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chasing simplicity
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Anyone riding the Tahoe Trail 100, July 13? Anyone attempting to podium for a Leadville spot? I'm entered, no goal other than to finish within the limit, have a good time, and support my son-in-law who's switching from Pro Enduro to XC marathon and wants to race Leadville this year, so he's shooting for a podium spot in 30-39 class. He lives in Mammoth so is elevation acclimated. I'm not. :-(

Both first-timers on xc endurance events. I've never ridden Tahoe, but he's raced Northstar Enduro.

Any suggestions for final month prep, bike and race? We're both on new SC Blurs. I'm thinking Maxxis Rekons.

Tips and discussions of all kinds welcomed here!
 

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I've done it twice and I'll be doing it again as it is one of my favorite races.

This race is similar to LT100 in that it is not overly technical although it does have its moments, however short. Unlike LT100, no section is so steep that you would need to get off and hike a bike. The course is well marked and you do it twice so you have that going for you.

There is place for your crew at the half way point (just above the village). I have not done the enduro but I doubt there is much, if any, in common, other than it is crazy dusty.

I live at sea level and don't really notice the altitude but you may differ (Leadville is a whole other matter for me).

Tires wise, I've used the Vittoria Mezcal g+ 2.25F/2.1R combo both times, no issues, I'll probably use them again. OTOH, If I'm lazy, not do anything to my bike and run a Barzo 2.3F/ Mezcal 2.25R combo since they are already on the wheels, but that would overkill.

My bike is a Jet 9 RDO, so it only had one bottle in the triangle, so I do a carb heavy mix in the bottle (5 scoops tailwind) and use a hydration pack with just water. This means I I don't need to stop except for at the half way point where I swap bladders and bottle. Most people passing me were on HT with 2 bottles and no pack. There are a few aid stations around the route but I've never stopped at them so I don't know how well they work. Speaking of water, it can be HOT! Both my races started out low to mid 50s and got up to 95-100F by the end.

Main thing on endurance races is pacing yourself. Go our too hard and you'll run out of steam, go out too easy and you'll be giving up time. Also, remember to eat. This is not as big a factor for me at sub 6 ride times but it is good practice for Leadville where eating is probably the most important thing you can do after turning the pedals.

A lot of fast people come out for the TT100, at least faster than me, with my 5:43 and 5:45 finish times, the best I got was a 39th place out of 100+ riders in the 40-49 category. I was however able to score a coin based on the hat draw afterwards, so stick around.
 

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I've done it the last 3 years.

Fortunately, there's a lot more single-track at Tahoe than LT100. Some of it climbing and some of it descending. Last year, they changed the course slightly which added a bit more downhill single-track... with some tight turns. Nothing crazy. Also, on the run-in to the Village, there's some really full, high-speed stuff with some slalom turns and jumps that you will love.

As Hyper noted, there is a lot of climbing, but all of it is very accessible,,, i.e. not super steep. There's also a reasonable amount of high-speed, straight away, big-ring, fire road bombing. This is where you need to be careful, most of these sections are pretty smooth, but there are some embedded rocks that you don't want to hit at 30mph.

... and that brings me to the next warning, TT100 is always very very dusty. Visibility could be an issue on lap one.

The support zone at the start of lap 2 is super easy. I usually just walk out the morning of the race and plunk down a cooler by the side of the route... easy self-service. At the end of the race, it's only a few yards from the finish line to go back and grab your cooler.

As for tires, you want good all-around XC tires. I would not go too light.

One note about the dust... it really saps the lube out of your chain. I would keep some lube with your support station or carry a small tube. Usually, there is an aid station in the woods at about 20 miles that will grab your bike and lube it before you can re-fill a water bottle.

Lastly, the start... it starts out by the highway and begins with the gentle paved downhill to the village where the climbing begins. The first climb is a wide fire road, plenty of room to pass... no need to get too aggro. Just watch the turn onto loose gravel as you leave the village and turn right at the gondola station.
 

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Here's some tips:

There is a short section of single track at mile 4.5-ish called Knick Knack that is only 0.35 miles long. You turn onto it with a hard left and it ends with a hard right on fire road. Since it is so short, if you get stuck behind someone slower, passing will probably take more matches than it is worth, you might loose 20 to 30 seconds worst case, it's not worth fighting/crashing over.

At mile 13.8-ish, there is a wide gravel road descent and climb. This is really straight with some water ruts running across the road at an angle. Stay loose, it's a little slippery but generally can be done at high speed so you can carry some momentum up the other side. The second hardest part is avoiding the people riding their brakes down this.
 

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I've done it twice and I'll be doing it again as it is one of my favorite races.

This race is similar to LT100 in that it is not overly technical although it does have its moments, however short. Unlike LT100, no section is so steep that you would need to get off and hike a bike. The course is well marked and you do it twice so you have that going for you.

There is place for your crew at the half way point (just above the village). I have not done the enduro but I doubt there is much, if any, in common, other than it is crazy dusty.

I live at sea level and don't really notice the altitude but you may differ (Leadville is a whole other matter for me).

Tires wise, I've used the Vittoria Mezcal g+ 2.25F/2.1R combo both times, no issues, I'll probably use them again. OTOH, If I'm lazy, not do anything to my bike and run a Barzo 2.3F/ Mezcal 2.25R combo since they are already on the wheels, but that would overkill.

