Albion Weather and Trail info for Solstice...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Albion Weather and Trail info for Solstice...

    Hey,

    Since a few of us are going to be racing at Solstice this weekend, I thought we could start an on-going thread with current trail and weather conditions. I'm in Ottawa, so I'll be checking the local Albion Hills/Stayner forecasts (http://www.theweathernetwork.com/wea...s/CAON0649.htm) a couple times a day to get an idea of the conditions throughout the week to get an idea of what we can expect this weekend for tire selection, clothes, etc.

    Forecast is definitely shaping-up compared to what it was last week. Rain early in the week (Mon, Tues and Wed), but getting sunnier for Thurs, Fri and the weekend. Temperatures are dropping, too and that wicked humidity will be broken...finally!

    This combo should be very nice for the course as the early rains will help compact the course, reduce dust, etc., followed by sun to dry it out. Perfect! But, this is just in theory...we all know Mother Nature has a nasty habit of stirring the pot and throwing in her own mix.

    Anyway, I'm hoping a few of you GTA racers will actually be pre-riding the course this week and will be able to post course condition reports for us, not-so-local-racers.

    See ya at Solstice!
    Ride Hard,
    Mike B. (MCM# 7.77)
    http://www.one-speed.com

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    I'll pre-ride it Wednesday or Thursday and post the trail conditions.

    What campsite are you at Mike? Going solo again?
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by SSteel
    I'll pre-ride it Wednesday or Thursday and post the trail conditions.
    Perfect...thanks! Also, let me know what tires you were running at the time and what you'll likely be running at Albion. Keep in mind, our trails in Eastern Ontario are vastly different than yours....we've got a lot more rocks, technical riding, etc. so I tend to run knobbies for 99% of my riding. But, having raced at Albion the last 2-yrs for Solstice (both solos), Hardwood, Mansfield, etc. for O-Cups, I know if conditions are good, I'm going to be going with Pythons.


    Quote Originally Posted by SSteel
    What campsite are you at Mike? Going solo again?
    I'm on site #45 with the rest of the solo'ers. Ya, I'm a gluten for punishment.....you'd think I'd learn, eh?

    What about you? Tag-team again?

    My buddy is doing a co-ed tag-team...should be interesting. In some respects, I find the tag-teams to be tougher than the solo races. Either way, neither are easy.
    Last edited by 1speed_Mike; 06-13-2005 at 11:05 AM.
    Ride Hard,
    Mike B. (MCM# 7.77)
    http://www.one-speed.com

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    The other half of my tag-team moved to BC. So now I'm on a corporate team with my Fiancee. I'm still doing my laps on a SS though.

    I've been using Schwalbe Racing Ralphs (low tread pattern), and that is what I plan to do this weekend, but I'll let you know how I fare on the course this week.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1speed_Mike
    I'll be checking the local Albion Hills/Stayner forecasts (http://www.theweathernetwork.com/wea...s/CAON0649.htm)
    Try Palgrave for the forecast - not even 1km north of Albion Hills Conservation Area. Stayner is nowhere close to Albion Hills.

    Arek

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    rode the course on Sunday AM

    went for 2 laps... it was dry and hard like cement except for that new section which was still settling down. The first third of the course is ridiculously easy. My grandma would fly over it without her orthotics. The new section is fantastic. Lot of uphill/downhill sections. Uphills are not too long and not very steep but will make few of us gasp for more air... Beware of the sandy corner going slightly downhill... on this section you have to look as far ahead as possible...

    fast twisty sections through pines are still there and there are no hidden obsticles.

    the last section is the same as last year Hot Summer Nights, but shorter...

    total mileage: 16.6kms

    if it is dry, i will definitely run Michelin Jet S UST 2.0... i didnt need more grip and they are FAST... My backup set of wheels will have Kenda Nevegal Lites 1.95...

    we had some rain just now, but unless it comes down few more times until the weekend, this is nothing and will just make the course easier...

    Quote Originally Posted by 1speed_Mike
    Perfect...thanks! Also, let me know what tires you were running at the time and what you'll likely be running at Albion. Keep in mind, our trails in Eastern Ontario are vastly different than yours....we've got a lot more rocks, technical riding, etc. so I tend to run knobbies for 99% of my riding. But, having raced at Albion the last 2-yrs for Solstice (both solos), Hardwood, Mansfield, etc. for O-Cups, I know if conditions are good, I'm going to be going with Pythons.




    I'm on site #45 with the rest of the solo'ers. Ya, I'm a gluten for punishment.....you'd think I'd learn, eh?

    What about you? Tag-team again?

    My buddy is doing a co-ed tag-team...should be interesting. In some respects, I find the tag-teams to be tougher than the solo races. Either way, neither are easy.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arek
    Try Palgrave for the forecast - not even 1km north of Albion Hills Conservation Area. Stayner is nowhere close to Albion Hills.

