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1

(1 replies, posted in Training)

Interesting.... your HR response though is going to be dependent on the intensity at which you are riding. The highest continuous intensity I ride at on the road would be a time trial; I tend to average in the region of 165-168bpm riding at more or less absolute threshold. Riding MTB, I would say the equivalent intensity/duration to a 25 mile TT would be a 3-4 lap XC race (at and above threshold). I'll typically average around 174bpm, so approx. 10bpm ABOVE riding road....(as you predicted your expected response).
Maybe you need to push yourself harder on the dirt wink

2

(4 replies, posted in Other Stuff)

Is XC racing continuing to become a MTB niche? A number of opinions have been blogged on UKXCNews, some suggesting the situation isn’t as bad as it looks, but just in the last 4 years entries for the Gorrick Autumn Classic ‘Open’ category (raced at the weekend, great course even on a 26” hardtail, big thumbs up again to Gorrick) have dropped from 65 (2014) to just 12!! For a second year the National Series will only deviate from the eastern side of the country for a dip into Wales.
Most posts on the XC Racer forum are ‘for sale’ items.
I would post my thoughts on why this is, but it doesn’t look like too many people visit the site anymore….

3

(7 replies, posted in National XC Series)

From experience the ability categories system appears the best option.
The 'early days' format of adding a lap dependent on ability categorization still seem like a foolproof way of splitting the races, the competitiveness of which are still principally determined by fitness.
Age categories (above Junior) are irrelevant to some extent; for example, unless I enter 'open' I would be competing against riders who have not stopped racing since I pressed pause in 2000, and would also be having to ride 1-2 laps more than my legs want to.
Many organisers seem to have been seduced by the idea of basing race lengths on lap times of the top riders in the category, which has resulted (due to the problem highlighted in previous posts of riders not entering the category suited to them, aka 'pot hunters') in races being a lap too long for the average rider in that category. The solution has been to see lapped riders, or those not completing a certain number of laps within a time limit, pulled from the race. That surely discourages a lot of people from racing again?
So yes, ability-based categories and system of automatic promotion to ensure these races are competitive and the top 2 or 3 riders aren't separated from the rest by big time gaps.
The next problem is how to encourage people back into XC....

Well no one's jumped in to counter this, so it must be true!!

Dropping this one in to see what people think wink

6

(2 replies, posted in Southern XC Series)

I’m not sure how active this forum is nowadays, as it seems our minority sport (XC racing, not MTBing as a whole) doesn’t attract too many followers, so will anyone read this?
Anyway, I’m going to air my opinion and voice disappointment in the new race day schedule for the Southern XC series; I enjoy the competitive challenge of riding ‘against’ other racers of a similar fitness to myself, but as I also enjoy other individual and team sports, there is no time to train as I once did when the entire Spring, Summer and Autumn was about MTB racing (ah for those extended uni holidays!). This means that the Open category is just about perfect for me. In my experience (20 years, NPS, SAMS, NEMBA….) the age group and the more competitive categories will travel any distance to a race and start at any given time because racing is ‘the thing they do’. They are committed to their racing and it’s a priority for them.
The social/occasional racer will only travel if it’s convenient. Living in Somerset, the Midlands Series (believe it or not!) has now become more convenient since the Southern start time for Open & Sport has been changed to 0945. The closest rounds to me are Crow Hill and Matterley, and even then I’m not going to get up at 0600 to travel 2 hours and arrive at the venue with just enough time to sign on and put the bike together; and I’m certainly not going to add to the expense by paying for overnight accommodation, meals etc. The early starts are the territory of all those younger riders I see nowadays at venues with full family tech team and support vehicle (i.e. mobile home). It is their raison d’etre. Unfortunately this is just another change that is likely to put off those riders who just enjoy the odd race now and again.

7

(2 replies, posted in Events)

....did Round 3 even go ahead...??

