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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I haven't done this race since 98 and since then, I've heard the course has moved twice? I'm coming from pretty far away and probably won't have a chance to preride the course. Can anybody desribe what the course is like? Any help would be much appreciated.
 

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Thanks, but I've already visited the site. I'm curious about terrain...should I bring a dual suspension bike or will my hardtail be fine? Am I going to do a lot of climbing? Is it more dirt or more rock oriented? Things like that would help me tons. Thanks once again.
 

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I'm not sure which bike you should take, but if you run your hardtail run some fatter tires. While it's not abusively rocky there's lots of opportunities to pinch flat. In fact, no matter which bike you ride you might want to run an extra 5 psi in your back tire.

Some of the climbing is on roads that have been covered with loose rock to prevent erosion, so if you think your FS bike makes up for its weight in traction, that might be the way to go. But then again, you will be doing a whole lot of climbing. While this course supposedly has less elevation gain than the last two courses, it still feels like a lot more.

I wouldn't call the course technical, but some parts are rough. This is a rocky area and the trails haven't been groomed by overzealous rangers.

Also come prepared for just about any weather. It could be in the 80's, or it could be snowing at the top of the course.

By the way, if anyone else is reading this and waffling about coming up, this is probably one of the few (if only) single loop long courses. It's a beautiful course, with views of the lake and the snow-capped Trinity Alps. And right now the wildflowers are going nuts with the spring rain we've been getting. Don't miss it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Snow in practically May? How high in elevation are we going to be? I remember that the Lemurian Shoot was like atleast a 10-15 mile straight climb (which was crazy) and we got snow at the top but I heard that the course this year won't be nearly as high in elevation? Of course that's just what I've heard. Thanks for the help doc...i know what I'll be bringing now. :D
 

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scaryfast said:
Snow in practically May? How high in elevation are we going to be? I remember that the Lemurian Shoot was like atleast a 10-15 mile straight climb (which was crazy) and we got snow at the top but I heard that the course this year won't be nearly as high in elevation? Of course that's just what I've heard. Thanks for the help doc...i know what I'll be bringing now. :D
The starting elevations are similar but I think the old course went higher. I need to look at a better topo map to be sure. But anyway, we had a little snow down to 1500-2000 feet about a week ago. Monarch Mountain, which is the top of the first climb, is just under 2000, and last climb, over a trail called The Couch, goesa little higher.

I doubt we'll get snow for the race, but anything's possible. It was in the 80's here three weeks ago, then we had rain, then snow, now it's clear and warm again. So just come equipped for anything. Looking at the weather forecast for the next week it looks like we might be in for some nice warm spring weather. But geographically, since we're right on the edge of the Sacramento Valley and the Shasta-Cascades, the weather here can vary quite a bit.

If you've done the other courses at Shasta Lake and French Gulch, this course is a mix between the two. Some parts are rocky like the Chute, some are more pine-needly like French Gulch. This course has much more singletrack and is more scenic. It also splits the climbing up into a big climb at the start and a big climb at the end. The final descent will not disappoint either.
 

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Topo Info

The topo map says the first climb tops out at 2400 ft. and is 3.5 mi into the race. But it rides harder than the #'s indicate because of the 1 mile gravel covered dirt road section.

Save some energy for the last climb. It starts at approx. the 17.5 mile mark and begins below the dam at around 900 ft, so you're starting at a lower elevation than the first one. It tops out around 2900 about five miles later. Most of the last climb is fun singletrack with a dirt road section in the middle. Towards the top is a steep singletrack section covered with slippery pine needles.

The Couch descent is fast, sometimes rutted and steep. The Ice Box trail along Brandy Cr is pure fun, and a nice reward for the climb.
 
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