I’m registered to do my first road race, Iron Horse Bicycle Classic in Durango, CO. I’m wondering about aid stations. The website states that riders must be self-sufficient but there are four official support stations throughout the course. Since this is a race, should I carry enough water and try not to stop at these aid stations? Or do groups stop and top off? I’m wondering what I should be prepared to carry and what to expect. Any insight or suggestions is appreciated!
This is a 47 mile course with 5700 feet of elevation gain.
Off hand I’d interpret self sufficient as be able to fix a flat more so than hydration (otherwise I’m not sure what an aid station is, moral support?).
If you’re trying to be competitive I’d expect you’d be better off carrying all your water or at least minimizing stops. If you’re not then you can do whatever.
Here all road races have feed zones where a spouse or friend could hand you up a bottle as you roll through. It’s also a favorite place for people to attack.
Ok, cool. Thanks for the feedback! I’ll probably just plan to carry all my water since I’ll be at this race solo. That way I’ll be prepared for the worst. Thanks again for the responses!
It’s unlikely to be a non neutral feed zone as @SeanH is describing as that’s typical of much smaller road races than what this reads as.
If it is a non neutral or neutral hand up feed zone in an open category mass start race I kind of want to sit on the hillside and watch.
In my experience the race is too short, and I would expect that most serious people will not stop at aid stations. You should bring two bottles, preferably large ones and plenty of gels. On such short races groups will definitely not stop for people to take a break. In case there is no support/sweeper car, I would also bring an inner tube and a CO2 cartridge or a pump as well as a multitool along. In all likelihood, a puncture will kick you out of the race, but with tools and an inner tube, you could still get back.
At some of the hill climb races here in Japan (which typically last 1 hour), there are aid stations every 10 km — and one behind the finish line. These events have open categories where a lot of people just want to finish. Those people will stop at aid stations to replenish and catch their breath. For road races, we have support cars, so if something happens, they can collect you and bring you back to the start line. Thus, we don’t carry inner tubes or tools on regular road races.
Thanks! I really do appreciate the input and recommendations. I’m sure I’m over thinking some of this but you guys helped answer some of the question marks.