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  1. #1
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    furnace creek 508

    Will be racing next weekend on 4x team. Are chase vehicle is spec at 78".4 wide , and rules say on more than 78" , does anyone know ,is this a DQ,or a time penalty?
    thanks bruce
    Last edited by TRITHIS99; 09-29-12 at 09:27 PM.

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    email chris directly, don't get guesses from us

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    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zzzwillzzz View Post
    email chris directly, don't get guesses from us
    I'll second this.

    It's become an issue since vehicles are getting wider and wider. I emailed him last year about it with my vehicle options and the manufacturers specs for their width, and he told me to go ahead and get the Chrysler Town and Country (vs. a mid-size SUV). They measure across the back, and the T&C apparently meets the 78", but it's still better to ask Chris directly than to ask here. Last year he responded about 15 seconds (really!) after I sent my message, with a note that he was going to send something out to teams in a day or so. I'm driving support this year, and we've reserved the same type minivan as last year.
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    i think my friends team is using a 15 passenger van for their 4x team, the same as they used last year.

    on another note:
    if anyone gets desperate for a teammate at the last second i am available, i know teams are supposed to have alternates but sometimes even the backup plans fail, i have already cleared it with chris

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    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zzzwillzzz View Post
    i think my friends team is using a 15 passenger van for their 4x team, the same as they used last year.

    on another note:
    if anyone gets desperate for a teammate at the last second i am available, i know teams are supposed to have alternates but sometimes even the backup plans fail, i have already cleared it with chris
    Even if I could get away with it, I wouldn't feel right about using a van that big (except maybe a 4x tandem team, but it would have to be 4x tandem fixed...). Since last year I've been thinking a Subaru Forester is almost the ideal crew vehicle, but they're outrageously expensive to rent, if you can find them at all.

    I think he had sent a note about a solo rider who was interested in switching to a 2x. That wasn't you, was it? If not, you might want to check with chris and see if you can hook up with the rider.
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    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    I'll be there for my tenth start. We've used 15 passenger ford and Chevy vans for years. Chris can be a little fickle at times but I don't remember him DNSing or penalizing anyone for that. Unless your vehicle is really wide they won't even measure it. If you're using a mini van like a Dodge, Chrysler, Toyota etc it's no problem at all.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

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    Senior Member k7baixo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TRITHIS99 View Post
    Will be racing next weekend on 4x team. Are chase vehicle is spec at 78".4 wide , and rules say on more than 78" , does anyone know ,is this a DQ,or a time penalty?
    thanks bruce
    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    I'll be there for my tenth start. We've used 15 passenger ford and Chevy vans for years. Chris can be a little fickle at times but I don't remember him DNSing or penalizing anyone for that. Unless your vehicle is really wide they won't even measure it. If you're using a mini van like a Dodge, Chrysler, Toyota etc it's no problem at all.

    Good luck guys!
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitingduck View Post
    Even if I could get away with it, I wouldn't feel right about using a van that big (except maybe a 4x tandem team, but it would have to be 4x tandem fixed...). Since last year I've been thinking a Subaru Forester is almost the ideal crew vehicle, but they're outrageously expensive to rent, if you can find them at all.

    I think he had sent a note about a solo rider who was interested in switching to a 2x. That wasn't you, was it? If not, you might want to check with chris and see if you can hook up with the rider.
    wasn't me, he hasn't contacted me about it, i wonder if he found someone.

  9. #9
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zzzwillzzz View Post
    wasn't me, he hasn't contacted me about it, i wonder if he found someone.
    Didn't think it was you-- I think he gave the name (which I don't remember) and if it was you I'd have recognized it, but my memory is so bad sometimes I thought I'd check...

    got most of our stuff together last night... It's a little complicated this year by the slightly later start for teams, which means a bigger chance of getting to Trona in the dark, which then means delays if we food/fuel there. The last two times Jay has done it (once with me, once with a 4x) she was out of Trona and on the way to Towne's pass before dark.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitingduck View Post
    Didn't think it was you-- I think he gave the name (which I don't remember) and if it was you I'd have recognized it, but my memory is so bad sometimes I thought I'd check...

