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Old 06-12-2015, 01:03 PM   #1
mulveyr
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Blackfly Challenge 2015

This will be my second year doing the course, and my 14-year-old son's first. Looks like it will probably be a bit wet, but we're really looking forward to the race tomorrow!
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Old 06-12-2015, 02:29 PM   #2
Bark Eater Too
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Have fun. Please wave to the Cedar River for me on your way through!
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Old 06-13-2015, 01:50 AM   #3
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Just looked it up. Sounds fun! Good luck!
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Old 06-13-2015, 05:05 PM   #4
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Gorgeous day for the ride! My son finished 20 minutes faster than me. I only called him a jerk a couple of times. :-) The MRP road was in amazingly good condition--props to the Inlet and Indian Lake road crews.

Huge amounts of fun--everything from mountain bikes to road bikes to at least one tandem. Everyone should ride it at least once. :-)
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Old 06-13-2015, 08:44 PM   #5
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Congrats to both of you!

Would a regular road bike handle this course or would it need to be more of a hybrid with fatter tires?
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Old 06-13-2015, 09:58 PM   #6
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Congrats to both of you!

Would a regular road bike handle this course or would it need to be more of a hybrid with fatter tires?
Thanks!

I actually use a road bike with 42mm treadless tires, which was fine for everything except the mile of muddy single-track at the end--I slipped around a lot. :-) Most people used mountain and cross bikes, but there were definitely quite a few hybrids as well. 90% of the course is gravel road, so really, you can use just about anything that you're comfortable riding. Fatter tires would be best, but I saw a couple of people with 25mm road tires--I imagine they were more than a little numb by the end, though. :-)
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Old 06-14-2015, 10:50 PM   #7
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Do you mean it was 90% paved? I took my fattest-tired road bike down a gravel road by my house (1 1/8" tires) and would rather not do that again, and it was only about 1 mile or so. Survivable yeah, but not raceable and the front tire was slipping and sliding all over the place. I could always swap tires around, especially after I get my third bike up and running (probably not for another year or so I'll have enough time to work on that bike).
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Old 06-15-2015, 07:25 AM   #8
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First 10-11 miles or so are paved. The rest is dirt. Quality of the grading on the dirt can vary tremendously year to year based upon the weather.
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Old 06-15-2015, 08:16 AM   #9
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Did the race for the first time this year. If I were to do it again, I would use a tricross bike or put thinner tires/slicks on my MTB.
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Old 06-15-2015, 10:34 AM   #10
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Did the race for the first time this year. If I were to do it again, I would use a tricross bike or put thinner tires/slicks on my MTB.

Yep, cross bikes are definitely the way to go if you want to be at all competitive. My guess is that probably a couple dozen people are there to win, while the majority are just having fun--in which case simply riding what you have is fine.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKf2mOOJRzM is a video I took of the first 90 minutes, running at 2X speed.
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Old 06-15-2015, 10:37 AM   #11
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First 10-11 miles or so are paved. The rest is dirt. Quality of the grading on the dirt can vary tremendously year to year based upon the weather.
They've apparently done a lot of work in the past year--even with all the rain in the MRP this past week, the road was extremely well drained with the exception of a small washout on the shoulder near Fawn Mountain, and one very small muddy area on the sandy part at the bottom. The MRP road itself was nice and solid.
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Old 09-10-2015, 12:23 PM   #12
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My cousin and i will be attempting this for the first time in 2016 on MTB's. Cant wait.
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Old 09-11-2015, 09:53 AM   #13
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My cousin and i will be attempting this for the first time in 2016 on MTB's. Cant wait.
You'll have fun! MTBs won't be competitive in the overall standings, but they're likely to be a lot more comfortable for some of the rougher bits. :-)

I've never done any other gravel/etc races, but have been very pleased with the ride both times I've done it; at least in the "riding for fun" crowd at the back of the pack, people have been very, very nice and clearly enjoying the ride.
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