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Test of Metal - late start and avoid all the schmucks?

June 7, 2016, 10:56 a.m.
Posts: 136
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

I don't get this. My understanding is the test of metal is a gravel road and questionable single track race for roadies. If powerhouse plunge is a sampling of the "downhills", well meh. So, one should expect it is going to be a pedal fest and that you will be bottlenecked on any descents by people who are potentially walking their bikes downhill.

Granted, there are always people who excel at the entire race but unless you can get behind those people and stay with them, you likely won't have a clear shot on any of the descents.

My 2cents (coming from someone who has never actually done the race but only heard countless horror stories from dh friends.)

accurate description….frankly, the answer is always get faster at the climbing, it really does work! that, and do the test once and never again because of situation described above. Never really thought that race deserved the praise, pretty average overall imo, but the roadies love it……. :devil:

June 7, 2016, 10:58 a.m.
Posts: 4943
Joined: Nov. 25, 2002

I don't get this. My understanding is the test of metal is a gravel road and questionable single track race for roadies. If powerhouse plunge is a sampling of the "downhills", well meh. So, one should expect it is going to be a pedal fest and that you will be bottlenecked on any descents by people who are potentially walking their bikes downhill.

Granted, there are always people who excel at the entire race but unless you can get behind those people and stay with them, you likely won't have a clear shot on any of the descents.

My 2cents (coming from someone who has never actually done the race but only heard countless horror stories from dh friends.)

i did it once when i was still dabbling in xc, and had reasonable climbing fitness. the early singletrack was still a shitshow despite a not terrible start. things did finally get spread out by the plunge, but still the fun bits didn't make up for the long climby bits and traffic jambs. i'd save the cash and just do a squamish epic. so many more great trails to ride than subjecting yourself to that cattle drive.

June 7, 2016, 12:30 p.m.
Posts: 158
Joined: April 26, 2004

Over the years suspension bikes are more common/sorted, average skills have improved, and so much of the trail has been turned into modern flow or poodle path (and not left natural) that the bottle necks are not as bad as when little roots stopped some of the roadies in the first 50 overall up Jack's.
Robs and Cliffs Corners are now so much smoother, wider and bermed that even average riders are riding pretty fast, so even the faster downhillers are only being held up ~30 seconds, and if you are not a good pedaller I doubt you could sprint fast enough and long enough to pass anyone
No more straight line through roots, drops and chunder on Roller Coaster, so same as issues as Robs and Cliffs
and everything after is wide and smooth enough to the last part of the Plunge that you can pass almost everywhere, but you better still have a triple chain ring unless you can climb lava flow with a 38 tooth ring
Crampit Woods is so up and down that if you are not a good climber you will not have any momentum into the downs and will be relatively slow that even if a slow downhiller/faster climber lets you by, you will have trouble making the pass stick and will be wrecking the flow of the polite guy that let you by

why not just try to pace out your energy and improve your time to 4:15 or faster?

June 7, 2016, 2:09 p.m.
Posts: 222
Joined: Aug. 7, 2008

Maybe ask Julie Miller - I am sure she has a few tricks to avoid the bottlenecks.

June 7, 2016, 2:16 p.m.
Posts: 1781
Joined: Feb. 26, 2015

Just looking to have a little more of a fun day than stare at the guy in front of me.

So anyone think this might work?

That's racing…..

People always ask me what's the phenomenon
Yo what's up? Yo what's goin' on- Adam Yauch

June 7, 2016, 4:14 p.m.
Posts: 7566
Joined: March 7, 2004

I don't get this. My understanding is the test of metal is a gravel road and questionable single track race for roadies. If powerhouse plunge is a sampling of the "downhills", well meh. So, one should expect it is going to be a pedal fest and that you will be bottlenecked on any descents by people who are potentially walking their bikes downhill.

Granted, there are always people who excel at the entire race but unless you can get behind those people and stay with them, you likely won't have a clear shot on any of the descents.

My 2cents (coming from someone who has never actually done the race but only heard countless horror stories from dh friends.)

Nevermind the fact there's like 800 people in the race. Gearjammer or JABR have much better trails and less entrants. I just don't see the point of entering an xc race to not do an xc race.

June 7, 2016, 4:26 p.m.
Posts: 663
Joined: March 9, 2005

Don't understand Mountain Bike racing one of the biggest draws of riding is getting away from people.

The raw, primitive, unrefined trails that see little to no maintenance are the kinds of trails that really build skill. What kind of skills do you learn riding a trail that was made by a machine, groomed to perfection and void of any rocks, roots or other obstacles that could send you careening over the handlebars?

June 7, 2016, 6:23 p.m.
Posts: 95
Joined: Aug. 7, 2009

Don't understand Mountain Bike racing one of the biggest draws of riding is getting away from people.

Word.

June 7, 2016, 8:23 p.m.
Posts: 10010
Joined: March 11, 2003

cross bik?

Is there a Vancouver in Taiwan?! I had no idea!!

Nothing sums up my life's achievements like my stuffed corpse, suplexing a cougar.

June 8, 2016, 7:13 a.m.
Posts: 5635
Joined: Oct. 28, 2008

I'm planning on riding the race from the finish to the start. Head on collision warning!

Wrong. Always.

June 8, 2016, 1:01 p.m.
Posts: 1150
Joined: Oct. 31, 2006

I've done it twice. Last time maybe 5 years ago just to reinforce why, when i did it maybe 12 years ago, I said never again.

Boring and annoying. Too many good trails to spend money to ride this race.

Despite a pretty quick start (absolutely exploded myself on the road to try to be in the front 50, knowing Jack's is like free recovery time), I was still holed up in a line on Jack's (ergo, recovery time).

The best part was on the Plunge, about 3rd or 4th switchback. Lycra-clad rider with glasses in helmet vents goes down on the corner and yells at me as I come up hot behind me "STOP! Stop! It's carbon!".

Awesome race. You should definitely do it.

June 8, 2016, 1:14 p.m.
Posts: 3518
Joined: May 27, 2008

Maybe ask Julie Miller - I am sure she has a few tricks to avoid the bottlenecks.

:lol: Forgot who she was at first.

Being cheap is OK. Being a clueless sanctimonious condescending douchebag is just Vlad's MO.

June 9, 2016, 1:44 p.m.
Posts: 1675
Joined: July 11, 2014

The best part was on the Plunge, about 3rd or 4th switchback. Lycra-clad rider with glasses in helmet vents goes down on the corner and yells at me as I come up hot behind me "STOP! Stop! It's carbon!".

Hahaha I would trade a few beers for a YouTube video clip of this happening. Hilarious.

June 9, 2016, 2:24 p.m.
Posts: 2009
Joined: July 19, 2003

this thread like

Just a speculative fiction. No cause for alarm.

June 9, 2016, 4:03 p.m.
Posts: 568
Joined: April 7, 2003

Maybe ask Julie Miller - I am sure she has a few tricks to avoid the bottlenecks.

Nice! But I knew a guy who "won" the citizen category because he got confused at the powerhouse feedzone. He was slow enough on his first pass through, that the pro men were coming through for their second feed (to be fair he did have a flat earlier). He just followed them up into Crumpit and totally skipped 9 Mile.

If you don't want to get "stuck" behind the slow people downhill, all you have to do is be in the top 100 at the top of Ring Creek Rip. Most racers at this end are pretty decent descenders or they are aware enough to let you through if you ask. Of course, your mileage may vary.

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