Been training for ORAMM 2022. Lots of fear over being able to ride the 60 miles. This will be my longest MTB ride. Few weeks ago I rode in the area to get a better idea of my fitness and it was not a good day on the trails. Heading back this weekend for a longer ride in hopes to build some confidence. Closing in on race day and have a week of family vacation last week of the month. Anyone else going? At 56 (57 racing age) I am not looking to win or anything. For me this is about pushing my limits and goals. Good luck to anyone else doing this race/event.
Not going this year but have done it a few times in the past.
A few pointers:
-look at it as a gravel race interrupted by badass single track segments. There are some notoriously steep single track climbs (Kitsuma and Star Gap), but for the most part the long climbs aren’t that steep
-It is very well supported. I’ve never been to a Blue Ridge Adventures race that doesn’t have fully stocked aid stations with very eager and supportive staff (better than what I’ve experienced in more expensive, nationally recognized events).
-think of the switchbacks on Kitsuma climb as a VO2 interval session on Trainerroad: really hard blue boxes with long endurance to tempo pace segments in between.
-nobody gives a damn if you walk the steep stuff
-traditionally going left on the rock at the bottom of heartbreak is the line most people take to shut up the hecklers
-you’ve got 9 miles of climbing out of the start before you hit the single track, so if you think you might place in your age group it’s worth hustling up front. Otherwise you will be frustrated by the stops and starts on the switchbacks.
-If you don’t think you’re up to it, Jerdon is the shorter version the day before which is a more manageable distance and hits all the cool stuff on ORAMM.
Thanks for the info. ORAMM is the deal. It is more inline with what I like to do. Push beyond what I think I can do. Have ridden all the singletrack so not too worried there. Other than being tired and doing something foolish. I am not above walking down features I don’t trust myself on. Will depend on the day. Those switchbacks on Kitsuma are lung busters. Last time I was there I climbed like a mountain goat. Hope for the same. Planning on less aggressive tires if the weather has been good an not much mud. Look for me on the Heckler video on YouTube. I will be the old fart walking down. But I have to be able to work the next day.
This is 110% accurate. Ive done it multiple times as well.
The opening climb goes up Old 70, which has several closed gates you have to go around things generally bunch up. Its worth being further up for that. At the top, you’ll turn left onto the Kitsuma switchbacks. They are slow going as well if you’re further back.
Curtis Creek Rd is the longest continuous climb of the course and gets steeper as you go. Make sure to top off with water at the aid station at the bottom. If you need it, there is water (I’m pretty sure) at the campground 1/3 of the way up it. There is a aid station at the top.
Kitsuma going down is the toughest descent, but super fun. Just stay on your game. Like previously said- the left line is usually the easiest. I would try to pre-ride that the day before. Its pretty easily accessed from town (by registration) and easily driven to, if need-be.
Its a challenging course for sure. I think its harder than Leadville 100.
Not doing it this year unfortunately, but I have done it once in the past. The feedback above is great, and if I could add one thing, it would be to prepare for heat. The year I did it, I think it was over 90 degrees at the finish, so just be aware that it can be brutal. Also, make sure you have some proper gearing on your bike, I’m not a super powerful rider, and I was in the 50 tooth cog several times on those tough climbs.
Doing Jerdon this year- I’ll do ORAMM again one day but it wasn’t in the cards this year with a new baby. I’m actually heading up this weekend as well to refresh my memory on Heartbreak and Kitsuma. Co-sign all of the above- only thing I’d add is to try to set a reminder to drink or otherwise have a good plan in place for nutrition. It’s easy to get in a groove up those longs climbs and forget to drink or eat! The aid stations usually have water and HEED, so I strongly recommend making drop bags with full water bottles containing whatever mix you prefer.
I am running SRAM Eagle v1 so limited to the 50T. I have a 32T chainring, I am thinking of swapping out to a 30T. I have climbed Kitsuma switch backs with this setup. That second time around after 50ish miles will be different. Like @Sangamon, I am heading up to run Heartbreak and Kitsuma as refresher and also to just see where my fitness is at. Also plan to test my nutrition. I am bad to finish a ride and realize I have only eaten 1/3 of my fuel. So easy to get lost in the beauty of the area. Or hyper focused on the fast descents!
I don’t care for Heed so drop bag for sure.
32 w/ a 50 is good for most. You won’t get into a 32-10 I don’t think. So… a 30 may be perfect!
I will not see the 32T-10T. Or I will be surprised if I do. I will be using the 50T more than normal. Just trying to keep the effort low. Still don’t understand why I can’t get any of my riding buddies to join me.
Crossing fingers the weather is not too hot. Tends to be 10 degrees cooler there than here at home. Real Feel today is 103.
Hi, I will do ORAMM for the first time this year. I have ridden almost all trials further west in Pisgah and also in the Linville Gorges area, but haven’t ridden any of the ORAMM trails. I am 48 (racing age 49) and would like to finish in around 6 to 6.5 hours.
I have done Bootlegger 100, Pisgah Monster Cross and Pisgah 111K in the past and like longer events which push me past my limits. What I am reading above means, to get to my time goal, I need to push somewhat in the beginning to not get ‘stuck’ behind too many riders on the gates and switchbacks.
In terms of gearing, I will be on 32T-50T as well and that should be sufficient to also get my ass up the steep stuff.
Looking forward to be on the start line soon.
If you have ridden Linville and WNC. Nothing new with Kitsuma and Heartbreak. Wish I was that fast. If I have a perfect day maybe 6:45. Thinking more like 7:30+. Racing age 57. But hey I feel blessed to be able to do stuff like this at my age.
I’m in as well! What tires are you all running? I was thinking Forekaster f/r but am second guessing that decision.
Ardent race front, Aspen rear. Hope it’s not slick
I know it is not ideal but I have Minion and another more trail/enduro tires on right now. I thought about running something more XC for better roll on the fire roads and pavement. Then after a trip down Heartbreak and Kitsuma I fear a torn sidewall and walking. Looks like I will be dragging these heavy tires around. Unless someone can confirm XC tires will be ok.
BTW - 11 days till race day. Do I still have time to get in shape?
I ran Aspens I think (or it was Bontrager XR2), but either way they were light-ish XC tires, and I never really felt in danger. There are lot of roots (and a few rocks), but they aren’t really killers from my memory.
Thanks for that info. Those are the XC tire I have available at this time and really don’t have the funds to buy more.
I wouldn’t worry about it, just run what you have.
The replies I’ve read are spot-on. I did this one in ‘19 and felt prepared but cramped early around mile 20. Spent the next 2/3’s of the event riding, cramping, stretching, walking and repeating. I finished but felt like the course kicked my butt so I’m determined to not leave unfinished business and am doing it again this year in the 60+ Men’s class. I’m relying on 2.5 years of TrainerRoad ( the last six months using low volume endurance training with predictive training), solid nutrition, 15 less pounds and Most Importantly, a fresh attitude. I really feel like the most important thing with ORAMM is to be in the moment and not let the course, bottlenecks or anything else take away from the experience. It’s really hard and a great challenge so if you are not going for a podium then relax, give it your best shot and enjoy bringing it home. Remember to bring with you, in your hydration pack, the required recommended supplies and Yellow Mustard!
I won’t be on the podium, I am sure of that. I do these type events to push myself and my limits. Just need to try and not get caught up in the “race” and ride my pace in order to survive. Thanks for your input. Good luck. I hope in another few years I will still be out there riding.
looks like it’s going to be HOT (high of 94f)