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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 01-18-14, 08:51 PM   #1
downtube42
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Natches Trace 1500

Who's in? Has anyone ridden this before?

I've decided to build my year around qualifying and preparing for this ride.
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Old 01-18-14, 11:12 PM   #2
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Has anyone ridden this before?
This will be the first year for it, so I don't expect you'll get any "yes"es.

That said, keep us posted on how it goes. Sounds like it will be challenging.
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Old 01-18-14, 11:14 PM   #3
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I'm in. I really want to do an ACP 1000, but this looked interesting
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Old 01-18-14, 11:23 PM   #4
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I signed up, but I guess I'm in the lottery or waiting list or whatever. I don't know how many people that is, but I'd be sort of surprised if people who sign up around now don't get in.
It looks interesting to me too, plus it's at a more convenient time of year for me, being in the fall. I really hope it works out for me to get there.
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Old 01-19-14, 10:48 AM   #5
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the waiting list is short and there are always a significant number of people that drop out. I would expect to go. I think the message that the organizer sent was just right.
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Old 01-19-14, 04:46 PM   #6
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There are some other perms or brevets on the Natchez Trace if you're interested. A couple of years ago, I rode a 200k in Mississippi that had about 10 miles on the Trace.

The plus: The Natchez trace is nearly ideal for cycling, no commercial vehicles, reasonably scenic, lower speed limits, etc.
The minus: It's so danged perfect, it's also sort of all the same, so little variation in scenery (potentially boring), and you have to get off the trace for all services.
I'm intrigued, but at this point, probably won't even try to sign up due to scheduling issues.
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Old 01-19-14, 09:15 PM   #7
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This will be the first year for it, so I don't expect you'll get any "yes"es.

That said, keep us posted on how it goes. Sounds like it will be challenging.
Oh... I didn't realize this was the first year. I just watched a Google Earth flyover of the route... it's a good thing I like trees, 'cause that's a lot of trees.
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Old 01-20-14, 05:44 AM   #8
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1000

In Sep-2010, Sammons & crew put on a 1000 on the Trace. You might be able to find some ride reports about that brevet.
Region Club Type Distance Date Finishers DNF
TN: Nashville Harpeth Bicycle Club / 942046 ACPB 1000 2010/09/23 38 12

(That's 38 finishers & 12 DNF's.)


Here are some Natchez Trace reports, mostly by some local rando usually known as MikeD, and one by another local rando named Branson (not all the reports are about the 1000, but all info might be useful, or maybe the stories are interesting):
(click-here)

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Old 01-21-14, 07:09 AM   #9
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RandoBoy & the Natchez Trace A/S ratio

Serendipitously saw this report this morning (click here for report / analysis).
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Old 01-21-14, 08:23 AM   #10
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Serendipitously saw this report this morning (click here for report / analysis).
Nice. The boring part is a pinch concerning for me, or more specifically for my sanity after about 4 days. So maybe I'd better find someone entertaining to ride with.

I understand there are mile markers. Maybe a sprint for multiples of ten?
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Old 01-21-14, 12:31 PM   #11
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Nice. The boring part is a pinch concerning for me, or more specifically for my sanity after about 4 days. ...
You're a randonneur -- you lost your sanity long ago.
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Old 01-27-14, 10:34 AM   #12
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There are a lot of markets and some restaurants just off the Natchez Trace. This list includes markets less than 2 miles from an exit. http://www.natcheztracetravel.com/bi...d-markets.html
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Old 01-28-14, 09:28 AM   #13
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What's the terrain like? Not that it would be the first time I've signed up for a ride without finding that out in advance, but it's still a good thing to know.
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Old 01-28-14, 11:01 PM   #14
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With the caveat that I've never been there, I think the terrain is mostly what could be described as "rolling." I don't think there are any really long climbs, but I'm sure it can get to be slow on tired legs.
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Old 01-29-14, 06:40 AM   #15
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Natchez Trace -- Terrain

I suggest checking the website for the ride(s) (http://harpethbikeclub.com/ultra_pag...arkway-brevets).

If you later can't locate this thread or post, go to the RUSA website ("rusa.org") -- there is an icon for each of the five American 2014 "1200's" prominently displayed; click on the appropriate icon for a link.

