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Roadie Looking For Non-Technical MB Race in Texas .. Help!
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skinsel
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Joined: 08 Aug 2014
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 1:53 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Roadie Looking For Non-Technical MB Race in Texas .. Help! Reply with quote

Hey everybody -

I'm a road cyclist looking to make the transition to MB. I raced for years on the road, so the fitness is decent, but technical MB skills are poor. Is there a race yall can recommend that is "non-technical"? I'd like to get a race in this year if possible. Next year I should be much further along and I'm hoping to race the full season.

Thanks in advance for the feedback.

scott
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Buckethead
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 4:43 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scott,
You've pried open up a real jewelry box o' worms here. There'll be a cubic butt-load of opinions about what constitutes "technical" and what isn't. Then the inevitable listing of all the TMBRA sites in order of difficulty. Then t bragging and trash talking. Guys will try and tell you, "Camp Eagle is soooo easy, I could win it on a unicycle!" Because they think we'll all impressed by their skills/fitness/car/bike/sac/kit/girlfriend/mustache/whatever. Some will give you bad info because they think another racer might come in an beat them. I'm a Cat 5 "Death Group" (50+) rider and routinely place in the last two of my class. Consider the source.
IMVHO, the next good race to try your skills is Oct 12 in Huntsville. I'm one of the most seriously handicapped riders in the TMBRA series and even I can get around this one without crashing more than twice. If your fitness is up to it there are two marathon length races that are less technical than most. The E2, Excruciation Examination, on 1/3/15, is the longest event, (85ish miles) but is a little less technical than most. There is PLENTY of info available about the details of this event. Disclosure: I tried this race a lifetime ago, (feels like 15, 18, 20some yrs ago?) and DNFed.
There is going to be a new marathon-length event this year at Double Lake on 1/17/15. I'm looking fwd to this a bunch. Again, long but relatively less technical. If you like/survive these then jump head first in the Spring series! That's where the real fun lies.
Avoid Camp Eagle at all costs!
Remember, I said IMVHO! Let the flogging begin!
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skinsel
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2014 5:39 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Thanks Reply with quote

Wow, thanks for the response. Lots of great info. I really appreciate it.

SK
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myocastor
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 3:45 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Avoid Camp Eagle at all costs! "
Ha! That was my first XC race--WTF! and I kept coming back for more punishment.
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sworksepic
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Joined: 02 Dec 2007
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 09, 2014 8:43 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

any trials close to Houston are very easy........Double Lake (Coldsprings), Warda and Huntsville...Made especially for roadies...No technical skills required...They are fun and fast courses...
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Yetti
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2014 9:55 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where are you located? One of the funner trails west of houston is SFA State Park. You can go fast though the forest.
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Nathan Winkelmann
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 11:00 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Huntsville on OCT 12th should be a good starting place. It's not very technical, but if you do wreck, there is more sand there and it feels like falling in a sand volleyball court!

There is always the option of hiring a coach that can ride and show you how to mtb better-it would take months/years off your learning curve.

I personally would recommend going here: www.wtfexperience.com
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khighfield
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Joined: 22 Sep 2004
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Location: Houston

PostPosted: Thu Aug 14, 2014 2:51 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Skinsel: I'm with Buckethead in the lack-of-skills department, or rather my skills seem to get worse the older I get. I enjoy East Texas rock-free environments and I will cherry pick events that suit my style. For the Fall series, I'll be doing Huntsville, Ruston and Tyler. I would like to do Waco - it's not too technical, just hard climbing, but I'll probably do Chappell Hill road race, which is (unfortunately) the same day. I plan to do the Marathon series, but again, ones that I like - Palo Duro, Rocky Hill, E2, Double Lake. Double Lake is my favorite trail for many reasons - it is fast and flowy, rock free, and close to my home.

As Wink says, get out and ride and a coach is a good idea. But mostly, just get out and ride. Through this forum, and your local club forums, you should be able to hook up with some other riders so you can see how your speed matches up as your skills develop.

No matter where you go, or how you do, MTB racing is FUN! Enjoy.
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JimOlmsted
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 8:55 am GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scott, Welcome, and I hope you will do many TMBRA races. You will discover many advantages to the trails over the roads. This includes no longer having to shave your legs. Also you will find a much better social environment with more opportunities to socialize with new friends. As our races are usually in a park, chilling out under the trees beats loading your bike back on your car next to the side of a road. Many of us including myself race both road and mountain, btw. Hang out afterwards, watch the awards, put your name in the raffle for swag, pitch a tent and spend the night. Suggestion, Camp Eagle is a beautiful place, and fun to swim in the lake and enjoy the rugged Hill Country, but this has a lot of rocks, these hurt when you land on them. I might suggest all of the other venues this fall are good, with Huntsville the easiest. You are in luck, however, in that all of the courses in the fall except Camp Eagle are more fitness tests than anything, and many a roadie has beaten me because of this. Suggest you try my home course, Cameron Park, enter as a cat 3, start toward the back, go out just to finish. Walk hard obstacles if you need to. Everyone has at some point. I am a big believer in keeping pain level to minimal, and I wear knee pads almost always. I fall on my knees and elbows very frequently, and these save my bones. Another hint, move up to cat 2 as soon as possible, double the fun, and the pace is smoother and much less frantic. Do not hesitate to get some pointers from a good coach, and can vouch for Nate of WTF fame. He can get you right up to speed quick.
Welcome and Good Luck
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Buckethead
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:19 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: "Smoother and less frantic" Reply with quote