    got most of our stuff together last night... It's a little complicated this year by the slightly later start for teams, which means a bigger chance of getting to Trona in the dark, which then means delays if we food/fuel there. The last two times Jay has done it (once with me, once with a 4x) she was out of Trona and on the way to Towne's pass before dark.
    Hopefully you are well on your way if not already on Townes Pass at sunset though that'll be about a half hour harder this year. If you're slower it's best not to plan on getting any food/ice in Trona. All of the solo's and fast teams will have bought everything up. I don't think there will be any gas there either. When I was in Trona last May the lone gas station was closed. They were selling gas out of gas cans for $10/gal! Don't know if it's reopened.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

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    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    Hopefully you are well on your way if not already on Townes Pass at sunset though that'll be about a half hour harder this year. If you're slower it's best not to plan on getting any food/ice in Trona. All of the solo's and fast teams will have bought everything up. I don't think there will be any gas there either. When I was in Trona last May the lone gas station was closed. They were selling gas out of gas cans for $10/gal! Don't know if it's reopened.
    Given that it's a fixed gear team, it's unlikely they'll be on Townes Pass at sunset. Last year the gas station was out of gas (no idea if it was just cans or from a pump, since I was riding), but our crew filled up in Joburg. This year I'm planning to fill in Joburg and bring a 5 gallon extra can so we don't have to think about gas until dawn. We don't count on getting anything else on the road-- last year we didn't even have to refill water before the end. Mostly we were counting on heating water for the night at the checkpoint (for hot coffee during the night).
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitingduck View Post
    Given that it's a fixed gear team, it's unlikely they'll be on Townes Pass at sunset. Last year the gas station was out of gas (no idea if it was just cans or from a pump, since I was riding), but our crew filled up in Joburg. This year I'm planning to fill in Joburg and bring a 5 gallon extra can so we don't have to think about gas until dawn. We don't count on getting anything else on the road-- last year we didn't even have to refill water before the end. Mostly we were counting on heating water for the night at the checkpoint (for hot coffee during the night).
    Just because you're on a fixie... I have always like to make it a goal to be at least on the top of Townes Pass by sunset but I have to admit that it hasn't happened a lot. You've got to be going pretty fast. The last time I did was on a two man team and we were averaging over 20mph to do it. I'm definitely not planing on it this year. I'm hoping we'll be at least near the bottom if not started up Townes Pass. The weather is always the big wildcard and one never knows what the dessert weather will bring us!
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

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    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    I'm not on a fixie this year-- I'm driving. I did the evens last year fixed, and we just made it out of Trona before dark. When our two riders were on a 4x fixed team they were through Trona a half hour before dark, but had a wicked tailwind and the 2 & 6 rider had a big gear. It's tougher when you also have to do Sallsberry Pass on the same gear...
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    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitingduck View Post
    I'm not on a fixie this year-- I'm driving. I did the evens last year fixed, and we just made it out of Trona before dark. When our two riders were on a 4x fixed team they were through Trona a half hour before dark, but had a wicked tailwind and the 2 & 6 rider had a big gear. It's tougher when you also have to do Sallsberry Pass on the same gear...
    Oh, so you're cheating! To be honest, I think that stage 4 (Salsbury/jubilee) is more difficult than stage 3 (Townes) be it on a fixed or geared bike. Since you're not riding, make sure you stop in and get a hero in Baker, they're awesome!
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  15. #15
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    All good info, as I plan to be riding this event solo on a fixie next year (2013). I've got my crew chief down there right now volunteering with one of the two-man teams in order to learn the ropes and to find out what works, where the tricky sections are, all the tiny undocumented things that go on, etc.

    I must admit that one of my sub-objectives was to be on Townes at sunset. I hope they keep the 6:30 start for next year.

    As long as none of the climbs are as steep as Cobb Mtn (Davis) or Loch Lomond (Knoxville), I am looking forward to a fun ride. Should be pretty neat being fully supported, and not having to stop or get off the bike just to get food or to refill the bottle.

