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Cape Epic Veterans


SwissVan
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So we are rapidly approaching 40 day party time :unsure:

 

Time for some more questions

 

1. How goes the training?

 

2. Tyres, which tire is recommended for the epic conditions. Currently using Rocket Rons which will soon need replacing. Priorities are reliability, function then weight.

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Not riding again this year, but man I wish it was this time last year, by now you and your bike are one, you complete one another's sentences..

 

Kendra Navegral! It is a beast, but will get you to the end in one piece.

Edited by chickenrun4me
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Kendra Navegral! It is a beast, but will get you to the end in one piece.

 

 

Urmm just what do you mean by Beast, is that a good

beast or bad beast?

 

Sorry you wont be there again.

 

Yeah I've been riding my mtb only since June last year so....Hopefully ve vil be one....

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Lets hear your stories and advice regarding day to day life during the epic as well as training advice from anyone who has done the Epic previously.

Some questions to get the ball rolling:

1. Training – We know that plenty km’s / hrs in the saddle are required BUT for the average working person what training in your opinion is critical to finish the Epic.

 

8-12 hours... Try to ride very long at least once (5hrs+, just so you know)

 

2. For the lazy ones – What is the minimum training that someone has done the Epic on and survived to brag about, honestly!! (5hrs/week...but these guys did NOT enjoy Epic)

 

3. Hydration – Over and above the standard water bottle and puncture stuff…. is a hydration pack and emergency kit (tools/ spares) really required and if so what should a team (divided between the 2 riders) carry on each stage.

NO - you are going to die of sunburn and heat, a backpack is not necessary. If you can carry 2 bottles you should be fine. Waterpoints are 2-3 hours apart (midfielders) so you can fill em up again (Energade/water). Carry the following : Chainbreaker, chainlinks, puncture repair and a spare tube per team (in case things go horribly wrong)

All of this can be carried in pockets, and you can tape the tube to your frame.Cable ties!! (I tied my shoe to my foot on the last day, when my flashy dial thingy cable snapped on Spez shoes)

 

 

4. Recommendations regarding accommodation methods for non participating partners and spouses, where does the Wiff stay where she can be close to the action and sufffering.

Dunno, but the race gide gives some guidance on that

 

5. Accommodation suggestions for riders other than the standard epic tent option and the expensive Epic BB option, if you are allergic to tents is it feasible to do your own BB arrangements.

 

If you don't do the tents and portaloos, you ahve not done the Epic. B&B's are not an option... :P

 

6. Bike maintenance – Other than hiring a mechanic for the week or doing it yourself, are there other help options available at the stage start / finish each day.

I suggets signing up with one of the shops, they wash and service your bike. You are not going to feel like washing your bike after a hard day in the saddle

 

 

Eat, Eat - if it can be eaten, eat it - always, pre ride, during ride post ride - EAT!

 

Best advice ever (this was given on this forum by Spinnekop prior to our 2008 Epic)

 

Take biltong and dry wors with, because there will be someone with bilting and dry wors in the camp! And he might not be willing to share!

 

Oh yes, crazy as this may sound - methylated spirtis and milko balm is your friend!Capeesh?

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Urmm just what do you mean by Beast, is that a good

beast or bad beast?

 

Sorry you wont be there again.

 

Yeah I've been riding my mtb only since June last year so....Hopefully ve vil be one....

 

 

Beast as in around 750g or something, beast as in forget about punctures..

 

But any tire that seals with a plug will be fine. Carry plenty plugs, and make sure you have plenty stans in before and after any bomb usage. You will get flats regardless of what tyres you're running. Unless you weigh 55kg and ride like a girl

 

As with hiring a bike shop for service, not needed. The pragma bike wash is really top notch and Probike did FREE services last year. I dont know what the bike shops do after every stage except clean and lube and check one or two things. Being able to do this yourself is part of the minimum technical know-how required to take on the epic. The only thing you pay for is piece of mind, dont for one second think it is a must have..

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So we are rapidly approaching 40 day party time :unsure:

 

Time for some more questions

 

1. How goes the training?

 

2. Tyres, which tire is recommended for the epic conditions. Currently using Rocket Rons which will soon need replacing. Priorities are reliability, function then weight.

 

Maxxis Monorials UST. Worked perfectly for us in the 2009 version. No punctures!! Mind you, we rode conservatively, no kamikaze style downhills!!

 

A nice combo of thick & thinner slime (about 150 ml per wheel) helped. I think OKO and Joe's?

 

As said before we finished in the middle of the pack.

 

So for training: At beginning Feb 2009, I did a total of 168 hrs the 4 months prior (so Oct, Nov, Dec, and Jan). Works out to an avg of just over 9 hrs per week. Mix of road and MTB, with some races (94.7 and Barberton). From mid Dec, avg week was around 11 hrs with a peak of 16, never rode more than 5 hrs per day. Apart from Dec, where I trained in the Karoo and CT, all of the miles were done around the "beautiful and hilly" Benoni area.

