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Bailed on the race after jacking my shoulder on a tree at Rockville Friday.
I would guess the slop and mud was back after a couple years of dry fast conditions?
 

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more skier than biker
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Yeah it was more "wet" than "muddy" i'd say. More splashing fast fun in watery puddles than slogging it out grinding in peanut butter.

The hard rains from last week did make some of the descents a bit more interesting. Descent to Salt Creek was a bit more washed out and techy especially near the bottom. Really fun.

Knickerbcker creek was deep. Easily rideable but i screwed it up on my second lap and put a foot down in it....lame.

Hung on for the win in 36 & Over SS Class. A few seconds behind the 35 & Under SS winner. Good times.
 

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Don't Tread on Me
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First time racing in Cool. Lots of mud but good traction 95% of the time. I've never been more covered in slop,....ever. Good times.
 

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I was surprised by the low turn out. With the nice weather we've been having I was expecting a high number of race day registrations.

Our family total -
4th place Girls 0-8
1st place Girls 9-11
1st place Women's 30-39
One seriously happy Papa.
 

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Crash Dummy In Training
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I was surprised by the low turn out. With the nice weather we've been having I was expecting a high number of race day registrations.

Our family total -
4th place Girls 0-8
1st place Girls 9-11
1st place Women's 30-39
One seriously happy Papa.
Now that's a great family outing !!!!
Congrat's Dad
 

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mtb'er
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I gotta question. The Way Too Cool 50K trail run was the day before the Cool Mountain Bike Race. 1,200 people registered to run 50k (31 miles -- not easy). It looks like 1,000 of them finished. The bike race had 231 finishers, most of which pedaled 10 to 20 miles. What gives?

Is running that much "easier" to do than mt. biking? Again, a 31 mile trail run in the ASRA isn't easy by any measurement!

Here's the WTC 50 race course: http://www.wtc50k.com/course/wtc_2013_course_map.pdf
... if there was a mountain bike race on this same course, how many people would you estimate would sign up? Less than 200? More than 200? Way more than 200?

Just curious if anyone here has insight or thoughts on the subject.
 

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Running events always have huge fields.
You see a similar phenomenon at GB. TBF is doing really good to put together 300 racers for an event. Merrill comes out to do there mud run event and they pull in 1000's.
It's also a difference between the two activities. Runners primarily train to do events. I won't deny that there are recreational runners and fitness runners. But many of them are out on the trails to train for "such and such event". Not so much with mtn bikers. Mtn bikers are primarily non-competitive recreation oriented riders. The fraction of us that participate in competitive events in tiny when compared to the community as a whole.

I'm not sure I would want to participate in a mtn bike event with 1000 other riders. The trails would be crowded beyond belief. Who ever got the hole shot would win just because it would devolve into a giant conga line. Runners are smaller and more mobile than a mtn biker. It's easier to fit 1000 of them on a course.

FWIW, Jimmie Northey wanted to do a XC race with the course dropping down to the river, at the damn site, and then back up. That was 3-4 years ago. He had to cancel it for some reason. Lack of interest or excessive SP fees would be my guesses.
 

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I'm not sure I would want to participate in a mtn bike event with 1000 other riders. The trails would be crowded beyond belief. Who ever got the hole shot would win just because it would devolve into a giant conga line.
You mean like the Boggs 8 hour now.....or the Sonoma County World Championships as I like to call it.

Remember also that the Way Too Cool has a lottery to get in, gawd only knows how many people actually tried to race. It's funny, there are MTB races that draw nearly or more than a thousand racers, think Iceman Cometh, Leadville, Whiskey 50 and 100 or even 24 hours in the Old Pueblo which gets over 1500. Not sure why the race promoters struggle here to draw a crowd on some pretty spectacular courses quality wise, Cool excluded;)
 

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Not sure why the race promoters struggle here to draw a crowd on some pretty spectacular courses quality wise, Cool excluded;)
I think a big (huge even) part of the problem is that our riding here is better than our racing. When I throw a bike onto the back of the truck to go for a ride Olmstead is last on my list of destinations. Yet it's the only race venue in the area where you have a loop that doesn't cross a road with sufficient proximate parking. If a person's going to travel to Auburn to ride their bike, they'll have more fun Strava racing a solo Auburn Epic loop then burning laps through Knickerbocker Creek.

Auburn could be throwing some huge events if we could get the connector trails we need to make some race-safe loops around the best parts of our existing trail network...and some parking to support the event. I really think we need to organize the Auburn business and political leadership to wrestle the Auburn SRA into management more consistent with the Granite Bay SRA
 

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Agreed about Auburn, I wasn't really referring to Auburn so much. Bigfoot struggles as well on some of the most *****in race courses I've raced on, granted they are way the hell up North.....Lots of folks rave about Fort Bragg, but those areas have struggled to put on races for decades. We've got crap courses here local, but it seems few are willing to drive anywhere to do a really good course either. I really don't know how these promoters make it or can justify the effort for so few racers.

