Signal Peak Challenge 2011- Mtbr.com
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    Signal Peak Challenge 2011

    Signal Peak Challenge 2011 Aug 14 is up and running at usacycling . org (actual link omitted due to forum rule constraints) Log in and Filter for Signal Peak Challenge. The race website is tourofthegila . com/spc . The course descriptions are fairly accurate, but confusing so I'm working on GPS info. Truthfully some of the old maps have been slightly inaccurate (especially for the beginner loop).
    New for this year: All Pro/Cat 1 categories including masters and juniors are heading up the "Face Trail" FT 742 to the lookout. Kid's event will be happening during the races. All Cat 3 men are doing 3 laps of the Beginner Loop. Hope to see everybody there.

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    YAY

    All the races are my favorites. But this one is my special favorite.



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    The single speed men cat is the most competitive group with pro and cat 1 racers. Yet, Cat 1 juniors 13-18 are doing a longer course, did I miss something? Aside from changing the course, no more highway to hell or the Meadow Creek double track, people complained about the difficulty of the course, but who forced them to zip tie a number plate. Sorry, but I have been doing this race since it's inception, one of my favorite venues, but dropping fast. I'm willing to do sweep and not race it if that is what it takes to get the old course back. Expect a huge turnout in the SS cat this year, it will be a shame if they don't come back next year because of the above-mentioned. Good luck
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    Quote Originally Posted by betoman17 View Post
    The single speed men cat is the most competitive group with pro and cat 1 racers. Yet, Cat 1 juniors 13-18 are doing a longer course, did I miss something? Aside from changing the course, no more highway to hell or the Meadow Creek double track, people complained about the difficulty of the course, but who forced them to zip tie a number plate. Sorry, but I have been doing this race since it's inception, one of my favorite venues, but dropping fast. I'm willing to do sweep and not race it if that is what it takes to get the old course back. Expect a huge turnout in the SS cat this year, it will be a shame if they don't come back next year because of the above-mentioned. Good luck

    Let me start by saying I have no affiliation with the race this year.

    The reason the two sections Beto is talking about were removed from the race last year was because it meant we would need two to four less course marshals at those corners. I told Beto this last year. It is a major stressor on the organization to gather up course marshals and get them where they have to be with the confidence they will point people in the right direction. This race requires more course marshals than most because it is a big loop that is hard to pre-ride and the potential for getting lost in this area is high. Past editions have had people going off course, one guy even ended up at a paved road 15 miles from the race start, and was still 25 miles from his car. This race has great community support, but it is much less than for Tour of the Gila and the organization is much smaller, it is basically a one man show this year, so cut it some slack.

    Personally, I don't think it is appropriate to make singlespeeders go up a 2.5 mile climb that will be more than 50% unrideable, so I didn't make the singlespeeders do it last year. That is the reason the singlespeeders are riding a couple of miles less than cat 1 juniors.

    I think the debate should be more about whether that climb should be in a mountain bike race at all. It is in again this year, so the comments at this year's race may affect whether it is there next year. At last year's race I heard several negative comments and several positive comments about it. My reasoning for putting it in was to reflect the fact that XC is progressing due to better bikes, and we can ride stuff that we didn't use to be able to. Also, the downhill race was using that trail and I thought the XC'rs should suck it up and show they were worthy, too. I would say, email the organizer right after this year's race with some suggestions and they can decide what to do for next year. Any changes to the course have to go through USAC at this point, and I got in trouble for making changes last year, so suggestions at this point are probably not going to be implemented.

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    The Signal Peak Challenge has always been my favorite race of the year because of the organizers and the community support. Aside from the Tour of the White Mountains, I don't believe there is another venue like this one. I totally support course marshals on every corner or major intersection for the beginner race, yet, all other cats should be seasoned riders and have some understanding on terrain assessment. Please don't misinterpret what I'm saying here or where I stand in the cycling community, I just don't believe people should have to have their hands held every step of the way. I support new riders and want to get more riders involved in competitive racing, but do we have to walk them every step of the way. I know I'm putting myself out on a limb here, but to progress as a rider, they need to be challenged!

    As a former race promoter, I understand that meeting the needs of all who are involved is critical for safety and the fun factor. I just believe that we are all adults and should take some responsibility on our decisions. Simply marking the trail with flags or some type of markings should do. I did make suggestions last year after the race and expressed my opinions, I also recall how USA cycling frowned upon any changes on the course, yet here we are again! Thanks for your time and know that I will help out. Silver is my backyard and there is a lot of passion from my expression
    Singlespeed29er-Cult

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    Betoman: I hear you about just having people follow tape, I like that. I just didn't trust the tape would be perfect because it has been torn down before when I try and mark the course early. It takes probably six hours to tape the course, so course marshals seem like good insurance in the morning.

