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After reading a number of different threads on the forum, many peaople advocate the use of a second, spare bike. Does this not go against the ethics of endurance racing? Should an endurance event not only test the riders fittness but also thier riding ability?

If a bike fails at some point on a course, should it not be the up to the rider to repair it, not just grab a second bike from the pits?

Just an observation, but if you go out for an all day ride with your mates, where do store you spare bikes?
 

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Hmmm...

MoodyOldGit said:
After reading a number of different threads on the forum, many peaople advocate the use of a second, spare bike. Does this not go against the ethics of endurance racing? Should an endurance event not only test the riders fittness but also thier riding ability?
If a bike fails at some point on a course, should it not be the up to the rider to repair it, not just grab a second bike from the pits?
Just an observation, but if you go out for an all day ride with your mates, where do store you spare bikes?
Granted I don't think it would be easy, but I have always felt as if 24 hour racing would benefit from two classes in the solo field, supported and unsupported. I have done both, and while I am not sure one is more right than the other, one is definitely a bigger challlenge.
As long as the rules allow it, multiple bikes do not go against the "ethics" of endurance racing. I think this might be the growing attraction to longer point-to-point type racing as certain riders are looking for a test for both man and machine.
 

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A very good point.

MoodyOldGit said:
After reading a number of different threads on the forum, many peaople advocate the use of a second, spare bike. Does this not go against the ethics of endurance racing? Should an endurance event not only test the riders fittness but also thier riding ability?

If a bike fails at some point on a course, should it not be the up to the rider to repair it, not just grab a second bike from the pits?

Just an observation, but if you go out for an all day ride with your mates, where do store you spare bikes?
You are 100% correct!

There are 2 different types of enduro racing. Supported, which are 95% of all 12 and 24 hour races around the world where the rider/racer is pampered with food, clothes, clean bikes, etc, etc, etc.

The other, non-susported. There are starting to be more and more of these event every year. The biggest ones to date...GDR, Trans-Iowa, Koko., and Grand Loop. Not only do you have to train for fitness but also how to fix your bike, get water, carry all your gear, etc, etc, etc.

The sport is evolving! That is a good thing!!! I think that you will see more self-supported events in the future. And if we are all in luck, maybe lower entry fees. :D ;)

I am now waiting for Mike C to sound off. He will have some good words. Plus, how many people knew that when he race Solo World's back in the day in the SS category he had NO pit crew and was self supported? That is awesome!!
 

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Depends what you're after

MoodyOldGit said:
After reading a number of different threads on the forum, many peaople advocate the use of a second, spare bike. Does this not go against the ethics of endurance racing? Should an endurance event not only test the riders fittness but also thier riding ability?

If a bike fails at some point on a course, should it not be the up to the rider to repair it, not just grab a second bike from the pits?

Just an observation, but if you go out for an all day ride with your mates, where do store you spare bikes?
Do you want to test the engine or a broader range of skills? It all depends on what you're after I suppose. Certainly switching bikes in long events is par for the course in most cases.

As for ethics in racing, there are issues far greater than bike changes to consider...
 

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MoodyOldGit said:
After reading a number of different threads on the forum, many peaople advocate the use of a second, spare bike. Does this not go against the ethics of endurance racing? Should an endurance event not only test the riders fittness but also thier riding ability?

If a bike fails at some point on a course, should it not be the up to the rider to repair it, not just grab a second bike from the pits?

Just an observation, but if you go out for an all day ride with your mates, where do store you spare bikes?
Interesting question. The Tour de France used to be like this, and there is a tale about some guy who broke his fork back in the early 1900's. He ran down the mountain with his bike, got to a blacksmith, and he tried to reforge the fork. That would be a bit beyond my abilities. . . Makes for an epic tale and really makes you respect the drive of someone who would go to those lengths to finish a race.

