I really want to try this this year. I've never raced before though. Should some smaller races somewhere before doing this one? Any suggestions?
Nah, you don't need any racing experience to do the SMC, or any endurance race really. The only time you'll be in traffic is the very first few miles of singletrack, and most people are very good about passing when appropriate and not being a jerk about it. There's a good chance you'll ride most of the day alone.
Well, not ALONE, but probably not with anyone.
Most endurance races I've done I don't ride with anyone for any length of time. I'll pass people, get passed, and leap frog back and forth with people, but usually don't just hang together. Last year the SMC was the only race I've done where I rode with people for a ways. Bill V. got on my wheel on Horn Creek, and we stuck together all the way to Wine. He stopped at the SAG, I kept rolling. A few miles later I met up with MD and we rode the rest of Wine, all of Turkey (where Bill V caught and passed us), the connector over to Modoc, and a little of Modoc together. Then he wasn't behind me anymore. I rode solo from there all the way back to the finish. Didn't even get close to anyone. At one point I saw a group of riders a few hills away, but I never caught them. Would have been nice to have a wheel to hide behind on the long rode to the finish...I was hurting by then!
Bill V finished just a few minutes ahead of me, MD a few behind. We were all close, just far enough apart to be out of sight I guess.
Last Edit: May 25, 2010 9:05:47 GMT -5 by dgaddis1
I'd make sure you are ok with 6-7 hours on the bike.
I'd be sure to do at least one 5 hour ride before the SMC. I'd be sure to have ridden at least 40-45 miles in a day. Doesn't have to be 40 miles of singletrack, but a mix of single and pavel.
If one regularily rides a loop or two at FATS and shows up at the SMC, it is going to be painful and probably a DNF. But with a little prep and a strong will, it is doable for about anyone with some fitness.