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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I am going to sign up for the Steamboat Stinger 50 mile race this year. Wondering if anyone has done this race and has any beta for me. In particular I am curious if it is smooth enough to ride rigid or if I should throw on my suspension fork; and if it best to wear a small camelbak or just rock the aid station hand ups. Thanks in advance.
 

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It's a pretty smooth Singletrack course. Hard to tell about rigid or not, I always think suspension helps. It is possible to ride it rigid, but I never have. The aid stations are excellent, I've never needed a camelback.
 

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It's a pretty smooth Singletrack course. Hard to tell about rigid or not, I always think suspension helps. It is possible to ride it rigid, but I never have. The aid stations are excellent, I've never needed a camelback.
I am not sure I agree completely there sbsbiker. I know you're a Steamboat dude, so with a great deal of respect and humility, might I remind you of the upper part of the final descent down Howelsen Hill? As I recall, my 100mm Giant Anthem was not enough. I recall feeling like I had just had the crap pounded out of me, and I think on my second lap I actually had to stop in the descent to let my arms and hands get some feeling back in them.

Lots of it is smooth, yes. But I'm guessing it could cost 5 minutes per lap needing to take that final descent slower.

The aid stations were great. But last year it was hot. I was carring a single bottle and refilling at every aid. On my second lap, I came in to aid stations bone dry. I would totally have carried a second bottle in my jersey pocket if I'd predicted that.

Keep in mind though, I'm slow. Compared to fast riders I have more time out there to drink water. And run out of water.
 

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True tomp, but I personally feel anyone choosing to ride rigid is compromising DH speed for uphill efficiency no matter what the trail is like. Any long DH will be faster with suspension. The 20min DH off the backside (Ridge trail) will cost you plenty without suspension, no way that in a 20min DH, fatigue and handling won't be hurt on a rigid bike.
I can't think of any race where rigid is better, except a hill climb. Can you race this rigid, yes, will it slow you down, yes, on the DH, no on the up. How much time you loose vs gain depends on how much a stud descender you are on your rigid bike. I'm old and lived through rigid, and won't be going back, or single speed either.

And yes, the Heat has been a huge factor in this race. For me it's about 40-60min between feed stations. I always carry 2 bottles and haven't had any problems. My fast laps are around 2:20, my bonk lap was a 3:45, alone and not racing I generally go just under 3hrs. Last 2years I was in a duo, and didn't finish either bottle on my one lap, but I went first, and got the cooler temps. But the year I rode solo, I hit a hard wall in the heat(85+deg),bonked hard enough to see stars and was weaving around like a drunk on the second climb of Beall, and still can't stomach the flavor of the grape heed I got from the aid stations.
 

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...The 20min DH off the backside (Ridge trail) will cost you plenty without suspension, no way that in a 20min DH, fatigue and handling won't be hurt on a rigid bike...
Man that Ridge Trail is amazing. On my first lap I got caught in a little parade behind a slow descender who wouldn't let us pass, but on the second lap just as I started down I came up behind the same dude. He was a little b!tchy about giving me a pass (guess what, neither of us was going to win!) but once he did wahoo. I mean damn, bending it into one hairpin after another as fast as possible. For 20 minutes! I had a big-ass grin on my face--but the subsequent climb back out of there wiped it away real good.

I had failed to stop at the aid station at the bottom of Ridge Trail because it seemed like my water was good. But by the time I got to the end of the easy road climb I realized I should have topped off. And that mini-aid at the end of the road had run out of water. I ran out of water maybe 10 minutes before the aid station at the top of Ridge. I didn't bonk, but I could see it coming.

