Trans-provence 2010

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  • Trans-provence 2010
  • Tess
    Member

    Did anyone do this in 2009 and if so have you any tips or advice for me as I've signed up for it 2010. All help and advice greatfully received.

    Premier Icon Chainline
    Subscriber

    Not last year but signed up for this year, can't wait πŸ˜€ I'm doing it on a rigid :mrgreen:

    paul78
    Member

    I was lucky enough to do it in 2009…

    – be prepared for long sustained climbs so make sure bike choice is suitable.
    – Fit the BIGGEST brakes you can get on your bike.. the descending is technical and lengthy.. longest stage being 14km of singletrack descending.. little brakes cook quickly.

    Chainline, i would seriously rethink the rigid choice… i rode/raced everything else this year fully rigid singlespeed but this simply would not have been fun on a rigid.. rideable yes… just not as enjoyable.

    You are lucky guys as this is a great place to ride… some of the transition stages alone rate near the top of my all time best rides

    Premier Icon gary
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    Did it this year as well – it is a great event. Tempted to do it again just for another run at the 14k special … and that other one that ended virtually in a village … and for that link stage through the valley … lots of good bits!

    Like Paul says, don't go thinking that the uplift at the beginning of the day is to make it easy – it just means that the climbing you save can be returned to you later in the day!

    Just because there are long climbs, don't go putting on silly lightweight tyres, you'll only regret it in the rocks. Maxxis were popular this year.

    Two things I'd do differently if I went again:

    – take an adjustable seat post. Even the special stages have some climbing and can flip from climb to descent with little warning. Joplins are cheap on CRC at the moment.

    – take sensible shoes. Racy shoes are not the best choice for long steep hikes uphill, my big toes were still numb days after I got home. Take something with a good balance of grip/flex/support for scrambling up stuff.

    Premier Icon gary
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    I'm doing it on a rigid

    I thought about doing it on a rigid 29er … very glad I didn't in the end though. It would be fun to ride some bits like that but the novelty would wear off quite quickly.and its a _long_ week of riding.

    Tess
    Member

    Thanks for these tips – all duly noted, if you see a middleaged lady on a hard tail toiling her way up Walna Scar, Mastilles Lane or any other steep north England ascent between now and September 25 it will be me!

    t-p 26
    Member

    For the length of timed sections AND the days riding in that type of terrain, rigid forks would be a bad move, ask anybody who DID do it about the ride from the top of the Col des Champs.
    A telescopic seatpost would be a good idea.
    Don`t go for ultra lightweight components as it will most likely fail.
    Make sure your bike is fully fettled before you go, and similarly you be prepared for long days good riding that do have an elementof climbing.Having said that it was (for me anyway) more about the downs than the ups, they were just a necessary evil
    Carry your camera as there are some fantastic photo opportunities on the link sections.

    Premier Icon Straightliner
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    I did it this year and used a steel hardtail with 140mm forks. The hardtail is great for the majority of the riding, but a full sus will reduce some of the beating your body takes over the week. The advantage with the hardtail is it's potentially lighter and there's less to go wrong. DO NOT ride it with rigid forks, or a singlespeed (and I'm a confirmed SS'er).

    The stats for daily distance and climbing don't sound too bad at all, but we had days this year when we spent 10+ hours riding/pushing on top of the uplift. The uplift feature is fantastic and is what makes this such a unique event, but don't think that because a van takes you uphill that you've got an easy day. I've done other stage races with considerably more distance and climbing, yet this was just as physically punishing.

    The comment about shoes is very valid, and also get used to pushing/carrying your bike. Some of the ascents are not rideable, but the descents are always worth it πŸ™‚

    Watch out for Ash's levels of understatement as well. His view of the word undulating (or 'updulating' as it became termed) is different to most of us UK based riders.

    nasher
    Member

    As I live inthe area and know some of Ash's routes.

    Definately do NOT take a rigid or SS…

    Premier Icon trailpixie
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    Hi Tess

    I survived the T-P this year too! I totally agree with previous comments about shoes there's some sections that aren't rideable so you will have to walk and probably carry your bike too so it's good to get use to a bit of that before you go!

    It's a fantastic event, the riding is totally unique and not something you can really 100% prepare for with riding in top notch trail centres here or even the Alps. The timed sections are amazing but they were far more technical than I had reckoned on – practice riding hairpins, steep rocky descents and get used to riding with s sheer drop off the side of a narrow trail and that should cover most eventualities!

    Take lots of snacks and energy bars with you – the food we had was fantastic but there wasn't much to eat inbetween getting back from riding and our evening meals and the places we stayed didn't have anywhere we could go to get food. Hopefully Ash will resolve that for next time.

    You shouldn't need too much extra money but definately take advantage of the massage tent at the end of the day!

    I was the only girl riding this year and my aim was just to make it to Monaco which I did. You'll have a blast – enjoy it!