    If I were still organizer, I would feel bad if people got lost, even if it is their fault, not to mention we have search and rescue people on scene that start completely freaking out if they suspect someone is off course. That adds to the stress level.

    You probably remember, there were at least a couple years where the lead pack completely blew turns and it totally changed the race. One time it was a course marshal's fault(too stoned, it looked like) and once was iffy tape.

    Thanks for helping us pack up the staging area last year, by the way, I think everyone knows you have good intentions and good ideas. BTW, have you ridden Tadpole Ridge yet? It's baack, and I figured out a loop of it with some bonus singletrack, if you are interested.

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    Tadpole Ridge rocks, road it Memorial weekend out to Sheep Corral and back on 15. Had my first bear encounter, big black bear bathing in the pond at the peak, turned to look at us and jolted, very cool! Also had my first cub encounter this past weekend at the SP road and CDT intersection.

    I agree with you and understand the stress and difficulty to promote a race like Signal Peak. I wish I lived closer to help out, especially with the trail building and maintenance. I always try to do some when I travel to Signal Peak to ride. Let me know if there is anything I can help with. I hope to get out there one more time before the race. BTW-I'm very interested in the bonus singletrack. Let me know how I can reach you so we can link up. I'm on FB,
    Singlespeed29er-Cult

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilarider View Post
    Betoman: I hear you about just having people follow tape, I like that. I just didn't trust the tape would be perfect because it has been torn down before when I try and mark the course early. It takes probably six hours to tape the course, so course marshals seem like good insurance in the morning.

    If I were still organizer, I would feel bad if people got lost, even if it is their fault, not to mention we have search and rescue people on scene that start completely freaking out if they suspect someone is off course. That adds to the stress level.

    You probably remember, there were at least a couple years where the lead pack completely blew turns and it totally changed the race. One time it was a course marshal's fault(too stoned, it looked like) and once was iffy tape.

    Thanks for helping us pack up the staging area last year, by the way, I think everyone knows you have good intentions and good ideas. BTW, have you ridden Tadpole Ridge yet? It's baack, and I figured out a loop of it with some bonus singletrack, if you are interested.
    No offense to anyone here, but once a racer starts racing, the functioning I.Q., attention to detail and ability to comprehend and follow directions drops by 50%, if not more.

    Unless junctions are bulletproof marked and blocked off, someone who doesn't already know the course will miss the cues. If they are the least bit uncertain at a junction, they are likely to do just about anything, except wait for someone who knows what to do. Knowledgeable marshals at key junctions are invaluable, especially with multiple categories doing different routes on the same course. Limiting junctions or control points certainly helps. Making a course racer proof is conscientious, detailed work.

    jus sayin

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    Last edited by LCdaveH; 07-19-2011 at 08:39 PM.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilarider View Post

    Personally, I don't think it is appropriate to make singlespeeders go up a 2.5 mile climb that will be more than 50% unrideable, so I didn't make the singlespeeders do it last year. That is the reason the singlespeeders are riding a couple of miles less than cat 1 juniors.
    So if the trail is 50% unrideable, will other categories be walking up it? Or is it only the SS'ers that are being given the pass? Why give a rider a pass on a hard trail just because they choose to bring the wrong weapon?
    If we want this sport to be a success, we need more categories. That way everyone can have a medal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sarvis View Post
    So if the trail is 50% unrideable, will other categories be walking up it? Or is it only the SS'ers that are being given the pass? Why give a rider a pass on a hard trail just because they choose to bring the wrong weapon?
    It's roughly 50% rideable on a single speed with a normal gear (this is a WAG). It is roughly 90% rideable with a low-low granny if you are a fit Cat 1 with skills. I am going to put on 20x36 for the race, but I am not fit.

    I think you are thinking only the SS get a "pass", the Cat 2 and Cat3 do too. Same as last year.

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    Great Race!

    The recent rains have been good for the forest. It was as beautiful as I have ever seen it.

    The course was challenging as always, and a pain test for my undertrained self. But it is too fun to miss.

    Some parts were gooey, but most of it was sweet, sweet fun. Some mud is part of the fun. Super mountain biking adventure.

    Thanks to the organizers for all their hard work.

    d/\h

    ps. mud does not taste like chicken
    Last edited by LCdaveH; 08-15-2011 at 08:56 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gilarider View Post
    I think you are thinking only the SS get a "pass", the Cat 2 and Cat3 do too. Same as last year.
    This is exactly my point. With the number of current and former pro's, plus the number of Cat 1's that race in the SS class, providing a Cat 3 level course promotes SS'ing as a sandbagger category. If there is a need for a "level playing field" why does it have to be the lowest playing field. Lowering the demands on the SS category weakens the tradition.

