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    China Peak CES

    Just signed up for this race the other day. This will be my first "real" mountain bike race, so I'm super excited and a little nervous. I have watched videos of all the stages from previous years, but would love to hear some stories/helpful tips from anyone that has done it in the past. Also, is anyone else going to be up there?

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    China Peak is one of the gnarlier races of the CES. Not just more technically demanding but physically as well. Last year we had about 4000 ft of climbing fully exposed in the sun with 5000 ft of descending(one lift assisted climb), at race pace might I add. Friday practice gets packed so be prepared to wait in long lift lines and spend all day to do 5 runs.

    If you're camping bring plenty of food, there is a small restaurant at the resort but the nearest market is a bit of a drive. Theres water and restrooms on site. You need a full face helmet for the race. It was one of my favorite races last year. Looking forward to it!

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    Right on! Good luck.

    We signed up for the race but health reasons are requiring us to back out and go drink beer with fc in Downieville instead. Guess I should see if someone needs entry tickets for the beginner class.

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    Drinking beer healthier than riding.... Depends on how you ride I guess?

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    Quote Originally Posted by bob-o View Post
    Drinking beer healthier than riding.... Depends on how you ride I guess?
    OR the type of beer....

    Her knee and my lung issue. No need to kill ourselves up there for nothing when there is a party at a lower elevation.

    I look forward to seeing the CES results though. A lot of friends ride the series.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCWages View Post
    Right on! Good luck.

    We signed up for the race but health reasons are requiring us to back out and go drink beer with fc in Downieville instead. Guess I should see if someone needs entry tickets for the beginner class.
    Hope you heal up soon.
    Yeah, I'm sure there are people that will want to buy your entries considering it is sold out. I got really lucky with getting a spot. I have been wanting to do this race for a long time but never got around to registering because I didn't want to go alone. A few days ago my friend texts me saying that he registered and that I should too. I told him I would as soon as I got home. Get home less than an hour later and go to register and it is sold out. (actually a blank grey screen at this point). Bummer. Well, maybe 3 days later I go back on the website looking into the Northstar round. I have no idea why, but I decided to click on the China Peak round just cause. And guess what, registration was back open. So I signed up and cried a little as I entered in my credit card info for the $90 entry. I messaged the promoter and asked them if they were adding more spots. They replied saying that someone(s) originally double registered so they had that spot open. And sure enough, as soon as I went back to the CES website it was sold out again.

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    Oh man that is great! So glad you made it in. Please post up photos of the event and good luck!

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    It is rough and loose and expert/pro usually has some good sections. No big jumps, just natural terrain stuff. Lots of rock and moon dust, I think full face and knee pads are required to race.

    But yeah, most important is be ready for the conditions. Kinda like that Hollister 6hr moto race. It will be hot, there is almost no shade, and lots of climbing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ARider View Post
    But yeah, most important is be ready for the conditions. Kinda like that Hollister 6hr moto race. It will be hot, there is almost no shade, and lots of climbing.
    Yeah, but I know how to ride a dirt bike. Mountain bikes.... Not so much.

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    as beaverbiker alluded to, bring your toolbox and plenty of spares. there are no bike shops anywhere close, and the terrain is tough on bikes. I had a mechanical during practice a couple years ago and was barely able to macguever a fix. it would be a bummer to go all the way out there and not be able to race due to a mechanical. I'd bring spare rotors, chainguide parts, chain, spare tire, seatpost, shock, whatever you've got basically. people were running around trying to find just about all of the above parts when I raced. hopefully this year there will be a bit more neutral tech support in the pits but last time I raced there you were pretty much on your own.

    I'll be there, I'm looking forward to it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by RBoardman View Post
    Yeah, but I know how to ride a dirt bike. Mountain bikes.... Not so much.
    You'll be fine!
    Don't crash and pedal all the time are the keys for Enduro mtb racing.

    The timed segments are from 3-7 minutes long usually, so practice some Strava segments in similar length around here.
    The best thing to practice is sprinting off the line so your HR is maxed right out of the gate and go full gas for the whole segment. Gotta train your body to function correctly when deprived of oxygen!

    Looks like the temps will be OK this year, I only see low 80's for race weekend.
    I'll be there trying my best to breath.

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    Can anyone direct me to a likely place to sell my 2 "Beginner" entries?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCWages View Post
    Can anyone direct me to a likely place to sell my 2 "Beginner" entries?
    They don't have to be to beginner riders I believe. And I would post on the California Enduro Series Facebook page.

