Been contemplating going over and racing the MegaAvalanche this summer. Don't honestly know what it entails with reference to each pass and how you get on with the race...anyone shed any light? Or any general information on the event would be welcome, seems like a good way to have a laugh and ride a little! Been watching the videos and doesn't look as mental as I'd of thought, but I know there's some of you out there who will know much better...
Should I do the Mega?
The qualifying track is more extreme, though shorter. Don't underestimate it though, it's a tough test of man and machine!
Oh, and NOTHING ever looks anywhere near as extreme/dangerous on a video as it does for real.
What bike you got that you're thinking of doing it on?
06 Spesh Enduro with a DHX Air and probably upgrade my AM SL's to Fox 36's. That or invest in a full on DH bike, looking at going to France for an extended period of time riding so its already on the cards..intense socom or iron horse sunday are two options.
I thought the same last year, nothing quite prepares you for looking down the angle of what is a black ski run on pic blanc. Having said that go for it, the place is amazing and I'm heading back this year knowing what the place is like.
Its fun, but fit bloody big discs
Don't go for a full on DH bike, it'll slow you down more than it will speed you up, seriously.
I did it on a Cannondale Gemini DH last year, not the longest travel or heaviest DH bike in the world by a long stretch, but the slackness meant for the bits you have to climb it was a bastard!
My mate did it on an 06 Spesh Enduro funnily enough, and though his OEM Marzocchi forks were a bit pants for it, the frame was plenty ok. If I was choosing a bike purely for the purpose of it being a good bike for the Mega, I would say it would probably be one of those Lapierre Spicy's. Long, stable, slack, very efficient suspension both ends, light enough to pedal uphills (this is REALLY important, I can't stress it enough, though use a chainguide and a 34 or 36T ring with an 11-32 or 11-34 cassette though). The only 2 things that need to be "DH" really are the tyres (Maxxis dual ply really, or Michelin DH, preferably run tubeless) as lightweight tyres won't get you far without punctures, and the brakes (you're descending for over an hour non stop, you NEED powerful and reliable brakes!).
The rest of the kit, well people can and do ride their XC bikes to do it. It's just how seriously you're going to take it though really. Oh, and don't think you can just rock up and do well. I knew I wouldn't be fast, but I didn't even qualify for the race! I rode well in the qualifier I thought, there are LOTS of very good riders that do it.
does anyone do it on a hardtail?
Oh, and if |I had the chance I would.
I used to want to do it, but then heard quite a few reasons from people that have done it, not to do it. If descending the same trail as hundreds of mincers is your thing, go for it.
Robbie Rickman Was the fastest Hardtail rider last year as I understand it, mighty impressive result. Seemed a pretty sound guy too actually (He was just behind me on the grid for the qualifier and we chatted briefly) until the starter sounded of course, when he nearly took me out blasting past me!
There was a group of HT riders all doing it for the hell of it I think, can't remember what they called themselves. Personally, whilst I see the attraction of racing a HT in DH in the UK (short, flattish courses, lower costs etc.) I wouldn't want to do the Mega on a HT. Even with a 160mm fork up front you're feet/legs/spine are gonna take a battering!
As a counter view. Definitely do it on a full on DH bike it's loads more fun.
I've done it twice made the A final both times (about the fastest 350 riders from the qualifiers). You're not going to win anyway so may as well have some fun doing it. The singletrack after the Glacier is the hardest bit technically in my view but it's not so bad in the race as it is in practice as in the race you're generally in a queue of riders so can't hit stuff flat out.
The Oz race that's mentioned in the packs is a standard dh race, 5 minute course, one of the best race courses in Europe. It's a bit more competitive and you will have people setting off every 30 secs after and if they catch you have to move. In the mega if people catch you it's all the same race so they have to get past you.
You can easily fill a week in the area so I'd go for a pack that gives you a weeks lift pass. You can use it for 1 day at Les Deux aples across the valley too. Loads of good trails to ride and esy to find from the map.
It's definitely worth doing. Everyone should do it once but I'm glad i did it 05/06 when it was "only" 1400ish people and not half brits!
Oh and Zed, yes people do it on hardtails.
Did it last year and said "been there done that"...
...I must have been the 1st to enter this year!!! it is addictive.
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