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2012 Race: April 28th!
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Start time is 9 am. Go to the Lemurian website for registration info.

Directions: From Redding take Highway 299W towards Eureka. About 1.5 miles past the historic town of Shasta turn left on JFK Memorial Drive. JFK is at the top of the hill, there is a nice view of Whiskeytown Lake and a big visitor center, you can't miss it. Follow JFK Drive across the dam, then follow the signs to the Brandy Cr Marina, not Brandy Cr Beach. Allow 25 minutes drive time from downtown Redding.

Long Course description: (helps to look at the long course map from the website while referencing this description)

From the start/finish area at Brandy Creek Marina riders depart up the paved road and hang a right up Brandy Creek Road. The riders should thin out a bit along this fairly laid-back climb.

Soon comes the left turn up to Panther Gap. Here's where the fun beings. It's very steep and the road is covered with walnut- to baseball-sized rocks. This is a sufferfest. It reminds me of the climb from Sierra City in the Downieville race. That goes for about a mile to the Panther Gap/Monarch Mountain divide, where it's another left up a steep section to the top of a trail called the Gas Can. The surface is better for this climb, but it's still steep.

From the top of the Gas Can, the first downhill is fast and loose with some off camber turns. Towards the bottom is a rutted section that is very rideable assuming you've choosen the correct line.

Then it's back onto the paved road which descends a bit farther and crosses Whiskeytown Dam. This is a good place to get your wits about you and get a nice rhythm going for the rest of the course.

Down in Peltier Valley, you do a short flat single track, cross a big dirt parking lot and start the race's second climb on the Mt. Shasta Mine Loop. This climb is only about .5 miles long, but takes 7-10 minutes because its steep. The payoff is a great new trail that's not without a few rock gardens.

The next few miles are a combination of rolling dirt roads and single track. The fairly flat Canal Trail will be a relief.

There's a rest stop at the bridge over Clear Creek, then get ready to climb again. The Satan's Crack climb is the beginning of a huge climb to the top of the Couch, which is probably where the race will be won and lost. The very top of the Couch is steep and covered with slick pine needles. Traction is at a premium here.

The Couch descent is steep & technical. Its full of big rain ruts and slick mud. And most likely you'll be pretty spent when you get there. And don't underestimate the final downhill on the Ice Box either. There's at least one tricky rock garden there as well as a couple of small climbs, so save a little energy.

I
 

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Tire choice

I've got a choice between very grippy 1.9's and less grippy, but higher volume 2.25's that I can run at lower pressure. I ride pretty light, i.e. I've never had a huge problem with pinch flats, including doing Downiville on 1.9s. Stupid, I know. Never been accused of being particularly smart either.

I've done the old Whiskeytown course both for fun and racing, and for that part I'm leaning toward the grippy tires. I have no idea about the new stuff.

Whaddya think?
 

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2012 Race: April 28th!
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Race times & tires

I'm predicting the winning pro's time will be about 2:20, while some of my expert buddies are predicting their times will be 2:40 for a 30 y/o and 2:50 for a 50 y/o. Merlin you might want to bring your full suspension as the Couch and Ice Box sectionsast part of the are rougher than a few weeks ago. You could ride the Ice Box section as a pre-race warm up and use that to decide which bike to ride.

I don't think pinch flats are a major concern at Whiskeytown, especially for someone who runs 1.9's at Downieville. But I'd run the grippy tires. If it stays dry this week like its supposed to, then traction on the steep Couch section should improve. But I'd still want the grippy tire, because there are places where your choices are either ride the rut or get off and walk. And the rut has a sharper edge now than it used to thanks to an extremely heavy thunderstorm a couple of weeks ago.
 

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tjp said:
I've got a choice between very grippy 1.9's and less grippy, but higher volume 2.25's that I can run at lower pressure. I ride pretty light, i.e. I've never had a huge problem with pinch flats, including doing Downiville on 1.9s. Stupid, I know. Never been accused of being particularly smart either.

I've done the old Whiskeytown course both for fun and racing, and for that part I'm leaning toward the grippy tires. I have no idea about the new stuff.

Whaddya think?
I've done Downieville on 2.1's without a problem. What do most other people use for 140-160 pound weight?
 

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2012 Race: April 28th!
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Woofer said:
I've done Downieville on 2.1's without a problem. What do most other people use for 140-160 pound weight?
I think all this concern over tire choice started with Dr Welby's post stating that Whiskeytown's trails haven't been groomed by overzealous rangers. That's true and while there are a few rock gardens on the course, Whiskeytown isn't nearly as rugged as Downieville (or the Shasta Dam area for you Lemurian vets), but it is rougher than the French Gulch course. So 2.1 's should be just fine for a normal rider up to 180 lbs. I think Dr Welby was trying to counsel folks not to run semi-slicks, which imho would be suicidal on the Couch.
 

