Virtual VQ Recon

Vision Quest is just around the corner.  Never having ridden in the region, it seems like a good idea to figure out what I’m in for.  As it turns out SoCal riders post a zillion GPS files of routes, races and training at GeoLadders – the VQ course is up at

The first part that grabs attention is this: 

Course Description 56.5+- miles, 11,500 +- ft. of elevation gain

+/- a few feet, I like that ;)  IOW, it’s got a profile like half of the E100.  Up or down.  OK, the climbing comes in 3 climbs so that makes for longer climbs…

Nice profile, eh?  By mile 30 accumulated climb is over 8k’.  At mile 41ish comes a ~30 min hike a bike.  No wonder it sells out so fast!  Enduros are a curious bunch for sure.

We tried to emulate that first 30 miles Sunday with some Blakes laps on the SS.  It actually comes pretty close, about 7k’ in 29 miles.  Not too shabby!  I was running a 32.18 on the 26er and it seemed about right.  It got a bit boggy in some muddy/steep areas, but otherwise worked great.  VQ might have some similar stuff awaiting…there was snow up there last year 10 days prior to the event.

I’ll prolly give the 32.17 a shot this weekend and see how that goes.  If I can shave a few lbs off my bike and butt it should work just fine ;) 

Speaking of bikes, DC is working  some magic for me today.  Today has that excitement of Dec 25 when you were 6…but I gotta stop there before I jinx the deal.  A double chocolate frapaccino goes a long ways to making your mechanic happy.

Based on my previous testing and looking at the VQ profile and pics at GeoLadders, my bet is a 26er will be the call (not that I have a choice anyway).  What say you, members of the jury? 

So many unknowns.  So juicy.  Let the boxing begin.

7 replies on “Virtual VQ Recon”

  1. The 26/29 question is really a toss up for the VQ. There are quite a few shallow climbs that a 29 will really shine upon(basically all of the initial Blackstar climb and the dirt portion of Maple Springs) ……..but there are also some really, really steep sections on Main Divide that take everything you can give to keep the pedals turning…..the 26 is likely a better bet there.

    In terms of snow/ice…..unless we get another storm the mountain should be free from all evidence of winter. It’s been really warm for the past few days.

    Looking forward to seeing you guys. We’ll have to do dinner.

  2. Ahhh, the good old VQ. Getting done with the Main Divide sections in the first 1/3 is the hump, then everything else falls into place. The monster in the middle is long, but not steep. The hike is…well….just a hike. *put head down, trudge* :) :) Good luck, dude.

  3. Oh man Chris I wish I could. I totally jinxed myself with the plesko-ish teaser – new frame is stuck in a snowdrift somewhere north of here, doh!!!

    How is that I move away from winter and still get hit by it? Not that I’m complaining. It’s fab down here.

  4. Ha! The peak just got more snow, Brian ;)

    There is always snow on the back side of the peak this time of year, and this year it will be a LOT thicker than last. There has been more precipitation overall, and pretty cold temps (along with some high temps). Not going up that high this weekend in the Santa Ana’s, but we’ll be a few hundred feet down. Hoping Holy Jim doesn’t have snow up top.

    FWIW, the creek crossings are gonna be coooold and deep.

    Hubby and I are running 29ers, which is all we have for XC/endurance bikes. But, mine is 26.5lbs, so does it really matter at that point? Last year the bike I ran was 23lbs.

    Good luck to you guys! I’m sure you will love it.

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