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Gorrick autumn series: fun or open?

FerralsFerrals Posts: 785
edited November 2014 in XC and Enduro
I am planning on doing the second gorrick event in November. I'm trying to decide whether to do the open or the fun race. It seems like the standard is similar for both but the open has another lap. Is that correct?
Which normally has the bigger field?
I think I would be better off in fun, but am more inclined to do the open as the 12 start means I've got more time to get there and do a practise lap (if I was doing fun and was going to do a practise I'd have to be up at 6)
The event is at crowthorne, it looks like the course is fairly flat and not that technical - is that correct? Just trying to get a handle on how fast I think I could do a lap. My average offroad speeds for a ride range from about 14-18 Kmh depending on the length of ride, hills and technicality. Any thoughts on what would be the better option?

Posts

  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Yep none of the Gorricks are hugely technical or hilly - flowing singletrack and little grunty climbs. Open is usually bigger, results are all on Timelaps.co.uk, look at past events.

    Fun is generally over in less than an hour, I'd do open. You won't know until you give it a go, no amount of speculating on speeds will do it sadly!
  • FerralsFerrals Posts: 785
    Cheers, yes i think I will do open. I agree it's difficult to know, just want to avoid a similar experience to the other race I did this year when I entered in sport in the welsh champs and came last by about 5 minutes having cycled round on my own after the first half a lap!
    One of the reasons I want to do it is to get a feeling for how much training I need to do this winter to be competitive so I guess it makes sense to go for the longer cat.
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Depends what you want to be competitive in. If you want to win sport (for example), then I'd ride sport, someone has to come last! If you want to be competitive in fun, I'd do fun. Likewise open.
  • benpinnickbenpinnick Posts: 4,148
    I would base the choice solely on whether you want an early or late start!
    A Flock of Birds
    + some other bikes.
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    And FWIW I came last by 5 minutes at the first round, I still had a whale of a time! I'd have won if the race had been 5 minutes long, I just didn't quite hold on for the remaining 99 minutes.
  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    njee20 wrote:
    Depends what you want to be competitive in. If you want to win sport (for example), then I'd ride sport, someone has to come last! If you want to be competitive in fun, I'd do fun. Likewise open.

    This is very true, I ride Open as it's something I can compete in and get points finishes, if I compete in Veteran's I won't do as well and then I might not enjoy it as much.
  • FerralsFerrals Posts: 785
    Cheers all.

    Ben, the late start is definately attractive!

    Regarding the different classes, at 33 I should be in masters, but they seem very quick so I'd be way out of my league. The regional events in wales don't seem to have an open: it's either fun, which based on my times in the race I did earlier in the year I could possibly win, but there seem only to be 2-3 entrants each race; or sport which has about 10 entrants but are faster than me at the moment but which I would like to get up to being competitive in.

    As the races like gorrick and southern xc seem to have a lot more participants and a greater range of abilities I'm going to be a dutiful son and visit my parents who live in the south east a lot so I can do a fair few of them :lol: . Anyway I'll do the open and if I get rinsed it will be motivation to train hard over winter 8)
  • FerralsFerrals Posts: 785
    Looking forward to this on the weekend - assuming I can shift a raging cough and cold that decided to spring itself on me yesterday :evil: :twisted: :roll:

    I can't quite understand the race parking directions. I assume it is well signposted from the nearby main roads (A3095 or B3348 by the looks of it?). It sounds like its a bit of a distance from the parking to the registration/start - is this correct?

    I will probably have the mrs with me, is it a big enough distance that she might moan :lol: - is there much 'spectator space'/ the normal burger vans /music blaring and commentary to keep her entertained or should I either dissuade her from coming?
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Yes it is, the entrance is off the B3348 - you go under the A3095 to get to the start.

    Parking is quite a way away (worse than their other venues), and along fireroads, so you can end up a very long way from the start - ride over, rather than walking. It's potentially getting on for a mile or so if you're at the furthest reaches of the parking, but in all probability significantly less.

    There will be burger van/commentary, spectators are a free for all, there's usually quite a good bit to spectate at the finish - it loops up and down the hill a couple of times.

    At the end of the day though it's a load of people she doesn't know (except one) riding around in circles, and if you do Open she'll only see you twice after you've started. Despite now knowing quite a few people (riders and WAGs), and having a mild interest in bikes my mrs finds it pretty tedious, particularly in winter!
  • FerralsFerrals Posts: 785
    Cheers, to be fair the other one i did she enjoyed - but it was early summer, boiling hot and sheet blue skies and so pottering around wasnt the biggest hardship! She's adamant she wants to come but given getting there in time to register and doing a practise lap etc I tihnk its a bad idea!
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Meh, not really. You change at the car, take what you need for a practice lap - ride down to sign on, get your number, do the pre-ride lap, meet her back at the arena, you go back to the car to get what you need for the race.

