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  1. #1
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    Cool-blue Rhythm new problem: group riding and you're the only SS

    i guess this will simply make me stronger (i hope), having to crawl behind a granny gear spinner up steep climbs, but lately i've been exploring a new trail system and, of course, run into some of the locals...i ask questions, they say follow...been doing this the last two weeks...a real blast, but when i follow, i forget i am locked into the momentum speed....i need speed to get up hills, etc. i've started laying back and timing it right, but it's really odd now that i've switched almost exclusively to SS. heck, it's no real big deal, but curious of others' experience riding with the geared groups with their peculiar speed/approach for all possible obstacles/challenges. very different from how i approach logs, hills, etc. not that i've 'shifted' over to non-shifting.

  2. #2
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    I have had similar issues. I just hang back before a climb that I will have to use momentum to get up, if I need to follow. If not I just get off and walk past them while they spin uphill in their granny gear

  3. #3
    Teen Wolf
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    just ride

  4. #4
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    "On your left!"

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaBass_ View Post
    "On your left!"
    lol doesnt always work but +rep

    I was riding the other day our group gets to the bottom of a hill with narrow off camber trail so I lean up against a tree and take a breather to get some space. the guy in front of me cant make the hill so he stops and starts walking and yells back to me "come on up!" So he turns and walks while i start mashing away to get some momentum i yell "coming up" and "right behind you" but no he just walks up the middle of the trail making me stop and get off and walk up.
    Guerrilla Gravity BAMF
    Smash

  6. #6
    AZ
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    You just have to get them trained to stay out of the way on the climbs, they'll get tired of getting passed on the steeps and figure it out.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cr45h View Post
    just ride
    i am...solo more often....but i'll figure out some other fun strategies when with this interesting group of folks.

    but i do get more apologies now for their being "in the way"

  8. #8
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    I ride with a pretty big group on Thursdays where we have one long climb at the start...I always try to make sure I go first....I get to the top, turn around, ride back down to the first in the group and then head back up again....
    Lately though, a couple of younger guys on geared bikes are now keeping up with me on the climb....now it's become a race which pretty leaves me thrashed and I end up just spending the time recovering while the rest of the group works their way up the hill....
    It's all good though...what doesn't kill you makes you stronger right?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rzims View Post
    I always try to make sure I go first....
    ^^^ They learn quickly enough that I will be waiting at the top of the hill for them, trying to get some breath back. Either that, or try to hang back to get space. And, worst comes to worst, get off and push up the hill past their spinning-madly-out-of-control-selves.

  10. #10
    local trails rider
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    You lead/guide the rides.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime View Post
    You lead/guide the rides.
    soon, i'll be familiar enough with the trail to hopefully pass, lead or just move on and have a couple of beers before they arrive at the end of the ride...

    new territory this is....until i fully mutate, i see the muscles as the shifters...and the whole body as a derailleur....!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by UBUgoat View Post
    soon, i'll be familiar enough with the trail to hopefully pass, lead or just move on and have a couple of beers before they arrive at the end of the ride...

    new territory this is....until i fully mutate, i see the muscles as the shifters...and the whole body as a derailleur....!
    New trails are tough. But more rewarding when you can get to the end before them (especially if you get lost and still beat them!).

  13. #13
    The need for singlespeed
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    SSers whine too much about getting caught behind geared riders on hills. Going up hills in a slow and controlled fashion is as useful a skill as keeping momentum. Take the opportunity to learn it.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaskaranddriver View Post
    SSers whine too much about getting caught behind geared riders on hills. Going up hills in a slow and controlled fashion is as useful a skill as keeping momentum. Take the opportunity to learn it.
    i agree....that's what i was saying about making one 'stronger' and, i guess, more agile and versatile as you're saying.

    it's all good. the 'suffering' on a SS is preferable...much like i prefer the headache of working on a Mac versus that of a PC

  15. #15
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    I have the same issue. Folks had some good ideas, like backing off a bit before climbs so you can sprint before the hill to get some momentum going.

    Otherwise, I find my SS is more enjoyable to ride on my own then I don't have to worry about it.
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  16. #16
    nothing to see here
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    I enjoy sitting behind them and talking to them as they run out of breath.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevob View Post
    I enjoy sitting behind them and talking to them as they run out of breath.
    That can be incredibly rewarding if you can get away with it. However, I am currently the one doing all the wheezing!

  18. #18
    Gigantic Hawk
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    Track standing is your friend. That, and learning the ultra slow, uphill mash.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by dubthang View Post
    Track standing is your friend. That, and learning the ultra slow, uphill mash.
    Works to a point before you really do need momentum to get you up the grade. Had a few enforced track stands just due to steepness / too big a gear / shot knees.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shalom View Post
    Works to a point before you really do need momentum to get you up the grade. Had a few enforced track stands just due to steepness / too big a gear / shot knees.
    Sorry, I meant track stand before the climb to get some distance between you and the rider in front of you.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaBass_ View Post
    "On your left!"
    +1 that's the way to do it.

