Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lost River Classic Recap

Thank you to all who contributed to making the 2009 Altarum Lost River Classic p/b GamJams such a success.

Results are posted here:

Pictures are posted here:

Mark your calendar for July 24, 2010 (to be confirmed Spring 2010)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Lost River Classic - New Address

The Lost River Classic now has a new website at www.ncvc.net/lostriver

The race flyer and permit are in the application and approval process.

For specific inquiries, please email lostriverclassic (at) gmail dot com

Monday, March 16, 2009

Dress Rehearsal

This weekend, several Bike Rack and NCVC riders had a bit of a scrimmage on the course and a few interesting things were revealed. There are impressions and opinions that I wasn't able to gather so if anyone who was out there wants to post comments, please do so.

First, the initial climb is difficult. It's really 4 parts - hard, hard, less hard, and hard. There is always going to be the rider who throws a really big effort in on the third part. This is going to cause a serious decision of whether to go with the move or hope that rider explodes.

During previous recons of the course, there was a body of thought developing that the run down Dispanet to 259 would be a place of significant regrouping. This may or may not be true, but it's certainly not unconditionally true as we'd assumed it would be. A small group that gets organized quickly over the top of the Dispanet climb will be a serious threat. Don't assume that they're gone, however. More on this in a bit.

The stretch on 259 is a straight and straightforward false flat which will give a marked advantage to any groups which are able to paceline efficiently. The sight lines are good here so chases will be motivated.

Once the turn onto Crab Run comes, there is a short rise that extracted a lot more payment than one would assume from a feature like this. The rest of Crab Run features some rollers which the fresh will be able to take at speed and perhaps sneak in some recovery on, while the weary will be challenged by this section.

The next section, over the bridge and onto Culler's Run, is more up than down. Again, the weary will be challenged while fresher groups will have a chance to get some gaps but also dig their own graves.

The section on Jenkins Hollow up to the Church continues this theme, but of course culminates in the climb to the Church. This is a serious leg sapper, short but hard. 12 or 15 second gaps could open up in no time here.

The section following the Church is fast, fast, fast. Lots of snaky turns that can be taken at full rail if you have the guts to do so. The lines are narrow enough that groups will have no advantage over individuals here. It's easy to think that an effective attack could start here.

The final section down Howard's Lick is a winding shallow downhill. Maintaining full blast speed is certainly within the realm here, but a determined chase group will also have some running room. The last lap will be somewhat different than previous laps, as the last lap won't turn back onto Dispanet. The turn onto Dispanet is a tough one, and the accordian effect will be brutal.

In all, to call it a challenging course would be an understatement. My experience was that plugging away at a hurtful but not catastrophic pace was surprisingly more valid as a strategy than it is in almost any other race. I dropped from the lead group approaching the top of the Dispanet climb, figuring that catching back to the group would be easy down the descent. It was disconcerting to watch the group go faster than I could solo, but I stayed on the gas. Eventually a small group formed and we pacelined up 259 with the lead group in sight. A solo rider will have a brutal time on 259. Turning onto Crab Run, I made a decision to waith for the rest of my chase group. In hindsight, I'd go this section alone were the same situation to appear again. People who enter this section in trouble aren't going to be much help as the section starts with some jagged little rolls. Nothing of consequence when you're fresh, but if you are set to blow, these are more than enough to push the detonator. Even though there may be stuff out of sight up the road the whole way to the Church, the rider who doggedly presses on can find some great surprises. My impression is that groups, especially in the non-elite categories, are going to have a tough time staying together through this whole piece. To my significant surprise, when the sight lines lengthened a bit I learned that I'd clawed back a niece piece of the gap ahead of me. Shouldn't have waited. There may be significant reshuffling in a lot of sections, and the semingly strong rider might get his ticket punched on any number of features.

Every gap will be dangerous but no lead will be safe. It will be easy to burn too many matches early and have those efforts turn around and bite you in the behind.

Significantly, while we rode the course at pretty much full fury on a wet day with the roads are their late winter worst, there was no road-induced drama. It will unquestionably be a course on which care must be taken - the reckless may soon be the wrecked - but with a modicum of skill and reason there is no undue inherent danger.

The tale of course will be told on race day, but as more groups take more studied loops of the course I expect that some interesting nuances will make themselves known.

The Cat 4 field already has a very heavy favorite. Sorry I missed your name but I suspect I'll know it soon enough anyway. Nice job.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Onward and Upward

Nothing of any temendous significance to report, everything is moving along according to plan.

Members of the host club will be out in Lost River over the next few weeks and will hopefully share some insight on the course.

Several local teams have indicated that Lost River will be a priority event for them so all the fields should be packed and feature lots of competition.

Two excellent sponsors have come on board which should help us make the race all it can be. GamJams has come on board as a presenting sponsor and will be helping us promote the race, and we are also very excited about a title sponsorship, the details of which will be released soon.

There is a somewhat clunky contact form on the right side of the site. Please feel free to get in touch with any questions, or post them as a comment.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Fresh Pics, But No Cows

This is part of the first climb. This is one of those climbs where you are pretty sure it's going to crest and you see what you think is going to be the top and then "AW *%&%" it's not the top.

This will be an awesome spot for spectating. For those of you who've been to the Barn, a lot of Jay's preferred loops wind up with you making a left and going over this bridge. The race will approach the bridge from below and make a right.

You'll be hurting here. Note title of picture.

There is some exciting news on the horizon about sponsors for the race and other developments. Stay tuned.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Full Speed Ahead

The good Commissioners of Hardy County offered their enthusiastic support for our bringing a race to their streets, so the game is officially on.

Everyone involved with municipal jurisdictions out there has been awesome, completely open and helpful.

I would ask that any race participants reciprocate the consideration that the Lost River community has shown to the bike racing community. These people are throwing their doors open for us, let's all be sure and keep that in mind.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lost River Classic Directions

To get to Lost River from the D.C. area and points east:Take I-66 to I-81 south. You'll only go a few miles on I-81.Take exit 296 to 55 west. Go over mountain and come to town of Wardensville. (OBEY SPEED LIMIT)Continue through Wardensville on 55. (On West side of town, 55 expands to a four-lane divided highway.)Proceed approximately 7 miles, exit at Baker, turn LEFT off exit ramp, follow signs to Baker and Lost River State Park.Go approximately 1 mile. LEFT at 259 south, (BP gas station at corner). There's a sign for Lost River State Park.Go about 10 miles on 259. Come to town of Mathias. There is a PURE gas station and a fire house.Turn RIGHT on to Howards Lick Road. You will see more signs to Lost River State Park. Mathias Community Center will be on your left shortly after you turn onto Howards Lick Road.