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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I'm hitting the Cohutta 100 this weekend and I have a strategy question. Fellow racers feel free to psych me out with the wrong answer ;)

I could pick up two 20oz. bottles at one stop, and keep rolling through an intermediate feed zone for another 20-25 miles. Or I could pick up one bottle per feed zone, stopping twice as often. Which do you think is the better plan--stopping more often and carrying less weight or vice versa?
 

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So I'm hitting the Cohutta 100 this weekend and I have a strategy question. Fellow racers feel free to psych me out with the wrong answer ;)

I could pick up two 20oz. bottles at one stop, and keep rolling through an intermediate feed zone for another 20-25 miles. Or I could pick up one bottle per feed zone, stopping twice as often. Which do you think is the better plan--stopping more often and carrying less weight or vice versa?

The classic dilemma to which there is no right answer.

Cohutta is a climbing intense race. More water, more weight, slower climbing. How slow? Got time to play with science?

http://www.analyticcycling.com/ForcesLessWeight_Page.html

The aid station issue. Are there neutral bottles? Can you drink whatever is handed to you or do you have specific drink needs? Do you plan on being towards the front (where things move faster at the stops) or mid-pack where people tend to lollygag, hang out, and generally get in the way of people that might be in a hurry? Do you plan on getting stuff from your drop bags? How quick do you think someone will be able to get their hands on your bag? Can you ride up to the station at speed while unscrewing lids for a refill?

I've gone all ways on this but tend to take neutral bottles if offered or just fill as I go... mostly because I'm too lazy to pack my drop bags. That said, I've had smooth drop bag experiences and nightmare stops where no one can find my bottles (even with yellow caution tape stuck to them).

If I think I'm gonna be towards the front of a climbing heavy race (like Pisgah 111), I've opted for one bottle. Although I found myself stretched thin at times, it worked out.

Not that you asked, but I would never wear a hydration pack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm shooting for 8 hours on my best day and hopefully no worse than 9 on a bad day. I think you helped me answer my question, thanks. I loved doing Black a Bear Rampage in 2010 so hopefully I'll love the 60 additional miles ;)
 

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Another option to make ya think more, ha.
I've been told that carrying two bottles is sometimes a good idea in case one falls out or you get tired of drinking what's in the other. Or a small CamelBak for the times one can forget to drink (me: often in beginning of madness start) and a small bottle.

I detest hydration packs but at last year's NUE in Idaho some carried a 50 oz Camelbak (two bottle's worth) and a small bottle on bike. Came into feed zone and ditched everything for last 25 miles with appropriate bottle(s).
I'm not a front of pack guy, FWIW.
 
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Another option to make ya think more, ha.
I've been told that carrying two bottles is sometimes a good idea in case one falls out or you get tired of drinking what's in the other. Or a small CamelBak for the times one can forget to drink (me: often in beginning of madness start) and a small bottle.

I detest hydration packs but at last year's NUE in Idaho some carried a 50 oz Camelbak (two bottle's worth) and a small bottle on bike. Came into feed zone and ditched everything for last 25 miles with appropriate bottle(s).
I'm not a front of pack guy, FWIW.
that's precisely what I do, I like to keep my mitts on the bars as I navigate the mess that generally comes with most starts. I'm not a FOP technically (mid to low part of top 1/3). Sure I might have an "extra 20oz" for a whole hour but i'd much rather be assured of being on top of my hydration in the first half of a race.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hmm, so I go with the general 1 bottle per hour formula. I think there's another thread in this forum I'm following about ejection-proof cages. I am too much of a weight weenie to carry backup water, I'd just suck it up until the next neutral water. However that brings up my story at the last El Paso Puzzler, definitely had a bad day and ended up picking up somebody else's dropped bottle and drinking it; no room for pride that day :p

After considering it I think I'll go with two bottles on the bike for two aid station's worth of hydration vs. stopping which is always a risk, and interrupts your athletic tempo too.

Another option to make ya think more, ha.
I've been told that carrying two bottles is sometimes a good idea in case one falls out or you get tired of drinking what's in the other. Or a small CamelBak for the times one can forget to drink (me: often in beginning of madness start) and a small bottle.

I detest hydration packs but at last year's NUE in Idaho some carried a 50 oz Camelbak (two bottle's worth) and a small bottle on bike. Came into feed zone and ditched everything for last 25 miles with appropriate bottle(s).
I'm not a front of pack guy, FWIW.
 