    Arek
    Ooops....I was looking at the Chico Map and was looking at Mansfield, not Albion. Palgrave it is then. Good thing I posted here, eh?
    Ride Hard,
    Mike B. (MCM# 7.77)
    http://www.one-speed.com

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    Mike, here's my tire choice:

    Hard Pack - Kenda Karma DTC
    Rain - Kenda Karma DTC
    Loose - Kenda Karma DTC
    Sand - Kenda Karma DTC

    Getting the idea! Of course if I'm riding back up bike then it's Kenda Klimax all the way around.

    Seriously though, over the past two weeks the weather forcast for the race has gone from being 12 d C and raining the whole time to sunny and 24 the whole time. Now it shows 40% showers so who the heck knows! I just pray for no rain....don't know if my bike can handle it again after 24 hours of rain for the Old Pueblo race.

    I pre-rode the course on Sunday as well. I wasn't a big fan of the new trail personally as I think it is not well enough worn in....especially that sandy section previously mentioned....plenty of wipeouts will happen. Also, I think a lot of riders will be slow in there and passing is next to impossible. Throw in a couple of corners that if taken too fast you go down the cliff and I'm sure there will be plenty of incidents. The trail is awesome...it is just a little too immature to handle a 24 hour this year. Kinda reminds me of the time at the Hardwood Hills 24 HR when they put in a freshly cut section and it was total sand. It just needed time to bed in, but having riders chew it up for 10,000+ laps total isn't the way to do it. Rant over.

    See you on Saturday!

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    Just spent an hour in the garage with the wife and a couple of Guiness watching the rain come down in buckets. Hopefully this is it for the rain until the race though. I'm not racing, but I'll be riding at Albion within a few days after the race and hope that conditions are good for you (which means they will be good for me and others afterwards).

    Good luck to all!

    P.S. Are there vendors set-up at the race? If yes, what kinds of venfors and what's for sale?

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    Quote Originally Posted by noonievut
    Just spent an hour in the garage with the wife and a couple of Guiness watching the rain come down in buckets. Hopefully this is it for the rain until the race though. I'm not racing, but I'll be riding at Albion within a few days after the race and hope that conditions are good for you (which means they will be good for me and others afterwards).

    Good luck to all!

    P.S. Are there vendors set-up at the race? If yes, what kinds of venfors and what's for sale?

    Sporting Life will be there selling a smattering of bike accessories, but they are usually the only ones actually selling anything... except Chico of course (bike jerseys and hats).
    this space left intentionally blank

  11. #11
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    New question here.

    I had been planning to ride at Albion after work tonight, what do you guys think?
    Stay off the trails? Go ahead?

    Does Albion close the trails if they are too wet? if so is there some way to find out if they have closed them or not?

  12. #12
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    Mileage?

    Hey when you say 'total mileage 16.6kms' - do you mean 16.6km per lap, or 16.6km over 2 laps (in other words 8.4km per lap?)

    I'm curious to know what type of lap times to expect.

    I'll be there on a five-man team. We're in campsite 401.

    Good luck to everyone!
    Dan


    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo
    went for 2 laps... it was dry and hard like cement except for that new section which was still settling down. The first third of the course is ridiculously easy. My grandma would fly over it without her orthotics. The new section is fantastic. Lot of uphill/downhill sections. Uphills are not too long and not very steep but will make few of us gasp for more air... Beware of the sandy corner going slightly downhill... on this section you have to look as far ahead as possible...

    fast twisty sections through pines are still there and there are no hidden obsticles.

    the last section is the same as last year Hot Summer Nights, but shorter...

    total mileage: 16.6kms

    if it is dry, i will definitely run Michelin Jet S UST 2.0... i didnt need more grip and they are FAST... My backup set of wheels will have Kenda Nevegal Lites 1.95...

    we had some rain just now, but unless it comes down few more times until the weekend, this is nothing and will just make the course easier...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddakin
    Hey when you say 'total mileage 16.6kms' - do you mean 16.6km per lap, or 16.6km over 2 laps (in other words 8.4km per lap?)

    I'm curious to know what type of lap times to expect.

    I'll be there on a five-man team. We're in campsite 401.

    Good luck to everyone!
    Dan
    Hey Dan,

    Small world, I'm buddies with your Ottawa teammates: Mike, Rolf, Alan and Marc. I'll be swinging by your site Friday evening some time.

    16.6km for 1 lap. Lap times are less than 1 hr (45-50 minutes). Faster and slower times will depend on the rider.

    See ya at Solstice!
    Ride Hard,
    Mike B. (MCM# 7.77)
    http://www.one-speed.com

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    i'll be riding Albion tonight...

    unless it is really, really bad...