    Now I just have to build my 32-spoke wheels (who uses 32-spoke wheels anymore these days?). I've ordered the Velocity A23's (lower than 25mm profile) and I'll probably build a Powertap into the rear wheel, modified for fixed gear with a Surly Fixer. The one thing I don't like about the rules is that you're not allowed to change wheels unless the wheel is broken. This puts fixed riders at a distinct disadvantage vs the other soloists, as any puncture requires a stop for a full tube replacement on the road, rather than just a quick slam-it-in wheel change. (Yes, I use quick releases, not track nuts; this is the road, not the track!)

    Anyway, thanks for the comments and asides.

    Luis

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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    Hopefully you are well on your way if not already on Townes Pass at sunset though that'll be about a half hour harder this year. If you're slower it's best not to plan on getting any food/ice in Trona. All of the solo's and fast teams will have bought everything up. I don't think there will be any gas there either. When I was in Trona last May the lone gas station was closed. They were selling gas out of gas cans for $10/gal! Don't know if it's reopened.

    For what its worth, I called the gas station in Trona several weeks ago doing reconnaissance for the 508. I confirmed that the gas station, called T-Stop, is open on Saturday from 5Am to Midnight. Sunday from 6AM to 10PM. It is a Valero gas station.

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    Just called the Trona T-Stop. They have enough gas for the weekend and their ice maker runs continuously.

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    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    Oh, so you're cheating! To be honest, I think that stage 4 (Salsbury/jubilee) is more difficult than stage 3 (Townes) be it on a fixed or geared bike. Since you're not riding, make sure you stop in and get a hero in Baker, they're awesome!
    Stage 4 really wasn't bad, except for the cold at the bottom of the descent on the other side of the passes. I actually had to put on a sweatshirt. The two passes are comparable to GMR, and I'm much better in a headwind than in hills (and my partner is the other way around) so it was pretty clear that she was doing odds and I was doing evens. The descent on stage 6 was about the worst though-- the cattle guards are about the best part of the road, and when you're on a fixed gear it's a lot harder to unweight the saddle and let the bike bounce around on a fast descent like that.
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  19. #19
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitingduck View Post
    Stage 4 really wasn't bad, except for the cold at the bottom of the descent on the other side of the passes. I actually had to put on a sweatshirt. The two passes are comparable to GMR, and I'm much better in a headwind than in hills (and my partner is the other way around) so it was pretty clear that she was doing odds and I was doing evens. The descent on stage 6 was about the worst though-- the cattle guards are about the best part of the road, and when you're on a fixed gear it's a lot harder to unweight the saddle and let the bike bounce around on a fast descent like that.
    I'm much better with headwinds too but for some reason I always seem to suffer more on Salisbury/Julibee climbs than I do on Townes. Maybe because I always hammer the flats in DV in combination with the inevitable headwinds it just takes more out of me before the climbs. There is almost always a tailwind heading up Panamint Valley so I generally arrive at the bottom of Townes pretty fresh.
    The road from Baker to Kelso is pretty trashed, from near the summit down to Kelso. I think I showed Ihbernheart a picture or two of that road in another thread. I usually try to ride on the remnants of the white line. It's the generally smoothest part of that road. Interestingly, it's not as bad as the road in Panamint Valley used to be before they repaved it. That was nasty.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

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    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    I did that leg 10 or so years ago in the Mojave Death Race on a geared bike and the white line was pretty rideable then. That was my plan for last year, but the white line was so beat up and full of holes that it didn't help a whole lot. Pictures really don't do it justice. I'd rather just have unpaved fire road.
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    Thanks everyone for the input , are Chase Vehicle worked out , and we could of went with a bigger vehicle.We place second in the 4x 40+ in 30:16 , i did stage 3 in 5:18 and stage 7 in 1:48. We had a great time and look foward to next year,
    thanks bruce

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    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lhbernhardt View Post
    The one thing I don't like about the rules is that you're not allowed to change wheels unless the wheel is broken. This puts fixed riders at a distinct disadvantage vs the other soloists, as any puncture requires a stop for a full tube replacement on the road, rather than just a quick slam-it-in wheel change. (Yes, I use quick releases, not track nuts; this is the road, not the track!)
    Two years in a row we haven't had any flats. Other than the stage 6 downhill (and some of 7) the roads are pretty good, and have so few people that there's not a lot of broken glass or junk on them. It's also a 24+ hour race, so the amount of time lost on a flat repair is nearly insignificant-- don't do just a tube change, do a tube+tire change and let the crew find the source of the puncture while they drive.

