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Land Run 100 Impressions

Old 03-14-16, 10:08 AM
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Planemaker
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Land Run 100 Impressions

Land Run 100 was 3/12/16 and I was wondering from other riders what their overall impression were.

Mine are:
1. With the rain this was almost a carbon copy of last year (my estimate is about 4 to 5 miles of “hike a bike” due to muddy roads).
2. Not sure if this is all of Oklahoma but, in and around Stillwater gravel does not exist. Almost the entire route was red clay.
3. I thought the course was a bit dangerous because the red clay was very slippery and soft in spots, I was sliding around a lot. I honestly don’t know why there weren’t more crashes with the way everybody was bombing down the hills on that slippery soft stuff.

I signed up for the 100 but only completed the 50 mile course because:
1. While I was physically prepared for the 100 mile ride, the “hike a bike” was something I was not mentally prepared for. In addition, that much walking is not good on my old knees.
2. I could never get comfortable generating any speed on the slippery and soft clay and I just didn’t want to crash and ruin the rest of my riding season.

I am going to sign up for the event next year (registration is in November) but, if the conditions are similar I will skip the event.


FYI - I think this a great event and the District Cycles in Stillwater does an excellant job organizing the ride, it was first class.
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Old 03-14-16, 11:25 AM
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I've never done the LR100, but saw the pics from last year (and again this year) and my thoughts are "no thanks!". I'm doing the DK100 this year and am hoping for minimal mud...if it happens to be a mess I'm sure I'll still give it a try, but reassess for next year.

The problem as I see it is this: Conditions like you describe are difficult to train for, especially when part of an already significant endurance event. Also being a runner, it'd be like me training for what is labeled as a marathon, but a week before the race, someone flips a coin and if it comes up heads, there will also be a 2 mile swim in middle of the race.

I guess the argument for is that we should all HTFU and life is a journey full of mystery and all of that stuff....and something about building character.
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Old 03-14-16, 01:37 PM
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I'm going to echo your last sentence and put if first because Bobby and the #unlearnpavement squad put on a great event. And the LR is a great event. Next year I hear there will be a new route, so maybe the staircase won't be used.

And yeah, there was hike a bike, but I walked a long way in muck at DK last year also.
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Old 03-14-16, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Planemaker View Post
I thought the course was a bit dangerous because the red clay was very slippery and soft in spots, I was sliding around a lot. I honestly don’t know why there weren’t more crashes with the way everybody was bombing down the hills on that slippery soft stuff.
Though the course was quite sloppy in some sections, I was pleasantly surprised with how confidently my bike handled overall. I think there were only two spots in the last half of the 50-mile course where I did appreciable braking on the descent. FWIW, I rode a Giant Revolt running 40mm Schwalbe Smart Sams. I was very glad I had changed out my fat semi-slicks for the Smart Sams.

I learned a lot, as this was my first organized gravel ride. I could have ridden (and felt) much, much better if I had carried 2 to 3 times as much food as I did. The hike-a-bike + hills wore me out much more than I'd expected (and I was planning on food at the rest stop!), so I was bonking by mile 35. A very nice rider from Dallas gave me a gel that got me through the rest, but I was worn out by the end.

Overall, it was a challenging but fun day. Planning to try again next year!
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Old 03-14-16, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by wheelsmcgee View Post
I've never done the LR100, but saw the pics from last year (and again this year) and my thoughts are "no thanks!". I'm doing the DK100 this year and am hoping for minimal mud...if it happens to be a mess I'm sure I'll still give it a try, but reassess for next year.

The problem as I see it is this: Conditions like you describe are difficult to train for, especially when part of an already significant endurance event. Also being a runner, it'd be like me training for what is labeled as a marathon, but a week before the race, someone flips a coin and if it comes up heads, there will also be a 2 mile swim in middle of the race.

I guess the argument for is that we should all HTFU and life is a journey full of mystery and all of that stuff....and something about building character.
To be fair the LR Team picked the date and the course a long time ago. Nobody can predict the weather which is part of the reason they call this Adventure Cycling. If the event would have been held one week earlier the roads would have been dry as a bone and fast, very fast.
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Old 03-14-16, 07:00 PM
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Originally Posted by GravelGuy View Post
I'm going to echo your last sentence and put if first because Bobby and the #unlearnpavement squad put on a great event. And the LR is a great event. Next year I hear there will be a new route, so maybe the staircase won't be used.

And yeah, there was hike a bike, but I walked a long way in muck at DK last year also.
I completely agree with you. The only thing I wish they would have done differently was to reroute the course around the staircase. I'm sure that for every person like me, there was somebody who thought the staircase was great.
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Old 03-21-16, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Planemaker View Post
2. Not sure if this is all of Oklahoma but, in and around Stillwater gravel does not exist. Almost the entire route was red clay.
Did you ride the entire course (Ah, I see not - you missed the fast stuff)? Plenty of chunky stuff to be had after the halfway point. The Southwest quadrant is light on gravel, true.

Road surfaces change a lot out here because of the oil industry. They can lay three inch deep gravel for a half mile and have that same section crushed to powder with smooth tracks in a week or two. That fast, for real.

Originally Posted by Planemaker View Post
3. I thought the course was a bit dangerous because the red clay was very slippery and soft in spots, I was sliding around a lot. I honestly don’t know why there weren’t more crashes with the way everybody was bombing down the hills on that slippery soft stuff.
Most of the hill-bombers broke their bikes early, is my guess.

Originally Posted by Planemaker View Post
I signed up for the 100 but only completed the 50 mile course because:
1. While I was physically prepared for the 100 mile ride, the “hike a bike” was something I was not mentally prepared for. In addition, that much walking is not good on my old knees.

2. I could never get comfortable generating any speed on the slippery and soft clay and I just didn’t want to crash and ruin the rest of my riding season.

I am going to sign up for the event next year (registration is in November) but, if the conditions are similar I will skip the event.


FYI - I think this a great event and the District Cycles in Stillwater does an excellant job organizing the ride, it was first class.
By all accounts it was very similar last year. The walking was tough, I won't argue that, but it shouldn't have been a total surprise. Unfortunately, I think you missed the good stuff - if you turned at the 25 mile mark you missed a lot of regular gravel to Perry (and a small bit more walking), and then everything after Perry was fast fast fast (and sunny). Really, the second half was a completely different ride.
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Old 03-30-16, 08:43 PM
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Anybody know how ridable the "road" to the staircase is in dry weather? Seems like there would have been walking there regardless...

Fun event though! My first organized gravel race. I'm hoping to be better trained for next year. The LR team does a great job of making it a positive atmosphere.
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