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  1. #1
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    Soggy Bottom Training?

    Hi, I just heard of the Soggy Bottom race on the Kenai Peninsula and am interested in possibly doing it. Conerns I have is I have never done a mtn. bike race and I have never ridden a 100 miles, and I'm not that fast of a rider. I have ridden Resurrection (5 1/2 hours one way) and Devils Pass a few times. Any suggestions on how to start training for that race? I do not winter bike, road bike or spin on a bike at a health club so I won't get on my bike for another couple weeks for the season. Any suggetions would be appreciated.

  2. #2
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    That is going to be tuff...I think the only way to prepare is to ride. You really should be riding a stationary or taking a spinning class at the least. I guess it also depends on much riding riding you will be doing prior to the race once the season starts.

    Good luck - thats a tough race!

  3. #3
    rio
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    Soggy Bottom

    Please take the time to read every thing that is on the Soggy Bottom web pages. Then do a search on the Alaska Forum for the Soggy Bottom and read very carefully what people have said. But, to be practical about things, if you have to ask how to prepare / train for a ride like the Soggy Bottom, perhaps another venue that is less demanding on the bike, body and mind is in order. The Soggy Bottom is thought to have more continuous single track than any other ride in the United States. Its a ride that will take its toll on those that are not totally prepared to excell. A good starting point, perhaps is to do a 24 HR event solo and without any support. However, the Alaska Endurance Series may be more to your liking and you can find info on the AES by going to AKspokes.com. I established the AES as a training program for those who have the goal of completing the Soggy in 12 hours or less and to have the mileage and more experience to survive the Soggy Bottom. Please also realize that these rides are not for the freshmen rider.
    The Soggy Bottom is a ride you apply to do, those with no solo endurance experience in the wilderness with a bike and, or another human powered endeavor are gracefully rejected.
    Oh, I am the ride director, and have completed 12 solo rides on that course over the past several years.
    Perhaps some Soggy Bottom riders may want to weigh in and offer some advice to help a bro out.


    Quote Originally Posted by Megas
    Hi, I just heard of the Soggy Bottom race on the Kenai Peninsula and am interested in possibly doing it. Conerns I have is I have never done a mtn. bike race and I have never ridden a 100 miles, and I'm not that fast of a rider. I have ridden Resurrection (5 1/2 hours one way) and Devils Pass a few times. Any suggestions on how to start training for that race? I do not winter bike, road bike or spin on a bike at a health club so I won't get on my bike for another couple weeks for the season. Any suggetions would be appreciated.
    Last edited by rio; 03-29-2008 at 05:23 PM.

  4. #4
    I'm from Utah
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    Hmmm, Carlos, wish you had told me all that in 2006 :-)

    So is that the cutoff time this year for the Soggy? 12 hours? I'll have to track down the Soggy Bottom Web site, but when are you thinking of holding the event this year? Another September slog?

    Also good news about the AES. I'll be in touch about my plans for reckless use of airline miles this summer.

  5. #5
    rio
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    Soggy Bottom/Denali Classic

    http://akspokes.com/forum/showthread.php?t=210

    The above link will take you to the AES Schedule.
    The 12 hours, well it is not the cut-off time; instead it has become the unspoken challenge to completed the Soggy in 12 hours or less. I think that is about a 9.1 mph average, easy right ?

    The 08 edition will be somewhat different from several points of view, but the important one is; there will be a 3 rider team ride, involving no more than 3 riders /team !
    The Fabulous Soggy Bottom will be on August 30th. Your housing options for the Denali Classic will be the same for the Soggy.







    Quote Originally Posted by Jilleo
    Hmmm, Carlos, wish you had told me all that in 2006 :-)

    So is that the cutoff time this year for the Soggy? 12 hours? I'll have to track down the Soggy Bottom Web site, but when are you thinking of holding the event this year? Another September slog?

    Also good news about the AES. I'll be in touch about my plans for reckless use of airline miles this summer.

