A couple of weeks in the life of a very amateur racer

Chriso_29er

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Hey all, so I've signed myself up for my first race since last year. Being the very new racer friendly Fox Superflow series, I thought I'd jot down my prep and race day for anyone thinking of giving this style of racing a go.

What is it?
The superflow races are a light enduro of sorts. 3 timed gravity descents, can be ridden in any order and you can have up to 5 goes of each stage to put down your best time.
Generally run on less demanding trails without any nasty features, so are friendly for most skill levels. Can also involve a bit of peddling on some stages. Stages are each between 2-4min to complete.

The race I'll be doing is the Silvan Superflow to be held on Sunday 12th November. So I only have a couple of weeks to get serious lol

If there are any other burners riding this event, please reach out would love to say g'day on the day.
 

Chriso_29er

Likes Bikes and Dirt
So to get this started, let's rewind a couple weeks. I'd got myself to a nice base level of fitness where I was comfortably doing up to 3.5 hours riding taking in around 1000m of vert. Last two rides were 3 and a half hours around silvan and then a similar ride around Red hill the week after helping mates train for the Enduro there. Then promptly did no riding for the next 2 weeks lol.

So it was back into it this week Starting Sunday with a rude introduction back to training with a 2hr virtual ride due to very crappy weather! I forgot how much trainers hurt lol.

Day rest on Monday, with just a couple of sets of Pushups and situps, before again jumping on the trainer for 1.5hr after work on Tuesday night. Was happy I was already feeling better in the legs for that one.

Another day's rest from the bike Wednesday, with more Push-ups and Situps. And back on the trainer tonight for a 2.5 hour session. Attempting to keep power over 200w for the climbing part of the ride.
Happy to already have a Jump of 10w since Sundays ride to average 209w for the climb.

Might do a little cruzy ride tomorrow, before getting back out for a real MTB ride on Sunday for upper body bike conditioning.
Will update here from now till race day with as much detail as anyone would like.

Cheers Chriso
 
Last edited:

yuley95

soft-arse Yuley is on the lifts again
So to get this started, let's rewind a couple weeks. I'd got myself to a nice base level of fitness where I was comfortably doing up to 3.5 hours riding taking in around 1000m of vert. Last two rides were 3 and a half hours around silvan and then a similar ride around Red hill the week after helping mates train for the Enduro there. Then promptly did no riding for the next 2 weeks lol.

So it was back into it this week Starting Sunday with a rude introduction back to training with a 2hr virtual ride due to very crappy weather! I forgot how much trainers hurt lol.

Day rest on Monday, with just a couple of reps of Pushups and situps, before again jumping on the trainer for 1.5hr after work on Tuesday night. Was happy I was already feeling better in the legs for that one.

Another day's rest from the bike Wednesday, with more Push-ups and Sittups. And back on the trainer tonight for a 2.5 hour session. Attempting to keep power over 200w for the climbing part of the ride.
Happy to already have a Jump of 10w since Sundays ride to average 209w for the climb.

Might do a little cruzy ride tomorrow, before getting back out for a real MTB ride on Sunday to for upper body.
Will update here from now till race day with as much detail as anyone would like.

Cheers Chriso
Wow - you're taking it pretty serious. Will be great to hear how you go.

I did that event a couple of years ago in torrential rain and had a great time. The 'race' was pretty compromised by the amount of rain. Basically you had to get out early and set a good time on your first run as conditions deteriorated from there. Did the event with a mate and had a ball though and that's the main thing for me.

Good luck with the race!
 

caad9

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Without sounding like a complete prick, you’re not going to do much for your fitness in two weeks just focus on being on the bike but use the two remaining weekends for skills and getting used to race pace.
I know you are very familiar/local with Silvan and my advice would be to practise the particular stages as much as you can - it’s open and available so you may as well. You also have access to the times from years gone by so you can use this weekend and next to compare to those around you (just not via Strava times as Silvan is famously dodgy)

All 3 tracks used in the race are very different to the usual jump/flow trails people regularly ride in Silvan flatter corners, flatter terrain and lots and lots of acceleration out of corners.

Temple of Zoom - a lot more pedalling than you likely remember when going full gas, try and keep a little in reserve for the last half/third. Carrying speed through the uphill and flat sections is key here.

Melba/Twisted Sister/Bakers - Flat out on the fire road to start, make sure you nail the braking off the fire road into the single track as it’s abrupt and slowish. As it’s old school and a climbing trail at the top, cornering speed and momentum is key. It’s pretty awkward in reverse and a constant fight to manage speed with tightening apex corners.