    We ended up getting gas in Joburg before dark and didn't get gas again til Shoshone (after dawn), and we still had more than a quarter tank. Riding it solo, you're much more likely to get to Trona before the 6 pm night rules cutoff and be able to top off there. You also won't have to stop at the checkpoints (unless you want to)-- teams have to do bike change at the checkpoints but we worked hard to keep the transition time to a minimum.
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  23. #23
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bitingduck View Post
    Two years in a row we haven't had any flats. Other than the stage 6 downhill (and some of 7) the roads are pretty good, and have so few people that there's not a lot of broken glass or junk on them. It's also a 24+ hour race, so the amount of time lost on a flat repair is nearly insignificant-- don't do just a tube change, do a tube+tire change and let the crew find the source of the puncture while they drive.

    We ended up getting gas in Joburg before dark and didn't get gas again til Shoshone (after dawn), and we still had more than a quarter tank. Riding it solo, you're much more likely to get to Trona before the 6 pm night rules cutoff and be able to top off there. You also won't have to stop at the checkpoints (unless you want to)-- teams have to do bike change at the checkpoints but we worked hard to keep the transition time to a minimum.
    Thanks for the advice about the tire change. I will plan on bringing pre-stretched tires just for this purpose.

    Are teams allowed to do madison-style handslings on the exchanges? Would seem to make sense, especially when you consider how fast they ride when they do the water bottle pickups (they don't slow down to pick up bottles, why would they slow down & lose time on the exchanges? Or does the handsling fall into the category of "pushing the rider," which is verboten in the rules?)

    Watching some of the videos, I'm also surprised at this running with the bottle while handing them up. Nobody in racing does that anymore. You should be able to pick up a bottle at 40 kmh from a stationary helper. If the rider drops it, just go up the road and try again; there are no designated feed zones after the first 40 km.

    And speaking of bottles, do the officials look for "sticky bottles" on the bottle pickups from the car window? This would seem to be a useful strategy, especially on the long 2% grades!

    Luis

  24. #24
    Senior Member bitingduck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lhbernhardt View Post
    Are teams allowed to do madison-style handslings on the exchanges? Would seem to make sense, especially when you consider how fast they ride when they do the water bottle pickups (they don't slow down to pick up bottles, why would they slow down & lose time on the exchanges? Or does the handsling fall into the category of "pushing the rider," which is verboten in the rules?)
    Haha. I wish. My race resume going into the 508 was all track stuff, including a lot of madison. Unfortunately Ultra riders tend not to be so comfortable with such things and the rules require you to be at a standstill for the exchange. You have to exchange an actual "baton" or other artifact of your choice.

    Watching some of the videos, I'm also surprised at this running with the bottle while handing them up. Nobody in racing does that anymore. You should be able to pick up a bottle at 40 kmh from a stationary helper. If the rider drops it, just go up the road and try again; there are no designated feed zones after the first 40 km.
    The recommended style of bottle handup is odd to me, too--they recommend that the hander-up be running, while I learned a zillion years ago how to hand up bottles to riders at speed while the hander is standing still. I've handed bottles to people at upwards of 60 kph while I was standing still. Two of us standing 15 feet apart were feeding a rider 4 bottles per lap once at 45-50 kph from a feed zone on a hot day once. This year we had a few dropped bottles (small tired hands in gloves) and just went up the road and did it again. After dusk on day 1 you can do them all from the car if you want.

    And speaking of bottles, do the officials look for "sticky bottles" on the bottle pickups from the car window? This would seem to be a useful strategy, especially on the long 2% grades!
    It would be more likely to be noticed by another team than by an official. You could probably get away with it, but it's just bad form in an event like this where so much is really on the honor system.
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  25. #25
    shut up and ride
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    i rode up to johnson road ahead of the race to see a few friends in the race and laughed at the running handoffs as well. at that point just after a stop sign the riders weren't going that fast, maybe 15-20, i told my friend's team to just stand and hand off.

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