  6. #6
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    Megas

    You can do the ride. I don't, didn't train and I finished the ride the 1st time I did it. Painfully, and agonizingly, I finished it. The 2nd time around I drank accelerade, power gels, and water on a strict schedule throughout the race and by the end I felt like I could have gone over the pass again (if someone held a gun to my head, and they were going to kill my family, I could have.) The year before though, they would have all been dead. My point, other than letting people know I'm nuts, is that nutrition on a race like this is #1. #2 would be saddle time. I hate riding trainers, and don't. I ski in the winter, and don't ride enough to call it training. As a matter of fact, if mountain biking became something i had to train for, I would stop doing it. Ride a lot. Have fun doing it. To "train" if you have to, start with long rides "hillclimbs" in town. I would ride from my home on Muldoon to the saddle at Powerline pass 3 times a week taking different routes up and down. It was fun, and tough. Hammer the hills to build your lactic threshold and lung capacity. Never stop, but slow your pedaling when you become anaerobic (that is, feel like you can't breathe or keep pedaling.) Extend those rides to come back down powerline and head toward, if not up to Arctic Valley via the tank trail. Then you can start riding those out of town rides. Don't let people slow you down, or speed you up on these rides. Hit Johnson pass, Resurrection Pass, Long Lake, Devil's Pass, (Crown Point is also a nice hill trainer) at good steady paces without stopping long. Get used to moving your legs for hours and hours at a time. You aren't going to win the race, but you'll finish it. Oh, one last thing. Make sure you know how to fix every single thing on your bike. I've seen people blow entire tires out (have a spare tire, not tube at your checkpoints), pop tires, derailleur hangars, and I had to fix a chain in the first 6 miles of my 2nd soggy. Know your stuff. Practice using the supplements for nutrition on your "training." Figure out what works. I was slurping accelerade mix through my camelbak at least every 15 minutes even if it made me want to puke. Every 30-45 minutes I'd take a goo gel (very gross when very warm, reminiscent of something I can't and won't name here.) The first year I did the race cramps crippled me from Swan lake heading back to Devils pass until the sun went down at 10, at which point I rode in complete darkness with a small headlamp back to Hope.

    Don't be discouraged. Finishing the ride is an incredible feeling. It's a nice end to summer riding. I didn't do it last year, and I wish I had. I'm on it this year, but only competing against my last time. Cheers. Good luck. Thanks again for putting that thing on Rio

    Elf

  7. #7
    is buachail foighneach me
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elfbkr50
    .....(if someone held a gun to my head, and they were going to kill my family, I could have.) .......
    Elf

    sooo, your family is in your head?

  8. #8
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    ha ha

    yeah, that does read funny. You know what I meant.

    Ha.

    I do think about my family. So, in that way...

  9. #9
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    Thank you for all the information. With all that being said, I never thought about riding in the dark, but I guess it would be dark since it is the end of August. Do you have a light on your helmet and bike and if so what types of lights and what do they cost?

  10. #10
    Wood chips are stupid
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    $$$$$

    If you want to go fast,you will want a good HID lamp on your head and/or bike.Both rules. Plan on spending at least $400 per unit. Either way,you will need lights with you if you end up out there at night.

    akdeluxe
    "Trust me,you don't want a big baby."

    JT

  11. #11
    Caveman
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    you can get away with much much less than a HID light, you can bike with some of the stronger "non-bike" LED lights that are out there now. No need to spend crazy money on lights unless you want to go just as fast at night as in the day, "survival" night riding is cheaper, just more scary and not as fun

    performance and training tips - take lots of cold showers, and learn to eat while riding.

  12. #12
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    I second that emotion

    What Elfbkr said. Last year was my first Soggy and I also refuse road rides and trainers so didn't get started riding until May. That being said, I did ride more than I ever have before. During the race I focused on nutrition which was new to me when I started training and it made all the difference in the world. Spent, yes but destroyed, no.

    As for lights, I was at the tail end of the pack (13 hours) and only needed it for the last 5-6 miles, most of which was the dirt road. Not a big issue. You should still have something but you don't need to a huge budget. Some of the more hi-powered head lamps would probably be fine. Everyone has their own training plan, some more excessive than others but I do recommend riding all parts of the course before the race.

    I disagree with the statement that survival night riding is not as much fun, I find it to be quite a rush...except for the bear potential. That's just me though.

