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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am planing on doing the VT 50, this will be my first long mt bike race, and am looking for any kind of advice I can get.

I am really interested in knowing what the course is like, how difficult is it?

Thanks,
 

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simply me
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I've done it a couple of times, few things to look out for...

Terrain is mixed; the start is on the road and as it's early in the morning so can be quite cold. Don't dress for this cold temperature unless the forecast is bleak. Usually by 10am things are MUCH warmer and you don't want to be carrying a pile of crap with you. I know a couple of guys who stop at the salvation army on the way there. Pick up some old cloting and wear that for the first 20 miles. When things warm up they ditch it at a food stop and are not worried if they ever get it back or not.

The start is also quite confusing for first timers and a LOT of people start with the wrong group. Be sure to check your start time and the start order and be at the right place at the right time.

There are a lot of long slow climbs, nothing especially steep but a lot of grinding.

There are some roads, some fire roads and a bunch of single track. The further into the race you get the more technical it becomes so same some energy for the end.

The food stops are often and plentiful, usually there are approx 7 places to get food and water. Some bigger than others. If you are looking to do well skip the first few stops and wait till stop 4 (i think) it's at the top of a grassy climb just after you climb over a rock wall. This stop has the best selection of food, things have usually thined out traffic wise and it's a great opportunity to replenish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks,

Thank you for your response, based on the amount of fire roads and double track, do people use semi Slicks? or would that put you at to bit of a disadvantage on the single track.
Also any recommendation on cassette size? stick with a 28 or go with a 30?
How long does it take for most people to complete?

There are some roads, some fire roads and a bunch of single track. The further into the race you get the more technical it becomes so same some energy for the end.

The food stops are often and plentiful, usually there are approx 7 places to get food and water. Some bigger than others. If you are looking to do well skip the first few stops and wait till stop 4 (i think) it's at the top of a grassy climb just after you climb over a rock wall. This stop has the best selection of food, things have usually thined out traffic wise and it's a great opportunity to replenish.[/QUOTE]
 

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simply me
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I'd stick to knobbies rather than semis... it will depend a bit on the weather but the chance of it being damp through the singletrack is quite high... usually a few weirdos try cross bikes but it can get a bit hairy.

Times vary a lot, depending on the conditions and among the various rider abilities. Here are the results from 03:

http://www.efta.com/results/2003/vt5003.htm

times vary from ~4:45 to 11:00+

Cassette is hard to call, depends on how strong you are and the ring size. Last time I raced there I ran an 11-32 with a 22-32-44 up front. For tires I ran IRC mythos 2.1's and got in just over 5:30.

trener1 said:
Thank you for your response, based on the amount of fire roads and double track, do people use semi Slicks? or would that put you at to bit of a disadvantage on the single track.
Also any recommendation on cassette size? stick with a 28 or go with a 30?
How long does it take for most people to complete?
 

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the course is very non technical. on a scale 1-10 it's a 3 in technical difficulty. very very easy. it's a roadie course.but the challenge is that it's 50 miles and has lots of climbing.

I'd pay close attention to the weather report and make sure you don't dress too warm for the start because it's going to warm up.

I only stopped once for 30 seconds at the very end but there's all kinds of support stops.

I remember looking at all the food at the first stop,must have been less than an hour into race, and could not believe it. I saw pancakes, bacon, sausages and orange juice all kinds of stuff. I was just saying who would have to stop this early in the race? who would stop?

what's cool about the race is that it's like a long journey. you just follow the arrows. and be careful on the down hill dirt road sections because you can easily pass the turns. luckily someone was there to inform me of my error.

have fun and after the race there will be food buffet to get you to the car.
side note my time was 5:02.
 

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I'd go for the closest ratio cassette if you have a granny,I don't. at the very end of the race,mile 48, you go part way up Ascutney and it's a tough climb at this point in the race! but there's no technical sections where quick shifting decisions could cost you. so as long as you have a granny you will be fine with anything.
 

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trener1 said:
I am planing on doing the VT 50, this will be my first long mt bike race, and am looking for any kind of advice I can get.

I am really interested in knowing what the course is like, how difficult is it?