    Quote Originally Posted by Turt99
    I had been planning to ride at Albion after work tonight, what do you guys think?
    Stay off the trails? Go ahead?

    Does Albion close the trails if they are too wet? if so is there some way to find out if they have closed them or not?

  15. #15
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    16.6kms is for one lap...

    i expect that the fastest riders will crack the 50 minutes barrier...

    Quote Originally Posted by ddakin
    Hey when you say 'total mileage 16.6kms' - do you mean 16.6km per lap, or 16.6km over 2 laps (in other words 8.4km per lap?)

    I'm curious to know what type of lap times to expect.

    I'll be there on a five-man team. We're in campsite 401.

    Good luck to everyone!
    Dan

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    I'll be checking the local Albion Hills/Stayner forecasts (http://www.theweathernetwork.com/we...es/CAON0649.htm) a couple times a day to get an idea of the conditions throughout the week to get an idea of what we can expect this weekend for tire selection, clothes, etc.
    Nothing beats a report from somebody pre-riding, but when all else fails take a look at my weather page for southern Ontario:

    www.geocities.com/jonesv33/weather.html

    Though it is focused on Kolapore, most of the data are appropriate for Albion hills as well.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo
    unless it is really, really bad...
    Alright then, I think I'll head that way after work and see what its like there, If they turn me away because of the rain no problem.

    So I might see you there, I'll be riding a '05 Green Gary Fisher, and will have a orange camelbak.

  18. #18
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    we are meeting at 7pm

    at the challet... i will be on black ellsworth truth...

    Quote Originally Posted by Turt99
    Alright then, I think I'll head that way after work and see what its like there, If they turn me away because of the rain no problem.

    So I might see you there, I'll be riding a '05 Green Gary Fisher, and will have a orange camelbak.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo
    unless it is really, really bad...
    I'm not sure how wet will it still be tonight, but me and my temmates were at Albion yesterday night for a nightride, and got caught in the worst downpour we've ever riden in. Most singletracks literally turned into streams, some depressions in flat sections were almost half-wheel deep. Amazing.
    We turned around about halfway through the course, because it was just impossible to climb anything, the gearing was getting funky from all the water and grit in chain and cables I imagine, and as soon as you tried to put some torque on the pedals, you would spin out.
    We rode the course on the weekend, and remembering all the new loose and steepish sections in the second part of the course we thought that it was wiser not to ride it in those conditions.
    And, not the least, the lightning would strike every few minutes, so we thought it was a good idea to pack it up.
    When we finaly got to the parking lot, we were the only cars still there. I had to step in the shower in my shoes, shorts and jersey, just to get all the sand and mud off of me, before I took all this mess off.
    And, I lost my specialized gloves!! (argggh!). Put them on the roof of the car, and drove away.... If anyone of you finds them (yeah right) in the Albion vicinity, they're mine!

    Oh, and one more thing. If the course that was marked for the Tuesday night race is the same as for the 24hrs of Summer Solstice, then it's changed a bit from the one they had on the weekend.

    Arek

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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo
    at the challet... i will be on black ellsworth truth...
    I'm not sure if I saw you there, I saw someone on a ellsworth at about 7:30 ish just a few cars down from me but they where done riding it seemed so I wasn't sure if it was you..

    I had a good time last night, it was a little too muddy for my tires they clogged up really fast and then it was a little slippery. I'm out of shape (just getting back after a few years not riding at all) so I had to walk a bunch of sections to keep moving, which then really clogged up my SPD's I can really see the advantage of the time or eggbeater petals now, but I'm sure as I keep working at it I'll be able to go farther each time. I have hopes that if I work at it enough this year that hopefully next year I can run in a 8 hour race, but that seems out of the picture for a while.

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    sorry, i skipped the MTB ride and

    went for a road ride with my buddies - we did intervals - good for endurance.

    the reason i skipped MTB ride was the conditions on the trails... i knew it was going to be too muddy and i wouldnt benefit from that kind of riding... hopefully it dries out a bit for the race... if not, it's going to be one interesting event...

    Quote Originally Posted by Turt99
    I'm not sure if I saw you there, I saw someone on a ellsworth at about 7:30 ish just a few cars down from me but they where done riding it seemed so I wasn't sure if it was you..

    I had a good time last night, it was a little too muddy for my tires they clogged up really fast and then it was a little slippery. I'm out of shape (just getting back after a few years not riding at all) so I had to walk a bunch of sections to keep moving, which then really clogged up my SPD's I can really see the advantage of the time or eggbeater petals now, but I'm sure as I keep working at it I'll be able to go farther each time. I have hopes that if I work at it enough this year that hopefully next year I can run in a 8 hour race, but that seems out of the picture for a while.

