Any TrainerRoader's doing BWR San Diego this year?

My first gravel “race”; would love to know if any of y’all are going? What bike are you riding? What tyres will you run? Are you racing for time or fun? Waffle or Wafer? Done it before? How was it? Let’s Go!!!

Belgian Waffle Ride, California


I am signed up for this, but it’s on a Sunday, which is complete bullsh*t!!!

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After BWR AZ, I wanna do the wafer for real. Instead we are off to visit kiddo #2 in Reno on Saturday and then kiddo #1 coming home on Sunday :man_shrugging:

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I noticed that. It’s similar to a lot of marathons/Ironmans. I think it might be to do with using the Saturday for people to register and pick up packets. 2000 riders must take a bit of organising. Also maybe for vendors on the Saturday.

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‘Murica seems to be the only place where racing on Saturday is the norm. In Canuckistan, Sundays are for bike racing and the Church of Dirt.


XC in Oz was on Sundays. Pre-ride course on Saturdays.

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I’m riding the full waffle, 3rd year in a row. Topstone AL with 38mm pathfinders. They have been super reliable for me but traction could be a problem this year. Might switch to terra speeds but I need to pre ride some of the trails first. If you’re not a local we’ve had a lot of rain lately so the trails are going to be interesting. The trails near my place are chewed up with a lot more exposed/embedded rock than usual.

I’ve been sick off and on for 2mo now so I’m just trying to finish and pace myself.

Let me know if you have any questions, it’s going to be a 12hr ride for me so my perspective is limited.

Do you have a time you’re shooting for?

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Headed down from Canuckland for the second year now. Raced last year on 33mm Challenge Stradas, it wasn’t quite enough rubber for someone coming from 5 months of no outdoor riding! Would have been a lot more manageable mid-CX season, but far harder in April.

This year I’m taking 40mm Terraspeeds with a spare set of 35mm for extra clearance in case it is wet.

Last year I used my road bike (Ventum NS1), this year I’m sold it and am going with my CruX instead. Hoping for a better placing than last year (was 201st), so I’ll put some extra time towards recon. My base is better this year but top end lacks, though that’s less important for a 9 hour event. I’ll be down on Thursday, pre-ride the three days and then hammer Sunday!

Overall, the event was amazing. By far the best I’ve attended … will try to go every year! I considered BWR Canada, but it clashes with Badlands. I also worry about some disappointment - BWR:CA is next level, I’m not sure other ones can live up to the fame.

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I was worried the trails got chewed up after so much rain … hoping it is dry after next couple weeks! It’ll be interesting for sure, I would worry about Black Canyon being extra washed out this year :grimacing:

Also see this for my thread from last year: BWR California - Bike/Tire Choice

If you’re not used to dirt, or you haven’t ridden dirt since Oct/Nov, I’d recommend going up a size in tires. If you’re comfortable and have ridden dirt outside all winter, 32-33mm with a little tread was all that was needed last year. I was a bit under tired on my 33mm slicks, but that was mostly because I was still trying to remember how outdoor riding works!

I’m doing the wafer. First gravel race, borrowed a bike, have ridden gravel 7 times so far (yes I’m counting). I drove down and scouted some of the course last week. I was riding through long stretches of water up to a foot deep. There was some mud. Some sections seem to have washed out definitely not sandy. I tested on 32mm SK’s and it was fine but I was wrecked after. RPE was way higher for what the avg watts showed.

Decided to go with 40mm Terra Speeds because they doubled the gravel portion from 25% of the course to 50% (40 miles dirt 39 miles rd). I figured if I’m gonna get that banged up I might as well make it feel a little more comfortable.

Based on last years course I was aiming for sub 5 hours, but I was gonna use 32’s. Now with so much more gravel and 40’s I can’t imagine finishing in under 6. My longest event thus far was 4 hours so taking that to 6 means I won’t be hitting that first climb at threshold. I think I have to keep it as conservative as possible and hopefully save something for Double Peak.

I scouted some of the course last week, not sure if Black Canyon was part of it. Is it a strava segment? Scouted last week on 32’s but decided to go with 40’s to try and limit fatigue.

Would you mind sharing your Strava ride? I’m curious what’s washed out … that’s my biggest worry, completely changing conditions. At least this year I’ll be able to recon majority of dirt sections!

They haven’t released the route yet, it’ll be a while yet! Based on Coeur recon ride last week, it looks like course is identical until just before Raptor Ride/Bandy. Looks like the we do the road climb, dirt, Questhaven, Lemon and onto the new sector after we cross the water. Who knows what comes after! They claim a bunch of new unroad…

Day 1
Day 2

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The second one has the new short sector, that’s the one I’ve seen. Thanks!

I’ll be doing the wafer route this year. I also did the wafer back in 2015 and at that time all I had was a road bike, and in fact I have that same road bike. I used 28mm Gatorskins and they did pretty well from what I recall. Most of the off-road sectors that year were hard pack with some loose rocks and a bit of gravel, and there was sandy bandy which was the most difficult sector on my road bike.
This year I’m heavily leaning towards using my Diverge Sport on 40mm Nano’s because of the superior gearing, braking, and traction on the off road sectors. However, I know it will be a major disadvantage on all the road sections especially on the down hills. I just did a group ride this weekend and I had no chance keeping up with roadbikes on the descents…
I’ll be riding hard and for a fast time. My overall goal is top 10% which is lofty - other than that I’m really looking to improve my event normalized power so I’ll work on pacing, nutrition/hydrations, bike handling and on the road tactics. Most important is finishing in one piece so we’ll see how it goes.
If I had a choice in bikes I’d go with a newer road bike that fits a 35 mm tire, like one of those Ventums…that would be sick.

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How long do you think the event will take you?

Based on my rides this year and what the course might look like I’m shooting for sub 5:45. If no mechanicals I’d say 5:30.

Wow. I’ve only ridden gravel a handful of times so I don’t really have a reference but I assume it’s gonna take me 6-6:30.