Thursday, June 24, 2010

Manitoba Mountain Bike Cup #3: Pre-ride Report - Updated

Bike: Training bike – 34/20 with Maxis 310 at 40(r)/38(f). Rode every hill except one super steep grunt BUT we pre-rode after intervals.

Conditions: ~26C ish, with tacky soil, some rain/sunny and very humid.

Course Layout: Staging area – South Side – Bridge –Center Field – North side – Center Field – Staging area.

Course Character: A physically demanding course that will reward riders with superior fitness. Lots of Birch style technical. Good Flow with some rough newly cut sections that Dale was putting in overtime to clean up. Gear friendly, but an evil course for single speeds. Pray for rain or exceptionally hot humid weather ;)

Overall Impression: Great course if you can ride your bike, are super fit, have gears, and are tough as nails. If you sucka** bring you running shoes and HTFUP!

Lap Distance: ~6 km per loop

Lap Count: 5-4-3-2-1 Elite-Sport.

Lap Time: 1 hot lap by the Expert Leader clocked in at ~ 26 min. He projects an average of 28 min for 4 laps is “doable”. That put Elite at 1-hour 20-min plus. Ouch! Expect much longer times in wet weather.

'Birch' Course Elements: this will be confusing but I hope it helps.

South Side: Staging area – (heading South) Feed Zone (all the way up) – (by the chalet) Cattle Bridge (over and around then back under) – small connecting technical section - (down) Lindsey’s Drop off – (down towards the gravel road) Cross Cut – (immediately back up to the) Cross Cut to the 2nd half Double Camel (top section) – a series of south side grunts (steep, challenging and stacked one after the other) – (down) New decently cut decent to the ‘bonfire field’ (by Giles Secrete Trail) – (back up) ‘farmer climb’ to Paul Haul – (Down) west side of Paul’s haul (i.e., not the switchback but back into bonfire field) – over small bridge (end of South Side)

West Side Center Field: Over bridge – Gilbert’s Grunt (up) – (immediate hard right at the top of climb into) small connecter single track technical section (decent) – (across double track) – Off Camber Single Track Technical Section Without Name that transverses the middle field – (exit into filed) Cross Filed (up) – Pan Am Climb (all the way up) –

North Side: Various Trails in the North Side Single Track (no Kurt’s Cut) – (down) exit into field again heading south and backwards on ‘Warm up loop’

East Side Center: brand new off camber section (heading back North again) – (climbing) East Side center field is a very grunty technical section with some freshly cut elements – (down) Center Field Switchback (off camber) – Over main bridge (back to) – start/finish (flat)

Lost Yet? The course seemed well marked even without flagging and taping…i.e., if you know Birch. I imagine you will have to be blinded folded on race day to get lost. One section was full of stumps, sticks and twigs but Dale was cleaning it out. It will still be a bit of a rough race in the newer sections, and heads up riding will be required for the first lap. I think this is the hardest combination of climbing and Birch style technical in recent memory.

Forecast: Carman - 11:00 AM CDT Thursday 24 June 2010: Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers. Low 15. High 25.

12:00 PM CDT Friday 25 June 2010: Saturday Increasing cloudiness. A few showers beginning in the morning and ending late in the evening. Risk of a thunderstorm. High 21.

10:00 PM CDT Friday 25 June 2010: Saturday - Periods of rain with risk of a thunderstorm. Amount 25 mm. High 21.

Race Course Map? Contact the organizers.

Birch: Location


* remember that pre-registration closes on Friday NO EXCEPTIONS.
**You will not survive without bug juice!

Bottom Line

Bring it on!


  1. Wish I could be there.

  2. HTFUP? Sorry i'm out of the loop on that one...

  3. Harden The F**K Up

  4. Thanks for the great pre ride post.. Just wish I could make it to defend.. stupid back.

  5. So long race for elite as per usual? 2:20 would be my guess with no least not much faster.

    Have good time running. I would choose flat pedals and runners but instead I'll RIDE my bike with the little Hoot on tow.

  6. Sorry you back suck Greg... I've been there and know how frustrating it can be.

    I am sure you will have fun just as much or more fun with the little one Ollie. I will run a lap for you :)

    I think i will bring some water wings... 25 mm. Wow!