DH - has had a recent revamp, it’s going to be all about horsepower here as there’s barely any corners to worry about now. I’d do this early as I’m not sure the berms will hold up to a race just yet, they are very fresh. You won’t make significant time here as it’s now so open and fast for everyone.

Most people won’t do 5 runs of each track, it’s way too much climbing for them - particularly with all out efforts on the flatter race trails.
Do a decent warm up first so your first and second runs are good, I’d suggest Delta to get into the groove with minimal consequence/fatigue from riding over there. You’ll struggle to make up time on your 3rd/4th/5th runs of trails if you get to there.

I’d target Temple for the best chance to make up time on competitors, as it’s the longest one and quite a hard pedal. Being prepared and familiar at race pace is going to help most on this trail.

Finally, My strategy a few years back (the insanely wet one) was to ride two runs of each trail while fresh and then assess where I could make up time and go again. It worked well for me on the day but I was defeated by the conditions in the end as the guy who won my category rode the day before with no mud.
 

Chriso_29er

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Wow - you're taking it pretty serious. Will be great to hear how you go.

I did that event a couple of years ago in torrential rain and had a great time. The 'race' was pretty compromised by the amount of rain. Basically you had to get out early and set a good time on your first run as conditions deteriorated from there. Did the event with a mate and had a ball though and that's the main thing for me.

Good luck with the race!
Cheers mate, will do what I can but not expecting any miracles lol.
 

Chriso_29er

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Without sounding like a complete prick, you’re not going to do much for your fitness in two weeks just focus on being on the bike but use the two remaining weekends for skills and getting used to race pace.
I know you are very familiar/local with Silvan and my advice would be to practise the particular stages as much as you can - it’s open and available so you may as well. You also have access to the times from years gone by so you can use this weekend and next to compare to those around you (just not via Strava times as Silvan is famously dodgy)

All 3 tracks used in the race are very different to the usual jump/flow trails people regularly ride in Silvan flatter corners, flatter terrain and lots and lots of acceleration out of corners.

Temple of Zoom - a lot more pedalling than you likely remember when going full gas, try and keep a little in reserve for the last half/third. Carrying speed through the uphill and flat sections is key here.

Melba/Twisted Sister/Bakers - Flat out on the fire road to start, make sure you nail the braking off the fire road into the single track as it’s abrupt and slowish. As it’s old school and a climbing trail at the top, cornering speed and momentum is key. It’s pretty awkward in reverse and a constant fight to manage speed with tightening apex corners.

DH - has had a recent revamp, it’s going to be all about horsepower here as there’s barely any corners to worry about now. I’d do this early as I’m not sure the berms will hold up to a race just yet, they are very fresh. You won’t make significant time here as it’s now so open and fast for everyone.

Most people won’t do 5 runs of each track, it’s way too much climbing for them - particularly with all out efforts on the flatter race trails.
Do a decent warm up first so your first and second runs are good, I’d suggest Delta to get into the groove with minimal consequence/fatigue from riding over there. You’ll struggle to make up time on your 3rd/4th/5th runs of trails if you get to there.

I’d target Temple for the best chance to make up time on competitors, as it’s the longest one and quite a hard pedal. Being prepared and familiar at race pace is going to help most on this trail.

Finally, My strategy a few years back (the insanely wet one) was to ride two runs of each trail while fresh and then assess where I could make up time and go again. It worked well for me on the day but I was defeated by the conditions in the end as the guy who won my category rode the day before with no mud.
Hey mate you're spot on, certainly not expecting to morph into Jack Moir lol.
I think power will stay similar, but might improve my endurance so I can be a little stronger on multiple runs. I was in a pretty got spot a couple of months ago, so will be happy with a little boost back to there in time for the race.

Great advice regarding the individual trails, I agree putting in the effort for the pinch climbing and out of corners will make a huge difference.
I was thinking to focus on the longest trail first, but you make a great point regarding the new berms on DH trail.
 

caad9

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Great advice regarding the individual trails, I agree putting in the effort for the pinch climbing and out of corners will make a huge difference.
I was thinking to focus on the longest trail first, but you make a great point regarding the new berms on DH trail.
I would have said the same regarding the longer one first, however I rode through on Wednesday after the rain earlier in the week and the berms were bone dry. They will be annihilated after 50-100 runs
 

Chriso_29er

Likes Bikes and Dirt
I would have said the same regarding the longer one first, however I rode through on Wednesday after the rain earlier in the week and the berms were bone dry. They will be annihilated after 50-100 runs
To make it even worse, I'm racing the Sunday after the trail has seen all of Saturdays race traffic!
 

