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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Doing a race this weekend, but have no intent on attempting a podium spot - mainly just looking to survive. My question relates not really to "how to race" the route, but more of how to tackle a hilly course (more specifically, the hills themselves) whilst keeping the team in tact. The elevation profile looks like a bad EKG reading.

Our small team of four has never ridden completely together before; Rider A has experience with B, Rider B has experience with C, etc., so we have a general idea of our levels & capabilities. How do small groups like this typically approach very hilly routes; and/or the hills themselves? It seems expected that generally all riders on a team aren't at the same level/specialty, so is it typically best to all stick together on the duration of the hills? Each rider to do his own thing and all catch up at the summit, descent, etc.?
 

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The good news is that the Brute is not a race, so if you want to stay together you simply wait at the top of each climb. The bad news is that I live right smack dab in the middle of that area, and if you're not familiar with the hills they are fairly steep. Which distance are you doing? The 200K scares me, this time of year anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Our group is only targeting the 100k route, as we're all unfamiliar with the "race" itself. Going 150k right out of the proverbial gate didn't seem like a good idea to us, as we didn't want to bite off more than we could chew for mid-May, nor did we want to put ourselves in a bad position for the Triple Crown from the onset.
 

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Arcadia brute is a tough ride! The climbs hit 28-30 percent if I remember correctly. It is very tough to stick together because everyone accents and descents at different pace. Finishing this and the next two that go along with this series is an accomplishment. Good luck, hopefully the weather cooperates.
 

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Arcadia brute is a tough ride! The climbs hit 28-30 percent if I remember correctly. It is very tough to stick together because everyone accents and descents at different pace. Finishing this and the next two that go along with this series is an accomplishment. Good luck, hopefully the weather cooperates.
I have done this 2 years ago and it definitely wasn't easy. And it's true that climbs hit 30%...
 

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Doing a race this weekend, but have no intent on attempting a podium spot - mainly just looking to survive. My question relates not really to "how to race" the route, but more of how to tackle a hilly course (more specifically, the hills themselves) whilst keeping the team in tact. The elevation profile looks like a bad EKG reading.

Our small team of four has never ridden completely together before; Rider A has experience with B, Rider B has experience with C, etc., so we have a general idea of our levels & capabilities. How do small groups like this typically approach very hilly routes; and/or the hills themselves? It seems expected that generally all riders on a team aren't at the same level/specialty, so is it typically best to all stick together on the duration of the hills? Each rider to do his own thing and all catch up at the summit, descent, etc.?
Since it's not a race, you can do it any way you want. If you want to stay together then the faster climbers can either wait at the top, go easy on the climbs, or agree to wait at the rest stops (or given points on the ride) for the slower climbers to catch up. If the slower climbers are slower because they are heavier they might be able to catch back up on the descents. If you don't care whether you stick together then it's devil take the hindmost.
 

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I did the 200k Brute last year and yes its tough. Sorry, I have not seen any data that suggests grades of 30%. My garmin did not register that. I did see 20-25% in a few spots.

As far as "team" riding goes, forget it on the climbs. It's all about getting yourself to the top. Your best bet is to regroup at the top. Good news is that these hills are spaced a fair distance apart. (compared to the Kickapoo or Horribly Hilly) You will have time to ride together between climbs.
 

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I don't know this ride, so I need to ask: other than the comfortable feeling of riding with people you know, is there any benefit of "keeping the team intact," like special recognition at the end or something like that?
 

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Glodowski Road, AKA "Catfish Hill" is approximately 24% for about a kilometer. I don't know anything around that hits 30%, I'd say that's stretching it. I do that hill with my 39/25, but it ain't easy or pretty. That's probably the toughest hill around, there are plenty of hills that hit 17%, they may even still be marked with the grades as you ride up them. I ride these roads every week in season, and I can tell you that the 200K is quite the accomplishment in my mind, the shorter distances will put the hurt on a cyclist that wasn't training during the winter and is still finding their legs.
There used to be a 50 mile race that went up some of these roads including Catfish Hill, that hill really destroyed the field at about 10 miles in. I remember doing the climb with my 39/23 and doing about 8 mph, if you think that's slow I suggest you try it at 24% or so :)
 

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I don't know this ride, so I need to ask: other than the comfortable feeling of riding with people you know, is there any benefit of "keeping the team intact," like special recognition at the end or something like that?
No team acknowledgments, no awards for finishing first. You can think of it as a hilly century ride. You do get a timing chip as this ride is one of three hilly rides that makes up the Wisconsin Triple Crown. They do keep track of order of finish and total distance riden for the Triple Crown. The award at the end of the Triple Crown is that if you do all 3 rides and do equal to more distance on each successive ride you will qualify for a semi custom jersey.
 

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Glodowski Road, AKA "Catfish Hill" is approximately 24% for about a kilometer. I don't know anything around that hits 30%, I'd say that's stretching it. I do that hill with my 39/25, but it ain't easy or pretty. That's probably the toughest hill around, there are plenty of hills that hit 17%, they may even still be marked with the grades as you ride up them. I ride these roads every week in season, and I can tell you that the 200K is quite the accomplishment in my mind, the shorter distances will put the hurt on a cyclist that wasn't training during the winter and is still finding their legs.
There used to be a 50 mile race that went up some of these roads including Catfish Hill, that hill really destroyed the field at about 10 miles in. I remember doing the climb with my 39/23 and doing about 8 mph, if you think that's slow I suggest you try it at 24% or so :)
I bonked pretty good around the 80 mile mark last year and fortunately that was in Fountain City. After a couple Cokes I was ready to go again. The last couple rest stops you will see people that are a wreck.

At 49 years old and ~200# the only way I would get a 39/25 up some of those hills would be walking next to it. :)
 

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No team acknowledgments, no awards for finishing first.
Thanks for the reply. In that case, it might be better to not even try "keeping the team intact." The faster riders sometimes resent having to wait; the slower people feel bad about making the faster ones wait. Doesn't have to be that way, but it sometimes works out that way.
 

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Thanks for the reply. In that case, it might be better to not even try "keeping the team intact." The faster riders sometimes resent having to wait; the slower people feel bad about making the faster ones wait. Doesn't have to be that way, but it sometimes works out that way.
Yep, everyone should do their own ride and then no-one feels short changed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks, all! I was mainly interested in keeping the "team" together for morale (read: group suffering) purposes, as well as any benefit there might be for drafting. However, it sounds like with the amount & frequency of hills, drafting won't be too beneficial at this ride.
 
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