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Weight weenie tires are a no no.(For me that is)

I decided againt my better judgement to attempt the 2010 Epic on tube tires converted to tubeless (Intense systems 2) About 80 km's into day 1 I had to fix the tire with a R20 note and a tube. Luckily I brought my training wheels with Monorails and Xmarks, so that evening I was back on full ust tires. I completed the race on these without issues.

I did the 2009 Epic with Underachiever on Monorail ust's. No punctures.

2010 Mankele 3 Towers with Xmarks and Monorails. No issues.

2010 Sabie Experience with the mentioned combo. No issues. BUT my partner had a Maxxis advantage folding non ust. And got a side wall cut, to finish that day with a tube.

I do not imply that you will never have a puncture with these, the chances are just less.

I paid my school fees last year. I will think twice before doing stage races with ww tires. I am sure there are guys who did millions of miles with converted tube tires. Good for them.

As you have gathered I HATE punctures. Stans/Joe's on your hands. On your legs. On your clothes.

Edited by Goodbadugly
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Thanks - Yep using a proper UST (but heavier) tubeless tyre seems to be the safer option.

 

Anyone used a Schwable Rocket Ron or Racing Raplh?

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Would you Cape folk recommend the Mountain / Race King combination?

 

 

Looks like the Cape folk are not revealing their secrets....

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1. Training – We know that plenty km’s / hrs in the saddle are required BUT for the average working person what training in your opinion is critical to finish the Epic.

road miles do count - so if you cannot get out on the MTB, then do (some) road mikes as well...

2. For the lazy ones – What is the minimum training that someone has done the Epic on and survived to brag about, honestly!!

3. Hydration – Over and above the standard water bottle and puncture stuff…. is a hydration pack and emergency kit (tools/ spares) really required and if so what should a team (divided between the 2 riders) carry on each stage.

We rode Epic 2005/2006/2007, and learnt along the way. We ditched Camelbacks, and let the bikes carry our water, and there were plenty water stops along the way, even when racing flat out.

4. Recommendations regarding accommodation methods for non participating partners and spouses, where does the Wiff stay where she can be close to the action and sufffering.

 

5. Accommodation suggestions for riders other than the standard epic tent option and the expensive Epic BB option, if you are allergic to tents is it feasible to do your own BB arrangements.

We hired a camper van between 4 of us (i.r 2 teams), and then slept in tents but used camper to get to start (Knysna) as well as bike repairs, resting up before tents, storing all gear, etc. Worked brilliantlyy, lowers the cost.

6. Bike maintenance – Other than hiring a mechanic for the week or doing it yourself, are there other help options available at the stage start / finish each day.

We took along a keen cycling mate as our driver/nutritionist, and he taught himself basic bike repair skills along the way - anything real technical we sought professional help (there are heaps of pro-mechanics in adjacent camper vans, just ask them how to repair xyz...!

 

Best single tip? powdered pronutro in a zip lok bag, with a little sugar and milk POWDER added. Get to water station, open zip lock, add water, close, shake vigourouly, LEAVE CLOSED and bite little corner off, brilliant meal-in-a-bag, any flavour you want, easy!

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4 epics.

 

3 on crossmarks

last year: monorail front, crossmark back

 

no punture in any of the epics (me and my partner)

 

go UST, you dont want to presure ourself by strugling with punchers.

 

unless you wanne finish on the poduim.

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@ Yellow Zebra

Pronutro in a bag that’s a good idea, only problem is I have not eaten Pronutro for +/- 8 years.

 

@ Popeye

Maxxis seems to be popular, is there any significant difference between LUST and other UST specific tyres?

 

Thanks guys

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  • 3 weeks later...

Right Hubbers 11 sleeps to go.......

but whose counting anyways...

Next round of questions for the Epic Vets.

 

What course info do you get at registration?

For example do you get a nice route profile for each day that you can carry with you or do you have to rely on memory or scribble on your wrist / arm / leg / make your own??

 

Any useful tips regarding keeping track of course info such as how much climbing is still ahead on each day???

 

Muto Obrigado

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At registration they'll have the big-ass maps and profiles for all the stages, and you'll have all the maps and profiles in the epic book thingy that the dish out everywhere. Last year we printed and laminated profiles for each day (sommer back to back so we only had 4 pieces of plastic). I found these extremely helpful, but I'm the type of guy who needs to know when it is all downhill to the end and when is Dr Evil still planning a surprise...

 

They also do the race briefing every night after supper with full Google fly through of the route and Stacy (?, route director) talks you through it. Mostly lies "Some rolling hills..." = massive non-stop climbs.. "bit of sand" = take your beach bats and frisbee.. But it does prep you mentally and I always like to know where I am on the map so to speak..

 

I had a Garmin to keep track of the climbing, have never been one to track distance but knowing that half the climbing is done, then 75% etc. kept me going, and man do those meters pile on up on the big climbs.

 

Good luck and very very jealous..

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but I'm the type of guy who needs to know when it is all downhill to the end and when is Dr Evil still planning a surprise...

 

 

Exactly my thoughts. It usualy pays to assume the worst that way you might be pleasantly suprised. But that principal starts to wear thin after a few days.

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