And while it is a great idea to run well maintained equipment that isn't stupid light, it is still sad to see someone lose a race because they had a flat at the wrong time or because of some other mechanical beyond their control. Losing under those conditions is just dumb luck. I know I would rather win a race because I was the better rider, not the luckier rider.

So I can see both sides. And there are races for both views, so you can gravitate towards what you think is best.
 
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KERKOVEJ said:
You are 100% correct!

There are 2 different types of enduro racing. Supported, which are 95% of all 12 and 24 hour races around the world where the rider/racer is pampered with food, clothes, clean bikes, etc, etc, etc.
Not true. Some of us do 12/24 races without any crew at all. It's not totally unsupported but we don't have someone to wash our bikes, patch tubes, mix bottles, etc.

I think this is how it should be anyway. I remember in one race coming in from a lap and seeing a racer that I was neck and neck with being handed a clean bike, food, bottles, and getting a quick neck rub. Kinda pissed me off but I had the satisfaction of knowing I was truely solo.
 

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Support yourself

Obviously there is no money in our sport of endurance MTB. So for the athletes who participate, it is soley for the challenge and personal satisfaction. I love racing with all levels of support. I also enjoy supporting the athletes I train. It is not easy staying awake and heading up a support crew for single and multi day endurance events. Very personal choice how support you need or want. Enjoy the event!
 

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RANOACLAN said:
Obviously there is no money in our sport of endurance MTB. So for the athletes who participate, it is soley for the challenge and personal satisfaction. I love racing with all levels of support. I also enjoy supporting the athletes I train. It is not easy staying awake and heading up a support crew for single and multi day endurance events. Very personal choice how support you need or want. Enjoy the event!
I won 20 bucks one time for a race that cost 400 bucks to enter, 200 bucks in gas, and 4 days off work...lol.

Remember that the ethics/rules of an event are defined by the type of event(or its organiser). In 24hr mtb races, for example, having multiple bikes and support crew makes a huge difference at the elite level, just ask that guy that rides for Trek(Not Lance), but its also allowed by the rules, so ya I'd say it's ethical, it would be cool if the categories could be split even more between supported and unsupported, and I've been on both sides of the fence(having only one bike, having multiples, gears/no gears, and having a crew and not)in the 24hrs races that I've done. Maybe some day 24 hr race's will have an unsupported cat(maybe some do), and a defining set of rules of what unsupported means. Maybe 24 hr races should stay open and let the rider decide(in my book, you're totally tougher if you can do a 24hr race where no one is there to fix your bike(s) cook for you, or motivate you to keep riding at 4am), and let other endurance races like marathons, loops, point-to-points and what not have their rules as some allow support and some don't.

Endurance racing supports a tonne of different styles of races(as I noted above) with each format having it's own set of guidelines to follow, as long as you stay within in them, it's all good, and with all the events to choose from nowadays, it's easy for a racer to specialize in a certain style of event that suits them.

if you wanna make a race harder for yourself, by taking away certain things during an event(a crew, spare equipment(gear, freewheel, bike, etc)) more power too ya!

...oh ya and Mike C. was doin' it(ALL) before everyone thought it was cool!
 

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MoodyOldGit said:
After reading a number of different threads on the forum, many peaople advocate the use of a second, spare bike. Does this not go against the ethics of endurance racing? Should an endurance event not only test the riders fittness but also thier riding ability?
Just depends on the race. As others have pointed out, some races allow it in their rules, others don't.

The sport is evolving (as Jeff mentioned) and there are already more than enough factionalized niches to serve everyone. No need to create even more rules, or different classes, to further sort us out. As RANOACLAN ( ? ) pointed out, there's no money in this, and fame is relative. So?

So if people wanna race in circles and come back to a pit with a crew and spare bikes, it's their money and time and prerogative to do so, and there will always be races for them to compete in.

If some want to diverge from that scene to pursue self-supported rides that are more in the spirit that founded mountain biking, so be it. There will always be races to serve them and if they don't wanna race they can just go ride. That's as self-supported as it gets.