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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo
    went for a road ride with my buddies - we did intervals - good for endurance.

    the reason i skipped MTB ride was the conditions on the trails... i knew it was going to be too muddy and i wouldnt benefit from that kind of riding... hopefully it dries out a bit for the race... if not, it's going to be one interesting event...
    No problem I was just taking it easy anyways, I need to keep working at it slowly untill I get my fitness back so I can ride harder and longer. Plus one good thing about the trails was that I was able to get my bike propertly dirty. Now its not as shiney and new.

    Personally I was pretty suprized at the amount of people that did show up last night, the parking lot was overflowing.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1speed_Mike
    Hey Dan,

    Small world, I'm buddies with your Ottawa teammates: Mike, Rolf, Alan and Marc. I'll be swinging by your site Friday evening some time.

    16.6km for 1 lap. Lap times are less than 1 hr (45-50 minutes). Faster and slower times will depend on the rider.

    See ya at Solstice!
    45-50 minutes would be a very fast lap. Have you ridden the course yet? Rode it last night and its soft in spots, making for a slow ride. Also, the new section is not particularily fast due to the tight switch backs and such. I think most will do this in around an hour...

  24. #24
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    Albion Trail Report from June 15th

    Quote Originally Posted by Arek
    I'm not sure how wet will it still be tonight, but me and my temmates were at Albion yesterday night for a nightride, and got caught in the worst downpour we've ever riden in. Most singletracks literally turned into streams, some depressions in flat sections were almost half-wheel deep. Amazing.
    We turned around about halfway through the course, because it was just impossible to climb anything, the gearing was getting funky from all the water and grit in chain and cables I imagine, and as soon as you tried to put some torque on the pedals, you would spin out.
    We rode the course on the weekend, and remembering all the new loose and steepish sections in the second part of the course we thought that it was wiser not to ride it in those conditions.
    And, not the least, the lightning would strike every few minutes, so we thought it was a good idea to pack it up.
    When we finaly got to the parking lot, we were the only cars still there. I had to step in the shower in my shoes, shorts and jersey, just to get all the sand and mud off of me, before I took all this mess off.
    And, I lost my specialized gloves!! (argggh!). Put them on the roof of the car, and drove away.... If anyone of you finds them (yeah right) in the Albion vicinity, they're mine!

    Oh, and one more thing. If the course that was marked for the Tuesday night race is the same as for the 24hrs of Summer Solstice, then it's changed a bit from the one they had on the weekend.

    Arek
    I rode the loop again last night. As far as Albion goes, it was fairly wet and soft. Although if you had ridden there last week, they needed some rain. The first half of the course has some spots where you need to be keenly aware of your traction or you will crash. Not to mention, there are a couple of uphills where traction is somewhat limited. However, I don't run a very knobby tire, so that should be taken accordingly.

    Upon getting to the back half of the course, things got a little bit better. But the new section across the road is soft, feeling like you are riding with flat tires in some spots. Overall, it is not very quick due to the amount of rain we had all at once.

    Hopefully, the moisture will be soaked up by the weekend. It rained again all morning in Bolton, but is apparently stopped now. It will definitely be interesting. I am planning on another ride tonight, and will post another report following. Happy riding!

    Neil

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    i'd say 45-50 would be fastest times...

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbmeister
    45-50 minutes would be a very fast lap. Have you ridden the course yet? Rode it last night and its soft in spots, making for a slow ride. Also, the new section is not particularily fast due to the tight switch backs and such. I think most will do this in around an hour...
    most people would be in 55-65 min range...

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbmeister
    45-50 minutes would be a very fast lap. Have you ridden the course yet? Rode it last night and its soft in spots, making for a slow ride. Also, the new section is not particularily fast due to the tight switch backs and such. I think most will do this in around an hour...
    No, I haven't ridden the course yet this year. I was basing that time approximation on last years' lap times. My early laps were just around the 50 minute mark, but after a couple hours into it, I started to slow-up and was around 1 hour to 1:15. Laps got progressively longer as the race worn on.

    I'm solo though, and I know those Corporate KHS boyz (and others) can easily crank-out some really fast laps. Must be nice to have such a break in between laps, eh?
    Ride Hard,
    Mike B. (MCM# 7.77)
    http://www.one-speed.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by 1speed_Mike
    No, I haven't ridden the course yet this year. I was basing that time approximation on last years' lap times. My early laps were just around the 50 minute mark, but after a couple hours into it, I started to slow-up and was around 1 hour to 1:15. Laps got progressively longer as the race worn on.

    I'm solo though, and I know those Corporate KHS boyz (and others) can easily crank-out some really fast laps. Must be nice to have such a break in between laps, eh?
    Damn those corporate wussies! I will be there this weekend Site 77 running the 5 man crew - hopefully i can post some decent laps. trevor

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbmeister
    I rode the loop again last night. As far as Albion goes, it was fairly wet and soft. Although if you had ridden there last week, they needed some rain. The first half of the course has some spots where you need to be keenly aware of your traction or you will crash. Not to mention, there are a couple of uphills where traction is somewhat limited. However, I don't run a very knobby tire, so that should be taken accordingly.