  13. #13
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    Lights

    The first year I used a $100 planet bike light. Very bright, very short battery life. If I wasn't with a buddy that first year I would have been walking. It's pitch black up there. The northern lights danced over our heads all the way to Hope. The 2nd year, I didn't even bring my light from the devil's pass parking lot (where you will stage your lighting system so as not to ride with it 75 useless miles(sorry Rio, no lighty until nighty for me) and I was out by dark. This year, I plan on bringing my Black Diamond headlamp only, with 6 extra AA batteries. I think it's called the black diamond Icon. I've used it to ski powder in Turnagain in the pitch black winter, and used it to ride when we could ride in December this year. It's the brightest headlamp for $60, and I think that is all you need. Unless you are scared of the dark. As far as going "fast" on that portion of the ride. You won't be, so you don't need that much light. That is the last 20 miles of your first 110 mile mountain bike ride.

    It'd be cool to hook up with other people planning on riding that this summer. I don't want to train, but riding long rides (cooper to hope and back, etc.) with someone who doesn't think that is terribly miserable would be cool.

  14. #14
    Fatback
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    Megas, spend lot's of time in the saddle at various speeds this summer, building gradually. If you are new to mtb racing, you won't know what to expect, so don't underestimate the difficulty of the event. Some people are much better than others at slogging through no matter what. Keep in mind that doing this event is a priviledge granted by RIO and he does not need to worry about riders showing up unprepared. Come out and test your skills at ABC's mtb events this summer-especially the Hillside Manglers and the 12/24hr (also at Hillside). Mid summer, do a Devil's-Hope-Devil's ride and see how you feel. That will give you some idea of your conditioning. None of this is meant to discourage you or anyone else for that matter, we just want people to have fun and not get in over their heads.
    Speedway Cycles owner http://fatbackbikes.com

  15. #15
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    go for it

    I say just go for it. I haven't done the Soggy or any long mountain bike races for that matter, but I have signed up for other races and events that are ridiculously over my head and realized that if I train hard enough I can do anything. The more you train and prepare for the race, the less miserable it will be, in general. Don't take it too lightly, but don't be scared away either. The AES sounds like a good place to gage if you will be ready for the Soggy.

    Also good news about the AES. I'll be in touch about my plans for reckless use of airline miles this summer.
    Jilleo, I'm planning on doing a bunch of the AES events too, it will be good to see another women out there!

  16. #16
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    Since I am fairly new to the Anchorage area I will take your advice and do some of the local races and hopefully be able to meet some of the racers who have done the Soggy before. If I feel confident with my racing this summer then hopefully I can do the Soggy, if RIO would allow me to do the race. I am in my 20's so if I don't do it this year, there is always next year. Thanks to everyone for your input.

  17. #17
    HowtoOverthrowtheSystem
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    You can always bribe Rio with good Belgian beer or "freebie" coupons for the ladies of Spenard.

  18. #18
    rio
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    freebie ?

    that would be overly extravagant !


    Quote Originally Posted by daveIT
    You can always bribe Rio with good Belgian beer or "freebie" coupons for the ladies of Spenard.

  19. #19

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    Soggied

    It is a tough race. I did it for the first time in 2007. It was my springboard for the Susitna 100. Among the drama elements, two flat tires, right wrist inoperable for last 40 miles and had it duck taped at Devil's Pass, lower back/core strength gone for last 50 miles, a full rotation wheelie across the finish line resulting in a broken seat and lower back issues (and humiliation), passed out (caught by Rio) from dehydration about 25 minutes after the race finish, drunken woman doctor rubbing her hands through my hair telling me I would be OK (of course I was glad she was there) while I laid on the bench seat of my pickup. Probably took three weeks to recover. I've got plenty of room for improvement. Broken Toe Joe.

  20. #20
    HowtoOverthrowtheSystem
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    LOL that reminds me when my buddy did the Fireweed he was trying to get his jersey off to swirl it around his head at the finish and he hit a pothole and almost bit it...after 400 miles.