...And yes, the Heat has been a huge factor in this race. For me it's about 40-60min between feed stations. I always carry 2 bottles and haven't had any problems. My fast laps are around 2:20, my bonk lap was a 3:45, alone and not racing I generally go just under 3hrs. Last 2years I was in a duo, and didn't finish either bottle on my one lap, but I went first, and got the cooler temps. But the year I rode solo, I hit a hard wall in the heat(85+deg),bonked hard enough to see stars and was weaving around like a drunk on the second climb of Beall, and still can't stomach the flavor of the grape heed I got from the aid stations.
I didn't bonk, as I say, but that second lap heat shelled me really bad. I don't recall the exact splits, but I think my second lap was over an hour longer than the first.

Intense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the info, it sounds like it is best ridden with suspension. I did the Park City Point 2 Point on a rigid bike and it was terrible. It can be done but it is not pretty, at least for me it wasn't. I am psyched though, I heard the trails there are top-notch; and it will be good to get out to some new terrain. Hopefully I will be able to make it out there to pre-ride some or all of it before hand too.
 

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Good luck for the race to get entered. If you need any more info, or want to preride the course sometime this summer before the event, feel free to contact me.

Also RCR is building 8-12miles of new trails on Emerald this summer, part of the lodging tax payout, and this is year one for a 10 year, $5.1million trail building effort to attract tourists. Help us out by comming to visit, and getting a hotel room.
 

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I will go ahead and shamelessly ask for help to pay for the new mini trail dozer that RCR has bought to build these trails.

Info from their website:
We’ve made a deposit on a highly specialized Single Track 240 (ST240) trail building machine! The ST240 will allow Routt County Riders to build and maintain single track trails in less time. It can handle the heavy lifting, allowing hand crews to follow with ligher duty finish work.

We still need some help to get it here and start building sweet single track ths summer. Yampa Valley Bank has generously agreed to match any funds we raise between now and May 31, up to $12,500. Help us reach this immediate goal!

Every dollar helps, and it’s easy to contribute. Click here to contribute online or mail a check to: Routt County Riders, Attn: ST240, PO Box 770094, Steamboat Springs, CO 80477-0094

Trail building efforts from this club built every trail used in this event. RCR was instrumental in working with the BLM gain access to the land south of the summit, and pushed the BLM to build these trails. Only through their efforts does this course even exist. If you have the money to race this event, you can afford to help pay for the tools this club needs to build future trails. Double down your donation by sending cash before this matching deal expires.

I am not benefiting from this any more than everyone that will use these trails. please help if you can.
Thanks

Their website:
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sweet. Thanks for the info. I will definitely donate, won't be much but if it helps the world get more singletrack, I am all for it!
 

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I was there last year and drove my self to finish so I wouldn't have to come back this year to conquer it -- I truly suffered on that second lap. But of course I started to forget the suffering and remember the awesome trails, so I signed up again (was poised at the computer at noon on Friday). This time I'm on a duo team with my 16 year-old son. My goal will be to have a faster lap than him -- it's a 50/50 proposition at this point. I soliciting opinions on wether to send him out first or have him do the second lap. He's a reasonably experienced racer, but the cluster-f*@& of the first 5 or 10 miles might frustrate him. But the likely heat of the second lap is also a pain to deal with. What's the opinion of those who have done this race or even ridden similarly as a team? I've never done a team race before, so this is new to me.
 

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Ive done it solo, and raced the duo the last two years. I've done the start lap all 3 times times. Hard to give advice either way. I know that start from 20+ years of racing here in steamboat and can get up front to avoid the cluster flu that comes when the pack hits the switchback on Robbie's, and backs up down the hill. The start isn't a problem for me.

I guess put the better starter first, cause the second rider gets sent out on a time trial without the benifit or hindrance of other riders. I know I'm faster starting in a pack, and my wife isn't as comfortable racing in a big group, so it is an easy choice for us. Plus for us with me going first, she races from the front, and others have to pass her. If she went first, we would be back in the pack for the swap, and I would be passing people like crazy, and that would slow down my time.
 

