Criterium in Auburn, Calif May 1, 2011

Oops, I spelled his name wrong. ZACK!

Course details:
I don’t know for sure which direction the course will be raced, but I’m pretty sure it will be counter-clockwise to have a downhill from the start (instead of on the back side of the lap). Basically, all the 72’ of climbing is on Cherry Ave. This means, one downshift and one upshift will probably be enough for the Schlumpfs, though there’s some uphill toward the end of the lap.

I rode it once each on my Coker with 125s, and my SilvaCycles Kh/Schlumpf 36" with 150s. First lap on the Coker, straight out of the car with no warm-up. My lap time was 5:57, which included some hesitation making sure I was going the right way. When I got back to the car I switched to the other uni, still a little out of breath, and went around on the Schlumpf. Downshifted for the big climb, had to avoid some cars, and made the upshift in a few tries. Lap time: 5:56. Very scientific! Now I don’t know which one to use… :stuck_out_tongue:

In my case, I’m not comfortable riding fast downhill, and that’s with no cars, let alone an open street. Suffice it to say I’m not going to podium in this crowd.

Lap pictures:
Taken from my car to show the basics.

  1. Giant Coolie statue at the top of the course. This is very close to the pin on the official course map, so it may be near the start-finish area. Oddly, I’ve started a couple of Auburn parades from there, many years ago. Notice the wall? A perfect giraffe-mounting wall for nearly any size.

  2. Lincoln Way; right about where the pin is so we might be starting from here. And going down.

  3. Further down Lincoln Way, still downhill. Left turn way back there, just after those trees on the left. That puts you on a short, narrow block of Hillmont St. Then you turn left on Magnolia, which is uphill but not enough to make you downshift.

  4. Magnolia approaching Cherry. Get it? It goes up like that. This is why I don’t believe the course goes the other way, as that would be a hairy corner for bikes, and is not on the main street.

  5. Further up Cherry. Not as steep, but still going up. Left turn up past that fence up there.

  6. Top of the route; this is a bridge over the train tracks behind the Coolie so you are now higher than the start/finish area. Cross the bridge and left again.

  7. Borland Ave., flat, wide and downish. The fast non-downhill part of the route.

  8. Borland at the other end, where it slopes down to the left turn onto 49. Turn right and it’s a very long downhill into the canyon; we go left for a very short block.

  9. Just under the train tracks it’s left again, back onto Lincoln Way. This is a bit of a climb, which I did in high gear but not very fast. My starting point was at that building on the left.

Apologies; I can build complex web sites, but I still don’t know how to manipulate multiple photos in a single post!

Thanks for the pics John. There’s no substitute for pre-riding the course, but this is a good start. Looks like it would probably be slower for me to be shifting up and down than to just stay in low gear the whole way. Like you, I like to slow way down before I shift.


Yeah, I’m thinking the same thing. Considering bringing ungeared with 110mm instead of geared. Then again, I just can’t resist the downhill sections in high gear. What could be cooler than that?!!


Another new rider: CATBOY!

He needs a ride from SF. Let me know if you need his contact info.

Re: 110s
Might be a bit short for that climbing block. It’s not crazy steep, but the first half of the climb is what you see in the picture.Nathan Hoover

  • John Foss
  • Jim Sowers
  • Tom Holub
  • Geoff (Naturequack)
  • Corbin Dunn
  • Bill Purcell
  • Zak Baldwin
  • Austin Lee
  • Eric Pearson [/LIST] Tentatives:
    • George Pavlov
    • Tommy Blough
    • Willy Dommen
  • John I was checking out the schedule here

    Did you say we are racing approx 11:45? I think we should go up early so we can check out the course, maybe ride a lap between one of the earlier heats. I think I’ll bring goth geared and ungeared and decide there. Is Che Foss open for business the night before?


    Oui, the Che is open. We’ll have to hope there will be open time between heats for us to try out the course. Of course we can just crash the challenging sections I guess…

    What’s your interest in doing a “proper” ride – Saturday, or after the race? Last weekend I had a blast riding the Foresthill Divide Connector Trail on my 29" with 140s. The trail is low on technical, but it’s got tons of ups and downs and is all singletrack. Plus it can be extended to make it as long as you want, and even connect it (with shuttle) to the downhill part of the famous Clementine Loop.

    NOTE: Recent weather has been like Miracle Gro for the poison oak, which lines the trail… :astonished:

    I think after the race might be fun. We should pick one that we can do on our race cycles so we don’t have to bring extra.

    Any word on our actual race time? I am working on getting more people and some are busy Saturday so would drive up Sunday morning.