  21. #21
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    we remember

    Quote Originally Posted by alaskatony
    It is a tough race. I did it for the first time in 2007. It was my springboard for the Susitna 100. Among the drama elements, two flat tires, right wrist inoperable for last 40 miles and had it duck taped at Devil's Pass, lower back/core strength gone for last 50 miles, a full rotation wheelie across the finish line resulting in a broken seat and lower back issues (and humiliation), passed out (caught by Rio) from dehydration about 25 minutes after the race finish, drunken woman doctor rubbing her hands through my hair telling me I would be OK (of course I was glad she was there) while I laid on the bench seat of my pickup. Probably took three weeks to recover. I've got plenty of room for improvement. Broken Toe Joe.
    Mr. palmerjenny and I remember your finish! We viewed it from the comfort and delerium of the Sea View. Even in our state, we felt your pain.

  22. #22
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    I have decided to do the 24 hour race in Anchorage in June and have a question about "ramping" up and "tapering". If you were to do the 24 hour race what is the longest ride you would do before the race (10 hrs?) and how many weeks before the race would you do the long ride. Then, after your long ride how many hours would you ride the weekends before the race? Thanks.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megas
    I have decided to do the 24 hour race in Anchorage in June and have a question about "ramping" up and "tapering". If you were to do the 24 hour race what is the longest ride you would do before the race (10 hrs?) and how many weeks before the race would you do the long ride. Then, after your long ride how many hours would you ride the weekends before the race? Thanks.
    Dude! Solo? Doing a 24-hour race solo is not the way to start training for the Soggy, especially since it's fairly early in our riding season. For many people, the soloing of a 24-hour race is the final goal of their training, not the starting point. I think 24-hour events are fun...as a team. Maybe that's what you meant. Honestly, to train for the Soggy, you don't really need any "traditional" racing experience. Once you're out there, it's not really a race atmosphere, you're competing against yourself. Maybe your goal is a certain time, maybe it is just to finish, but once everyone gets in their rythm, you'll rarely see anyone else on the course except at transition areas. It's not like a race where you're competing head-to-head with everyone over most of the course. That being said, you wanna solo the 24-hour, go for it. It's not counter-productive to your goal of the Soggy but it's also not necessary. As has been mentioned before in this thread, I think there are 4 main components to successfully completing the Soggy.
    1. Saddle time
    2. Knowing the course (see #1)
    3. Nutrition plan
    4. Psychologically prepared (long rides, see #1)

    My best advice, again, is to get out and ride. Hook up with others on this forum, over on AKSpokes, or the Arctic Bike club to get out on the trails. People are always setting up rides. Or grab a guide book and go.

  24. #24
    Fatback
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megas
    I have decided to do the 24 hour race in Anchorage in June and have a question about "ramping" up and "tapering". If you were to do the 24 hour race what is the longest ride you would do before the race (10 hrs?) and how many weeks before the race would you do the long ride. Then, after your long ride how many hours would you ride the weekends before the race? Thanks.

    If you have the time to ride 10 hours at a time, you are well ahead of most riders. I wouldn't worry so much about tapering as the race is in June and the trails won't have legally opened for an entire month. Ride as much as you can, as often, even if it's just commuting to work. Hopefully you've got some kind of base to work with already, if not, get started. I would give a week to 10 days to recover from a hard 10 hour ride. You can't improve your conditioning in a week, but you can lose it, so just keep rolling with shorter efforts with some speedwork the last week. I will be posting info on the 24 soon.
    Speedway Cycles owner http://fatbackbikes.com

  25. #25
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    Use the 24 hour race...

    or just do this on your own; Ride for 12-15 hours without stopping. Doing the same boring lap over, and over, and over again, resting, and then doing it over and over again. Painfully boring, but easy. Stage your own refueling station. Stop as little as possible (every 4 hours if you want it to feel like the soggy would.) and watch your computer. Ride 110 miles there, where you are in a very safe place and can stop whenever you want and see where your fitness level is, nutrition plan, etc. It's a good idea, other than the 24 hour race literally sucks, real bad, and it's not fun by yourself which is what the soggy is, so, right.

  26. #26
    Caveman
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    This is getting pretty funny.
    Everyone has their different take on tapering.
    I think that if you have trained well, then your body is used to recovery and going on a hammer fest long ride the weekend before is still good for ya. Like wise, if you are training for endurance you might just be doing 2 rides a week for any real duration, but those rides are 6 hrs+ so like I said, you'd have recovered in time for the race if you still went hard the weekend before. take all this junk with a grain of salt, you'll figure it out on your own in time.

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