Anyone else doing the Rattler this year (nov 5th)? It’s a local race for me and we have a big crew signed up.
I was able to get out to the ranch to pre-ride a lap today, they already have the course well marked. It’s a cool venue and a well run event (and a Leadville qualifier as well), so definitely worth a look if you are itching for a late season race.
I’m coming down from Utah for it. How was the course?
It’s a tough course. No extended climbing, but constant punchy climbs and no place you can get in a rhythm and pedal. It’s pretty loose (slow) and sandy right now, but hopefully we’ll see some rain leading into the race.
For those that have done it how is the feed zone if you are unsupported. My wife and I are both racing it and I’m struggle to plan my nutrition. My last long race I just carried baggies with mix to add water to and carried all my gels from the start
I’m doing the 20 mile. It’s pretty much local for me as well. My first ever mountain bike race.
I’m considering it. I have a hotel reserved in Lampasas just in case. I started it in 2020 but DNF due to a mechanical issue but cramps would have gotten me anyway if the mechanical didn’t. It was unusually warm for Nov that year and I did not hydrate well. Based on grwoolf’s message above sounds like the course is much like 2020 which was tough.
They used to have 2 feed zones on course, but I believe they switched it to a single feed at the start/finish area. So, you hit that feed zone at 20 and 40 miles as you complete each lap. It’s well staffed and stocked from what I saw. It’s a pretty easy race to self support if you want your own stuff, just leave a cooler near the start area. I swap a new hydration pack for each lap with the help of my wife, but it wouldn’t cost much time to mess with it myself.
There aren’t too many good spots to eat and drink on the course, so I really like running a pack rather than bottles.
I was surprised how much they changed the course since 2020. It’s over a half mile shorter per lap, but it’s still a bunch of punchy climbing and not many places to get rolling.
I’m in also, but I am only coming from Fort Worth. It’s been a minute since I have done a MTB marathon (pre-Covid); this will be my first Rattler, but I’ve done the Palo Duro MTB marathon and Epic OZ trails. Any general thoughts or recommendations? I am running Maxxis Ardent Race 2.4s with Pepi’s tire inserts. Any thoughts on tire selection? Thanks!
Ardent race isn’t my favorite tire, but it’s not a bad choice for rattler. A lot depends on how much rain we get in the next few weeks. When I was out there a couple weeks ago, it was really loose and sandy. The wetter, the better as far as speed and traction on this course (within reason). I ran a forekaster front and ardent race rear in 2020 and had a good result. The forekaster is probably more tire than some would want out there, but it gave me some confidence after washing out quite a bit during pre-rides with less aggressive options. I plan to ride the forekaster front with an ikon rear this year (both in 2.35). Honestly, I don’t think a fast rolling tire buys you much on this course.
I agree with that sentiment on tires, though I do think there are some advantages to a speedy tire there.
I ran Rekons f/r last year and they were great, but maybe a bit overkill. It’s typically very loose over hard. I’m thinking I’ll try Rekon Race f/r this year with inserts since they’ll be on the bike already from XCM Nationals
I pre-rode this past weekend. It’s still VERY loose out there with a bunch of loose sand build up in the dips and corners. It made it hard to carry speed into the uphills. Also, the elevation profile seems to be pretty far off what I saw. The course info says 1463 ft per lap. My GPS said 2264 ft.
If the course is the same as last year, I record 1700-1800 per lap
I got lost a few times so I’m sure I added some extra elevation in there, but it was definitely more than I was expecting. I think the course is slightly different than last year.
Coming out from San Diego. My brother lives in Austin. Looking forward to riding somewhere new!
In my pre-ride, my garmin said 3300ft per lap (way off), but strava elevation correction knocked that down to 1900 ft per lap (which feels about right to me). It’s not really the amount of climbing that makes this course tough, it’s the punchy nature or the climbing (at least for me). It’s basically the opposite type of climbing that you see at Leadville.
On many of of the punchy climbs, many riders will be hitting them at high v02max or even higher on lap 1, but I find that threshold (or maybe a little over) is a good pacing strategy. My strategy was to let folks ride away on lap 1 and reel them back in on laps 2 and 3. I’m more a a steady diesel rider and will blow up quickly trying to stay with the leaders at the start, so the steady pacing works well for me on this course. People were imploding all over the course by lap 3 while my 3rd lap was slightly faster than my 2nd and I ended up with a decent result. There aren’t many places where drafting comes into play on this course, so I’d recommend pacing it much like a time trial.
One thing I did notice with the course changes - there is a decent bit of single track that comes pretty early now compared to the 2020 course. There is a short jeep road climb before the single track, so probably enough to sort things out, but still worth a little extra push until you hit that single track. The vast majority of the course is very easy to pass on.
Anyone local to Austin: do you have recommendations for a bike shop? Planning to use bike flights and need to pick a shop
You might try the Trek Store (multiple locations in Austin area). Trek bought out Bicycle Sport Shop (BSS) a couple years ago. BSS was the big independent LBS for years and did a nice job and I think Trek has kept much of the staff in tact. My team shop is the Peddler, but I don’t know if they do the bike flights assembly stuff.