  22. #22
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    I'm still new to ss, but I still know how it feels. My geared bike is a 1x9, so I already hated granny gear people. I havent taken my ss out on a group ride yet. Not sure I want to. Some group rides would be ok, but others, have too many people who ride B group who should be in C group.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fakie1999 View Post
    I'm still new to ss, but I still know how it feels. My geared bike is a 1x9, so I already hated granny gear people. I havent taken my ss out on a group ride yet. Not sure I want to. Some group rides would be ok, but others, have too many people who ride B group who should be in C group.

    Sounds all too organised for my liking - graded group rides?

    Here we just ride and take the piss, whatever someone's riding and however fast or slow they are. There always seems to be something in every ride for everybody.

  24. #24
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    i know our LBS does such 'graded' rides on some days, but i can't do that...only time i've done that is for pre-rides of a course for an xc race....even then, our lowly category is waiting for others...

    back to the wild, ungraded trails today. yesterday was the first rest day in two weeks. the ss infection is all too real.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andy R View Post
    Sounds all too organised for my liking - graded group rides?

    Here we just ride and take the piss, whatever someone's riding and however fast or slow they are. There always seems to be something in every ride for everybody.
    Yeah, it usually works well. Its so easy to drop slower riders in single track. We end up waiting around at every turn. People still get lost or split up almost every week. I've only done those rides a couple times, and havent been too impressed really. The B group is too big. 20+ people. Need to break into 2 groups. Those are wednesday nights. The monday night group is much better organized, and much better about not dropping anyone.

  26. #26
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    I ride with a group of geared guys multiple times a week. They know to just let me go first on climbs..

    Just mash and pass them!

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fakie1999 View Post
    Yeah, it usually works well. Its so easy to drop slower riders in single track. We end up waiting around at every turn. People still get lost or split up almost every week. I've only done those rides a couple times, and havent been too impressed really. The B group is too big. 20+ people. Need to break into 2 groups. Those are wednesday nights. The monday night group is much better organized, and much better about not dropping anyone.
    how big are these rides? that's the problem sometimes....not just skill/endurance levels, but terrain (of course) and gearing (of course!). i assume most are geared.

    even on my team, only a handful have a SS...and only one races that class...still haven't been able to get an SS only ride together.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by UBUgoat View Post
    how big are these rides? that's the problem sometimes....not just skill/endurance levels, but terrain (of course) and gearing (of course!). i assume most are geared.

    even on my team, only a handful have a SS...and only one races that class...still haven't been able to get an SS only ride together.
    big, like how many people? 20-30 people per group (A,B,C). Each group takes different trails usually though. I dont know my way around out there. The last time I rode it, I was nice and waiting for some slower riders, and I ended up getting dropped. Even the 10 slower riders group got split up. There was 4 of us that ended up riding together. Luckily one guy knew a way to get back.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaBass_ View Post
    "On your left!"

  30. #30
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    works like previously stated to let them spin the hill for a while you will catch them before the top. one of the reasons i run burly tires is so when i get stuck behind these kinda riders i know my rear wont slip when i mash again.
    the slow controled climb is also a great skill to develop.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaBass_ View Post
    "On your left!"
    And if you can't pass on the left, just yell "up up up!" until they clear the hill.

  32. #32
    Bro Mountainbiker
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    I like to chill in the back and count how many times their cranks spin around in relation to mine. I laugh and think "no way in hell thats easier! Look how fast their legs are moving!"
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  33. #33
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    I've only been SS'ing for a year now and am far from being the strongest, however, when I ride with a group of geared riders, the pecking order is usually pretty clear after the first climb. The weaker riders tend to go last and the stronger geared riders fight for the number 1 position behind me OR, once the group recognizes I'm on a SS, they all agree that I should be the leader

    It's amazing what a year of SS'ing will do for you you!!!

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2Slo4U View Post
    I've only been SS'ing for a year now and am far from being the strongest, however, when I ride with a group of geared riders, the pecking order is usually pretty clear after the first climb. The weaker riders tend to go last and the stronger geared riders fight for the number 1 position behind me OR, once the group recognizes I'm on a SS, they all agree that I should be the leader

    It's amazing what a year of SS'ing will do for you you!!!
    man, you got it. that's the essence of it. i am hoping to have good results this weekend in a race against gears. i have a ways to go, but just one month has done noticeable things for my legs and upper body. and yes, slogging up a hill w/o momentum on loose rocks is good training for when i'm stuck behind the granny spinner climbers

  35. #35
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    I'm not sure if anyone has given this advice or not dealing with your group ride......








