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Bella Boards > Velo Bella Regional Stuff - Public > California - Northern > Is Pine Flat/Cantua Creek Road Race Horrible?

Is Pine Flat/Cantua Creek Road Race Horrible?
 Moderated by: velobella, bunny  

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velobella
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 Posted: Thu Jan 4th, 2007 05:32 pm

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Denise asks

 

I have never done Cantua Creek and am considering making it my first road
race of the season. I've only heard horrible things about it.....can anyone shed
a positive light on it?

For those doing the valley races that weekend, I am offering host housing,
at a limited capacity. You MUST be comfortable (preferably in looooove) with
cats and my dog.

Denise :-)


michael
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 Posted: Thu Jan 4th, 2007 05:40 pm

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cantua would be a great race if the turnout was a bit higher ... which i think it will be this year.

what's good about it:
  1. rolling terrain, pretty if you like farmfields and cow hills
  2. perfect training race as it has lots of exposed pedaling sections and a couple of deceptively stiff hills (especially the finishing roller ... ask Bunny)
  3. lowkey, good entry race
what's bad about it:
  1. rolling terrain - it can wear you down like you wouldn't believe.  i've been tired after this sucka.
  2. wind ... it can be soooo windy out there.  or, it can be dead calm.  wierd place.
  3. out and back course ... not all that exciting
  4. rain ... if it rains, close your mouth 'cuz the pasture runoff is ... not yummy.
  5. lowkey ... since it's lowkey, often low turnouts.  more fun with mo' people in your category.
overall, i would really recommend doing the race, D.  Cantua is fun, even if not a super exciting course.

Pine Flat is more epic.  Really a cool race ... but haaaard.

coolio,

m

velobella
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 Posted: Thu Jan 4th, 2007 05:55 pm

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Those races are so dependent on the weather. If the weather is good, the races are scenic and good training races. If the weather is windy and rainy, then those races are epic and sufferfests.

I've never done Pine Flat. We bailed out on it last year when the weather was so bad. We had a nice breakfast instead.

I've done Cantua Creek a few times. Its an excellent training race as the terrain allows for some good consistent pedaling. Its pretty boring though. Its a good race for you as its sort of San Ardoish. You should do it.

Dinuba gets very little tunrout usually, which makes it a weird crit. And they run all the women together. But, its a good workout, and if we can get enough bellas would make a really fun practice crit for us.

 

 

 

jeninsb
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 Posted: Thu Jan 4th, 2007 10:51 pm

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Mmm, Piney Flat.  Yum. 

As VB and M say, weather is key at Piney Flat.  I've pre-reg'd any number of times and bailed once weather.com had its say.  By the way, you can weather.com Piedra for the exact spot.  Last year, it was snow showers, I believe.  I stayed home.

It's a beautiful course, a fave of mine, really.  It's climbing heavy, so if you aren't interested in that sort of thing, you may not find it especially enjoyable.  The times I've done it, the flat section has been windy.  So wind and hills, everything you need for a day full of fun.   Anywho, rolling climbs, with three hard uppy bits at the end.  It finishes on a climb.  Bring some climby gearing, cuz there's some steep bits.  They marked one section at 12 percent somewhere along the line.  I think they were lying, but it was plenty hard.  It'd be a great course for compact chainrings, actually, if your parts bin extends to that sort of thing.  If you're hunting results, you'll want some good mileage in you, but it's a great day of training, too.

From "the don't do what I did" files: the first time I did PF, I asked 'round town to find out what it was like.  Everyone said hilly.  Umm, 'kay, how hilly?  Oh, you'll do great, it's not that hard, blah, blah, blah.  At that point in my bikey life, I had a lugged steel beast of a bike.  Thing weighed more than my mountain bike, nick'd sherman for obvious reasons (it's living out its days as a gopher bike).  Anywho, me and sherman showed up to PF with 39x23 as our lightest gear.  Not an especially wise choice.  Rght around mile 60, me and my 35 pound bike (it gets heavier with every telling of the story) hit the 12 percentish bit and had a slight disagreement with gravity.  Yes indeedy, my friends, I put 21 switchbacks in that climb, though the road runs straight.  Traversing, while sometimes necessary, is never the fastest way to the finish.  Some woman on a lovely Pinarello came sailing by - oh, did I mention that I was off the front at the time? - ticking over a nice light gear looking fresh as a daisy.  Oof. 

