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Battenkill 2012 - Advice

Old 12-24-11, 06:54 PM
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GRVR6
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Battenkill 2012 - Advice

I just entered the 2012 Tour of Battenkill. It's my first race.
What should I expect. What knid of training should I do?
I am 55, 6'1 and 196lbs. I started riding seriously about 4 years ago. This year I'll end with 3200 miles, with an average speed of 17.3. I have no real problems finishing a century ride, but most of the rides around here are pretty flat.
Is battenkill going to destroy me?
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Old 12-24-11, 07:05 PM
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That's a pretty tough "first race" !

Haven't done it myself but talking with guys who have done it, yeah, there are plenty of big steep hills. So find those and learn to ride them with special attention to what kind of gearing you need in order to get up a steep hill at the end of a 3+ hour ride when your legs are empty. Also, seek out dirt / gravel roads, get used to riding on them (even if muddy) and shake down your tires and wheels to be sure they can handle the abuse. Although I'm told B'kill roads are pretty smooth.

And, all the usual first race advice. See the sticky'd threads.
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Old 12-24-11, 07:40 PM
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race a lot in the spring and get off the island in search of some hills
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Old 12-24-11, 07:53 PM
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The climbs aren't long, but steep. And yeah that last climb 58 miles in will hurt. The roads, if dry are fairly smooth and will be dusty from the sand and road salt of winter. If wet, all bets are off.
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Old 12-24-11, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by gsteinb View Post
race a lot in the spring and get off the island in search of some hills
Yup, get some spring series races in you first so you learn about suffering.
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Old 12-24-11, 07:55 PM
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yeah, come chase me around some early season races. You're bound to get into shape for it.
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Old 12-24-11, 09:27 PM
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It will energize you.

Last edited by bostongarden; 12-27-11 at 08:05 AM. Reason: Only the shadow knows.
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Old 12-25-11, 06:05 AM
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Thanks guys. I certainly have to hill work to do.
Happy Christmas!
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Old 12-25-11, 02:49 PM
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in the 2 1/2 seasons i've raced this was the hardest race I've ever done. not that I have tons of race experience like some of the other folks on here... just be prepared to suffer- a lot.
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Old 12-25-11, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by GRVR6 View Post
I just entered the 2012 Tour of Battenkill. It's my first race.
Not a good choice, but you might as well just jump in the deep end and see if you can swim.

Originally Posted by GRVR6 View Post
What should I expect.
Expect to be dropped hard.

Originally Posted by GRVR6 View Post
What knid of training should I do?
See the race sticky.

Originally Posted by GRVR6 View Post
I am 55, 6'1 and 196lbs. I started riding seriously about 4 years ago.
Big guy. Maybe an athlete over the years in sports where body weight doesn't matter. This will hurt very much.

Originally Posted by GRVR6 View Post
This year I'll end with 3200 miles, with an average speed of 17.3.
Do a search on "average speed".

Originally Posted by GRVR6 View Post
I have no real problems finishing a century ride, but most of the rides around here are pretty flat.
Finishing a century and being in a bike race are not the same thing. I know old ladies that finish century rides in 8 hours.

Originally Posted by GRVR6 View Post
Is battenkill going to destroy me?
Probably.

But use it as a learning experience and come back to race again.

Last edited by mollusk; 12-25-11 at 03:11 PM.
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Old 12-25-11, 06:31 PM
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2 more things. They will probably have a 'preview ride' in March. May want to ride the course to see it (though conditions will likely be different).

And be prepared for about 3 different types of weather. Early morning, temps can be in the 20's and warm to the 50's.
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Old 12-25-11, 07:24 PM
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I'll be happy just to finish, but I did the last century in 5:23. It was pretty darn flat though.
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Old 12-25-11, 08:51 PM
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Originally Posted by GRVR6 View Post
I'll be happy just to finish, but I did the last century in 5:23. It was pretty darn flat though.
That really has nothing to do with this. Really.

You seem to be energised about this and that is great.
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Old 12-25-11, 09:09 PM
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The only thing that Battenkill and a century have in common is bicycles.

Have fun, ride safe, but I'm warning you now, don't be surprised how tough M50+ racing is. Be prepared to be humbled.

Wait, this is your first race. You must be in the Cat5 35+ or equivalent.
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Old 12-26-11, 05:09 AM
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Right, Cat 5 55+, and yes I am prepared to be humbled, but I don't expect to be last.
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Old 12-26-11, 08:16 AM
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If you finish, you won't be last.
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Old 12-26-11, 08:29 AM
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I did a little rough math with last years Cat 5 45+ results (I didn't see any 55+ results). The winner averaged 18.28mph and last place averaged 13.05.
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Old 12-26-11, 09:24 AM
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it's you first race don't get to caught up in average speeds.. just go out and ride YOUR race.

What I mean it treat it as a learning experience and ride with in yourself early on.. towards the end if you feel strong push ur limits more.. chase down the person you see in the distance actively but don't get into a pace you can not sustain early on in the race or it makes for a lot of suffering.

Also don't try and be the hard man and do all the work up front.. others will let you do that all day long then attack you and leave you to fend for youself if you're barely hanging on.

Being a big guy my self I can probably say the climbs will be hard for you.... make sure you know the course and you hit the climbs with a bit of rest because the sub 150 pound climbers will drive the pace on them making it hard for us big guys to hold their wheels.
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Old 12-26-11, 01:39 PM
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a "mid-pack" finish in the cat 5s was close to 4 hours. I'd expect to see the field break up badly.

Last year I finished 50th in the masters 40+. That was in 3:05 and mostly drafting.

I'd focus on the endurance factor, especially in the two months leading up to the event.

I didn't find the climbing difficult, but I am used to hillier terrain.

There were some very loose gravel roads. I don't know if we will do them again next year as they are changing the course again. Having some fearless descending ability will help a lot.
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Old 12-26-11, 08:24 PM
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Don't sweat it too much. Just ride in the pack and know that most riders are as concerned about the course as you are.

I don't think it's as hard as it's billed.
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Old 12-26-11, 09:23 PM
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your avatar says it all!
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Old 12-26-11, 10:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Flak View Post
I don't think it's as hard as it's billed.
Where'd you finish?
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Old 12-27-11, 03:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Flak View Post
Don't sweat it too much. Just ride in the pack and know that most riders are as concerned about the course as you are.

I don't think it's as hard as it's billed.
Have you raced this event? Were you there for the pro race in 2010? It was very, very difficult.
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Old 12-27-11, 06:27 AM
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This is the guy who thinks anyone can be a Cat2. Put his comments in context.
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Old 12-27-11, 07:01 AM
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which guy?
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