Jim,
Please elaborate on how things "feel" different betwixt Cats 2 and 3. This sounds interesting.
Thanks
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fontarin
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 1:57 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Re: "Smoother and less frantic" Reply with quote

Buckethead wrote:
Jim,
Please elaborate on how things "feel" different betwixt Cats 2 and 3. This sounds interesting.
Thanks


Cat 3 races tend to be short enough that you can pretty much go all out for the entire race, especially on the shorter ones (like Warda, where you're racing for 35-50 minutes). Cat 2 races tend to be longer and require a bit more energy conservation so that you don't blow up and lose a ton of time on the 2nd lap.
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JimOlmsted
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:45 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Buckethead, Agree with Fontarin. Essentially almost every cat 2 race is simply double the distance of cat 3. The course is usually not any harder, with some exceptions like Camp Eagle. If you have the endurance, Cat 2 races are MUCH better than cat 2. Its double the fun for the same cost.

First, many cat 3 races are filled with local fast guys who make this race on their home course the only one they do. I found it harder to podium as a cat 3 compared to cat 2.

Second, the cat 2 field is generally smaller than cat 3, less congestion getting to the single track.

Third, The mad dash to the single track is a lot less rushed, as energy conservation is needed. Also much more time to pass tired or less skilled riders compared with cat 3.

Fourth, The cat 2 guys are much more likely to clear obstacles and therefore much less walking and pushing the bike as cat 2 compared to cat 3. Even if you can clear an obstacle as a cat 3, if the guy in front can't clear, you too are forced to walk the obstacle.

Fifth, top 3 or sometimes top 5 cat 2 riders in each race can win some prizes like a multitool or air pump or sunglasses. Thanks bike shops that sponsor races and donate these prizes. Not much compared to our real jobs, but it is kinda cool, even if it is a pair of socks. Now on the flip side, you can no longer enter the cat 3 swag raffle.

Six, I hear chicks dig cat 2 racers, but my wife put the squash on that.

Seven, Anyone can elect to move to cat 2 anytime for any reason. I moved to cat 2 at Camp Eagle, first race of the year, after racing the spring season as cat3. Prior to that, I had never been on a MTB. I initially entered camp eagle as a cat 3, was leading the race after 2 miles, then sliced a tire. The cat 2 guys were going off in an hour after cat 3. I re registered for the cat 2 race and grabbed a new tire and raced, got like second to last, but had fun all the same.

Eight, It is nice IMO for the sport to move out of the beginner class as soon as you are no longer a beginner, to let the new folks to the sport have a chance to enjoy the podium.

BTW, I now am in the cat 1 group. Those guys are good and fast, and I hope to improve to the podium some day, but no matter where I place, it's just for fun and its all good out there.
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Lisa Nye-Salladin
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Joined: 01 May 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:19 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Now on the flip side, you can no longer enter the cat 3 swag raffle."

The Cat 3 raffle is open to all Cat 3 racers- not sure what this comment means?

Lisa
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fontarin
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 1:23 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lisa Nye-Salladin wrote:
"Now on the flip side, you can no longer enter the cat 3 swag raffle."

The Cat 3 raffle is open to all Cat 3 racers- not sure what this comment means?

Lisa


He's talking about if you Cat up to 2. You're eligible for prizes when you podium, but no longer have a chance at anything if you're not going to be on the podium. It's just a minor caveat to be aware of if you're not being forced to cat up.
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moonshine
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 20, 2014 9:50 pm GMT +0000    Post subject: Reply with quote

Double Lake (Coldspring)
Huntsville
Warda
Abilene
Rocky Hill
Pace Bend
Dallas
Mellow Johnny's
Comfort
Camp Eagle

My .02

Pace Bend, Mellow, and Camp Eagle being the technical courses.

I raced Cat 3 this past spring placing mid to rear of the pack most races, but still came out with a 6th place overall points. Could have had a top 5 but dropped a chain at Warda, lost 2 minutes and couldn't make it up. Finished 30 seconds behind the group of 7 that passed while I was putting it back on.
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