8

(4 replies, posted in Events)

Sorry, not a reply to the original message, but is someone going to remove the dodgy post (and possibly ban the user 'rogerfed') from this....? Clearly nothing to do with bikes whatsoever!

9

(2 replies, posted in Events)

Does anyone have anything to say about this years SW Series? There doesn't seem to be an up to date website and I can't find any race reports or articles. I'm hoping that it has been a success so far this year, especially with the final round coming back up towards the South Wests' eastern frontier!

10

(1 replies, posted in Midlands XC)

Thanks to the Midland XC crew - a proper MTB course; tough, fun, good mix of fast, technical, open and downright near impossible to ride sections. No messing around with 'A' and 'B' lines, just get on and ride it.... Well worth the trip up from Somerset. Other organisers take note!!

11

(0 replies, posted in Bikes and equipment)

X-Lite Pro carbon bar-ends. If anyone has a pair they would consider parting with, please let me know!

Hi Mark - a bit of a late response as Crow Hill is this weekend, but having read your 'career' profile I consider myself in a good position to offer a last minute contribution. I've just come back from racing 'Open' at the NPS at Newnham Park; 20 years since I last raced there in the Grundig World Cup support race. Having had a few results in top 20 or thereabouts racing 'Sport', I moved up to 'Expert' and hung on near the back. Sounding familiar? I then stepped away from the sport for about 10 years, and have been trying for the last few years to put together some sort of race season, but as a rugby player find that spreading my commitments doesn't help on the bike. Racers now are so focused, have training tools and information not available to the average rider in 'our' day (I was often the only person warming up on a turbo at many events, and HR training was still not well understood by the average rider - which was great for me!). I have found even the leaders in the 'Open' category are frighteningly quick, such is their approach to racing which inevitably involves a structured training program and possibly even a performance coach.
Nonetheless, it's still great fun and worth taking part, especially with courses as good as Newnham, Margam and the Midlands XC and Gorrick events.
Hope you have decided to give it another go. Good luck!

13

(3 replies, posted in Midlands XC)

Thanks folks!
Don't fancy camping off venue, it's not quite the same sad

Can anyone tell me if there is camping at the venue? The Midlands XC website still states camping TBC and it's getting close!!

15

(15 replies, posted in Events)

As an aside, you'd have loved the 1998 Cheddar Challenge then...150 riders completed one or more laps of the Sport race, but I think there were close to 200 on the start line! No chance of finding yourself without someone to compete with for every line and on every climb! Incidentally (and coming back on topic) the race was won in 1:24, 4 laps, 16 miles.

16

(8 replies, posted in Training)

Coming from a rugby background I would suggest that once your shoulder is stable and you have started strengthening the shoulder muscles (following exercises recommended by your physio?) start using a Smiths machine (supported bar) to develop your strength with sets of squats. Such a basic strength exercise, but too often overlooked by cyclists in favour of.....cycling....
Once you're feeling strong try fewer reps using heavier incrementally increasing weights (i.e. increase the weight for each session in the gym) and try using the olympic bar, as the unsupported weight will also contribute to improved stability of the ankles/knee/hips. By all means spend time spinning on the bike, but use this enforced time off the bike to rip up those quads!

17

(15 replies, posted in Events)

As this seems to be the most obvious SW Series post, I wish to 'throw out there' the topic of race distances/lap times. I e-mailed the organiser to query what I feel are some inconsistencies between BC recommended distances and the actual racing on the day at round 3, but received no response (I don't usually make public whinges...). I'd be interested to know how the Sport race was set at 6 laps; a staggering 18 miles racing, with even the winners taking around 1:40 to complete. Many were, or would have been out there for over 2 hours, which even in my day as a half decent racer would have been pushing it in the Expert category. Times and distances are well tried & tested from well over 20 years of this format of organised XC racing in the UK. Making races more gruelling than they need to be does not make our sport as inclusive or accesible as it needs to be to keep numbers coming to races. I welcome any (constructive) comment on this...

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