  14. #14
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    Anyone wanting to know what we're all talking about here ya go, there's a video on the homepage, (we can't embed Vimeo in here yet?).

    VP EnduroFest at China Peak, Lakeshore CA June 26-27 | California Enduro Series #3

    Quote Originally Posted by hardboiled View Post
    as beaverbiker alluded to, bring your toolbox and plenty of spares. there are no bike shops anywhere close, and the terrain is tough on bikes.
    I'll third that notion. Also, have fun, bring fluids and gatorade, enjoy the race.
    ~This will be the first time I can't go just to watch because we were camping last week instead.

    EDIT: Mrs.Obi wants me to warn everyone that the skeeters are BAD this year. Big and Small-Uns, us and the kids ended up w big mosquito welts this time. Also watch out for the Hornets, this one was buzzing us while we were up the road. Almost 1-1/2" long.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JCWages View Post
    Can anyone direct me to a likely place to sell my 2 "Beginner" entries?
    transfers can be into any category. post of Norcal Gravity FB as well as CES FB. you'll be able to sell it no problem!

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    Anyone who has ridden it, what are the most important stages to preride? IE rock gardens with several line choices? I wont have all day Friday to practice and want to do a few runs. Expert class. Thanks!

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    Hey, that's me in your attached photo

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    Thanks guys!

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    Quote Originally Posted by normarin View Post
    Anyone who has ridden it, what are the most important stages to preride? IE rock gardens with several line choices? I wont have all day Friday to practice and want to do a few runs. Expert class. Thanks!
    Practice the climbs. That's where most of the time is taken away from you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gemini2k05 View Post
    Practice the climbs. That's where most of the time is taken away from you.
    Yes, but you also need to make sure you can make it through any technical sections without crashing. Crashes waste a lot of time. That said, dont worry about being the fastest through the rocks and spending time doing multiple runs on tech sections. Figure them out and be able to ride them with confidence. Theres never going to be more than a few seconds of time to be gained in a rock garden where as a climbs and pedally sections are much more substantial.

    They haven't released the course yet so we can't really say what stages will be important. Last year stage 4 was pretty technical.

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    I think it is kind of lame how you have to pay for your lift ticket for the race day on Saturday, and that it is not included in the entry fee.

    "Lift access for both Friday and Saturday is $50, one day access is $25.
    We WILL use one lift ride on race day
    "

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    Quote Originally Posted by RBoardman View Post
    I think it is kind of lame how you have to pay for your lift ticket for the race day on Saturday, and that it is not included in the entry fee.

    "Lift access for both Friday and Saturday is $50, one day access is $25.
    We WILL use one lift ride on race day
    "
    Yep that is some straight up gouging.

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    Quote Originally Posted by normarin View Post
    Anyone who has ridden it, what are the most important stages to preride? IE rock gardens with several line choices? I wont have all day Friday to practice and want to do a few runs. Expert class. Thanks!
    Bump..

    Which stages if i can only ride 2?

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    Quote Originally Posted by normarin View Post
    Bump..

    Which stages if i can only ride 2?
    The course map is not posted as of now, so it is hard to answer that. But I would at least watch all the stages from last year on YouTube and then you can get a better idea of what each one is like. Jon Buckell has at least 3 of them on his YouTube channel.

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    Quote Originally Posted by normarin View Post
    Bump..

    Which stages if i can only ride 2?
    If they use the same course as last year, which I assume it will be pretty darn similar, then pre ride 3 and 4. 3 has some tricky rock gardens and 4 is the steepest. ! and 2 are pretty straight forward, just be ready for loose and blown out corners!

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    Clocking in at 2.6 mph. Trails are so sick.


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    Anyone got the race results yet ?

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    Had a great time and ended up with one of these bad boys. Will post a race report with pics and video tomorrow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthSideOf50 View Post
    Anyone got the race results yet ?
    Interesting that 16 hrs after the awards ceremony the results are still a blackout. Checked the website, facebook & twitter and results have not been made available. Seems to me that they would like to publize them ? (Yes, checking on a racer that I am an aquaintence with)

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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthSideOf50 View Post
    Interesting that 16 hrs after the awards ceremony the results are still a blackout. Checked the website, facebook & twitter and results have not been made available. Seems to me that they would like to publize them ? (Yes, checking on a racer that I am an aquaintence with)
    What class are they in? I have pics of the sport and expert 18-29 classes.

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    We got to use the lifts on Friday to practice the course. A very scenic ride up



    Took a closer look at a tricky section at the top of stage 3.