    Or don't bother with the pre-ride. I rarely ride more than the first mile of a Gorrick, if anything.
  • FerralsFerrals Posts: 785
    Ah well will just wait and see on the day. at least the weather forecast looks better than a few days ago.
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Tomorrow and Saturday still look censored though!
  • FerralsFerrals Posts: 785
    Yeah - I guess a couple of days rain won't make it too muddy though? Its got to be nicer than the gloopy clay I was riding in yesterday anyway!
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Yep, certainly won't be gloopy.
  • FerralsFerrals Posts: 785
    Well great weather, fun course, a bit slippy and sloppy in places but given the weather yesterday impressively dry. Really enjoyed it, came about 2/3s down the field which I was pleased with as I had a rubbish start (on purpose as I wasn't sure of the standard so went near the back) and then had cramp in both calves in the last lap. Well worth the long drive as it was good to have competition rather than ride round the course on my own getting lapped like the other race I did this year :lol: already looking forward to doing one of the spring ones!
  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    Well done, always good if you enjoyed it too.
  • FerralsFerrals Posts: 785
    Cheers. I used to do a lot of races when I was younger, things like the SAMS and the x-lite matchams park ones and so doing this felt like a real blast from the past and I've got the bug for it back :-)
  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    It is addictive especially if you start getting better, I've only been racing for the last 3 years or so and am the wrong side of 40 but still enjoy it a lot and have gone from the back of the pack to the nearer the front, was good for a 7th place finish today but crashed on the first lap dropping me to 16th managed to get back to 11th in really muddy conditions.
    So yeah if you've got the bug keep on going for it, always good if you have a quick rider to train with, the guy I ride with mostly is amazingly fast and I have to really dig in to stay with him but it keeps me pushing on.
  • FerralsFerrals Posts: 785
    11th is still impressive, especially with a crash. I've not found anyone to train with really as most people near me are more trail/dh orientated, but just use strava which is good although sometimes its hard to keep up the motivation/intensity. To be honest it was more race ability than fitness that let me down as i didnt have the confidence to squeeze past people in the narrow bits, wasn't sure of the etiquette of asking people to let you through (i assumed it was only if you were in a different cat), and there wasn't a vast amount of open passing areas. The good thing about starting at the back is i did feel like i made up a fair few places by sprinting past on the few bits of fire road which was good for confidence. But all in all definitely a good day so will be making the schlep along the m4 a few times next year too!
  • benpinnickbenpinnick Posts: 4,148
    Thanks for coming along to race... I didn't do it but I only live about 500m away. I now have a lovely fresh 30min loop on my doorstep to play on thanks to all the generous XC racers ;) Went out to try it out late last night, seems like they did a nice job.
    A Flock of Birds
    + some other bikes.
  • A few of us ride most Sundays around Swinley and Deepcut if you're ever looking to get out with a group.
    Bird Aeris : Trek Remedy 9.9 29er : Trek Procaliber 9.8 SL
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    wasn't sure of the etiquette of asking people to let you through (i assumed it was only if you were in a different cat)

    Correct, no reason for people you are racing to let you through, although not reasonable to call if they're in a different category. Don't expect people to move out of your way though - the onus is on the overtaker to do it quickly and safely. Some people do move aside, but you shouldn't expect it.

    Learning to look for quick lines to overtake is a big part of XC racing though, particularly important at Gorricks where there are often long twiddly sections of singletrack to get stuck behind people. If you know you're strong in the singletrack attack on the fireroads to get there first.
  • FerralsFerrals Posts: 785
    Yeah I let through quite a few people who were clearly faster - in fact i think were lapping me, was impressed with how courteous every one was in that case - one guy even offered encouagement as he shot past at light speed which i thought was pretty nice.

    I didnt budge an inch for people I judged about my speed though, and in fact i probably sprinted past people on the firetrack and the climb out from when you first get to the finish only to hold them up in some of the single track a bit but you've got to play to you strengths.
  • njee20njee20 Posts: 9,613
    Damn right you have, nothing wrong with that. I've got gaps in races with some strategic stalling as well! If someone's right on your wheel just pause very briefly on a little lump or at the top of a bank or sommat, you'll get a gap while they have to stop and get going again!
  • WindyGWindyG Posts: 1,099
    Sounds like you doing everything right to me, you don't hold others up if they are hugely faster than you or a different cat, everybody else...race on, make them work for it
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