Author Topic: Getting in to long distance racing; tentative 2020 calendar  (Read 5112 times)

Re: Getting in to long distance racing; tentative 2020 calendar
« Reply #50 on: November 15, 2019, 02:47:56 pm »
How different do those with experience find these rides in comparison to a long Audax (where I typically ride solo)?  I'm not going to be at the pointy end of any event, but some of these really appeal :)

My assumption is that there's not much difference from a long solo DIY or a no-frills calendar event where you have to look after yourself and plan properly.   I'll be able to confirm or correct this around this time next year.

Re: Getting in to long distance racing; tentative 2020 calendar
« Reply #51 on: November 15, 2019, 03:19:25 pm »
So far I have just one bikepacking race under my belt. There were many similarities to an Audax, with the main exception being the time element. I chose a mountainous off-road event, which was much slower and draining than a road equivalent. The chance to have a good rest each night (I was still underway by 4am, so not exactly touring!) and not be particularly pressured by time limits was a benefit in my opinion.

It took me 10 days to complete the route. During the first few days I did see other riders, and rode with some for short periods which was good. Later on I had whole days without seeing any other riders (although I could roughly judge where they were from their trackers). Indeed it got so remote in eastern Germany that I could spend most of the day without seeing anybody whatsoever.

For off-road events, the biggest difference is the difficulty in planning each day, as the surface and type of path can vary so much. For most long-distance Audaxes I have a plan that I tend to follow, deviating by exception. Off-road I took the first few days as they came, but later in the ride I was planning the following day the night before, and adjusting my start time to ensure I reached my intended destination 'not too late'. I guess through experience you pick up an understanding of what the average speed might be, but it'll fluctuate wildly.

With that experience under my belt I have a few similar rides next year. This time I will have more practice events before the big ones, to hone equipment and my routines. I'll also be slightly more in 'race' mode, so the sleep stops might reduce.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Getting in to long distance racing; tentative 2020 calendar
« Reply #52 on: November 15, 2019, 06:18:24 pm »
How different do those with experience find these rides in comparison to a long Audax (where I typically ride solo)?  I'm not going to be at the pointy end of any event, but some of these really appeal :)
Incredibly similar (the terrain/route makes more difference than isthisanAudaxorarace) - of course I speak from the back of the field!

Big difference is that obviously Ultra-Racing is more cool  8)
Has never ridden RAAM
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No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Getting in to long distance racing; tentative 2020 calendar
« Reply #53 on: November 16, 2019, 10:12:13 am »
I’m still deeply uncomfortable being included in activities that are classed as cool.

Re: Getting in to long distance racing; tentative 2020 calendar
« Reply #54 on: November 16, 2019, 11:10:00 am »
Now they’re letting dorks like me do ultra cycling I can only assume the cool kids are doing something new we haven’t heard about yet.

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Getting in to long distance racing; tentative 2020 calendar
« Reply #55 on: November 16, 2019, 11:53:25 am »
Now they’re letting dorks like me do ultra cycling I can only assume the cool kids are doing something new we haven’t heard about yet.
;D

(I think - rather boringly - that its more that there are shitloads of events now, so they're having to widen the net to get enough riders. Have you looked into fixed gear crit racing? That's still pretty unpopular.)
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: Getting in to long distance racing; tentative 2020 calendar
« Reply #56 on: November 16, 2019, 01:45:44 pm »
I think that's what Rob is going to do now he's bored of fixed gear time trialling.

Right Rob?

Re: Getting in to long distance racing; tentative 2020 calendar
« Reply #57 on: November 16, 2019, 03:41:14 pm »
Now they’re letting dorks like me do ultra cycling I can only assume the cool kids are doing something new we haven’t heard about yet.
;D

(I think - rather boringly - that its more that there are shitloads of events now, so they're having to widen the net to get enough riders. Have you looked into fixed gear crit racing? That's still pretty unpopular.)