    If you take a closer look at this tree you will notice it is full of beads.



    The start of stage 3 was at the top of the mountain by some cool rock formations



    You raced by a pond on stage 1



    Swimming hole late in the afternoon



    Lake across the street



    Ended up with 3rd place at my first enduro. So pumped with that result.

  32. #32
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    Here is a video I put together of the race

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    China Peak Race Report

    Luck was on my side from the very beginning. I have been wanting to do this race for a long time but never got around to registering because I didn't want to go alone. A few days ago my friend TJ texts me saying that he registered and that I should too. I told him I would as soon as I got home. I get home less than an hour later and go to register and it is sold out. (actually a blank grey screen at this point). Bummer. Maybe 3 days later I go back on the website looking into the Northstar round. I have no idea why, but I decided to click on the China Peak round just cause. And guess what, registration was back open. So I signed up and cried a little as I entered in my credit card info for the $90 entry. I messaged the promoter and asked them if they were adding more spots. They replied saying that someone(s) originally double registered so they had that spot open. And sure enough, as soon as I went back to the CES website it was sold out again.

    Race weekend comes and TJ, Alex, jake, and myself load up Thursday night and head down to Fresnoís nicest motel 6. The next morning it was an easy drive to the race location up the hill. We got there, paid for our lift tickets (That they never once check throughout the whole weekend), and took the worldís slowest lift at 2.6 mph to the top of the mountain at 8500í. The course was marked already for practice, so we took off on stage 3. After just 4 corners in, Jake take a small fall on a tricky rock section and takes a huge gauge out of his relatively new 5010 frame as well as getting a flat tire. After fixing that, we continue down the longest stage of the day stopping at any tricky sections looking for the good lines. About 3/4ths of the way down is the rock garden, which we all got through with little issues. But as Iím rolling round the corner, even more bad news. Alex is sitting on the side of the trail with a cracked carbon wheel. Not good.

    We roll back to the truck and decide what to do next because there is no way he will be able to ride on that wheel. Not wanting to waste any more time, the other 3 of us head back up the lifts to ride stages 1 and 2. Stage 1 went without any mishap, as it was pretty pretty smooth and simple. But then on stage 2 as I am entering a rocky section I hear this loud ďtingĒ come from my bike, and I immediately knew one of my spokes just broke. Then at that point we headed straight back to the truck. Now we had two people with broken bikes. The spoke I broke was an important one, because I only had 8 spokes on the one side of my front wheel. So this left my wheel completely lacking strength and with a super rocky and technical course, could be dangerous to even ride.

    Since Alexís bike shop manager was coming to this race, (and bringing him a wheel), we were going to see if he could bring me a spoke that would work with my bike. So I went to go look for someone with a ruler so I could get a measurement of the spoke. And the first people I ask, what do you know, they have a spoke threader and blank spokes. Shout out to the guys in the Mikeís Bikes van for getting my bike back in one piece. From there we do some more practice runs, get signed up, and get some rest before race day.

    The race started out with a long 1600í climb to the top of the mountain. Since this section was untimed I took my time and even stopped a few times to catch my breath at this high altitude. I got to the top of stage 1, and had about 20 minutes to hang out before they were letting the sportsman class start. I pedaled hard in this stage, and just a few corners in my heart rate was maxed out and I was gasping for breath. But I rode smooth through the whole stage and ended up in second place just 2 seconds off of the leader. By then end I was completely out of breath, from just a 4:42 seconds of racing, which is not something that I experience in dirt bike racing.

    Stage 2 required a short climb to mid mountain. This stage did not go as well for me. I think I was still out of breath from the first stage, and may have ridden too much the day before because my legs did not want to pedal as much as my brain wanted them to. I roe sloppy all the way down, but to my amazement I finished this stage in 3rd place just 3 seconds off the leader.

    To get to the top of stage 3 we got to take the ski lift up. Stage 3 was the longest and most technical, but also the most fun. I started off this stage well staying smooth and clean through the moon dust and rocks. But about half way through there was some flat single track, fireroad, and a short climb all of which required pedaling if you wanted to go fast. This time I knew I couldnít go flat out like the first stage because I still had lots of technical stuff to go. But my legs were sore, and my fitness was lacking, so I definitely knew I would be losing time here as I gritted my teach and tried to get through it as fast as possible. After this section was a rock garden that we practiced on the day before. I did have a close call with a rider off his bike in the middle of the trail, but was able to get through the section clean. The finish was not to much further, but the last section of this 10 minute stage was a struggle for me to hang on and even get a single pedal stoke in. This stage I finished in 4th place, a little further back off the leaderís pace, but still a very solid performance. I ended up finishing the day in 3rd place in the sportsman 18-29 class which was way above my expectations. I had a blast and cannot wait to be back out there racing again.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by RBoardman View Post
    What class are they in? I have pics of the sport and expert 18-29 classes.
    Thanks, he was racing pro. Friend told that he took 2nd Congrats on your placing, great job for your first enduro

