Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Weekend Cross Ride

The Kettle Cross race up in Edmonton is fast approaching! Interested in doing the Powderface Road  Elbow Valley loop at the end of 66 for a long ride on the cross bike?

Where: Elbow Valley (end of 66)
When: 9am on Sunday morning (Sept-2)


I'll be bringing a better map on the day of. Comment if you're planning to come so I know to expect you!

Edit: Thomas has suggested the Powderface Road as an alternative; the Little/Big Elbow Valley loop could result in a bit of walking.
Edit2: The date was wrong.


Reinier Paauwe said...

Quote of the day:

"this trail has two directions to choose from, and like Ann Heche, you could say it's good to go either way"

Sounds fun Steve, I'll see if I can get a babysitter and join you, I'll let you know.

cyclingphysio said...

You won't need a map, it's really straighforward. Make sure to go counterclockwise, way more fun. Can't make it out but jealous big time.

Thomas said...

I assume you are referring to the Little Elbow Big Elbow loop? Have you ridden this before Stephen? It's not rough by mtb standards but a cx bike will definitely get overwhelmed in some sections. Not trying to discourage, I'm always down for adventure but that might be more walking than it's worth. For reference that ride on mtbs takes us just under 3 hours usually and that's no real stops with minimal walking. Just my $0.02 for what it's worth. Here is the gps from my last ride on that trail:

Thomas said...

I second the counter-clockwise comment.

Steve P said...


Thanks for the info and the Strava link! I was indeed talking about the Little/Big Elbow loop. I posted on the main blog here for comments like this - I haven't done the full thing.

How 'overwhelmed' are we talking? I.e., 100m's of mud or rocks?

Thomas said...

I would say it will mostly be sections of rocks to contend with both climbing and descending. They are all walkable. Many of the sections are can be challenging on a mtb. You cross multiple creek beds which are all rock and there are quite a few steep descents that are right into a steep ascent with a rock bed at the bottom in between. There are also a few extended complete rock sections, yeah 100m or more. Like I said it will be an adventure and could be worth it in that respect. But as far as "training" it will be a different kind of training that's for sure.

It will be a "true" cyclocross adventure.

Thomas said...

I would ride Powderface road from the end of 66 to Dawson or McDougall Memorial or any arbitrary spot depending on how far you want to out and back. That would be a good CX ride.

Steve P said...

Great idea. I want to get in an interesting route, but actually ride it. :)

Chuck J said...

Steve, I assume this ride is Sunday Sept. 2nd 9am? I might be able to make that.

Steve P said...

Yes. I am an idiot. Thank you.

cyclingphysio said...

I used to do elbow loop as a kid with a bike from canadian tire without shocks or really any decent parts at all. I didn't walk it then. A cross bike can get through, you'll just have tired forearms from death gripping the brakes into tombstone.

(my sister did it once on a huffy and she never rides anything)

Marcy Kimpton said...

I would be interested to hear from anyone that rides this on a CX bike...epic for sure!

Steve P said...

Marcy, it was a totally awesome ride! Something like 1300m of climbing in 50k with the common grade of 6-7% up the hills. My pace started to struggle around the 12% mark, and when the 20% peaks hit it was all I could do to keep my speed up so I wouldn't tip over. It was hard because it wasn't possible to stand, otherwise your rear wheel would spin out! It was a blast grinding up the hills and then barreling down the other side. I definitely recommend it for CX training! Great hard packed gravel, low traffic, in the mountains, and crazy hills!
Link to strava file:

Trevor Pizzey said...

I just did this yesterday on a cross bike. We went counterclockwise, and the first half of the ride to the summit of the pass is great for cross. I have a front disc, TRP EuroX rear, and that was lots of braking power. I swapped out my Ultegra rear derailleur for an XT before we went, and upped the rear to an 11-32 cassette. I was glad in a few spots to have the extra teeth. I rode on Slant 6 tires. There are quite a few loose and dusty sections right now, so you need good tread if you're not going to spin out. The second half of the ride is more technical and obviously where a mountain bike geometry would be really helpful. I only ended up having to run a few short sections though, maybe 2-300 m in the whole 45 km. Oh yeah....take a pair of gloves. I don't normally ride with gloves, so never thought to take any, and by the end of the ride, the vibration and braking had done a number on my hands. Only one blister that broke, but I could hardly hold onto the hoods by the time we were done.

Steve P said...

Hey Trevor,
You did the Little/Big loop? Excellent to hear! I wonder if it similar to the Kettle Enduro cross race a couple of weekends ago... by your description, it kinda sounds like it.

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