Chriso_29er

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Well was a bit slack yesterday, never got to a little ride just to spin the legs over.

So this morning got out to the local bigger mountain to give the arms and legs a good workout.
35 minute, 320m elevation fire road climb followed by a 10 minute hang on for dear life descent. First run I had the brake lever reach a little long and ended up with even worse arm pump than usual lol. Next two felt much better.

Three runs of that loop got me my over 1000m elevation target for the day. And a solid 2:15hrs in the bank. Was feeling great so far.
Screenshot_20231029_132712_Strava.jpg


It was then onto shuttles to continue more descending.
This is where it didn't go quite to plan.
2nd run in, and my rear shock sucked itself down half travel. And then finally no travel after a fast rough section near the end of the trail!

Released all air and then pumped up again, it seems to have come good again, but called it a day to investigate further.

So if anyone knows what might cause a Fox X2 to do that, please let me know.
Not great timing to have shock dramas :(
 

kten

understands stuff moorey doesn't
Well was a bit slack yesterday, never got to a little ride just to spin the legs over.

So this morning got out to the local bigger mountain to give the arms and legs a good workout.
35 minute, 320m elevation fire road climb followed by a 10 minute hang on for dear life descent. First run I had the brake lever reach a little long and ended up with even worse arm pump than usual lol. Next two felt much better.

Three runs of that loop got me my over 1000m elevation target for the day. And a solid 2:15hrs in the bank. Was feeling great so far.
View attachment 403906

It was then onto shuttles to continue more descending.
This is where it didn't go quite to plan.
2nd run in, and my rear shock sucked itself down half travel. And then finally no travel after a fast rough section near the end of the trail!

Released all air and then pumped up again, it seems to have come good again, but called it a day to investigate further.

So if anyone knows what might cause a Fox X2 to do that, please let me know.
Not great timing to have shock dramas :(
Get it serviced (or replaced) asap
 

Chriso_29er

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Back on the trainer last night for a 2hr session. Rode the same 1000m climb so could see/feel how things are progressing, if at all lol.
Actually managed my 2nd best time up there ,with a nice little 14w increase in my average power. So I now feel like I'm back to the fittest I've been this year.
Just need to keep the momentum going.

In other news, I have a new shock on the way. But also getting my trailbike ready just in case!
 

Chriso_29er

Likes Bikes and Dirt
OK we're back on track.
Nice quick turnaround from Fox Australia, couple of days and a new X2 has arrived. Fitted it up tonight.
Now to get it dialed in a little, before pre-running all the race stages on Tuesdays public holiday.
Screenshot_20231103_222447_Gallery.jpg


Also dropped the chain a couple of times on recent rides and wasn't 100% getting along with the oval chain-ring. So have also fitted up a fresh drivetrain with standard round chain-ring again.
Screenshot_20231103_222554_Gallery.jpg
 

Chriso_29er

Likes Bikes and Dirt
Magnificent weather this morning, to get out and check all the trails we'll be racing next weekend and check that I've dialed in the new shock.

Screenshot_20231107_153126_Gallery.jpg


First trail was 'Temple of Zoom which will be the longest and most taxing. A nice mix of flat out peddling, tight turns and fast rough steeper sections towards the bottom.
I had a clean run and felt really good. But had a huge gps fail, so no way to see how it really was unfortunately.

Next was a stage that takes in a fast fire road blast before a tricky of camber drop into two separate trails that would usually be climbing trails. Fast and loose with lots of unsupported turns. Rear end of the bike felt amazing, so will keep shock settings as are for the moment.
As this is not a usual trail I ride and was super fun, we went back up for another ran at it.

Lastly onto the final race stage which is mostly one of the regular descents I'm very familiar with, aptly named 'downhill track'. But maybe that was my undoing lol.
100m into the trail I clipped a log hiding off the side of the trail with my pedal, throwing me over the bars.
Nothing serious it seems, just a corked calf, squashed big toe and a scratched up arm.
Got to the bottom ok. Then went back up to redeem myself lol.
2nd run was pretty clean and dialed in another tricky entrance to the trail.
IMG-20231107-WA0000.jpg


All trails were very dry and loose, but we are expecting a little rain twice this week. So that might help to settle things down a little.

All in all, happy with the way the bike is feeling, will stay with my lighter DHF tyres front and rear after thinking I might chuck a Assegai on the front.
Fitness feeling pretty good so far, even after a blast down the longer stage. So will just maintain that with a ride or two this week along with some light gym work for the upper body.
 
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