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Firehouse 50, Grandview, WI(7 posts)

Firehouse 50, Grandview, WIpedalAZ
Dec 4, 2003 6:55 PM
Is this a quintessential cycling experience, or just another ride? They get nearly 1,000 riders, all from WI, MN and ND. Maybe I score just for being from AZ!

Last weekend in July. Should I disrupt universal harmony and go, or pass on the invite? Lodging, chow and extracurriculars are on the house. If I don't go there, I'm doing solo rides on Vancouver Island and in those environs. Instincts say, stay in BC!!!

The top riders are good. The leaders finish with 26+ mph times.
It's an "open" race. in other words...."crash city"MR_GRUMPY
Dec 4, 2003 8:27 PM
Imaging a Cat 5 Criterium on crack. You've got ex-pros and guys who have a hard time going 16 mph starting at the same time. There is no friggin' way that I would be crazy enough to risk my season on something that insane. Expect the start to take off at 35 mph for the first few miles to shake off the "lice". The riders who have a hard time going 24 mph will loose control of their bodily functions and will start to act like rats on crack. They'll be all over the road, and will probally fall down right in front of you.
If you enter a real cat 5 race, your odds of not crashing will be 10 times better.
Great description!.... leaves little to the imagination (nm)B2
Dec 4, 2003 9:08 PM
Have you done the race?Mel Erickson
Dec 4, 2003 9:32 PM
I've done it five times. My best was finishing in the third pack with a 23+mph average. Not great but not dog meat either. There are some crashes, mostly in the leader group at the finish where there's a 90 degree turn to the finish line. In the upper third everyone pretty much knows what they're doing. Below that it's really just a ride anyway. This years National Masters Champ, Gordy Paulson from Rhinelander, WI, is usually there. You can enter the time trial and do the 50 solo if you don't like the crowds. Northern Wisconsin in August (it's usually the first weekend in August) is a treat. Weather is beautiful. I've always camped at Two Lakes campground in the Chequemagon National Forest. It's right on the race route. Fishing is great. Some of the best mountain biking in the upper midwest can be had on the CAMBA trails right in the area. To each his own but I've always enjoyed this citizen race. Just get in the front and you'll be ok.
Have you done the race?filtersweep
Dec 6, 2003 7:03 AM
Weather is beautiful?? I heard it always rains, and it rained a bit this year...

I rode it this year and it really was crash city. My buddy had a preferred start, so he started maybe a mile ahead of me (he has placed every year for the past several years). We ride at the same level, but the pack you end up with will determine your pace... and I ended up in the third pack. Once the pack forms, there is no escaping it.

I witnessed the most gruesome accident about 15 miles into the race- then later a few miles from the finish about 30 people went down like bowling pins.... nobody was hurt in that crash, but it split the pack in two- those ahead of the crash vs those behind it.

I'm not saying it is a dangerous race, but I can almost guarantee you will witness a crash- but that can be said of almost any crit.

The "problem" is that the packs end up being so huge- like 40-80 riders. On the flip side, it is almost effortless to cruise along 25-30 mph.

It is true that for many people, it is like an organized ride. A couple that was staying in the B&B we were staying at commented before of the race how they dreaded that the first 10 miles were all up hill. As far as hills go, I barely noticed it.
Yeah, the dreaded "hill at the start"Mel Erickson
Dec 6, 2003 3:30 PM
Can't say as I've ever noticed it either. In the five times I've ridden the race I've never witnessed a crash. I've seen a few riders down, mostly flats, and heard of many crashes, but never seen one in person. It's not exactly true that the pack you get in is the one you stay in. The rolling hills through the forest (north of the campground) splits up alot of packs. People lose touch in the windy curves and hills. Once I formed a new pack and caught up to the one ahead of us in those hills, just before turning on to 63. That was the year I finished in the third pack. 33-35mph down 63 in a group of 50 was efortless.
That's pretty funnypedalAZ
Dec 5, 2003 8:48 AM
My host actually suggested that we sign up for the 2 man team time trial, and I now understand why! I'm a newbie road rider, and have only averaged 20mph on my first few rides (some hills; nothing major). I suppose if I were drafting in a pace line my pace would be a bit faster, but no way am I going to be with the 26mph pack, or a 30+ mph starting surge.