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Old 05-19-09, 02:59 PM   #1
spinwax
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California State Championships Course?

Since I have little or no idea how to judge a climb from a map; what do you guys think about this? Will being a climber help?

Looks like there is a 700foot gain in about 5 miles, but that is the hardest part. I am just having a little trouble picturing how steep this is? Has anyone rode this course?

Thanks in advance.

Oh, and really, how dirty is the Vagabond North? LOL. I need a cheap place to stay. I am broke.

course map here:
http://www.kernwheelmen.org/3d-image.php?i=GEC2008[1].jpg

Scroll down for elevation.

Last edited by spinwax; 05-19-09 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 05-19-09, 03:38 PM   #2
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Being a climber will help but it is not exclusively a climbing course. Assuming the same course as last year, there is a long descent and then endless rollers after the climb. The bulk of the climb was about 4 miles long and took the us in the 4s about 15 minutes.
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Old 05-20-09, 08:22 AM   #3
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It's between 5 and 7%( I guess that would be six). Find a similar grade in your neighborhood..
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Old 05-20-09, 09:26 AM   #4
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It's not a pure climbers course, but the hill is long enough to make a selection. Last year the 3's got whittled down to ~15-20 guys, none of whom were pure sprinters. After the hill the second lap we basically had a group where very few wanted it to come down to a field sprint. We basically just kept putting in digs on every roller and the false flat section just before the finish.
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Old 05-20-09, 11:55 AM   #5
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It's not a pure climbers course, but the hill is long enough to make a selection. Last year the 3's got whittled down to ~15-20 guys, none of whom were pure sprinters. After the hill the second lap we basically had a group where very few wanted it to come down to a field sprint. We basically just kept putting in digs on every roller and the false flat section just before the finish.
Nice. Kind of what I wanted to hear.

BTW, decided against the dirty ol Vagabond and spent the extra 30bux for the Marriot...LOL. I need some good sleep and don't want to hear people next door.
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Old 05-20-09, 02:59 PM   #6
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+1 to what the others said. The climb is enough to force a selection, but not strictly a climbers course. I really like this course (same as last year), it has a bit of everything and really gives "all arounders" a chance. Make sure your descending skills are in check, it's an easy descent to get dropped on.
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Old 05-20-09, 03:16 PM   #7
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Make sure your descending skills are in check, it's an easy descent to get dropped on.
That's the only crappy part of the course (aside from the scenery). Descending a narrow road with possible oncoming traffic is a little sketchy.
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Old 05-20-09, 04:05 PM   #8
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That's the only crappy part of the course (aside from the scenery). Descending a narrow road with possible oncoming traffic is a little sketchy.
Unfortunately I was dropped the first time up the climb last year so my descending was with only a handful of other guys. I don't consider myself a great descender, especially in a pack, but I was able to ride away from the guys I was with.

Edit: you don't like industrial oil drilling scenery?
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Old 05-20-09, 06:01 PM   #9
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Edit: you don't like industrial oil drilling scenery?
LOL, yeah Bakersfield is really not known to be a vacation destination.

Did you hear about the guy who ate his kids eyes out that was just arrested there? WTF?
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Old 05-22-09, 06:45 AM   #10
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That's the only crappy part of the course (aside from the scenery). Descending a narrow road with possible oncoming traffic is a little sketchy.
I live here, done the loop a gazzilion times. Only three blind left handers to worry about. Plus they are sharp enough that you are on the outside (your lane) of the turns. With the lead moto's we are hoping to lessen the danger on these. On the upper part of the descent the left handers are decreasing radius, you have to slow for them. There is one towards the bottom (left hander) you can stay on the gas as it's not as sharp (I've done it at 42)

I am the worst climber ever and as such am intimately familiar with every pitch in this climb. You can big ring the first half (I do). Pitches up at the second cattle guard and stair steps up. most pitches you can see coming. After the false flat that last grind is tough, but short. Then its off to the races.

The scenery is the suck, but lots of great riding with little traffic, always a trade off.

I'll be doing wheel support, blue truck with a 'Gas Sucks, Ride a Bike' sticker.
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Old 05-22-09, 08:44 AM   #11
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I live here, done the loop a gazzilion times. Only three blind left handers to worry about. Plus they are sharp enough that you are on the outside (your lane) of the turns. With the lead moto's we are hoping to lessen the danger on these. On the upper part of the descent the left handers are decreasing radius, you have to slow for them. There is one towards the bottom (left hander) you can stay on the gas as it's not as sharp (I've done it at 42)
A descent by yourself or in a small group is completely different than when you are with 100 of your closest friends

That said a big todo was made over descending Lilac at San Luis Rey and it turned out to be not a big deal. esammuli has done the race before so if he says it is sketchy I give that some weight. I did it last year also but I was only with a few guys at the time.

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I am the worst climber ever and as such am intimately familiar with every pitch in this climb. You can big ring the first half (I do). Pitches up at the second cattle guard and stair steps up. most pitches you can see coming. After the false flat that last grind is tough, but short. Then its off to the races.
That's where I popped last year

I signed up yesterday, 30+ 1-4 on Saturday and Cat 3 on Sunday. t's going to be a slaughter.
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Old 05-22-09, 09:00 AM   #12
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Check out this video. Kind of stupid, but gives you a view of the course.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pxxl2CyU3yE
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Old 05-22-09, 09:22 AM   #13
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A descent by yourself or in a small group is completely different than when you are with 100 of your closest friends

That said a big todo was made over descending Lilac at San Luis Rey and it turned out to be not a big deal. esammuli has done the race before so if he says it is sketchy I give that some weight. I did it last year also but I was only with a few guys at the time.
What is sketchy is the upper two left-handers are preceded by slight turns to the left. They lull you into thinking you have done part of the corner, only to be supprised by a very sharp decreasing radius turn. This happens on the top two corners. There are plenty enough straights and visible corners to MORE than make up for any gap that forms. We do this loop every Tue and Thr morning and hav'ent (knock on wood) had incident around the two sharp corners. 2-3 guys wide around these corners is all you'll see in the race, same as we do every week.
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