Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dryer Race Course

This morning I went to Dryer again. What I didn't mention last Sunday was that I more or less rode the course planned for the the Fat Tire Festival mountain bike race.
Many mountain bike races welcome muni riders. Obviously the idea isn't to compete to win, but just to participate and have a good time.
In this race the riders do a number of laps based on their skill level. Beginner - 1 lap, Sport - 2 laps, Expert - 3 laps. Experts start at 9:00am, Sports at 9:05, and Beginners at 9:10.
Being a slow rider, I don't like this setup. It means that I'll get lapped by a bunch of riders. Dryer is all single-track, and it will be a pain to dismount, step aside, and allow riders to pass. On downhills, they'll come barreling down, coasting, skipping over the roots and rocks with their full suspension bikes while I'm braking, picking a path, and flailing my free arm around.

Last year's Fat Tire race had the same riding classes but had a different course. I haven't ridden that course, but I know the trails and it's pretty comparable to this year's course. Looking at last year's results, figuring average speeds, and using the ~50 minute time I get on this year's course, I figured I'd get passed by about 30 expert/sport riders. I'd still finish with the slowest two or three beginner riders. My numbers are just estimates, but I think they're realistic enough.

Bikers are going to be passing other bikers a lot, so it should be an expectation. While I don't want to get in anyone's way, the bigger problem is that passing bikers will be getting in my way. Obviously I don't care much about my time, but if I'm dismounting 30 extra times it will cut out a lot of fun. Especially when those dismounts are in places like the downhills.

I have a several days to decide if I want to race. I'm still thinking about it, but I might just wait for a race without such tight laps. Dryer's a pretty tough place to ride too. If I'm going to join in a race, I might want it to be on some less hilly trails.

Muni at Dryer - 2010-07-11

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