Thanks,
i have done it twice, and since this year I am on the waiting list, I encourage you to drop out! You'll never finish and you will have a miserable time! ha!
it's a ton of fun. I ran a single ring up front last year (30t) and was totally fine for the climbs, but got hosed on the first flat section.
Some folks race to win, alot of folks race to finish. everyone has their goals. it's a ton of fun and i really hope i get in this year.

it's a long ride. lots of non-techie climbing. at least for the first 10 miles or so it's so clogged that anything technical you have to walk. so the advice of not stopping for a while is good. it sucks having to pass a ton of people.

it POURED last year! mud fest if you did not finish in under like 6 hours or something.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Winning would be nice :)
No plans on dropping out, but I'll keep you in mind, I sure hope that is stays dry.
Any advice on what and how much to eat and drink?

jh_on_the_cape said:
i have done it twice, and since this year I am on the waiting list, I encourage you to drop out! You'll never finish and you will have a miserable time! ha!
it's a ton of fun. I ran a single ring up front last year (30t) and was totally fine for the climbs, but got hosed on the first flat section.
Some folks race to win, alot of folks race to finish. everyone has their goals. it's a ton of fun and i really hope i get in this year.

it's a long ride. lots of non-techie climbing. at least for the first 10 miles or so it's so clogged that anything technical you have to walk. so the advice of not stopping for a while is good. it sucks having to pass a ton of people.

it POURED last year! mud fest if you did not finish in under like 6 hours or something.
 

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trener1 said:
Winning would be nice :)
No plans on dropping out, but I'll keep you in mind, I sure hope that is stays dry.
Any advice on what and how much to eat and drink?
i received some good advice for my first VT50: don't change anything on your bike or what you eat or drink. just do what you normally do for riding, but you'll just have to do it for a long time.
so if you dont normally eat gel or whatever, the VT50 is not a great place to try it for the first time.
i avoid gummi bears. they give me gummi tummy.
i drink cytomax, but way watered down.
i eat bananas and the occasional clif bar.
take a dump before the race in the condo or at the campground.
if you dont race much, i suggest leaving your watch and bike computer at home and focus on finishing and fun.
DROP OUT OF THE RACE YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE A TERRIBLE TIME AND COME IN LAST PLACE AND EVERYONE WILL LAUGH AT YOU!!!!!!!!! ha ha!!! hoping to get off of that waiting list.
 

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waiting list...

...are chances greater than a snowball's in hell of getting through the waitlist if I sign up today?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Cool

Hey JH, I saw that you made it in, and I didn't even have to drop out. cool.
So I am wondering are you planing on lugging a hydration pack, or just go with two water bottles, and refill them at the stops?
BTW what category are you racing?

jh_on_the_cape said:
i received some good advice for my first VT50: don't change anything on your bike or what you eat or drink. just do what you normally do for riding, but you'll just have to do it for a long time.
so if you dont normally eat gel or whatever, the VT50 is not a great place to try it for the first time.
i avoid gummi bears. they give me gummi tummy.
i drink cytomax, but way watered down.
i eat bananas and the occasional clif bar.
take a dump before the race in the condo or at the campground.
if you dont race much, i suggest leaving your watch and bike computer at home and focus on finishing and fun.
DROP OUT OF THE RACE YOU ARE GOING TO HAVE A TERRIBLE TIME AND COME IN LAST PLACE AND EVERYONE WILL LAUGH AT YOU!!!!!!!!! ha ha!!! hoping to get off of that waiting list.
 

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trener1 said:
Hey JH, I saw that you made it in, and I didn't even have to drop out. cool.
So I am wondering are you planing on lugging a hydration pack, or just go with two water bottles, and refill them at the stops?
BTW what category are you racing?
I never wear a pack. Personal preference. Just water bottles. I use one big one, and have another small one as 'back-up' if I run out. Small seat pouch for some tools and a tube.
I registered in 'Sport'. I might just do it singlespeed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Are you saying that two bottels lasts you 50 miles?
Or do you mean that you stop a few times to refill them?

BTW I'll be on an old school Green Jamis with a bright red fork, also in sport, say hi if you see me.

jh_on_the_cape said:
I never wear a pack. Personal preference. Just water bottles. I use one big one, and have another small one as 'back-up' if I run out. Small seat pouch for some tools and a tube.
I registered in 'Sport'. I might just do it singlespeed.
 

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trener1 said:
Are you saying that two bottels lasts you 50 miles?
Or do you mean that you stop a few times to refill them?

BTW I'll be on an old school Green Jamis with a bright red fork, also in sport, say hi if you see me.
There are places to fill your bottles along the way - 9 aid stations in total. If out of water, I fill up the bottle, drink it down, then refill it. I don't stop at every station.
I will be on a Singlespeed merlin.
 