    I’ll be loading up my truck with all of my wheels, including my psychobike (or is it cychobike?), and would love to take a tour of your local trails on Saturday. I might also pre-ride the course then.

    If you’ve got a spot on your floor or back lawn to crash, I’d be much obliged.


    Could you please take my name off the list?

    I have never ridden a 36er before, and think it would take at least a day to transition to just riding one from my 24, let alone racing one.

    Not sure what will be great if you use short cranks. I like the Foresthill Divide trails with 150s, though you can walk more climbs and still have fun with shorter cranks. I don’t know about good road rides in the immediate area. We could do the Quarry Trail (novice trail from early MUni Weekends) but I think it’s less than 10 mile round trip on the legal part.

    Jim hasn’t responded to my last few emails, but I’m pretty sure we are the “high wheelers” since that category shows as free.

    Spots we got. As the out-of-state guest of honor, you should have the guest room. Saturday riding should be possible also. We can ride the course with anyone else who can make it, then do a ride other than whatever’s planned for Sunday.

    I think you’re right about that, at least in terms of this course. Would you like to try a 29"? Or, if you’re fast on your 24, just ride that. It doesn’t have to be a reason to drop out unless you really can’t make it. I have a 29" you can use; I can put my Schwalbe Big Apple tire on it and the crank length of your choice. the 140s already on it might be good for this race, or something shorter. :slight_smile:

    I may take you up on that, but my main concern would be being left in the dust and riding alone…

    I will consider it, though.

    I am honored to be a guest of honor. I should travel out of state more often.

    Pre-riding the course would be good, as would some other ride that won’t blow out my legs the day before the race. I’ll have to leave not too long after the race in order to get home at a reasonable hour.


    Just checked the website.

    The unicycle division race is officially at 11:35.

    I will be down in Sacramento this Friday. Do you think I might be able to pay you a visit and try out the 29 or even a 36?

    After some thought, I am pretty sure that I will race.

    That’s great - they now have us at 25 minutes instead of 15. Here is the site with the schedule right on the front page:

    And free registration - what more could we ask for? Actually, there might be more! Last time we raced with these guys, Oct 2010, there was FREE BEER after the race! Don’t get your hopes up too much, but … this is a first class operation.


    Now we’ll have to decide how many laps we want to do. I’m for 2. The time limit is probably enough for four laps from the fast riders, but might then leave several unable to finish before the next race start. Also a smaller number of laps would keep the field a little less spread out.

    Austin, this is a good example of where email might be more useful. I didn’t check this thread while I was out of town for the past week (sorry). But now I’m back, and hope you’re still planning to make it! If you’re interested in the 29" you have to promise to show up, and let me know your preferred seat height (bottom pedal to top of seat). What crank length do you think you’d like? It has 140s on it now, which make it fast/fun on the trails.

    No worries!

    I can’t promise to show up just yet, but 140s sound good. I was out of town also, and didn’t have access to email…

    2 laps sounds perfect.

    I definitely vote for 4 laps. We don’t want the finish to be too tight. The crit in SFO last summer was about two miles long and the winning time was 6:30. Double that for the four miles, add some time for the hills, subtract some time because the Auburn course has fewer turns and we come up with a winning time for the four lap course at somewhere around 13-15 minutes.

    If they are allotting us 25 minutes, then by all means, let’s use it.

    Just my two cents.


    Since John wants two laps, and Geoff definitely votes for four, I insist on three!

    Seriously, I think four might be pushing it for the slower riders to complete the course in 25 minutes, and it might be past the limit of spectator interest assuming there’s not a close race at the front (depends on if Corbin and/or Chuck show up).

    But it seems like it’s a long way to drive for two miles of riding. I think we should do at least three.

    Yes we do. If part of the purpose of this event is to put on a good show for the spectators, photo finishes are preferred. But this is highly unlikely with a field of 10-12 over several miles with hills. If Corbin and Bill are there, it will probably be between them, then you, Nathan & Tom, and then everybody else later on.

    The SFO course was essentially flat; this one is not. And this one is a convoluted shape (more turns); definitely a lower average speed for laps here. As I mentioned earlier, my cold-start practice test laps were just under 6:00 each. The top riders will be much faster, but not enough for four laps.

    BTW Geoff, I don’t have your email address. Are you coming down Thursday or Friday? Got to go over details, contact info, etc. Send me an email.

    Probably three (or two?). Then don’t forget the group ride after the race. Dirt Coker? This seems to be the preference based on equipment. Plus I’ll be doing a ride on Saturday with Geoff; practice the course and then one of the Auburn trails on MUni.

    Dirt Coker sounds good to me, although I’m on 29er so I can do real MUni too.