There is no "one" way to do it, mtb racing is far too diverse for that. Besides, this is just bikes. The world isn't gonna stop, go, or change as a result of anything that we do or don't do.

MC
 

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Morlahach said:
Interesting question. The Tour de France used to be like this, and there is a tale about some guy who broke his fork back in the early 1900's. He ran down the mountain with his bike, got to a blacksmith, and he tried to reforge the fork.
He was breaking the rules actually, and was penalized for it.

I raced 12/24hrs unsupported in 2005 and did well against fully-supported competition. Although I did it my way, i think allowing support is good,. I think if it is a point-to-point event it can be made "Self-supported". That just wonuldn't work well in a lap-oriented event.
 

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Like everyone says it's all in the rules and what is allowed ! Myself I like races that I can have my family get involved, my wife really gets into the support part of the races and knows what she is doing.

As far as taking extra parts or bikes ,when you have to train ,travel, pay for overnight stay, take days off of work I don't want stop racing one hour into a 12 or 24 hr race because of a major breakdown.Small things can be fixed not a frame broke in half.

I'll be sure to get in the races that fit my needs or style !!
 

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bubbrubb said:
He was breaking the rules actually, and was penalized for it.
The actual welding of the fork wasn't why he was penalized. The problem was that a boy operated the bellows to heat up the fire. Since he received outside assistance, he was docked time. As if the time required to repair a broken fork wasn't enough.

It's interesting that Mike C's events are much more in the spirit of the original TDF's than the current TDF is. Now if we could just get him to stop making people race through the night.
 

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hairball_dh said:
Do you want to test the engine or a broader range of skills? It all depends on what you're after I suppose.
Anything over 24 hours long and you're testing all systems: physical, psychological, and mechanical. I reckon that if someone only wants to test the engine they're going to be into 100-milers and such. Even a 24 hour race comes down to a lot more than the engine.

hairball_dh said:
Certainly switching bikes in long events is par for the course in most cases.
Switching bikes in long events is only par for the course in lap races. People don't switch bikes (or have mech assistance) even in 100 milers. Out of the question (logistically, and other ways) for point-to-point races that are 100+ miles.

hairball_dh said:
As for ethics in racing, there are issues far greater than bike changes to consider...
Such as...?

MC
 

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It Depends

Well the first 24 hour race didn't even allow a solo category, and had rules concerning help. They also had a category called open that ment you had to have at least 1 woman on your team. It seems to me the main focus of 24's in the begining was participation. Suppot folks were participating, and often competed in next years race because the fear of the unknown was removed. After Stamstead pushed the issue solos were allowed. The rules say you can have support. No ethical question here. However the long solo races like Shenandoah 100, Wild 100, Off road assualt on Mount Mitchell, or Pisgah Adventure Race (pisgah death march untill PC came along) demand one be self suported. Well except for check points where one can send energy drink, lights, jackets, etc as well as get provided food. You know really unless you furnish the exact same bike, the exact same food, and amount of water, the exact same clothing, and so on. You are not necessacarily comparing fruit to fruit. So I say give it your all, but above all have fun. Like it was said, what are you going to win? Endurance races are a race against ones self. I am 50 and I rejoice just to make the cut offs and be able to finish. No category for me, I race (Ha Ha) against riders in there prime. Damn I bet I feel better about myself when I finnaly finish than the elites do. I do wish there would be some food and beer left, but what the hell that is where I am self supported.
 

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mikesee said:
Switching bikes in long events is only par for the course in lap races. People don't switch bikes (or have mech assistance) even in 100 milers. Out of the question (logistically, and other ways) for point-to-point races that are 100+ miles.
MC
Actually in most endurance races mech support is allowed between racers and at aid stations.

I just read Kent's account of GDR and thought it was interesting that he wasn't allowed to share his food with another racer. I think (in any event) help from other racers should be allowed. If you choose to help someone else that is your own business. The only thing I think shouldn't be allowed is scavenging parts from another bike. That would prevent teammates from giving away an entire wheel or something like that.

jimbo
 

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Would depend on events rules...

