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Old 02-04-2014, 10:34 PM   #1
Retromountainrider OP
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Laugh 2014 Vegas to Reno. Can a regular guy do it?

Would like to ride the Vegas to Reno race this year. I am a competent rider and with some desert riding but mostly British Columbia forest roads which is most definitely not desert. The bike I would use is currently a stock Husqvarna TE511 but im sure theres some must do mods. I am only looking to finish my first....yes first race.
I would want to do the iron man class. Any thoughts? is this do-able? Any tips? Any other first timers done this? or is it mostly pro's? Am I crazy?
Looks like a hell of an experience.
Thanks in advance!!
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:42 PM   #2
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Best you connect with some folks who have done it before, and maybe join them as part of a support crew once at least.
It is not an easy one to take on without experience.
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:15 PM   #3
wrk2surf
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Tough but doable by a b or c rider anything over 300 or 400 miles is extra tough on the bike and body.. you may want to try a 250-300 mi race or Hare and Hound to get your feet wet.. but good luck if you do try... just be ready to be passed by firebreathing trophy trucks and buggies that dont give a shit if you crash or not...and be able to constanly monitor your ass to get over in time for them to get by safely.
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Old 02-05-2014, 09:43 AM   #4
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When I did it in 2006 I had a season of local desert racing under my belt in Northern Nevada. That definitely helped but I hadn't made it to the expert class yet and I certainly wasn't a pro. Matter of fact, the V to R that year was my first race in the expert class.

You also want to make sure you're in really good shape. Your body takes a pounding! I started the day at 220 lbs and finished at 210 and I was eating and hydrating all day!

Preparation and attitude make a huge difference as well. My attitude at the beginning was that this was going to be nothing other than a really long day of trail riding. I was sure to ride at my own comfortable pace and, even so, I still crashed four times in the first half of the day (none in the second half).

I had a feeling that I would need a mental boost so I calculated the odometer reading I would need at each of my scheduled pit stops so that it would read 100 miles at my next scheduled pit stop. Let's say, for instance, that you plan to stop at pit 3 and then again at pit 5 with 65 race miles in between. I designated someone in my pit crew to roll the odometer (the stock mechanical odometer on the XR 650 I was riding) to 35. Adding the 65 race miles to pit 5 would put me right around 100 when I arrived. I would watch that odometer and my spirits would rise significantly as I neared that 100 mile reading.

I also had sandwiches and fruits ready at each pit and I would make myself eat a little each time I stopped. Everything was in single bite portions and I would eat as the bike was being fueled. Additionally, I had two camelbacks with a vitamin water mix that I would alternate throughout the day in order to ensure that the bladder was always full. I would try to drink the entire bladder before the next pit.

I was riding the expert ironman class and this had me far enough up in the field that I never got passed by a trophy truck or buggy. Not that I didn't still worry about it and look over my shoulder more and more as the miles racked up. At the finish I was only about 15 minutes ahead of Larry Ragland who was the first truck/buggy finisher.

I was just happy to finish but the results were an extra bonus. 3rd expert ironman and 43rd overall (bikes/quads).

I suggest you do a little local racing just to get the feel of it though because, in competition, you end up pushing your body harder than you ever though you were capable of. This made 12.5 hours of riding through the Nevada desert much more doable.
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:44 AM   #5
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Wow, that's a tall order for a first race! You know it gets damn hot out there?
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Old 02-05-2014, 11:20 AM   #6
AngryShawn
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I would strongly recommend that you do this race as a team effort at least once before trying it Ironman.
I did it three years in a row with a team and learned a lot before entering IM AM last year.
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:23 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the awesome input. August seems like a crazy month to have a race like this, but I guess that's what makes it a real test. What shorter 200-300mile races would you guys recommend?
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Old 02-05-2014, 04:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knevo View Post
Wow, that's a tall order for a first race! You know it gets damn hot out there?
Yes.....very hot! Haha. I'm usually in the desert in the spring or fall.
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Old 02-05-2014, 05:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retromountainrider View Post
Thanks for all the awesome input. August seems like a crazy month to have a race like this, but I guess that's what makes it a real test. What shorter 200-300mile races would you guys recommend?
There is the spring Best in the desert Silverstate 300 which is a fast course with lots of fireroad and some washes thrown in.. thats I would start on if you want a good race.. you are asking for punishment if you do V2R solo trust me
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Old 02-05-2014, 07:41 PM   #10
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The heat doesn't seem to be an issue out there because you are constantly moving, emphasis on constantly. Having done the Iron Man twice, I would definitely not recommend this as your first desert race. It really is a physically and mentally tough race that requires you to try to keep the bike in decent shape until you get to the finish line. All the demands can be overwhelming so a lot of training and figuring out what works and what doesn't before hand is in your best interest. There are some good Hare and Hound races in Utah that can give you a good 120 miles of awesome desert racing with a little bit of everything thrown at you. I would say that would be a much better place to start. Check out http://www.usraracing.org for some info, I know its not close for you but worth checking out. Good luck in your adventures and if you have any questions don't hesitate to pm me.
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Old 02-05-2014, 10:08 PM   #11
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I raced BITD Ironman for 2 years, selected races. I would STRONGLY recommend not doing this race as your first race.

