Haven’t seen a dedicated thread on The Barn Burner in Flagstaff. I’m signed up, anyone else? Anyone who’s run it before, it seems like a pretty straightforward loop on (rough?) fire road type terrain? Anyone know if they allow drop bags at the start / finish for each lap?
It’s been a few years since I last did it. IIRC the NW side descent is a little rock garden like for a mile or two but, nothing crazy. One thing I’d do different in the future is NOT worry about the le mans style start. Just let the guys who think they are fast and the guys who are fast get all worked up. Start when it clears out a few minutes later. You’re time starts when you go over the mat so you’re not “behind” per se. Plenty of room to pass people on every section of the course.
If you are super fast and want to stay with the leaders as it may help your time then definitely be very near the front on the way out as it was dusty and hard to see the line riding behind people. Potentially lots of wasted energy on the first lap if you go out with the fast guys and not at the very front. Just verify that’s still how they are doing it…
I’ve done it a few times including last year. I don’t think they do drop bags but last year’s athlete guide is still up on their website. There’s an area just past the start/finish line where you can set up your stuff, either where your crew can wait for you to hand up stuff or set up your cooler etc.
The course is mostly fire roads and pretty boring. There is a downhill section that only has one good line. I saw a couple of crashes last year when riders tried to pass and got their wheels in a rut, other than that it’s an easy course to pass on. There tends to be afternoon storms in Flagstaff, last year it rolled in about half way through my last lap and the last 5 miles of the course got really muddy (it’s a well used jeep track) and real cold. I had to stop and use a stick to get the mud off the tires a couple of times. I’m an ~8 hour finisher though, the faster folks avoided the storm
Good intel, thanks. I’m not at the fast end of the field either, I’ll hopefully be targeting 8 hours, but not sure if that’s realistic yet.
I’m planning on racing the Barn Burner next month. I have 2 bikes:
- Drop bar hard tail MTB with 100mm travel fork (no dropper post)
- Full suspension XC (with dropper post)
Which one should I bring? Any sketchy sections that would be hard on the drop bar bike?
Personally I’d go with the XC bike, there’s a few rocky sections including one pretty steep (1.5 mile) descent. I’ve done it once on a hardtail (Giant XTC) and the other times I’ve used a FS. I was overall faster each lap on the FS, locked out on the flat forest roads but faster climbing and descending (the long climb is pretty rocky and rutted out too). I’m not racing this year so I haven’t been on the course but we’ve had a lot of extra rain here this summer. The trails around Shultz & Humphreys have been closed all summer so the other trails have been well used, some of the BB course gets heavy ATV traffic, which really tears up the trails after rain. It typically rains on the last lap resulting in pretty heavy mud, so whichever bike you think handles that better too. I had to stop a few times last year and use a stick to clear the wheels. Hope that helps!
Thanks! Epic Evo it is!
For what it’s worth, I’ll be on a FS Orbea Oiz with lockouts.
Currently debating tires, I was going to switch to a set of Bontrager XR2 that I have but I’m now wondering if I stick with the Rekon Race that are on the bike because of the rockier sections and potential for mud if it rains.
Recon race don’t clear mud. They came on my Oiz as well, I haven’t found any conditon where they work marginally compated to other tires. Beware of mud, they are about the same as slicks.
Rode my Cannondale Fsi HT last year with RR on the front and conti’s on the back. Wasn’t too bad on the 4th lap, aka the mud lap in the downpour, except for the one really rocky downhill–which got a little greasy. Going with the EPIC Evo this year though as I gave away the HT to my son when I got the FS. Despite the 4lb weight difference, I haven’t found the EPIC EVO to be slower on most courses, and it’s way more comfortable.
Good to know.
Any recommendations for a tire that would work well on this course, with the potential for Mud? Have the Rekon Race and XR2, but may need to pick up something else. I’m on 30mm Internal Rims. Aspen better?
Havent ridden that course, nor the Aspens, with the micro chevrons, they might not be great. For muddier conditions i Have had pretty good traction with Rocket Rons 2.25 on a 30mm hookless rim. Actually run pretty well all around. The bigger widely spaced knobs clear mud pretty well. Its an older model, but still kicking around.
I raced Aspens at Tahoe Trail, the course was dry and dusty but jeez those tires are not very confidence inspiring. I was running 22psi F/R maybe that was the problem.
I’ll be running Rekon Race/Aspen F/R with inserts at Flagstaff with lower pressure
Unless I have a last minute change of heart, will be going with Wolfpack Speed 2.4’s with Tubolight Inserts for Barn Burner. Going to swap them over and fill everything up with fresh sealant this week so I have a little time to test.
I ran Ardent Race Front / Aspen Rear with inserts at 18psi and it was great.
This was my 2nd XC endurance race (Tahoe Trail in July). I was satisfied with my first lap – charged harder than I did in my 1st race to get around slower people faster. But I got slower and slower as the day went on. Big learning for me was using bottles pre-filled instead of wasting time at the water cooler.
I got 9th in my age group. I was happy with that but obviously want to get better!
Better than my day. I came down with COVID Tuesday / Wednesday and backed out.
Glad it went well for you though, I’d love to come back and actually race it, but who knows.
Sorry to hear that. The race was fun, the course was well marked, but the after race situation sucked. No food so you had to drive into town 30min away to get food and then come back at 5pm for the lottery