    Upon getting to the back half of the course, things got a little bit better. But the new section across the road is soft, feeling like you are riding with flat tires in some spots. Overall, it is not very quick due to the amount of rain we had all at once.

    Hopefully, the moisture will be soaked up by the weekend. It rained again all morning in Bolton, but is apparently stopped now. It will definitely be interesting. I am planning on another ride tonight, and will post another report following. Happy riding!

    Neil
    Thanks for the updates everyone! This is exactly the stuff I'm looking for. Although, in the big scheme of things, it really doesn't matter because I'll be racing it regardless. I guess I'd just like to have an idea of what I'm getting into. I was really hoping for a dry week, ok, maybe a bit of rain to help harden the course, but I think Mother Nature has gone a little overboard. I guess I'll find-out tomorrow.
    Ride Hard,
    Mike B. (MCM# 7.77)
    http://www.one-speed.com

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    Just got back from the preride...

    I may be repeating what other have already said...
    The 1st half is greasy. By greasy I mean that the sections under heavy foliage had the type of mud that isn't deep, just slippery on the surface.
    Once you get past the long grinding climb up the rocky fire-road (just past the start/finish area) it starts to improve (soil-wise).
    The "new section" is soft, not just from the latest rain fall, but also due to the fact that the trail hasn't been beaten down much.
    I don't use a cycle computer, but it felt longer than 16.6km... I would lean more towards Chico's claimed length of 17.5km.
    I'm no spring chicken, I'm not uber-fit, and I walked up a couple of hills that my Racing Ralphs (low knobs) broke free on, but I went through the whole course quick-as-I-could... 1:15ish. I attribute the "slowness" to the "new section". There are enough twisty ups and downs to slow things up quite a bit.

    Hehehe... I should add that I was on a SS running 34:19 (1.79).

    Anyway, there it is. See you all Saturday.
    Last edited by SSteel; 06-16-2005 at 07:42 PM.
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    45-50 minutes will be quickest, if it drys up a little

    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo
    most people would be in 55-65 min range...
    Was out for a blast again tonight. It was very slick due to the rainfall this morning. Moreso than yesterday. To the point that I had to get off my bike on the longest climb on the course, which I haven't done for at least 3-4 years. I don't think you're far off, but the 24hr seems to bring out some of the less skilled riders, and they will have problems with the new section. If it stays fairly slick, 60-70min will be average. Anyhow, we'll see.

    Just thought I would mention that if anyone reading this hasn't ridden the course yet, it is quite slick in spots. If you have tire options, go with the nobbies. And don't get too cocky on the downhill sections. Just sharing impressions.

    Neil

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    Can't wait!

    I don't know about the rest of you guys, but I am just totally psyched to get out there!

    This will be my 3rd-24 hour race and I just absolutely love riding in them. It's such a great mix of hanging out with people who are as bike-crazy as you, and pushing yourself to your limits.

    I was packing my stuff up last night I just keep getting more and more giddy

    Good luck to everyone taking part!

    Feel free to come by site 401 and say hello.

    Cheers,
    Dan

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddakin
    I don't know about the rest of you guys, but I am just totally psyched to get out there!

    This will be my 3rd-24 hour race and I just absolutely love riding in them. It's such a great mix of hanging out with people who are as bike-crazy as you, and pushing yourself to your limits.

    I was packing my stuff up last night I just keep getting more and more giddy

    Good luck to everyone taking part!

    Feel free to come by site 401 and say hello.

    Cheers,
    Dan
    I feel you on that dan. the excitement is building. I'm all packed up and raring to go...just have to endure 10 painstaking hours of work first! See you all up there ...i'm at campsite 77. I wish you all a great race!

  33. #33
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    Solstice

    Wow, I am getting sooo giddy too!

    I have to endure 8 hrs of work 1st!! Dam!

    I rode the course last night as Chico around this time normally have the course finalized as they want it! I went out at 9:00 pm and boy was it slick!!!! I anticipate lots of riders wiping out this weekend. I might put on my bike extra knobby tires if it remains this slick.

    Any how, I think its going to be a great time.

    Good luck to everyone and have fun!

  34. #34
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    I rode the course this morning and the conditions were rather poor. I have low profile race tires and they were next to useless. Honestly, it would be a huge mistake to use anything but knobbies. Race tires won't make you any faster (too muddy, too soft, too slick) and they will quickly turn into a liability. Worse, there my be more rain tonight.