My bike is a Jet 9 RDO, so it only had one bottle in the triangle, so I do a carb heavy mix in the bottle (5 scoops tailwind) and use a hydration pack with just water. This means I I don't need to stop except for at the half way point where I swap bladders and bottle. Most people passing me were on HT with 2 bottles and no pack. There are a few aid stations around the route but I've never stopped at them so I don't know how well they work. Speaking of water, it can be HOT! Both my races started out low to mid 50s and got up to 95-100F by the end.

Main thing on endurance races is pacing yourself. Go our too hard and you'll run out of steam, go out too easy and you'll be giving up time. Also, remember to eat. This is not as big a factor for me at sub 6 ride times but it is good practice for Leadville where eating is probably the most important thing you can do after turning the pedals.

A lot of fast people come out for the TT100, at least faster than me, with my 5:43 and 5:45 finish times, the best I got was a 39th place out of 100+ riders in the 40-49 category. I was however able to score a coin based on the hat draw afterwards, so stick around.
Are you riding the new Jet with 120mm or the original Jet with 100mm travel?
 

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I have raced TT100 Twice, and will be racing again this year. First I agree with the previous comments. Second, depending upon how fast you are, I would recommend burning a match or two to get to the single track before the slow people. It is fairly easy, and a good place to make up some time. However, as others have mentioned, probably not worth the effort trying to pass someone. The fire road that follows is fast, fun and very manageable. For nutrition, I use an Infinit Nutrition custom blend that gives me 250 calories and plenty of salt per 24oz bottle. For any race over an hour, I drink that mixture at one bottle an hour. Which means that I need to carry three bottles per lap, because my lap times approach 3 hours. I use bottles because it is easier to manage consumption (every 15 minutes I make 1/4 of the bottle disappear). On your Blur i would use two bottle cages, and carry the third bottle in your jersey. For the bottle cage under the down tube, get camelbak bottles with dirt covers, because the bottle will be covered in crap from the trail. There will be water and mud that you pick up in the first single track if no where else. At the end of the first lap, drop off three empty bottles and pick up three new ones. If you haven't done this distance in the past I would also recommend something like pickle juice (for cramps). I carry 2.5 oz bottles from the Pickle Juice Company. I drink one at the half way point whether I have cramped or not. I usually will consume a second one about half way through the second lap, or when I feel cramps starting.

Tires, the first time I did this race I used a 2.2x29 Continental Race King Protection on the rear and a Rocket Ron Light skin 2.25x29 for the front. Last year I used Kenda Saber Pro Tubless Race 2.2x29. Any good XC tire will be fine.

With all long distance races, pacing is everything. The "Pin It To Win It" slogan for shorter XC races will definitely cause problems. Think of a good race time manage you speed and effort to achieve that goal. You will see many others going very fast. You don't know if they are in the same race category as you. You will be surprised at how many people you pass on the last lap, if you manage you energy properly.

I am in the 50-59 age category. At most there will be about 5 coins for the top five finishers in that age group, so as HyperSprite suggests: Stick around for the after race lottery. Good luck.
 

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Couple of thoughts that came to mind...
I run a 'Top Tube Pack' or 'Bento Box' for endurance events. These are popular with triathletes, but they are great for endurance races.
Time has proven that if your nutrition is not easy to grab, you'll tend to put off eating. MTB makes this even more of an issue because you are not riding on smooth pavement where it's easy to take your hands off the bars and reach into a jersey pocket, etc.
Plus, you can unzip the bag and see what you need... vs hunting blindly through a jersey pocket that's already packed with arm-warmers and other crap.

I am also a fan of taping gels to your top tube for a quick rip and slurp.
 

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Student of the Bike
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Couple of thoughts that came to mind...
I run a 'Top Tube Pack' or 'Bento Box' for endurance events. These are popular with triathletes, but they are great for endurance races.
Time has proven that if your nutrition is not easy to grab, you'll tend to put off eating. MTB makes this even more of an issue because you are not riding on smooth pavement where it's easy to take your hands off the bars and reach into a jersey pocket, etc.
Plus, you can unzip the bag and see what you need... vs hunting blindly through a jersey pocket that's already packed with arm-warmers and other crap.
I too use the bento box on TT strategy. I even go so far as to arrange my gels inside my bento box: right side = non-caffeinated; left side = caffeinated in descending order as to caffeine strength. This allows me to reach in and grab just the right one for the needed objective without needing to look.

Cheers,
CJB
 

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As you can see there are many different nutrition strategies. I would suggest that you experiment with your nutrition strategy before race day. What works for others might not work for you. For example, I can tolerate Whey Protein for about three hours, after that my stomach feels like it is inflated to 30psi. Also I love Cliff Shot blocks, but after about 4 hours my stomach starts feeling like a chemistry lab. Lara bars work fine for me (200 calories per bar). I am not suggesting what works for me will work for you. I just provided these examples so that you can see that there is some trial and error in terms of your nutrition.

If you are going to opt for solid nutrition instead of liquid (eating your calories vs drinking them), then I agree with the other comments about a bento box. They are great, you can keep them zipped so that your food isn't covered in dust when you need to eat.
 

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Tires

What type of tires are racers running on this course. First time for this race, not sure what to expect.
In the past I have used the following tires: Continental Race King Protection rear and Schwalbe rocket Ron front (29x2.25 for both); Kenda Saber Pro TR 29x2.20 Front and Rear. It is not an overly technical course. While there is some single track you will spend quite a bit of time on Fire Roads.
 

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Thanks! Yeah i heard there is a lot of fire road and I have ridden areas around Northstar in the past. I'm currently running an Ardent Race (F) and Aspen (R) and I'll probably just go with those.
 
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