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Vt 50

I've done the Leadville 100 3 years in a row, and I did the VT 50 in '02, and in my humble opinion the VT 50 was harder. I'll be there up there again this year, actually I was there last year, but spent a leisurely day in bed with the bride as the rain fell , and fell and fell some more. Hopefully this year will be drier. Did you guys notice they finally got on board with the NORBA age brackets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hmmm

What makes it so tough? and do you have any good tips? I need all the help that I can get.
What tire pressure do you recommend?

RyderX said:
I've done the Leadville 100 3 years in a row, and I did the VT 50 in '02, and in my humble opinion the VT 50 was harder. I'll be there up there again this year, actually I was there last year, but spent a leisurely day in bed with the bride as the rain fell , and fell and fell some more. Hopefully this year will be drier. Did you guys notice they finally got on board with the NORBA age brackets.
 

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Help-What tires for VT? help me choose

Not sure of conditions but here are the tires I have to run. Please let me know which ones you think will be best for the 50. Other info- I'm racing my 2003 Heckler (not a race bike but its the only bike I have and I love it)

1) 2.3 Conti vertical Pros- tires on my bike currently and the ones I normally use- but they weigh 630gs and are the slowest on fireroads. Pluses- they seem to shed mud ok and I'm very used to how the handle

2) 2.1 Panaracer Trailblasters- I bouoght these for my race tires. Roll fast, shed mud very well and light at 520 gs. However the front has me a bit nervous, it seems soooo much narrower than what I'm used to (2.3 Vert Pros). Also i've been told they can be slippery on rocks and roots when its wet out

3)2.1 Panaracer Fire Xcs- a good compromise between the two above for weight and size. However mud shedding ability is terible. Thinking maybe I the FIRE XC up front and a trailblaster in back
 

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RyderX said:
I've done the Leadville 100 3 years in a row, and I did the VT 50 in '02, and in my humble opinion the VT 50 was harder. I'll be there up there again this year, actually I was there last year, but spent a leisurely day in bed with the bride as the rain fell , and fell and fell some more. Hopefully this year will be drier. Did you guys notice they finally got on board with the NORBA age brackets.
Wow. That's an interesting perspective. I had just assumed that Leadville was way harder (distance and altitude). If anyone has done the Cascade Cream Puff and the Vermont 50, I would love to hear a comparison.

And for the other guys: stop freaking out about your tires and pressure and whatnot. Just get out there and ride. I would not change anything on your bike unless you can ride it for 50 miles (a few rides) beforehand. Maintain positivity and a good attitude out there. It's supposed to be FUN!!! That's why I am doing it singlespeed this year as my goal - with the hope of maintaining a good finish time. Some people have as a goal to ride (clean) the whole course, no walking or dabbing, which is a lofty goal. There's more to the VT50 than your finish time.
:cool:
 

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bostonkiwi said:
I'd stick to knobbies rather than semis... it will depend a bit on the weather but the chance of it being damp through the singletrack is quite high... usually a few weirdos try cross bikes but it can get a bit hairy.

Times vary a lot, depending on the conditions and among the various rider abilities. Here are the results from 03:

http://www.efta.com/results/2003/vt5003.htm

times vary from ~4:45 to 11:00+

Cassette is hard to call, depends on how strong you are and the ring size. Last time I raced there I ran an 11-32 with a 22-32-44 up front. For tires I ran IRC mythos 2.1's and got in just over 5:30.
wow this is a cool thread, sharing info and trading shots at the same time haha
i havent been in any races, yet, but was wondering about the catagories.
what would the difference be,

Expert Junior
Expert Veteran
Expert Master
Expert Senior I
Expert Senior II

Novice Junior
Novice Veteran
Novice Master
Novice Senior I
Novice Senior II
Novice Clydes

Sport Junior
Sport Veteran
Sport Master
Sport Senior I
Sport Senior II
Sport Clydes

do they go by age groups and/or years experience?
i was surprised by all the groups.
 

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fasteddy001 said:
Not sure of conditions but here are the tires I have to run. Please let me know which ones you think will be best for the 50. Other info- I'm racing my 2003 Heckler (not a race bike but its the only bike I have and I love it)

1) 2.3 Conti vertical Pros

2) 2.1 Panaracer Trailblasters

3)2.1 Panaracer Fire Xcs
I'd go with those Trailblasters given the options. I ditched my XC Pro's after they refused to shed mud at the Jay 60 last year. On a dry year, the course is perfect to some Michelin Comp S lights or similar, though - on a wet year those trailblasters would be great, and will be fine on a dry year too.

I think it's funny that everytime there's a post for the VT50, folks start posting their times from the year before. The way i see it is, until Ben Moody doesn't kick the ever-living crap out of me (on a singlespeed nonetheless), i am humbled and try to act accordingly!
 
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