    It must have rained again last night because much of the course was as slick as I have ever seen it. Some climbs ended in me spinning out and walking the rest. I fell several times when I was unable to slow down. And all this happened in the first half. Then I did a near endo when I slipped into a rock. That freaked me out a little and I calmed down and took it a little easier. The new section was also very slick (but, wisely, they cut out parts of it). The single track finale was also partially open and just as slick. Did I say slick enough times?

    Just before the finish line there are 2 rock sections (artificially added there for entertainment), but they are a walk in the park compared to the slippery stuff on the single track. The 2 rock section are only about 10 meters long. Still, be prepared for them.

    I was planning to do 2 loops, but after the first loop I called it a (bad) day. I am going on vacation to the Carribean tomorrow and I did not want any nasty surprises. Salt water and open cuts are no fun!

    By the way, the course is a little under 17.5 km. It took me almost 1:19 to finish the loop. I was not pushing it since I ran half marathon (21km) on Wednesday and 32 km on the previous Wednesday. But to be honest, I could not have gone much faster even if I was completely rested. The course is just too slick and in many sections you either go slow or risk crashing. I am afraid that there will be many crashes tomorrow. The the course will have major damage after 24 hours of torture.

    Good luck to everyone in the race. Be safe and have fun.
    My rides:
    Lynskey Ti Pro29 SS
    RM Suzi Q 90 RSL
    KHS Team 29
    S-Works Roubaix
    KHS CX 550 cyclocross

  35. #35
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    Slick as hell

    Quote Originally Posted by serious
    I rode the course this morning and the conditions were rather poor. I have low profile race tires and they were next to useless. Honestly, it would be a huge mistake to use anything but knobbies. Race tires won't make you any faster (too muddy, too soft, too slick) and they will quickly turn into a liability. Worse, there my be more rain tonight.

    It must have rained again last night because much of the course was as slick as I have ever seen it. Some climbs ended in me spinning out and walking the rest. I fell several times when I was unable to slow down. And all this happened in the first half. Then I did a near endo when I slipped into a rock. That freaked me out a little and I calmed down and took it a little easier. The new section was also very slick (but, wisely, they cut out parts of it). The single track finale was also partially open and just as slick. Did I say slick enough times?

    Just before the finish line there are 2 rock sections (artificially added there for entertainment), but they are a walk in the park compared to the slippery stuff on the single track. The 2 rock section are only about 10 meters long. Still, be prepared for them.

    I was planning to do 2 loops, but after the first loop I called it a (bad) day. I am going on vacation to the Carribean tomorrow and I did not want any nasty surprises. Salt water and open cuts are no fun!

    By the way, the course is a little under 17.5 km. It took me almost 1:19 to finish the loop. I was not pushing it since I ran half marathon (21km) on Wednesday and 32 km on the previous Wednesday. But to be honest, I could not have gone much faster even if I was completely rested. The course is just too slick and in many sections you either go slow or risk crashing. I am afraid that there will be many crashes tomorrow. The the course will have major damage after 24 hours of torture.

    Good luck to everyone in the race. Be safe and have fun.

    I too rode it last night and found the first 4-5 km to be particular icy. Knobbies are the way to go if you have them. I rode it in 1:07, which could be closer to just over 1 hr in dry conditions. Anything in the 50-55 minute range will be very good. Had one incident on a high speed corner, but was semi prepared for it. Overall, a nice trek if you like singletrack and quick stuff. Should be fun. Hopefully it drys out.

    Getting giddy too...

  36. #36
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    i have to say...

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbmeister
    I too rode it last night and found the first 4-5 km to be particular icy. Knobbies are the way to go if you have them. I rode it in 1:07, which could be closer to just over 1 hr in dry conditions. Anything in the 50-55 minute range will be very good. Had one incident on a high speed corner, but was semi prepared for it. Overall, a nice trek if you like singletrack and quick stuff. Should be fun. Hopefully it drys out.

    Getting giddy too...
    this was one of the most demanding courses in the last few years... i had to work all the time with very little opportunity to cruise... the course was soft and during the night slick roots were taking thier toll... funny part was the last section of the newly built trail - during the night i could hear screams and swears from that area during the ride...

    Concitions improved on sunday, providing for some fast paced fun...

    i couldnt crack one hour mark... my times were around 63'..

  37. #37
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    Great weekend @ Albion

    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo
    this was one of the most demanding courses in the last few years... i had to work all the time with very little opportunity to cruise... the course was soft and during the night slick roots were taking thier toll... funny part was the last section of the newly built trail - during the night i could hear screams and swears from that area during the ride...

    Concitions improved on sunday, providing for some fast paced fun...

    i couldnt crack one hour mark... my times were around 63'..
    Once it dried up a little is was better for traction. I quite like that technical type of course. It helps me keep up with some of the guys who pull away on flats and climbs. Some nice trails though. Your right, the roots were a little nutty at night. I am lucky enough to benefit from riding there a few times a week, so I know where they are. I too, was in the 63 minute range. How did your team do and what category were you in?