I guess if it's not a "cool" race like Boggs it just won't catch on. I say that with the utmost respect for what Carlos has done, I did the first four versions plus a bunch when Ken from BillyCross was running them there. I just don't understand what's so great about racing on an 8 mile course with 400-600 other racers( or 1200 other runners) other than the party atmosphere. Pack mentality perhaps?
 

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I've had a Pliny
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I gotta question. The Way Too Cool 50K trail run was the day before the Cool Mountain Bike Race. 1,200 people registered to run 50k (31 miles -- not easy). It looks like 1,000 of them finished. The bike race had 231 finishers, most of which pedaled 10 to 20 miles. What gives?

Is running that much "easier" to do than mt. biking? Again, a 31 mile trail run in the ASRA isn't easy by any measurement!
I think there are quite a few differences. The Way Too Cool 50K is a run, not a race. There definitely are people out there to place high, or podium, in their category but the majority just want to post a decent time and run at a moderate/endurance pace. They're super-fit people - but the majority aren't in it to podium. 5K, 10K, Half and Full-Marathons are the same: not a race for everyone that enters - mainly a chance to have a goal to shoot for and to get a personal best.

Mountain bike racing is different - the expectation is to run at threshold and higher for the entire time. It's much more aggro. Risk is bigger also - a sprained ankle vs crashing at speed.

Also, running is cheaper: a very nice pair of running shoes costs $150.

Then there's marketing - Way Too Cool has over 30 sponsors including CLIF Bar, Strava, Patagonia - imagine that exposure. They get the word out huge - I saw over a half-dozen touch points via all different media on Way Too Cool. I heard about the Cool MTB via Word-of-Mouth.
 

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mtb'er
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Good points Brew, Sean, Meta & atayl0r. I agree with all points... except even with big numbers at Boggs, after the first lap, things spread out fairly quickly and traffic isn't a big deal (in my experience). But that's an 8 hr race. Maybe Sea Otter is a better example of too many racers on course. While I don't think a race like Cool will ever draw 800+ racers (unless it was highly marketed to the high school teams/league), it perplexes me that there are lotteries to run 31-100 miles, and road centuries often pull in 1,000+ riders, and now Gran Frondos are exploding in popularity... yet MTB races often struggle to draw participants, like the Big Sandy Race seems to be currently facing.

I think you guys hit the nail on the head though... most mt. bikers love to ride, but not necessarily race as fast as possible in a competitive environment. In the running events, centuries and Frondos, "To finish is to win" is an important motto to understand. I think Northey made a good decision to turn the Tahoe-Sierra 100 (and TS 50/50) into a well-supported adventure ride (even though some racers will be pissed). It'll appeal to a larger audience of riders and hopefully draw a quite a few more people seeking the challenge and sense of accomplishment. Now we need to figure out how to help him market/promote it better!

Bike Monkey is doing a heck of a job marketing their events. It's very impressive Boggs sold out long ago. I do think the draw there is a combination of 1) good marketing; 2) pretty fun terrain/course/location for a loop race; 3) the party atmosphere; 4) not too far away from anywhere; 5) "it" factor... it's become a tradition of sorts for people and bike clubs who come out in droves (see #3)... similar to Sean's references to the popular MTB endurance events.

Note: I'm not complaining about race attendance... I think we all enjoy the small, grassroots feel to our local events. I just was curious what other people's take on the difference between MTB events/races and other not easy/not cheap events were. And I do have a soft spot in my heart for race promoters... a lot of them work their tails off with little appreciation and $ to show for it afterwards.
 

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A couple other thoughts -
What are the expectations of the event promoters? Does GBE want 1000 riders at the Cool Mtn Bike Race? Do they want 500 riders? 300 ok?
What would attendance have been like if Cool Mtn Bike Race had not been on the same weekend as a NorCal League event? We've seen the high schoolers absolutely blow up the attendance numbers at TBF. TBF races that used to see barely 100 races are up to 300. Imagine if all those high schoolers piled on with the 300 racers that were already at Cool.

I agree with others about marketing. The only reason I knew about the Cool race this year was because I went looking for it online. I never saw any ads for it anywhere.
 
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I think that the root of the "problem" is that it's just a race. If it was an event, I think the draw would be much broader, like it is for runs and muds. People want the challenge, but they want to have fun and camaraderie as well. The mtb events/races I have been drawn to have people handing out shots at the top of hill climbs, people competing in costume, more carnival like atmospheres. They still had the hardcore race elements, but they were more than that. At Cool and the other local races, it's primarily racers in spandex looking to challenge themselves. Racing at its core is just a sufferfest which appeals to a very small segment of the population.
 

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Evidently you've never seen the "Attitude Adjustment Station" at the top of one of the hill climbs at Cool
 
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