    Nicky
    πŸ™‚

    lyons
    Member

    How fit do you need to be to do this event? I'm quite tempted…

    Premier Icon Chainline
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    I think (hope) it also depends on what it is you 'enjoy' about doing this kind of thing. Is it one long technical rockfest descent from start to finish? It doesn't look like that but you guys have done it?

    Either way, great advice, much appreciated from my perspective, noted on the shoes, i would have taken the SIdi's normally, I have had a few emails with Ash and his view seemed to be 1×9 and everything is fine, which doesn't seem to be your take on it (although to be fair he is careful to point out that you must make sure the front chainring is fairly small) πŸ˜‰

    I am even more stoked now. Still doing it rigid though, not buying a new bike for the event πŸ˜€ The smallest tyre I run is 2.55 on 35mm rim at low psi so big volume, where rocks are in abundance and traction at a premium (which sounds like this event) then I think the endo may have to go in, 3.7 wide, about the same deep on a 70mm rim.



    I run it at 7psi…

    Running Saint groupset with either 203 or 180 with a 160 rear, so brakes should be up to it, bike weighs in at 26lb set up burly like that

    So sort of a cheating rigid. I enjoy the peaks and they have rocks too, the endomorph wheel, that big and wide at that sort of pressure transformed the experience! Never experienced 14km of technical descending though, wow, really exited now.
    The only problem is Ash is worried it won't fit in the racks, I was going to ask if I take a spare 'normal' wheel is that could be used for the uplift, carry the big wheel and then I can swop it out? We'll have to see…

    Noted on the food too.

    How was the navigation?

    Crikey, The Kielder 100 is only 3 weeks before..me thinks I have to get some traiing going on…..

    allthepies
    Member

    <beard alert>

    Premier Icon gary
    Subscriber

    I think (hope) it also depends on what it is you 'enjoy' about doing this kind of thing. Is it one long technical rockfest descent from start to finish? It doesn't look like that but you guys have done it?

    Not the whole thing, but some of the timed stages are largely that way. Depends what you want out of the event I guess – I think the Jones geometry would suit a lot of the riding, I think you'll have a blast on the 14km stage, but overall I'd still opt for suspension!

    Either way, great advice, much appreciated from my perspective, noted on the shoes, i would have taken the SIdi's normally, I have had a few emails with Ash and his view seemed to be 1×9 and everything is fine,

    1×9 ought to be fine if you're fit – I wasn't so I made plenty of use of my granny ring! I wore Sidis, you'll either trash the shoes, kill your feet, or both πŸ™‚

    paul78
    Member

    I think you just have to get your head into it being a long week… 10,000m of climbing over the stages, saying that there was a massive mix of ability but as only special downhill stages count the transition riding was real sociable.. most of time.

    Chainline, think that endo will save you a little… seriously though if you wanna bike i'll loan you a long travel hardtail for the week… we can do a trade at Kielder 100.

    All in it was an amazing week… i bought the GR5 trail guidebook soon as i got home and will be doing it in its entirety at some point… i wanna go back for sure…

    ..need any volunteers Ash/Melissa??? πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon Chainline
    Subscriber

    I appreciate that Paul, but I am happy with my choice.

    I went from 6in sus, to Long travel hardtail to finally the 'rigid' jones. With the Endo on I would say in may ways the front is less jarring than a 140 forked 26in bike. The wheel is so big, both wide and tall, that it just doiesn't fall into the same sorts of ruts and rocks as a normal bike..I'll still have a think though.

    cheers all.

    paul78
    Member

    Well shout me if you change your mind… practise getting that Jones through tight as hell switchbacks… i borrowed an Ellsworth Moment for the week.. longest bike in France at the time and it just wouldn't turn tight 180 bends.

    fejling
    Member

    I've signed up for this event too. Long travel hardtail with plenty of gears for me.

    Premier Icon Chainline
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    I noticed on the vid the 'skid the back end round technique' appeared quite necessary.

    I too will turn up with enough gears a granny and a 34t back just in case.

    Is there anything in the uk with switchbacks that tight, some of the ones in Dalby that I've ridden are tight, but they're mainly uphill not down.

    If I can get an idea of the trails in use I might try and get a recce in before the event, sounds like a good excuse to visit the area πŸ˜€

    Premier Icon Chainline
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    Tess, I didn't mean to hijack the thread, I hope this is all useful to you too, and of course I look forward to seeing you there….

    willredmond
    Member

    Hi there. Sorry to butt in on an existing thread, but wondered if there were any other girls doing T-P in 2010? My misses is looking for some female company! Really unsure about bike choice however. I fancy taking something that will allow a bit more fun on these techy downhills. Were there many 160mm bikes around last year or was 130/140mm more the usual? Cheers!

    RHSno2
    Member

    Its such a good event. My fav place to ride in the world.