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I guess put the better starter first...
That makes sense for sure. I'm leaning towards me going first -- the boy has awesome power and could certainly out kick me for the opening mile or two, but I don't think he's yet learned about the pacing the start of this race requires. And blowing up on Robbie's wouldn't be a good experience for him. Last year I was unsure of my fitness and wasn't so excited so I literally was the last citizen racer across the start line. The idea was to force myself into a slow start -- and that it was -- and see what happened over the course of the day. I really don't have an idea of my lap times -- they could have been similar due to the traffic on the first lap and then fatigue and cramping on the second lap. This year I'll spend a little more effort at the start and fight for position.

The really stupid thing about going back is that I also signed up for the half-marathon on Sunday...
 

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That makes sense for sure. I'm leaning towards me going first -- the boy has awesome power and could certainly out kick me for the opening mile or two, but I don't think he's yet learned about the pacing the start of this race requires. And blowing up on Robbie's wouldn't be a good experience for him. Last year I was unsure of my fitness and wasn't so excited so I literally was the last citizen racer across the start line. The idea was to force myself into a slow start -- and that it was -- and see what happened over the course of the day. I really don't have an idea of my lap times -- they could have been similar due to the traffic on the first lap and then fatigue and cramping on the second lap. This year I'll spend a little more effort at the start and fight for position.

The really stupid thing about going back is that I also signed up for the half-marathon on Sunday...
No expert, haven't done any team racing in 8 or 9 years and never at a high level.

But my guess would be you go first. First lap was a cluster. I allowed myself to line up near the back, but then once it was go time of course I didn't want to be behind the multiple bottlenecks. So I started doing the dance where I follow a group of 3-10 riders and then turn myself inside out to pass them all as soon as a chance opens. So that was what my first hour of the day was like. I was pretty fit, so I recovered OK from that initial series of anaerobic efforts, but the cost was paid later.

Younger riders I know struggle with pacing. Your kid would likely sacrifice his ability to do well on the second half of the course if you put him into an epic battle during that first hour.

My experience was that I raced that first lap like an old school XC race, and then came the heat. My second lap was an endurance effort. Keep bonk at bay, try to hydrate as I sweat my balls off, keep turning the pedals. I could ride any pace I wanted, it just happened to be what could best be described as a stagger.

Your kid will just have to be the one who deals with the heat (assuming it'll be hot like last year). But he's young, he'll deal nicely. He'll be able to more or less manage his own pace because the riders will be nicely spaced by then.

Only reason I'd have him go first is for a chance to learn about the art of XC elbow-bumping.
 

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I My goal will be to have a faster lap than him -- it's a 50/50 proposition at this point. I soliciting opinions on wether to send him out first or have him do the second lap.
Flip a coin.

I did the Fire Cracker 50 with my 16-year-old last summer. He did the first lap mainly because he is faster on the climbs, altitude doesn't bother him, and he was up for it. The FC 50 duos start after all the expert cats so there is a lot of traffic out front. He came through in 2nd and I proceeded to shame the family name by giving up that spot just before little french. He did get way bogged down in traffic on the last few miles of single track coming in to the finish.

I didn't over think it or second guess 'cause we finished on the podium : )
 

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Everyone getting ready for next weekend?

I'm not racing, didn't get in.

The GF is running the half marathon

What trails should I check out where I'll be out of the way of the activities, but still have a great time? I'm bringing up a 29 Hardtail. I was thinking Rabbit Ears to town, some trails around town before or after the race... Still at a lost since its my first biking, non winter trip up there

Also, where are people camping for this shindig?
 

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I will have to say, that may have been the funnest, most singletrack, and GOOD singletrack, of any race course I've ever been on. Truly a classic course.
x2

Course is sweet, my favorite singletrack period.

I'm missing the race this year (friggen other commitments) but went and rode part of the course last weekend. What a blast (as always), and those racing better get ready for a very overgrown trail. Beautiful to see 4' tall ferns and flowers but makes it hard to rock those turns and meadows at speed. :)

Will be fun though, ugh wish I was in it again...
 

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The jungle conditions will give us locals an advantage, cause if you know the trail, you don't need to see beneath the ferns. Good luck to all who are coming.
 
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