th place my age group cat 1 race.
    The rigid was a major disadvantage and I wish I had borrowed a suspension fork for the race.

    Super D was rough too. Hardtail definitely wasn't the tool of choice. I lost a lot of time on the top of the course. Wound up 10th.

    How did everybody else do?
    I saw a few guys on rigid bikes. One was probably you. I don't know how you guys do that. Great finish none the less!

  77. #77
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    I raced Friday night in the older masters race and had a great time, thunderstorm and all. The course and vibe all weekend long was awesome! I was going to retire from XC racing, but I had such a good time this past weekend, I may race it again next year. Super-D was fun too, but I would have even more fun if they were to run it down some of the trails we did in the amateur XC course. That rocky section was like a party!

  78. #78
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    I didn't go, but my coach did and he took 3rd in the master cat 1 30-34 class and then won the Super D... I guess he's a good guy for me to be working with!

    Great job to all those who raced!
    Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving. ~ Albert Einstein

  79. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepo5669 View Post
    Well, that race was hard as shit. It was more of a 2.5 hour trials course!

    I dabbed and ran more times than I would like to admit.

    Raced my rigid bike to 8th place my age group cat 1 race.
    The rigid was a major disadvantage and I wish I had borrowed a suspension fork for the race.

    Super D was rough too. Hardtail definitely wasn't the tool of choice. I lost a lot of time on the top of the course. Wound up 10th.

    How did everybody else do?


    Aren't you normally a SS racer? Did you race your age group with gears or SS.

    I was bummed I couldn't even make it out to spectate. Tons of facebook videos from the heckle pit had me bummed that I was missing all the action.


    There's always next year......and hopefully more in the future. IMO, it's a great Nationals course.

  80. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by 88 rex View Post
    Aren't you normally a SS racer? Did you race your age group with gears or SS.

    I was bummed I couldn't even make it out to spectate. Tons of facebook videos from the heckle pit had me bummed that I was missing all the action.


    There's always next year......and hopefully more in the future. IMO, it's a great Nationals course.
    Sorry I missed your post the first time around.
    I put away the SS this season and raced geared because there is more competition in my neck of the woods. Wound up winning the US CUP East series as a cat 1! Mission accomplished. Now Im going back to having fun on the SS. Got a little to serious this season. Not enough beer was consumed for my liking.

    Where did you find videos of the heckle pit? I betcha it is that sketchy lefthand switchback where people were hanging out. I would like to see if there is a video of me on it. I was popping a nose pivot to get my long ass bike around the sharp bend.

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  82. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by sooshee View Post
    Anybody happen to know of any links to photos of the Thursday racing? Lots of photogs on the course, now the hard part is tracking them down...
    Here are a couple links of photos from nationals.

    2013 USAC MTB XC Championships (Day 1) - Crosshairs Media CXHairs

    A.E.LANDES PHOTOGRAPHY | 130718 MTB National

    also check here, i posted a couple links in there and there might be a couple more.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/MASSRACERS/

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