    Neil

  38. #38
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    Nucking Futs

    was the team, we were in 5/200+ category but we lost the second best rider and replaced him with a female rider that was in 1hr 30 min range. having in mind that we already had another female that was in 1hr 20min range, we place in the middle of the pack, something like 18th i believe...

    we're going to put together fairly competitive team for hot august nights in the 5/200+ category - all male riders...

    i liked the newly built trail, great switchbacks with good mixture of climbs and technical stuff...

    i had to make few hairy passings on that section during the night lap... gawd... that was fun...

    still looking for that perfect tire for those conditions... i used Kenda Nevegal Lite... i will try Nokian NBX lite in the next little while... seems that they should have less rolling resistance...

    which team were you on? my first 2 laps were 63:33 and 63:08, night lap was 70:08 and the last lap in he morning was 65:18...

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbmeister
    Once it dried up a little is was better for traction. I quite like that technical type of course. It helps me keep up with some of the guys who pull away on flats and climbs. Some nice trails though. Your right, the roots were a little nutty at night. I am lucky enough to benefit from riding there a few times a week, so I know where they are. I too, was in the 63 minute range. How did your team do and what category were you in?

    Neil

  39. #39
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    Some Hairy Passing Too!

    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo
    was the team, we were in 5/200+ category but we lost the second best rider and replaced him with a female rider that was in 1hr 30 min range. having in mind that we already had another female that was in 1hr 20min range, we place in the middle of the pack, something like 18th i believe...

    we're going to put together fairly competitive team for hot august nights in the 5/200+ category - all male riders...

    i liked the newly built trail, great switchbacks with good mixture of climbs and technical stuff...

    i had to make few hairy passings on that section during the night lap... gawd... that was fun...

    still looking for that perfect tire for those conditions... i used Kenda Nevegal Lite... i will try Nokian NBX lite in the next little while... seems that they should have less rolling resistance...

    which team were you on? my first 2 laps were 63:33 and 63:08, night lap was 70:08 and the last lap in he morning was 65:18...
    My team was Pfaff VW Bikesports. We were in the 6-10 Club 200+ category. We ended up having 9 riders, so we were pretty fresh most of the time. I did only two laps with my day lap at 63:15 and my night @ 70:10. Crazy our times were so close. I really like the new section too. Some work in there, but some great downhill switchbacks coming out too. I had to pass some folks with authority in there too. Otherwise I would have been wallowing behind them for the whole section. That's my fastest area, so I have to take advantage.

    I would concur with you about finding the right tires. Although I generally stick to what i have. I ride with Hutchinson Python Air lights. They are more for dry fast conditions, which is usually Albion's type of riding. They were okay for this weekend, but were a little nutty on Wed and Thurs of last week when I rode right after the rain.

    We ended up finishing 8th out of 134 teams in our category. We were very pleased to say the least. Although I am ready for a nap right now. I guess I still didn't make up the sleep last night...

  40. #40
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    Congrats on your races guys, its good to here that you guys had a good time. I'm hoping that eventually I'll be able to ride in one of these races but for now I'm going to try getting around one lap of albion.

    I've decided that I'm going to get a seasons pass for the park and I'm going to go atleast once a week after work, and maybe a few weekends to try and train. Try to get into shape and maybe next year enter one of these races (Thinking the 8 hour version though)

    Once again Congrats on your races, maybe I'll see you guys out there sometime.

  41. #41
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    what car do you drive?

    since you are sponsored by Pfaff?

    it is nuts that our times were so comparable... do you ride full suspension or hardtail. i am riding ellsworth truth. i would consider hutch python airlight inadequate for the conditions, but then i am 210# and need lot of traction... i know pythons would not have worked for me... i was hoping i would be able to use some semislicks like michelin jet s that i had on my spare wheels... hopefully in august... you racing hot august nights?

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbmeister
    My team was Pfaff VW Bikesports. We were in the 6-10 Club 200+ category. We ended up having 9 riders, so we were pretty fresh most of the time. I did only two laps with my day lap at 63:15 and my night @ 70:10. Crazy our times were so close. I really like the new section too. Some work in there, but some great downhill switchbacks coming out too. I had to pass some folks with authority in there too. Otherwise I would have been wallowing behind them for the whole section. That's my fastest area, so I have to take advantage.

    I would concur with you about finding the right tires. Although I generally stick to what i have. I ride with Hutchinson Python Air lights. They are more for dry fast conditions, which is usually Albion's type of riding. They were okay for this weekend, but were a little nutty on Wed and Thurs of last week when I rode right after the rain.

    We ended up finishing 8th out of 134 teams in our category. We were very pleased to say the least. Although I am ready for a nap right now. I guess I still didn't make up the sleep last night...

