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  1. #1
    g3h6o3
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    Starting the racing season without trail riding time...

    We're having the craziest spring over here, up north. First we had snow for so long and every time it seemed that spring arrived we had another 10-15cms of snow. Now it doesn't stop raining, every day or almost.

    So with all this crazy weather, I still haven't gotten any trail riding time. I got out on the road with my MTB to get back into the bike's handling from a long winter of trainer riding but haven't hit a proper patch of trail (Dirt roads only).

    The racing seasons starts in 1½ week and it seems I won't be able to ride my MTB before the first race. I'm in the best form ever, I break all my records but I'm unsure about technical abilities as I need a couple of rides to get those skills back at the start of the season.

    The first race is very smooth so not the biggest concerns but 2 weekend afterwards are more technical trails. Should I put my trail etiquette aside and ride in the rain to be ready? It would be a shame to have a less than good race with the fitness I have worked on all winter...

    What did/would you do in the same conditions?
    'Later
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  2. #2
    Has skills-will travel
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    I did the same thing last year, my first ride on the mountain bike was a race. I finished mid pack that race. Yet, with two weeks of riding I was on the Podium after that. So just go to the first race with a different goal than winning and you will have a blast.

    Funny - I kind of feel that this year is about the same, yet I just got on the mountian bike on Friday, so I should have a few rides on the MTB before the first race in a week and half.

  3. #3
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    I got 1 trail ride I think, before the race season.

    The good thing about crappy weather closing the trails, they are closed to (pretty much) everyone, so it is a level playing field!

  4. #4
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    yeah, i did 2 single track rides, totaling 20 miles. My first race is in 2 days. Spring here has sucked too. Same situation!

  5. #5
    LMN
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    Lots of people start the race season that way. Actually just about everybody you will be racing against has the same problem.
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  6. #6
    g3h6o3
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    Of course it's a problem for pretty much everybody in my area but the province is big (Qc) and weather varies a lot per region. We are the region which had the most snow, we even had a 70cm fall overnight in late march... Now we have floods in almost every river but it's not the same everywhere (closer to the race, they didn't get much snow this year and I haven't heard of that much rain either)

    Given some people travel over 5H by car to get to the race, I'm unsure we're all in the same situation.

    I seem to understand people don't ride in bad trails to get ready though...
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  7. #7
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    The trails here definitely arent in good shape. We rode in mud, and even some snow covered spots still. I didnt want to be on them in thaw, but, I wanted some trail time on my bike.

  8. #8
    LMN
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    Quote Originally Posted by PissedOffCil
    Of course it's a problem for pretty much everybody in my area but the province is big (Qc) and weather varies a lot per region. We are the region which had the most snow, we even had a 70cm fall overnight in late march... Now we have floods in almost every river but it's not the same everywhere (closer to the race, they didn't get much snow this year and I haven't heard of that much rain either)

    Given some people travel over 5H by car to get to the race, I'm unsure we're all in the same situation.

    I seem to understand people don't ride in bad trails to get ready though...

    That is true. The trails in Kamloops have been good for 6 weeks. However, 2.5hrs east of here the trails in Revelstoke are still covered in a foot of snow (Poor guys had 615cm of total snow this year and a measured snow depth of 2.1m).
    "The best pace is suicide pace, and today is a good day to die." Steve Prefontaine

  9. #9
    g3h6o3
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    What I'm tempted to do is to ride on smoother trails which are still somewhat technical. I'm talking hiking trails that drain water better because there are less roots/mud and more rocks. Theoretically these trails are closed to bikes but I ride them cautiously and courteously. I'd really like to get some technical riding in before the race. I'm a decent technical rider so I guess I'm just looking for a confirmation that I haven't lost too much skill and that my bike is properly setup.
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  10. #10
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    For me, I've found the biggest challenge is developing power used for steeper climbs and technical climbing. If you trainer (or maybe a spin bike at the gym) gives you enough resistance, try to mimic the higher power outputs.

    For descending, I know I always get more confident after a few rides but as long as I relax (forget thinking about the podium) I do pretty solid riding on day 1.

    It is not worth smearing the reputation of mountain bikers, racers etc by trashing muddy trails. Don't put your training into consideration when you decide if the trail is ready; otherwise someone else will decide for you next year--read closed trails.
    Oh sh!+ just force upgraded to cat1. Now what?
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  11. #11
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    I had my first race of this year last weekend. Prior to that, I probably only rode about 5km of singletrack this year, due to the imperfect spring weather we have been having.

    Fortunately, the race course was not very technical, so I ended up not doing too terribly skill wise, despite the lack of trail time this year. However, my fitness was seriously lacking, so I was not exactly flying out there. Had I been contesting for the win, I might have been more concerned about slight over-braking and sluggishness through the singletrack.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  12. #12
    mnoutain bkie rdier
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    Clearly what is hardest to replicate on the road or trainer are the quick bursts that are the norm in mtb and also descending in dirt.

    Nothing will prepare you for the actual race like getting some time in the dirt (mud). Not sure how much damage you will do to the local trails though?

    I say go for an mtb ride if the damage will be minimal.

  13. #13
    g3h6o3
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    By driving back home after work yesterday I also thought of riding quad trails along the higway. They have steep climbs/DHs that are rocky and fairly technical. A single day of sun and these would be ridable I think.

    I'm sure I'll find some alternatives to riding the actual trails to get some technical riding time in.

    Thanks for sharing.
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