Scoll down a bit, and you will find cue sheets and maps and such for the rides. The information for the 1500 is the least comprehensive, but I suggest you check out the RWGPS map for the 1000 (http://ridewithgps.com/trips/613572). And check out the elevation profile -- and make your own conclusion.
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Old 01-29-14, 05:03 PM   #16
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I find it really hard to judge from an elevation map over 900 miles. One of the most daunting looking hills on the Endless Mountains elevation map climbs so gradually that you can't really tell you are climbing most of the time. Looks like the Natchez Trace is mostly 300-400 foot climbs. On the 2012 Taste of Carolina, the little 50-100 foot hills on the second day were a lot harder for me than the monster climbs on the first day. On our fleche, some of the hills that didn't impress on the elevation map on rwgps turned out to be pretty tough.
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Old 02-01-14, 12:01 PM   #17
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I find it really hard to judge from an elevation map over 900 miles. One of the most daunting looking hills on the Endless Mountains elevation map climbs so gradually that you can't really tell you are climbing most of the time. Looks like the Natchez Trace is mostly 300-400 foot climbs. On the 2012 Taste of Carolina, the little 50-100 foot hills on the second day were a lot harder for me than the monster climbs on the first day. On our fleche, some of the hills that didn't impress on the elevation map on rwgps turned out to be pretty tough.
I've only driven the Alabama and Tennessee parts of the Trace, but the 300-400 foot hills (max) sounds about right for that section. (I understand it flattens out some further south.) The thing that might get you is that that's all there is; with a few exceptions, you never seem to get more than a half mile of flat before you hit a hill. I got the impression that a cyclist would rarely get to enjoy the rollers, but might rack up some impressive climbing numbers over the first (and last) 100 miles.
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Old 02-19-14, 01:07 AM   #18
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What's the terrain like? Not that it would be the first time I've signed up for a ride without finding that out in advance, but it's still a good thing to know.
rode the whole thing a couple of years ago on my motorcycle. flat and as noted pretty boring really. gets hillier as you head north. the last 20 miles or so, IIRC. zero commercial services on the Trace. interesting example of 1950's approach to scenic automobile highway/park/nature. i don't think i would want to do it solo, but with others, maybe the camaraderie could compensate for it's shortcomings.
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Old 02-21-14, 01:29 PM   #19
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I'm registered. I'm a little concerned about the monotony of scenery. I rode LEL this past summer (1418K) and one of the things that kept me entertained was the variety of scenery. Villages, farms, old churches, traffic, etc., it all combines to keep it interesting. I wonder if the relative lack of variety will become dull. Dull is more likely to make me sleepy. I guess an upbeat music mix on the ipod will be important.

My bigger concern, though, is the control closing time schedule. Unlike PBP or LEL, this ride is using the clock-slows-down-over-time method, instead of evenly spreading the allotted time out over the allotted distance. That totally requires changing the sleep strategy as one does not build up nearly as much of a time buffer early in the ride to get much sleep the first night or two. Being the slow but steady randonneur that I am, I much prefer the PBP/LEL method. I expect that the control schedule will be one of my biggest challenges to overcome.
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Old 02-24-14, 01:52 AM   #20
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LEL has a constant minimum average speed. PBP varies the minimum average speed. LRM allows all brevets significantly longer than 1200km to have a constant minimum average speed but not all organisers take advantage of that. Mille Miglia doesn't.
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Old 05-09-14, 03:51 PM   #21
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What's the terrain like? Not that it would be the first time I've signed up for a ride without finding that out in advance, but it's still a good thing to know.
Yes, the Natchez end of the Trace has VERY mild hills and the further north you go, the bigger the hills get (relatively speaking) and there are never any steep climbs nor big hills anywhere on the Trace. The biggest problem is the pavement is not smooth, but has a rough texture of chip and seal. That sucks. One of the best cycling roads has a bad finish on it. Having over inflated tires will rattle your teeth.
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Old 05-14-14, 04:12 PM   #22
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The biggest problem is the pavement is not smooth, but has a rough texture of chip and seal. That sucks. One of the best cycling roads has a bad finish on it.
I suspect that's a regional observation; the Tennessee section of the Trace is paved pretty well. It's hard to keep all 440 miles up to date with limited funding.
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Old 05-14-14, 04:18 PM   #23
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Yes.....beautiful.....the same beauty over and over and over again....the most boring ride I have ever done.
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