It seems a bit variable.  TCR as the original event is always oversubscribed.  The Transalba had 500 entries for 80 spots (at least that’s what my Dear John e-mail said).   The Pan Celtic took a few days to fill.

Re: Getting in to long distance racing; tentative 2020 calendar
« Reply #58 on: November 16, 2019, 03:42:22 pm »
I think that's what Rob is going to do now he's bored of fixed gear time trialling.

Right Rob?

Bike handling - no
Top end power - no

I do have a couple of bikes that would be suitable but I think not.

Re: Getting in to long distance racing; tentative 2020 calendar
« Reply #59 on: November 16, 2019, 07:44:07 pm »
Have you looked into fixed gear crit racing? That's still pretty unpopular.

Seems to be plenty of people doing it here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZR6HK9xEVw

That crash is from the very corporate, not really cool anymore Red Hook Crit in 2016, so definitely not cool now. About time I took it up, really.

Re: Getting in to long distance racing; tentative 2020 calendar
« Reply #60 on: November 16, 2019, 10:13:24 pm »
How different do those with experience find these rides in comparison to a long Audax (where I typically ride solo)?  I'm not going to be at the pointy end of any event, but some of these really appeal :)

It's really very similar to an audax where you are pushing yourself to get round as quickly as you can and riding solo. It just goes on a bit longer and you don't get as much support at the controls.

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: Getting in to long distance racing; tentative 2020 calendar
« Reply #61 on: November 17, 2019, 12:50:36 pm »
How different do those with experience find these rides in comparison to a long Audax (where I typically ride solo)?  I'm not going to be at the pointy end of any event, but some of these really appeal :)

The hardest part I find is the not helping others bit. As the lantern rouge on an Audax, and someone who carries quite a substantial tool kit, I often find riders with mechanicals, or navigation issues, and help them. On several audaxes this season there are riders who finished purely down to me being there. I navigated for 3 others on the Groningen 300, because they all had nav failures. On an ultrarace, you find a rider on the road, you ask "Are you ok?" "are you safe?" and then ride on, you can't offer them a spare tube, you can't hold this bit while they tighten that screw. As someone who is generally helpful, I find this hard.

I wonder in the mid field and nearer the back, if there is a bit more assistance between riders than the rules would like, stories of a rider all out of tubes and patches, and another rider "forgetting" a spare tube on the bench next to the rider with no tubes... I don't know if any of them are true, and none of them have ever mentioned riders by name.

Oh, and having to fight the usual habbit of when an ebike goes past, grabbing the wheel and hanging on for as long as possible. Fine on an audax, not fine on an ultra race...

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

mattc

  • n.b. have grown beard since photo taken
    • Didcot Audaxes
Re: Getting in to long distance racing; tentative 2020 calendar
« Reply #62 on: November 17, 2019, 03:07:41 pm »
Have you looked into fixed gear crit racing? That's still pretty unpopular.

Seems to be plenty of people doing it here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vZR6HK9xEVw

That crash is from the very corporate, not really cool anymore Red Hook Crit in 2016, so definitely not cool now. About time I took it up, really.
Red Hook is the same series that I read about (in fact it's the only one - but then I haven't tried researching the subject). I've got a really nice (print) magazine article on them if anyone is super-interested.
Has never ridden RAAM
---------
No.11  Because of the great host of those who dislike the least appearance of "swank " when they travel the roads and lanes. - From Kuklos' 39 Articles

Re: Getting in to long distance racing; tentative 2020 calendar
« Reply #63 on: November 29, 2019, 11:21:09 am »
Friend of mine pointed me at this the other day :-

https://www.twovolcanosprint.com/

If I'd had no family commitments I'd love to have done it.  However, it would be tough.  Not just the climbing but the short days in November mean lots of plodding along in the dark and that is always much harder than riding in daylight. 

Here's a report:
https://dotwatcher.cc/race/two-volcano-sprint-2019

Another report here :-

https://www.bespokecycling.com/blog/events/two-volcano-sprint-ultracycling-ride-report