    Get some gears and be done with it?

  36. #36
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    get gears? so i can limit myself like they've limited themselves?

    actually, to be fair, i was thinking the DH folks might have a similar thread about what do you do when singlespeeders are in the way?


    and preaching to choir, but just in case...
    http://www.singletracks.com/blog/unc...king-a-chance/

  37. #37
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    My fitness isn't what it was last year. Last year, I would have agreed completely. This year, instead of charging hills and steeps and passing gearies, I have learned to slow pedal. Interestingly, I am able to do it, and my heart rate and breath don't red-line.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by gjenkins@ View Post
    My fitness isn't what it was last year. Last year, I would have agreed completely. This year, instead of charging hills and steeps and passing gearies, I have learned to slow pedal. Interestingly, I am able to do it, and my heart rate and breath don't red-line.
    what is it about spinning vs. mashing that makes spinning a quicker path to red lining. maybe i need to spin faster for longer to understand it? i climbed several bad technical hills yesterday and though i could sustain it mid-tempo, i do seem to hit the red line quicker

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by UBUgoat View Post
    what is it about spinning vs. mashing that makes spinning a quicker path to red lining. maybe i need to spin faster for longer to understand it? i climbed several bad technical hills yesterday and though i could sustain it mid-tempo, i do seem to hit the red line quicker
    I suppose I am not talking about "spinning" really. I think what I mean is that there is a way to slow mash that is sustainable. I don't know all the book learning on fitness, but I have noticed that I can tax my lungs and/or my muscles. Spinning tends to stress my lungs, mashing my muscles. I constantly alter my effort to equalize those two while making sure I can finish the distance I am riding. Sitting or standing, I have learned that there is a way to do hard hills without redlining myself. Last year, I didn't know I could. It was all or nothing.

  40. #40
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    My first group rides I did were at night with some moto x dude's on there mtb.
    I didn't have lights so I had to stay close but then you get the slow guys and they tell you to pass, now talk about pressure to perform.
    Fixed on some 38c's yuc! I blew a lot of tubes and bent some rims charging straight through rocks etc. doing my part to keep the pace going GOOD TIMES

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevob View Post
    I enjoy sitting behind them and talking to them as they run out of breath.
    HAHA! Love it!

    Some fun things to say:
    "Pretty cool climb, huh?"
    "You have a lighter I can borrow?"
    "Man, I really wish I had gears right now. Jealous!"

    Feel free to add
    "I like skinny jeans. Sometimes I wear them to the mall to get an Orange Julius." -Chim Chim

  42. #42
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    can't the geared guys just use the same gear as the singlespeeder and grind up hills too? or does that never happen?

  43. #43
    local trails rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dichotomous View Post
    can't the geared guys just use the same gear as the singlespeeder and grind up hills too? or does that never happen?


    Earlier this summer I hooked up with a guy from the other side of town and we went for a ride on "my" local trails. Riding his 5" FS gearie bike, he said he felt like he should ride the uphills in a gear close to what I was using. I thought it was a bit silly... Most FS bikes don't respond to mashing quite as well as a rigid bike.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  44. #44
    Gigantic Hawk
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    Getting stuck on a climb because of a gearie does give you full right to ***** talk them for the rest of the ride.

    Who am I kidding... I don't need a reason to ***** talk. It just happens. Part of my charm, I guess.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dichotomous View Post
    can't the geared guys just use the same gear as the singlespeeder and grind up hills too? or does that never happen?
    yes they can, no it doesnt.

  46. #46
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    it's the psychology of it all...gears make it easier to find the easy way out. and up. on a geared bike, i still will call shotgun, and ride as a passenger. but i'm a pretty good backseat driver. that's what's changing lately since i've started grinding and mashing into the heart of darkness

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by UBUgoat View Post
    i guess this will simply make me stronger (i hope), having to crawl behind a granny gear spinner up steep climbs, but lately i've been exploring a new trail system and, of course, run into some of the locals...i ask questions, they say follow...been doing this the last two weeks...a real blast, but when i follow, i forget i am locked into the momentum speed....i need speed to get up hills, etc. i've started laying back and timing it right, but it's really odd now that i've switched almost exclusively to SS. heck, it's no real big deal, but curious of others' experience riding with the geared groups with their peculiar speed/approach for all possible obstacles/challenges. very different from how i approach logs, hills, etc. not that i've 'shifted' over to non-shifting.
    Get in front of the granny geared spinner before the climbs and you will be able to maintain a much more efficient cadence and conserve some energy.......finesse is one of the the keys on a SS

  48. #48
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    We have 2 groups on some of our rides. We have quite a variety of levels, and it's the best way to keep everyone happy. Before we did this, one racer dude looked at his bike computer and noted that during the 1.5 hour ride, he was moving only 30 minutes and waiting 1 hour. We re-group for pizza and beer after the ride.