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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthSideOf50 View Post
    Thanks, he was racing pro. Friend told that he took 2nd Congrats on your placing, great job for your first enduro
    Pro top 5:

    Lopes
    Geno
    Gardner
    Turpin
    Teel

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    Nice work Boardman! Next time you need to race Expert though, stage 4 was well worth the extra climb up!

    How did that rekluse work for you out there?

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    Congrats, man! That's awesome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Trail Bum View Post
    Pro top 5:

    Lopes
    Geno
    Gardner
    Turpin
    Teel
    Pretty solid finish yourself running with the big dawgs. Nice work.

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    Reviving this thread:

    Tire selection for China Peak? Is it so loose you're running slow tires front and back?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JLF1200 View Post
    Reviving this thread:

    Tire selection for China Peak? Is it so loose you're running slow tires front and back?
    Whatís your definition of slow tires? I run dh casing front and rear at all bike park enduros. I also run dhf front and rear all day every day, so Iím not a great person for tire advice.

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    Fast: all the DHRII clones, medium rubber
    Slow: Assegai, DHF, Vigilante, tacky rubber

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLF1200 View Post
    Fast: all the DHRII clones, medium rubber
    Slow: Assegai, DHF, Vigilante, tacky rubber
    Oh, when I think slow I think mud spikes. Itís not uncommon for people to run DH maxxgrip Assegaiís at races these days. Or even out trail riding they are a super popular option.

    Even though there is some pedaling, it will be far outweighed by the loose rocky dh terrain on the rest of the course. Pick your favorite dh oriented tire, and get the heaviest option they have. This place is very notorious for flats and broken wheels.


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    The rocks are big but don't look super sharp, is that correct? I run cushcore and usually get away with EXO+ when running the inserts, *unless* the rocks are especially sharp and can punch through the tire itself. Rarely happens, but happens. I do have a maxxgrip Assegai on the front now. DH and DD casings are insanely hard to mount with the inserts, but maybe I'll do it just for this race.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by JLF1200 View Post
    The rocks are big but don't look super sharp, is that correct? I run cushcore and usually get away with EXO+ when running the inserts, *unless* the rocks are especially sharp and can punch through the tire itself. Rarely happens, but happens. I do have a maxxgrip Assegai on the front now. DH and DD casings are insanely hard to mount with the inserts, but maybe I'll do it just for this race.
    The rocks arenít particularly sharp, but I think what gets most people is the trails are really raw and ďawkwardĒ. Some abrupt g-outs and random edges that catch people up. (This is what cushcore is well served for though).

    In my opinion for enduro racing it is well worth the peace of mind to run a heavier casing in the rear at least. Worst thing ever is to get a flat mid stage when you are doing well.

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    Iím really excited for this race! Iíll be running a DD Assegai Maxxgrip front and probably a DHR read with Cushcore. Last year I ran a Specialized Butcher/Eliminator Grid combo but after trying the Assegai on the loose rocky stuff, it works so well.

  47. #47
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    Question. For those that run Cushcore, are you installing it yourself or using a shop to do it?

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    It takes a bit of trial and error and some time but itís not really that hard. A couple key things are to use a round garbage can to work on and watch the videos on their website. First time it took me 45 minutes and a lot of swearing, now I can swap tires in about 10 or 15 minutes. Also, it seems like a gimmick but the cushcore tire lever with the handle really helps.

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    I've had particular issues with DD casing + cushcore combo. I can get the tires mounted but they always seem to suffer some sort of delamination that deforms the tire permanently. My suspicion is Maxxis is running these tires small (to protect from burping) and the extra force needed to get the last bit of bead over the rim tears the casing layers apart in that part of the tire, causing a wobble.

    No issues like this whatsoever with Blck Dmnd Specialized casing, or anything EXO+ or below from Maxxis.

  50. #50
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    Hey all, I know this is probably a long shot but does anyone have any registration they canít use? Want to go with a few friends but didnít realize it would sell out so soon. Shoot me a message and Iíll pay full price or more,, if you could help a brother out that would be sick.
    Keegan

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