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I'll be at cohutta as well. I run two bottles on the bike and one in the pocket. When I was on one bottle bike I had 2 bottles in the jersey and one on the bike. I wont stop till mile 40-50.


I would go with 2 bottles and roll a few feed stations.
 

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Dirty South Underdog
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Listen to what Dicky says.

This does remind me of a pet peeve, though... if you have a "crew" person at an aid station to hand up a fresh bottle to you, it's a total b1tch move to attack your competition if she doesn't have the same luxury and needs to stop to refill or swap from a drop bag. Don't do that.
 

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I carry 2 bottles, one on the bike, one in my rear pocket (stupid full suspension). In the grand scheme of things, 5 minutes spent stopping and filling bottles, grabbing food, or peeing probably won't keep most of us from winning a 100 mile race. I do try to hustle at the stops though, better to keep the legs spinning than stand around too long.
 

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No. Just No.
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This does remind me of a pet peeve, though... if you have a "crew" person at an aid station to hand up a fresh bottle to you, it's a total b1tch move to attack your competition if she doesn't have the same luxury and needs to stop to refill or swap from a drop bag. Don't do that.
Maybe, but one thing is for sure that in the rare couple of events that I've chosen to use a hydration pack over bottles, I attacked the crap out of anyone I was riding with that needed to stop for a refill whenever we hit an aid station. I lugged the extra weight around to that point, so I earned the right. ;)
 

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Maybe, but one thing is for sure that in the rare couple of events that I've chosen to use a hydration pack over bottles, I attacked the crap out of anyone I was riding with that needed to stop for a refill whenever we hit an aid station. I lugged the extra weight around to that point, so I earned the right. ;)
If I want to attack, I just skip the whole "hydration" thing altogether. Drinking anything other than beer is highly overrated in terms of performance.
 

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If I want to attack, I just skip the whole "hydration" thing altogether. Drinking anything other than beer is highly overrated in terms of performance.
This is pure fiction. You are far too casual to even consider launching an attack.
 

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Listen to what Dicky says.

This does remind me of a pet peeve, though... if you have a "crew" person at an aid station to hand up a fresh bottle to you, it's a total b1tch move to attack your competition if she doesn't have the same luxury and needs to stop to refill or swap from a drop bag. Don't do that.
I get what you're saying, but it would seem that the whole idea of having a support person in the feedzones would be to make for a fast "stop". If you're going to wait for others then why bother with the support person? Personally, I don't think support staff should be an option anyway, but if they're allowed, and you've got one, I say use this legal advantage to the fullest.
 

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It's just a shitty move IMHO. If you're racing someone, race with your skill and fitness... Not your support crew.

It's one place where roadies have a respectable etiquette - never, ever attack the feedzone.

Meh.

I attacked Strauber (AKA The Grape Ape) at Stage Two of the 2011 TSE out of a feed zone... (that I skipped because I didn't know it was THE feed zone). Ended up riding 35+ miles on two bottles in the 90°+ heat. Took the win. I feel nothing but good about that.

Bad Idea Racing: Trans-Sylvania Epic: Stage 1-3

 
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It's just a shitty move IMHO. If you're racing someone, race with your skill and fitness... Not your support crew.

It's one place where roadies have a respectable etiquette - never, ever attack the feedzone.


I'd absolutely agree that attacking at an aid station is questionable but I'll be damned if I'm going to wait (which no one said/implied yet).

but trying to justify your (legitimate imo) opinion with a backhanded "compliment" is kinda lame.
 

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It's just a shitty move IMHO. If you're racing someone, race with your skill and fitness... Not your support crew.

It's one place where roadies have a respectable etiquette - never, ever attack the feedzone.
Road racing is completely different though, if you're out of the pack you are effectively out of the race; when it's rider against rider on the trail the guy in front does not have an insurmountable advantage other than the time gap. Putting aside opinions on support crews, it can be a legit gamble to pass up a feed zone and I see nothing wrong with using that as a tactic if you can because it is just as likely to burn you if you don't play your cards right.
 

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I'm not talking about deciding to pass an aid station when someone else stops, and I'm not talking about carrying a hydration pack so that you can passaid stations when someone else stops. I'm talking about the very specific situation of "Rider A has a support crew standing on the side of the road handing up bottles at an aid station, and Rider B, who is racing head-to-head with Rider A, needs to stop and refill a bottle or get one from a drop bag." In that situation, if Rider A grabs and attacks, IMHO, it's a a-hole move.

You may feel differently, but I think it's underhanded and shows an undercurrent of insecurity in your ability to drop Rider B via fitness and skill.
 
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