Friday, September 08, 2006

The Woods...

.... what a great place to spend time riding as fall approaches.

Full results of the Gateway Cup have been posted here

All the detail you need about this weekends race taken from the STL Message Board

OK, the laps are 3.6 miles, fast miles. All computations arebased on fast, dry conditions. I figure 22 minutes per lap for leaders in the beginner class, maybe 21. That would be about 10 mph average, which is fast for beginners in a MTB race. There is enough doubletrack there to allow some very high speed sections, but they never last more than a couple of minutes before getting back into twisty singletrack.Expert leaders will turn sub-17 minute laps. If the trail is good and hard, leaders will do some 16 minute laps.So- 3 laps for Beginners would put them over an hour and under 1 hour and 15 minutes.4 laps for sport will put them between 1 hour and 4 minutes and 1 hour and a half.6 laps for Experts, still well under 2 hours.Award for the top finishing cross bikes in each category assuming there are several who show up. I did one lap with the cross bike Saturday and used the wrong rear tire (slick) and gears (36/23 was the smallest). So I had to dismount twice. It's definitely chellenging on a cross bike but FEELS incredibly fast. Probably because it's a little twisty and bouncy. Definitely do-able for cross bikers with MTB skilz.

The course is very mixed. We'll start on grass, hit a gravel trail, do 100 feet of pavement, back onto gravel for 50 yards, then dive into the twisty wooded hardpack. No rocks, very dense woods, fun twisty stuff, well groomed. I'm going to call the wooded singletrack, "Forest Park Parkway" just because it has "Forest" in the name. This part of the trail is about 1/4 to 1/2 mile, then we pop out onto a dirt road for 200 yards (I call it I-170), then charge up a hardpacked singletrack slope to the "on ramp" of the pea gravel doubletrack "ring road" (I-270). We take this for half a mile and exit on the left into more wooded twisty singletrack. Let's call that, "Big Bend". Then back to "270" for high speed fun, then exit again into a grassy twisty lake flat to ridge to lake flat course we might call, "Gravois". I am making this up cause I can. Now from "Gravois" we get into a Jeffco type of situation. Singletrack that bends and twists, pops out into the open briefly, then folds back onto itself, climbs and descends, then somehow gets back to the start area. I promise this is one of the most fun courses around, and about the only one that could be done on a cross bike w/o ever flatting. Low on danger, high on speed, different sections favor different skills. Roadies will do well on "I-170" and "I-270". Bike handlers will dominate on "Forest Park Parkway, "Gravois", and the "Jeffco circuit" (please come out and help with the naming!".

1 comment:

  1. Very Interesting - in my best german accent. Sounds like fun and a good course.