    This years Tour Divide race is a good example of the tradition. SS'ers are not given a separate course or a pass on any of the hard climbs, yet Jefe Branham finished second overall and first in Single Speed only 4 hours off of the overall (geared) winner. Or Issac (The Sac) Burliegh, who set a SS course record at last years DBT that was only 7 minutes off the overall best time set by Jens Nielsen in 2007.

    Sorry for taking so long in replying, but the team has been keeping me busy in Europe, and my internet access here has been quite dodgy.
    If we want this sport to be a success, we need more categories. That way everyone can have a medal.

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    Dude, the race is already over. It was fun. The course was"juicy" from the rain.

    I still think you don't understand, the SS course is the same as the cat 2 course, the cat 3 course is totally different.

    I know, that is exactly your point, the ss course should be the same as the cat 1 course. Trouble is, it doesn't say that in any rulebook, and the "tradition" of ss racing was supposed to be that it was a less serious category that people entered because they didn't want to race the power-meter/heart rate monitor xc race crowd.

    It is open to everyone of any fitness level, and per NMORS rules there is not a way to have a Cat 1 SS, Cat 2 SS etc race. If the fastest ss racers want to race cat 1, they sign up for cat 1 and compare their times amongst the other ss racers in the category. If the tradition is now that the SS cat is to prove who is tougher and can ride everything without gears and beat people who have gears and therefore it should be the hardest course possible, I apologize.

    Sarvis, have you ridden the hill in the cat 1 race here? If so, tell us so we know you are serious about it being in a SS race. .

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    Great JOB Nate with the SP Challenge. Great time as always, and playing in the mud added to the fun! See what I started, damn those singlespeeders I opt not to do the tower climb, although I am up to the challenge. I would rather do Tadpole Ridge to Sheep Corral for more distance or CD to Pinos Altos! I propose elimating the tower climb and having the SS, Cat 1, and Pros do the old beginner course to Meadow Creek - Tadpole loop at the start and spread out the field. The start would be the same as these past two years, except they hang a right on Meadow Creek Road which would avoid any head on traffic from the other cats! SS, Cat 1, and Pros should be racing longer mileage in my opinion. I know you have criteria you have to follow, which is governed by USAC, but worth a shot. I can GPS it for you next time I'm out in your neck of the woods if that helps.

    Singlespeeding is a cult, twisted and simplistic individuals who like to hammer, nothing more, yet one of the fastest mountainbikers in the World is a singlespeeder! So, I agree with you that there is no rule book saying a singlespeeder should be taken serious, but sometimes it just happens they are faster than someone riding a geared bike. Perhaps the extra motivation, momentum, and simplicity of a singlespeed makes it more fun to go faster, which is the reason why we ride bikes, right? Singlespeeding is also being taken more serious by USAC, which is the reason they added a SS cat at Nationals. Same distance and course as the Pros, in fact, most of the racers in the SS cat are pros. Love you man, wish I lived in Silver so I could contribute, my stomping grounds. I'm just a passionate singlespeeder woldn't you say! Keep up the great work and let's hit up the Gila sometime!
    Singlespeed29er-Cult

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    Quote Originally Posted by betoman17 View Post
    Great JOB Nate with the SP Challenge. Great time as always, and playing in the mud added to the fun! See what I started, damn those singlespeeders I opt not to do the tower climb, although I am up to the challenge. I would rather do Tadpole Ridge to Sheep Corral for more distance or CD to Pinos Altos! I propose elimating the tower climb and having the SS, Cat 1, and Pros do the old beginner course to Meadow Creek - Tadpole loop at the start and spread out the field. The start would be the same as these past two years, except they hang a right on Meadow Creek Road which would avoid any head on traffic from the other cats! SS, Cat 1, and Pros should be racing longer mileage in my opinion. I know you have criteria you have to follow, which is governed by USAC, but worth a shot. I can GPS it for you next time I'm out in your neck of the woods if that helps.

    Singlespeeding is a cult, twisted and simplistic individuals who like to hammer, nothing more, yet one of the fastest mountainbikers in the World is a singlespeeder! So, I agree with you that there is no rule book saying a singlespeeder should be taken serious, but sometimes it just happens they are faster than someone riding a geared bike. Perhaps the extra motivation, momentum, and simplicity of a singlespeed makes it more fun to go faster, which is the reason why we ride bikes, right? Singlespeeding is also being taken more serious by USAC, which is the reason they added a SS cat at Nationals. Same distance and course as the Pros, in fact, most of the racers in the SS cat are pros. Love you man, wish I lived in Silver so I could contribute, my stomping grounds. I'm just a passionate singlespeeder woldn't you say! Keep up the great work and let's hit up the Gila sometime!
    And all this time I thought SingleSpeeding was just about drinking beer and not having to buy a license.

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    New Mexico Off Road Series

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