Like Work to Surf said try a smaller race first. You cant just go out there and trail ride the race course. It is a selfish thing to do. You run the risk of being hit by trucks and cars and ruining their race too. I have been passed by Trophy Trucks going 3 times my speed, it is not fun!

You need to be in GREAT shape, not good shape. V2R is usually a silt field and a half. It is a grueling race on a bike. The heat was always a huge problem for me. you do get hotter than hell cause you are working your ass off! A good hydration plan is a must! I would go through 1 to 2 liters between pit stops.

Be smart, do some smaller races first.
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:20 AM   #12
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I'm in a similar spot as the OP... i really have an itch to enter V2R or baja or parker or... but each time i think about how great of shape i need to be in and then think about being passed by a Trophy Truck/Unlimited Buggy going 120+ i just cringe at the idea. I love watching Dust To Glory or all the various BITD races on TV and that gets the bug going again...

At this stage in my life, i more content to just ride the race course or do a multi-day ride together with some buddies instead of doing the actual race. For me doing long distance adventures satisfies my itch for now. even doing a dual sport even like LA Barstow to Vegas is a blast... i did that 2 years ago and had a great time. its over 2 days and about 500 miles.

Would be nice to say i entered and finished one of those races, but like others have said, racing really takes a toll on your body and machine way more than you can imagine. plus i do not want to be selfish and interfere with a pro driver of any class whether its 4 wheels or 2. they get paid to drive, i don't.

I used to pit for my uncle who drove in the 1600 class of SCORE back in the day... fun times.

As others have mentioned, doing shorter races or teaming up with other riders to gain the knowledge is priceless. If i had a race team that i knew to help me gain the experience i needed i probably would be entering a race or two.. but i dont currently know anyone racing so i'm safe for now...haha

also i think if those races started us regular guys AFTER the pro 4 wheeled drivers, i think i would have entered one a long time ago. safer for a sportsman regular guy dirt bike to follow those trophy trucks imo.

Quote:
Originally Posted by craigincali View Post
I raced BITD Ironman for 2 years, selected races. I would STRONGLY recommend not doing this race as your first race.

Like Work to Surf said try a smaller race first. You cant just go out there and trail ride the race course. It is a selfish thing to do. You run the risk of being hit by trucks and cars and ruining their race too. I have been passed by Trophy Trucks going 3 times my speed, it is not fun!

You need to be in GREAT shape, not good shape. V2R is usually a silt field and a half. It is a grueling race on a bike. The heat was always a huge problem for me. you do get hotter than hell cause you are working your ass off! A good hydration plan is a must! I would go through 1 to 2 liters between pit stops.

Be smart, do some smaller races first.
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:53 AM   #13
wrk2surf
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Funny that you mention Parker as it is a bike and quad race only... a week later they have the 425 with cages .. BITD had three bike only races but now its just parker and the Laughlin hare scramble. Parker is a test even if its only 250 mile two loop race. You will get the same jitters and oh shit moments and it will test you as that course starts out in a long river wash but then switches up to fireroads and rocky double track.. All this talk of BITD makes me want to maybe do a race or two this year and step back from rally.
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrk2surf View Post
and step back from rally.
what?.... do both, these long desert races are good training for rally!
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Old 02-06-2014, 01:43 PM   #15
wrk2surf
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Oh I know this all too well Bill, I started desert racing with Best In the Desert to test and train myself before rallymoto out here on the westcoast with the california rally series running along with cars then Norra and The Baja Rally.. So I'm Not making a change but just as in all of racing my racing budget has been slashed and I will have to choose wisely which races I can run. The multi day rally costs are triple what a single day is just with chase/gas and hotel/camp fees. My season of work really doesnt start until April or May which puts me out of the Diabolical AND Norra pretty much. Hijack off

So.. whos in for soloing the Silverstate ?
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