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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Can anyone give some insight as to the technical nature of the Firecracker 50? My wife and I have ridden Laramie Enduro and Leadville 100 on our tandem and are thinking about the Firecraker 50. It would be very helpful if there are any comprarisons to either of these two rides. I'm just trying to figure out how if the race is "do-able" on a tandem bike.

I understand there is a pretty steep section as well as a "white knuckle" downhill, but without a comparison, it's hard to baseline...

Thanks in advance for any info. :thumbsup:
 

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ds2199 said:
Can anyone give some insight as to the technical nature of the Firecracker 50? My wife and I have ridden Laramie Enduro and Leadville 100 on our tandem and are thinking about the Firecraker 50. It would be very helpful if there are any comprarisons to either of these two rides. I'm just trying to figure out how if the race is "do-able" on a tandem bike.

I understand there is a pretty steep section as well as a "white knuckle" downhill, but without a comparison, it's hard to baseline...

Thanks in advance for any info. :thumbsup:
I would think for the most part you would be OK. I have not ridden a tandem off-road...so take what I say loosely. I think there would be a few singletrack sections that might be too 'tight' for a tandem...especially for the mass quantity of racers on course and the speeds (minute 10:35 on the video below). There are some singletrack sections in the later half of the lap that I wouldn't deem too tandem friendly...ie: switchbacks. Could you ride these sections on a tandem? Yeah, but under the situation, you might have a lot of other racers voicing their options of your mass on the trail. Other than that, most of the course is pretty wide former mining roads that are steep and in most cases....stupid rocky loose.

You can't even compare the F50 to Leadville...other than the altitude. Two completely different courses. Same kind'a goes for the L. Enduro....lots of road and minimal singletrack.

Like I said...take this loosely. I am not a tandem rider. Also, is there a tandem category at the F50? Curious.

Here is a video of the course pre-ride from last June...


More of the F50 course in this video. This is from the Breckenridge 100. A lot of the singletrack in this video you ride in the opposite direction we are riding it in the video....

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
KERKOVEJ said:
Like I said...take this loosely. I am not a tandem rider. Also, is there a tandem category at the F50? Curious.

QUOTE]

Based on what I have heard, the tight singletrack may portions (and switchbacks) could be a problem...

I do not think there is a tandem category at F50.

You'd be surprised what you CAN ride on a mountain tandem... but that said, being a double lap course, I would not want to hold up the fast riders on their second lap.
 

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ds2199 said:
My wife and I have ridden Laramie Enduro and Leadville 100 on our tandem and are thinking about the Firecraker 50. It would be very helpful if there are any comprarisons to either of these two rides.
My daughter and I have ridden the Laramie Enduro 3 or 4 times on a tandem and a couple of times each on our single bikes and I've done Leadville 4 times on a single, and I rode the Firecracker 50 about 6 years ago on a single. I don't know about you and your wife on the tandem, but there are two longer pushes for my daughter and me at the Enduro and another dozen or so dismounts and short pushes. My memory would suggest that if you're good at grunting up some steep pitches there would only be a few short dismounts at the Firecracker 50, certainly I'd be having to dismount on the tandem for the switchbacks that drop down to the start finish. I don't remember any prolonged pushes at the Firecracker, not like at Laramie and certainly not like Leadville (despite the greater amount of climbing at the Firecracker). The other issue, as mentioned, is the crowds and how they'd feel about some of the slower moves that a tandem necessarily has to make in tight single track. My experience is that most riders are much more forgiving of a tandem getting in their way than when I get in their way on my single bike. I'm pretty sure I remember you folks -- I've kept my eye out for the tandem teams at the Enduro the past couple of years, and while the Firecracker 50 is definitely a tougher course, I'd expect you guys could handle it. And my daughter and I've talked about Leadville on the tandem, but she's still too young based on their rules and she's more interested on doing it on her own when she's "legal". Also, we both agree that the Enduro is much easier on a single bike...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Long overdue post to an old thread.

We did complete the Firecracker 50 last year (2013) and it went quite well. I understand that the course is easier than it used to be, so take that for what its worth.

It was a great race and very do-able on a tandem for any skilled mtb tandem team. Yes there's elevation gain, yes there's switchbacks, yes Little French is steep, but we rode more of it than all of the riders/walkers around us. We were a ways back and finished in 5 hours and 33 minutes.

There is no tandem category, so you race with the other teams that only do one lap each whereas you do both. That said, if you're riding a tandem in a race like this you would likely not have aspirations to be on the podium, you're just out to see what you can do and have fun.

So tandems get out there! Hopefully there will be some tandems again this year, we'll be volunteering this time.
 

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Long overdue post to an old thread.

We did complete the Firecracker 50 last year (2013) and it went quite well. I understand that the course is easier than it used to be, so take that for what its worth.

It was a great race and very do-able on a tandem for any skilled mtb tandem team. Yes there's elevation gain, yes there's switchbacks, yes Little French is steep, but we rode more of it than all of the riders/walkers around us. We were a ways back and finished in 5 hours and 33 minutes.

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Nice work, you beat my 7 hours (which was good enough for 8th place in Clydesdale).

Hopefully the snow gets cleared for this year's race, see MavSports Facebook page for the ~5' snow still on French Gulch...
 

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Yes, there is a snow clearing party going on this weekend. I'll be there in the morning and then Sunday afternoon to help. Gate opens at 8 am, Noon, and 4 pm. If you miss the gate opening you must park at Sallie Barber parking and walk up. I live in the neighborhood just before French Gulch, so probably just ride my bike.
 

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Nice work, you beat my 7 hours (which was good enough for 8th place in Clydesdale).

Hopefully the snow gets cleared for this year's race, see MavSports Facebook page for the ~5' snow still on French Gulch...
Just did the loop this morning. French Gulch is good to go. Water is running fast and sorta high at last creek crossing before the single track to humbug hill.
 

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Just did the loop this morning. French Gulch is good to go. Water is running fast and sorta high at last creek crossing before the single track to humbug hill.
Cool, I rode sections of it last weekend, then the rest this past Tuesday, and yeah I was impressed it was pretty much good to go. A bit squishy, muddy, wet in places, but that'll just add to the excitement...ha!

Riding it this weekend with some friends...I suspect trail(s) will be busy but it'll be fun.
 
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