So, um, moral of the story?  Climbing gears are nice.


Denise1ramirez
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 Posted: Fri Jan 5th, 2007 03:36 pm

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I'm going to have to add Cantau Creek on my list of "Things to Do" that day.  Yippe! Thanks for the input.

Pine Flat is in my backyard, so it is a route I am very familiar with.  Hilly?  You bet.  Flat?  Yup-per.  Long? Oh yah. 

Dinuba crit is a favorite of mine, because mom lives there.  She does not understand the racing aspect, so she cannot tell when I'm off the back. She thinks I'm in first. Who am I to burst her bubble?

 

jeninsb
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 Posted: Sat Jan 6th, 2007 11:50 am

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You're lucky to have such cool roads to play on, for sure!

Moms are the greatest :D

Girl Ryan
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 Posted: Thu Jan 18th, 2007 11:51 pm

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I did pine flat last year.... it hailed on us  :(     It was a great ride, but the logistics are a pain (similar to Mt. Hamilton) because the finish is not the same as the start.



jeninsb
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 Posted: Fri Jan 19th, 2007 12:23 am

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You rode it last year?  Chapeau!!

We looked at weather.com and said no way.  Our excuse was that we weren't sure we'd make it over the grapevine.  But really, we're just wusses. :P

Girl Ryan
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 Posted: Fri Jan 19th, 2007 08:45 pm

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It was cold!   Hey because you ar "near" me in SB if you ever wanna carpool to any road event (or mtb?) let me know  :)
ryan@slonexus.com

jeninsb
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 Posted: Fri Jan 19th, 2007 10:05 pm

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'kay, that would be fun.  my maily is in my profile thingy.

i'm bummed i can't be at mothballs, so we could meet up. 

but there's lots of racing yet.

chapco
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 Posted: Tue Jan 23rd, 2007 02:04 am

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Pine Flat is more epic.  Really a cool race ... but haaaard.

I almost pooped myself at pineflat and a VB almost witnessed it. They don't have enough bathrooms and the line goes around the block so come prepared don't wait to poop at the site...

Hard hard finish. Dont try and break away solo too early there, lots of headwind when headed down through the orange groves, and the rollers oh the rollers just break you down.. only to have the final wall climb. IF its cold its cold, if its warm its freaking warm.

Good luck if you go, and remember, you might feel like your being popped off the back, but there is always about 10 riders ahead of you who go completely overhead up the climb and shatter themselves so you can get em on the downhill and the last little climb. - big ring it baby (just kidding)


marymaroon
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 Posted: Sat Feb 17th, 2007 09:34 pm

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sorry for spamming the group. i think i posted in the wrong place. at any rate, i'm in for pine flat if i can car pool with somebody. there is your favorite bagel and gas money in it for you...

thanks girls, mary

916.308.9778

velobella
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 Posted: Sat Feb 17th, 2007 11:14 pm

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Hey Mary

Michael and I are already here, bummer as we would have given you a ride for sure. Hopefully someone does and we see you tomorrow.

Sabine

marscat
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 Posted: Sun Feb 18th, 2007 01:51 am

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Mary is that Nelson Vails as your avatar? Cool.

marscat
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 Posted: Sun Feb 18th, 2007 01:51 am

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oops...that was me Linda

marymaroon
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 Posted: Sun Feb 18th, 2007 03:29 am

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  yeah,  he's hot. or is it the bike?

swatbolish
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 Posted: Tue Nov 24th, 2009 07:03 am

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hah, just the bike. :)


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