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Discussion Starter #1
Is anyone else competing in this race? My friends and I plan this to be our first race, I have a group of 3 friends who i will be racing with and from now until the race we are going to ride together at least 2 times a week for at least 7 miles each ride ( Course Length=7miles) we will be in the Juniors Beginner category, and I was wondering how the competition is, I know your first race supposed to be only for fun, but placing decent (around the middle) would make me very happy. So if anyone has any good training tips or info that would be great. Thanks.
 

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Carter,

ANY race should be only for fun, whether you're racing Beginner or Expert or whatever, whether it's your first race or you've been racing for years. Focus on finishing the race (although 7 miles should be OK), you can't imagine how many things can go wrong during that time. And don't start too fast but at a good pace. Warm up well before the race, but don't go crazy there.

On the trail, be courteous. If you feel someone is behind you, ask if he wants to pass, or if you're out of breath just keep going at your pace, he'll pass you later, there's plenty of time for that. Same thing if you're passing someone, don't yell at him, tell when you're about to pass and if you can't, wait. That'll give you some time to gather strength and pass another time. If you dab keep going on foot on the side of the trail so that people still riding can have a chance. And there's nothing wrong with walking some sections, better that than crashing and being med-evaced.

Last thing, don't fall. Easy to say, but you're actually making up time uphill, not downhill, not on the flats. Additionally, it's not worth taking too many risks, the winner gets a medal and at best a hat or a flimsy T-shirt...

Ringwood is a nice course, although usually muddy and slippery. The last mile or so is a killer. If you've kept enough strength it's a place where you can make up a lot of time.

Good luck and have fun !

Maurice
 

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Maurice's advice is solid, and comes from experience racing.

Maurice, how do you feel today? How long did it take to clean your bike?
 

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Andy,

I haven't cleaned the bike yet, didn't feel like waiting in line at the truck, so covered it in plastic and shoved it in the trunk. When I took it out to hang on the wall, nothing turned right on the bike :) the cranks and headset are stuck with mud :) And it weighs a good 4 pounds more now.

The first ten miles of the course were really hard, topped by that walk-a-bike climb before the first pit stop.

It'll take me a month to recover :)

My wife is an awesome support for racing, simply happy that I finished and was there waiting for me. Can't wait till the baby grows up and we can ride together (taking turns right now...).

What about you, how do you feel ?

Maurice
 

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I must add that my experience racing MTB is from this year only (7 races so far). I did race a lot until I was 20, and was quite succesful (made it to the national championships in France once). Then I stopped completely for 10 years until last year, when I started riding MTB on a 50 lbs. Wal-Mart bike... I've got better bikes now :)

You do learn a lot each race, though, and the comments about sportsmanship, which is the most important trait of a good racer IMO, are valid whatever sports you're into.

Maurice
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the tips, I cant wait for the race, and now I know I need to start getting prepared for that last hard climb at the end of the race, not to die out before thinking the end is easy. I think I might go up there acouple times before the race and ride the course.
 

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race course pre-ride

Carter227 said:
I think I might go up there acouple times before the race and ride the course.
the course won't be marked until right before the race, but the ramapo valley club (RVCC) has a nicely marked trail that you can ride a few times to at least get a feel for the area. if you park near shepard's lake, the trailhead is just past the boathouse and starts as a long, long fire-road that runs along the lake. there are small brown signs with a silhouette of an MTB rider on them marking the trail. just take your time and follow the signs. you'll likely ride through several sections that will be used during the race itself. good luck in Sept!
-chris
 
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