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  1. #1
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    Planning Hike-a-Bike During Race

    I'm doing my first XC race tomorrow, and I'm running a singlespeed. I rode the course yesterday to get a feel for it, and there are a handful of really steep and loose sections where I could not maintain traction and had to unclip and hike. For racing, should I plan to hop off at the bottom of these climbs and run up, or should I try to power through them? What say you, experienced racers?

  2. #2
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    Things change in a race. Adrenaline powered, I sometimes find I can climb those climbs I thought I was going to walk. Definitely try to power up them if you can. You'll make up distance on those walking. Plus as it's your first race, if you don't try and later ride the course and clean it, you'll be forever nagged by the thought that you should have rode it during the race. If it's a multi lap race where you see the climb more than once, you may be tired to the point where you do have to walk it.
    If you do have to dismount, don't walk, quick step, it's a race remember.
    Practice dismounting smoothly on inclines too and cyclocross re-mounts at the top
    hope my comments aren't too confusing. Heading out on a ride now
    Good luck on the race
    Don't be a Hater!
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    Rolling on 2 Fat Tires-Blog

  3. #3
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    I'm pretty good at dismounting from my bike to walk or run stuff so I'll usually ride up those sections until the effort becomes unreasonable or my speed drops below my run up speed. At that point I'll hop off the bike and run it.

  4. #4
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    I think it depends on race conditions. For instance my local race has a pretty steep 20-30' elevation hill that is very, very loose (think 2" deep, dry sand, if not deeper). The tires you want to run for the rest of the hardpack course wont get you up it efficiently. Come race time *everyone* is walking it which basically makes it just about a non-option to ride it. I actually think it's more efficient to run as the rear wheel spins so much, as there is so little traction, the effort on the bike is basically all out to move at a crawl. So I think it depends, maybe you CAN ride it but even then it might not be the best choice.

    As wyoracerx said, practice getting off and on the bike at race like conditions. I never have a problem getting on my bike and clipping in, but in a race with my heart rate that high and in that competitive environment I swear it was a lot harder getting back on. Practice getting on at a run, something you may typically never do outside of a race. Practice getting on running up a hill, down a hill, practice practice practice. One thing the CX guys will tell you it's that you're never good enough at getting back on the bike smoothly and quickly.

    Good luck!

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the advice, guys. I'm pretty fit, so powering over stuff is a viable option, but if I'm not carrying enough speed, I may spin out near the tops of the hills, and I have not practiced dismounts and remounts much, especially not in race conditions. I think during my warmup tomorrow, I'll practice the running remount over a couple little hills. I'll let you all know how it turns out (I'm just want to have fun and not finish DFL).

  6. #6
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    I find that I am often forced off my bike at climbs during a race simply due to slower people in front of me. If there are people in front of you slow grinding, plan on jumping off and run/walking it. If its open...then you have a shot at it if you are able.
    Grit, spit, and a whole lot of duct tape!

  7. #7
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    How'd it go Kurto?
    Don't be a Hater!
    SS Black Sheep Phat Speedster
    Borealis Yampa XX1

    Rolling on 2 Fat Tires-Blog

  8. #8
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    It went well, and it was much consternation over very little. I was mid-pack most of the time, so most of the climbs (all singletrack) got logjammed and everybody ended up hopping off and running most of them. Bigtime fun - can't wait for the next race.

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