  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo
    since you are sponsored by Pfaff?

    it is nuts that our times were so comparable... do you ride full suspension or hardtail. i am riding ellsworth truth. i would consider hutch python airlight inadequate for the conditions, but then i am 210# and need lot of traction... i know pythons would not have worked for me... i was hoping i would be able to use some semislicks like michelin jet s that i had on my spare wheels... hopefully in august... you racing hot august nights?
    We are sponsored by Pfaff. A good friend of mine runs there leasing division for VW and Audi.

    I ride FS now. I just made the switch this year. I find the biggest difference is in some of the bumpy singletrack and downhills. You can just let er rip and feather the brakes. I am riding a Giant NRS Composite 2. Funny you should mention the tires being potentially inadequate. I haven't ridden a different tire for two years and this weekend was the softest Albion has been in probably three. I am a lighter than you thought @ 180lbs, so I am sure it makes bit of difference. I could probably knock my times down a little with some better wet weather rubber. Oh well, you know what it's like. You could keep piling money into your bike all day long if you wanted too, or had it rather.

    Yes, we are racing Hot August Nights, too. We are hoping maybe for a top 5 or podium there, but could be getting a little wishful with that. A couple of guys on our team need to step up their training a little if we are going to do that. I am sure they will so we'll see. We are just out for a good time for the most part. And as you likely can attest, there are always a few good stories around the fire about your proud moments during your laps, or horrific crashes...

  43. #43
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    well, we need to catch up next time or on one of the weekend rides...

    i always notice Pfaff team(s) at these events as i am an Audi enthusiast... i drive the new S4 Avant, my third audi since 1997.

    at 180# pythons were probably ok. keep in mind that with nobbier tires you are losing speed, so it is a tossup...

    if you had enough traction on climbs with pythons, you were probably ok...

    i will be riding Albion next saturday. if you want to hook up, let me know...

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbmeister
    We are sponsored by Pfaff. A good friend of mine runs there leasing division for VW and Audi.

    I ride FS now. I just made the switch this year. I find the biggest difference is in some of the bumpy singletrack and downhills. You can just let er rip and feather the brakes. I am riding a Giant NRS Composite 2. Funny you should mention the tires being potentially inadequate. I haven't ridden a different tire for two years and this weekend was the softest Albion has been in probably three. I am a lighter than you thought @ 180lbs, so I am sure it makes bit of difference. I could probably knock my times down a little with some better wet weather rubber. Oh well, you know what it's like. You could keep piling money into your bike all day long if you wanted too, or had it rather.

    Yes, we are racing Hot August Nights, too. We are hoping maybe for a top 5 or podium there, but could be getting a little wishful with that. A couple of guys on our team need to step up their training a little if we are going to do that. I am sure they will so we'll see. We are just out for a good time for the most part. And as you likely can attest, there are always a few good stories around the fire about your proud moments during your laps, or horrific crashes...

  44. #44
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    Riding @ Albion

    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo
    i always notice Pfaff team(s) at these events as i am an Audi enthusiast... i drive the new S4 Avant, my third audi since 1997.

    at 180# pythons were probably ok. keep in mind that with nobbier tires you are losing speed, so it is a tossup...

    if you had enough traction on climbs with pythons, you were probably ok...

    i will be riding Albion next saturday. if you want to hook up, let me know...
    Do you mean this Sat or next? I am usually there at least one day every weekend, so yeah, we could try to hook up for a ride. What time do you typically head out? I try to get out for a morning lap, not too early, but usually mid to late AM. Let me know when you are going and perhaps we can set something up. As I said, a few riding mates and I are there almost every Sat and do the Tues fun series there also...

  45. #45
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    this saturday

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbmeister
    Do you mean this Sat or next? I am usually there at least one day every weekend, so yeah, we could try to hook up for a ride. What time do you typically head out? I try to get out for a morning lap, not too early, but usually mid to late AM. Let me know when you are going and perhaps we can set something up. As I said, a few riding mates and I are there almost every Sat and do the Tues fun series there also...
    how about 9:30am?

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    Still riding tomorrow

    Quote Originally Posted by osokolo
    how about 9:30am?
    Works for me. A couple other guys on my team may head out too. We would like to be on trail by 9:30AM. I drive a silver Mazda Protege5 and will park at the large lot adjacent to the chalet...

  47. #47
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    my teammates wanta to go to

    Quote Originally Posted by mtbmeister
    Works for me. A couple other guys on my team may head out too. We would like to be on trail by 9:30AM. I drive a silver Mazda Protege5 and will park at the large lot adjacent to the chalet...
    mansfield.. i dont know... i'll make my decision when i wake up... in any case, if i am coming to Albion, it'll be around 9:15am so that we can hit the trails by 9:30am...

    i drive new gray Audi S4 Avant...

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