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LemurianGuy said:
I think all this concern over tire choice started with Dr Welby's post stating that Whiskeytown's trails haven't been groomed by overzealous rangers. That's true and while there are a few rock gardens on the course, Whiskeytown isn't nearly as rugged as Downieville (or the Shasta Dam area for you Lemurian vets), but it is rougher than the French Gulch course. So 2.1 's should be just fine for a normal rider up to 180 lbs. I think Dr Welby was trying to counsel folks not to run semi-slicks, which imho would be suicidal on the Couch.
Thanks. I use 2.1 semi slicks on the rear for everything so far ( but can't make the Lemurian this year.)
 

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Thanks for the information. I actually made the decision already to race the FS because I have had some really bad lower back problems when I race. Just put on some IRC mythos tires. I'm ready to go :)
 

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Yeah - you don't need a Downieville tire - it's not THAT rough (but what is?) but I'd at least shoot for a real mountain bike tire. I'd have to agree that the Couch on a semi-slick would be pretty sketchy. Given a choice I'd err on the side of volume, but there's no need to break out the big tires.
 

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2012 Race: April 28th!
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hard tail v full suspension?

dr.welby said:
Yeah - you don't need a Downieville tire - it's not THAT rough (but what is?) but I'd at least shoot for a real mountain bike tire. I'd have to agree that the Couch on a semi-slick would be pretty sketchy. Given a choice I'd err on the side of volume, but there's no need to break out the big tires.
Welby you've ridden the Couch and Ice Box since the big gully washer, do you think full suspension might now be the bike of choice? I tend to think so, but then I'm more interested in just being able to ride the nasty sections vs riding the whole course as fast as possible.
 

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Thanks

Skinny and grippy it shall be. Way more info than I expected. Thanks!

May the old course rest in peace. I miss that place. Kind of the way you'd miss an old girlfriend who broke your heart multiple times...it's involuntary. You just keep going back no matter how much it hurt. The chute may be the best descent I've ever done in a race. An exercise in staying loose.
 

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LemurianGuy said:
Welby, you've ridden the Couch and Ice Box since the big gully washer, do you think full suspension might now be the bike of choice? I tend to think so, but then I'm more interested in just being able to ride the nasty sections vs riding the whole course as fast as possible.
As I only have a totally rigid bike, I really couldn't say. Which explains my tendencies towards fatter tires...
 

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2012 Race: April 28th!
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Weather update

The revised forecast is for light showers ending Thursday night, with sun and temps around 70 both Friday & Saturday. So conditions should be perfect on race day!!
 

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2012 Race: April 28th!
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Thursday weather update

As of 7 am we've received no rain at all in Redding, looks like the showers are staying mostly to the south and east. The sun is out now, so I doubt we'll see any rain at all today. So trail conditions should be excellent on Saturday, and the forecast is still for sun and 70 degrees...perfect!
 

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2012 Race: April 28th!
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Friday am update

marinrider said:
So what are the trail conditions like? Fenders recommended?
Saturday weather is supposed to be 72 degrees and cloudy with a 30% chance of light showers in the pm. In other words, perfect riding conditions. I was on the course most of the day yesterday, and it showered very lightly only once. I doubt we'll get any signifcant rain today or tomorrow.

There are a couple of large puddles in the ditch. They're 3-4 inches deep, not particuarly muddy, and maybe 15 yds long. Also one mud bog about 10 yds long that stretches across the entire trail and is unavoidable. But 2 guys out of 4 rode thru it last night with no problem. Those areas will be the only wet spots other than the creek crossings, and there are only a few of those. Most of the area is decomposed granite, which drains really well. The traction last night was very good, a bit of rain today would actually improve trail conditions a little. Fenders would be major overkill, leave 'em home.
 

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Forget it!!!!!!!!!

LemurianGuy said:
Saturday weather is supposed to be 72 degrees and cloudy with a 30% chance of light showers in the pm. In other words, perfect riding conditions. I was on the course most of the day yesterday, and it showered very lightly only once. I doubt we'll get any signifcant rain today or tomorrow.

There are a couple of large puddles in the ditch. They're 3-4 inches deep, not particuarly muddy, and maybe 15 yds long. Also one mud bog about 10 yds long that stretches across the entire trail and is unavoidable. But 2 guys out of 4 rode thru it last night with no problem. Those areas will be the only wet spots other than the creek crossings, and there are only a few of those. Most of the area is decomposed granite, which drains really well. The traction last night was very good, a bit of rain today would actually improve trail conditions a little. Fenders would be major overkill, leave 'em home.
Puddles? Creek Crossing? I'm doing the race if my bike is going to get dirty ;)
See you tomorrow
 

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2012 Race: April 28th!
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Registration is still open!

There is still room to register. We had to shut off reg at Active since we'll be out at the venue today. Registration is from 5-8 pm Friday eve and starts at 7 am Saturday.
 
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