    When I ride my SS on group rides, I hang back so I can get enough momentum on hills that I know I can make. If I know I can't make the hill on my SS, I let gearies who I know can make the hill go ahead of me so I don't screw them up.

  49. #49
    nothing to see here
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    Quote Originally Posted by amishscum View Post
    HAHA! Love it!

    Some fun things to say:
    "Pretty cool climb, huh?"
    "You have a lighter I can borrow?"
    "Man, I really wish I had gears right now. Jealous!"

    Feel free to add
    I actually prefer to ask them questions which require some thought and a more detailed answer than just a one word response.
    I see hills.

    I want to climb them.

  50. #50
    I like turtles
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    I am the only SS in my group and am quite a bit faster/more experienced that most of them. Its really not a big deal, I try to be in front or just ease of a bit when approaching climbs so it doesn't cause any drama.
    Geologist by trade...bicycle mechanic (former) by the grace of God!

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  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by amishscum View Post
    HAHA! Love it!

    Some fun things to say:
    "Pretty cool climb, huh?"
    "You have a lighter I can borrow?"
    "Man, I really wish I had gears right now. Jealous!"

    Feel free to add
    I like to gather some speed and pass them while drinking from a water bottle. It's always good for a laugh

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by saxen View Post
    I'm not sure if anyone has given this advice or not dealing with your group ride......








    Get some gears and be done with it?

    Blasphemer.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Id scrap the passion forum all together, its a breeding ground for unicorn milkers, rainbow chasers and candy cotton farters.

  53. #53
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    My favorite is when I broke a pedal and beat everyone up the hill only using one foot and kicking people with my other while passing them. I quote as I was passing one of the guys "you got to be kidding me!"

  54. #54
    DOH!
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    Get in front and stay there.
    what don't kill ya, make ya more strong.

  55. #55
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    had one of the best group rides so far on my SS yesterday I'm the only SS in the group. It's also the first time I brought the SS there too.

    A small group ride amongst good friends. So the atmosphere is all friendly, no competition. The one I compete with is myself. It's a good feeling that not only I could clear with ease on those little many hills that I usually having a hard time over, I'm doing it in speed.

    I think it's important to know everyone's stamina and skills, especially riding singletrack. The rider sequence is arranged nicely so that there's no bottleneck during the ride. Fastest rider leads the pack and slowest rider became the sweeper. Everybody must keep the person behind in check. If the person behind is too far away, just hola for a short stop to regroup.

  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaizer View Post
    had one of the best group rides so far on my SS yesterday I'm the only SS in the group. It's also the first time I brought the SS there too.

    A small group ride amongst good friends. So the atmosphere is all friendly, no competition. The one I compete with is myself. It's a good feeling that not only I could clear with ease on those little many hills that I usually having a hard time over, I'm doing it in speed.

    I think it's important to know everyone's stamina and skills, especially riding singletrack. The rider sequence is arranged nicely so that there's no bottleneck during the ride. Fastest rider leads the pack and slowest rider became the sweeper. Everybody must keep the person behind in check. If the person behind is too far away, just hola for a short stop to regroup.
    Sounds like you have a solid group to ride with. Good structure too. And well done on doing everything on the SS!

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shalom View Post
    Sounds like you have a solid group to ride with. Good structure too. And well done on doing everything on the SS!
    Thanks!

    Know most of the guys since childhood. It's like old friends together on every ride... LOL

    Yeah, with yesterday's ride, I've decided to go fulltime SS with rigid. It's just double the fun of everything.

  58. #58
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    well, i hit a pretty rocky, hilly area nearby (French Creek State Park) which is loaded with technical rock garden climbs and great, greasy descents. first time to take the ss. i'm still a cat 3 racer...two other ss'ers are cat 2 and one races ss...two others were cat 2s on gearies...i did well and, yes, found myself having to pass and take harder lines, often losing traction (rocks were incredibly wet from storms and high humidity!). a few times i found better lines but these guys are fast at all times...towards the end of the ride, i ended up in the back, taking turns with the geared guys so, no surprise i wasn't able to sustain my energy levels with the faster (and younger...) ss guys.

    true, the geared/fullsuspension guys flew down the hlls...i admittedly came less prepared by not having my rear brake repaired (so i didn't use it!). i also got slowed down when i busted my left spd pedal on a rock and could only clip in on side. aside from repairs and fueling up a bit better (i usually do), i can see how having at least a 100mm sus fork would've been nice. at least with that and good brakes, i could've up'd the speed on the downhills a bit more.

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