It would only be wrong if it was against ther rules of the race. If the race says start/ride/finish on the same bike and you don't then THAT would be unethical and cheating. As stated earlier if outside support is a legit part of the race then it would be cool. If it's self suport then that's what it is. End of story. Personal ethics are a different story. If you feel bad using two bikes or outside support even if it's allowed, that's cool, but the rest of the racers would not be unethical.

My race support at 12 & 24s is two bikes, and a pit crew of friends, my wife and 2 year old. I still don't think the likes of Eatough, Ernesto, Chambers and Kerkove are too worried about me, (yet,HA! HA!) This year I plan to do more races and may find myself with an empty pit at times with just my pre-mixed bottles and parts.

At each race I always talk to the promoter to double check the legality of multiple bikes, racer support locations etc. I would hate to actually place and have it be taken away or worse yet place and then find out I did something illegal, NOT ge caught, and have to live with that.

Both kinds of racing have their place and I have a TON of respect for the racers who can do races like the GDR, Trans Iowa etc.

Ride on.

J
 

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Just playing devil's advocate...

Morlahach said:
And while it is a great idea to run well maintained equipment that isn't stupid light, it is still sad to see someone lose a race because they had a flat at the wrong time or because of some other mechanical beyond their control. Losing under those conditions is just dumb luck. I know I would rather win a race because I was the better rider, not the luckier rider.
It's not dumb luck and it's not beyond your control. You choose the equipment you run. There are equipment setups that are superlight, and there are setups that virtually guarantee you won't have a flat (or broken frame, or tweaked wheel, etc.) I race a thirty five pound singlespeed. It won't break. It hurts on the climbs. But at mile 70, when the guy I've been neck and neck with all day blows a sidewall of the ultralight tire on his 19 pound, 50 speed racing only prototype, knowing I'm the better rider because I picked the right bike for the job makes it worth it. At least until he radios his helicopter deployed support crew to drop him a new one...
The beauty of self sufficient racing is it puts an emphasis on well thought out equipment selection. It's a battle of wits and fitness. Road racing involves tons of individual and team strategy; it keeps it complicated and interesting. I like to see mountain bike races that favor the well rounded rider, who not only knows how to train, but also how to keep her rig working, how to pick the best equipment for an event, how to ride technical terrain, how to navigate the course. In addition to enriching the sport, it encourages riders to develop all of their skills, and encourages equipment designers to create product that is more relevant to the kind of riding we do the other 95% of the time.
 

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Morlahach said:
Interesting question. The Tour de France used to be like this, and there is a tale about some guy who broke his fork back in the early 1900's. He ran down the mountain with his bike, got to a blacksmith, and he tried to reforge the fork. That would be a bit beyond my abilities. . . Makes for an epic tale and really makes you respect the drive of someone who would go to those lengths to finish a race.

Actually, the rider was still penalized because the blacksmith's apprentice worked the bellows and, according to the officials, riders are not supposed to receive any assistance.

Interesting to see how that compares to what's common in today's racing community.
 

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jimbo said:
Actually in most endurance races mech support is allowed between racers and at aid stations.
True. My quote had to do with switching bikes.

jimbo said:
I just read Kent's account of GDR and thought it was interesting that he wasn't allowed to share his food with another racer. I think (in any event) help from other racers should be allowed. If you choose to help someone else that is your own business. The only thing I think shouldn't be allowed is scavenging parts from another bike. That would prevent teammates from giving away an entire wheel or something like that.
jimbo
I'm not sure where Kent got that rule from. There's certainly nothing written to that effect (that I'm aware of) on the GDR site or in any of the inter-racer correspondences. Maybe he just wanted to keep it pure. Or, maybe he's a selfish bum that didn't want to share?

Kidding...

Kent--care to elaborate?

MC
 
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