    You will need to have a solid spring/summer's fitness and riding under you (well you will unless you want to suffer). Try and do a Enduro type event in the UK to get a feel for the intensity, you might claim you are just doing it for fun but YOU will race and its difficult to understand what that feels like intill you have done it.
    So, on average 1 hr's worth of full on, maximal riding a day with 6-7 hours of riding (pushing, liason stages, climbing) for 7 days in a row.

    I personally worked all summer to be in shape for this event and I worked very hard too. Glad too.

    The riding is super varied but its not trail centre, at all.
    http://vimeo.com/6966607

    Its technical but with Flow (compared to Alps maybe)

    I would say a 5 inch trail bike is perfect. I was on a Meta 6 and was heaviest bike there I think. A five would be perfect (although Meta 6 was MUCHOS fun).

    Best thing I have ever done. Period.

    RHSno2
    Member

    Is there anything in the uk with switchbacks that tight, some of the ones in Dalby that I've ridden are tight, but they're mainly uphill not down.

    No. They aren't that tight compared to Alpine switchbacks but they will be a shock if you haven't come across them before.

    Tess
    Member

    Will Edmond you ask if any women are doing this ride, I started this thread and me and another woman have signed up for TP 2010 so that's at least 2 of us hope this helps.

    willredmond
    Member

    Tess – Sorry, my mistake! Thanks loads for that.

    May have to get the little bike looking a bit more burly then! Definately got a hard summers training ahead of me. Looking forward to it! If people are looking for hard techy switchbacks may I recommend Chamonix. Probably the highest concentration of crazy switchbacks I've come across.

    Premier Icon blur lt rider
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    Here's another female signed up for it! Going full suss and going to enjoy it….

    t-p 26
    Member

    From what I recall, the shortest travel was 120mm. One of the lads who had these, did complain of sore forearms.
    The novelty of switchbacks and skidding round them changes to necessity, early on, once the clock starts ticking..
    1 Cotic,1 Orange, 2 Dialled bikes, 1 Ragley. That was the hardtail contingent…or have I forgotten someone?

    t-p 26
    Member

    And a TREK…….

    Premier Icon stevomcd
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    chainline – don't know what trailers Ash is using, but he was talking to us about our Burtech one with a view to using those. If so, that tyre is VERY unlikely to fit! Ours was specially made with wider wheel slots and a 2.5" Maxxis DH tyre is still fairly neat.

    Premier Icon Chainline
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    Cheers Stevomcd, My normal tyre is a 2.55 wierwolf, although I think they come up about the same as other makes 2.4's but I run them on a 35mm rim.

    I will need to take a 'normal' wheel as well I think, put that on for the uplift and then switch it out if I'm gonna use it. I've emailed Ash about it.

    It's gonna be interesting and from what you guys are telling me, even more of a challenge for me πŸ˜€

    0303062650
    Member

    My mate James rode it out in front before the rest of the riders with another chap (without the van uplift!) he said day 2 was the worst for him "not doing this again" etc πŸ˜‰ however, by the time he got back to blighty, he loved it!

    James rode a ventana with DH tubes, which was slower than his mate on the ups, but flying on the downs. "mule bars" are now the food of the devil, so plenty of food you like!

    Wish I had the fitness to ride that distance! Good luck!!

    jt

    Gary_C
    Member

    Damn,why have I just read this thread?

    Was all set to enter this event until the price was released in December,thought it would be too much for me to afford tbh,so decided not to bother.Just had another look at the TP website & am so bloody tempted to sign up & sod the cost.

    It's only money after all…

    1 Cotic,1 Orange, 2 Dialled bikes, 1 Ragley. That was the hardtail contingent…or have I forgotten someone?

    +1 one Pace amongst the staff.

    very good indeed to see more ladies along for the ride πŸ™‚

    RHSno2
    Member

    It's only money after all…

    and it will be one of the best things you do with that money IMO…I still dream about it.

    willredmond
    Member

    Sounds good. Any major tyre issues last year? Were UST set-ups getting torn to shreds or were they ok?
    Also looking forward to the idea of a few beers in Monaco after the race!

    Premier Icon Straightliner
    Subscriber

    UST tyres working fine for most people I seem to remember.

    macpuppy
    Member

    That was the hardtail contingent…or have I forgotten someone?
    err my bike probably counts in that category for some if not all of the days.

    Fully rigid with a big tyre … why not if it's what your used to riding, everything goes !

    I'm going to get some riding in BEFORE the event next year though, just for Jenn's mental health ;o)

    Premier Icon Chainline
    Subscriber

    Whehey fair play macpuppy, I feel better now.

    macpuppy
    Member

    glad to be of service … in fact what else can I say to encourage you ? I've always wanted to test ride a Jones so it's gotta be in my interest ;o)

    Navigation was great / easy / you couldn't go wrong (IMHO)

    Premier Icon Chainline
    Subscriber

    Well, no need to encourage, I'm well up for it and have paid the old deposit so no going back now!

    Hopefully the Jones won't be a disappointment when you get a blast:-)

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