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CoTA sounds like it sucks

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Might as well make a thread for CoTA as well

 

 
 

Austin working to reduce bumps for MotThe Circuit of the Americas is working to reduce the bumps in its track surface for next month's MotoGP race following criticism by riders last year

Many riders complained last season about the huge amount of bumps in certain parts of the Grand Prix of the Americas venue, which hosts the third round of the championship on April 22.

Some pinned the blame on Formula 1, which also hosts its US race at Austin, as the high-downforce cars have a tendency to create ripples in the tarmac that make life harder for bikes.

Ahead of this year’s race, the event organisers are trying to mitigate the flaws in the track surface with the use of grinder trucks, with a focus on the first two sectors - from Turn 1 thru turn 12

“Three points of the track require improvements. But if they do them, they have to do it properly," said Valentino Rossi at last year's race.

"We already complained about that some years ago and they did some works, but not in the correct way. They have to focus on the areas where the imperfections are larger."

Dani Pedrosa added: “On the back straight is difficult to control the bike and when you arrive there, you are riding at 300km/h.

"It is important they do something to fix that, because if things get worse, it will be very difficult to ride."

 

https://www.motorsport.com/motogp/news/austin-working-to-reduce-bumps-for-motogp-race-1019415/

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Yeah, they really aren't doing shit to seriously address the real problem. It's good that apparently someone finally at least acknowledges it as a problem, but shaving isn't gonna fix it, and will probably actually make it worse in the long run. And COTA continuously calling the bumps 'F1-related' is misleading bullshit.

Breaking out the bump grinding truck yet again <> trying to fix the problem. Doing more grinding might help a bit in the short term with the smaller stuff, but it's really just ignoring the real problem, and could actually make the problem worse in the long run. It's like putting a bandaid on a massive head wound.

Tony Vilander won two of the recent PWC races there a couple weeks ago & still complained about how bad the bumps were. There are also more quotes of the MotoGP riders going out of their way to tell COTA that the previous measures (shaving) weren't serious attempts to fix the problem and that if something meaningful isn't done, the track won't be safe to ride . It'll be interesting to see how the riders react to more shaving. I also noticed the article says they want to focus on 1-12 for the MotoGP riders, completely disregarding the bump that took two riders down at T18 over the 2017 weekend, including Vinales on lap 1 of the race. Hell, I saw a PWC car get its front right 6 inches off the ground there.

 

Edited by wood

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Yep. They don't do them themselves, a la TWS, but they rent the track out to people that do them.

Edited by wood

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3 hours ago, wood said:

Yep. They don't do them themselves, a la TWS, but they rent the track out to people that do them.

How much?  Should we organize a Surly track day?  Whats better than a day on hot tarmac watching guys in cargo shorts driving their f150s around a track?

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3 minutes ago, dingleberryswitzer said:

How much?  Should we organize a Surly track day?  Whats better than a day on hot tarmac watching guys in cargo shorts driving their f150s around a track?

It varies from company to company, starting at several hundred dollars minimum iirc. But I haven't checked in a while. I sure wish I could justify that expense, but I can't.

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I saw a Facebook posting about one that was pretty wide open (no specific car model) recently. I think it was in the $600 range. Would love to take my car out there to see what it can really do, but that's very hard to justify.

What's the long term future here? It has to be to sell or shut down. No way this cheapskate operation is sustainable long term.

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IDK. I think they're probably in a real bind with the track surface issues. 

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With all the money the city and state put up for COTA/F1, they ought to let the general public drive laps for $10 an hour. Maybe if the organization goes belly up we can have some unsanctioned night races out there.

Edit: actually, if a group can get a day of track time for $600 as mentioned above, that sounds pretty reasonable.  Or is that $600 per person...

 

Edited by Paper_jam

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12 hours ago, crackamacgowski said:

Pretty sure that's what Istanbul Park is these days.

Not Constantinople?

 

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4 hours ago, Paper_jam said:

With all the money the city and state put up for COTA/F1, they ought to let the general public drive laps for $10 an hour. Maybe if the organization goes belly up we can have some unsanctioned night races out there.

Edit: actually, if a group can get a day of track time for $600 as mentioned above, that sounds pretty reasonable.  Or is that $600 per person...

 

Person. Minimum.

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There's that narrative again...
 
 
Quote

“This is another demanding track and one that deserves respect," said Piero Taramasso, Manager of Michelin's Two-Wheel Motorsport Group. "It has many aspects to it and we have to make a tyre that can cope with all the different turns, hard-braking zones and the challenge of the surface.

"The circuit has tried hard to get rid of the bumps that have been caused by other events using the track, so it will be very interesting and important for us to understand how this will affect the tyres."

OK. SMH.

 
Edited by wood

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They are really trying to blame other events? What a bunch of bullshit. Unless I missed the monster truck races 

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19 minutes ago, Updawg said:

They are really trying to blame other events? What a bunch of bullshit. Unless I missed the monster truck races 

I'm sure it was the X-games.

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11 minutes ago, utee94 said:

I'm sure it was the X-games.

Ha! Yep. 

31 minutes ago, Updawg said:

They are really trying to blame other events? What a bunch of bullshit. Unless I missed the monster truck races 

Yep. Specifically I've heard them talking repeatedly on the PA at the track about F1 cars and bad weather 'causing the bumps'. So the F1 track in Texas wasn't engineered for F1 cars or bad weather? 

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MotoGP: Track drama ahead in Austin?

https://www.motorcyclenews.com/sport/motogp/2018/april/motogp-track-drama-ahead-in-austin/#.Wtea4dvIOLQ.twitter

Quote

This weekend’s American Grand Prix could throw a spanner into the works for race organisers as they remain on knife edge to see what sort of situation greets them at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas.

Riders complained twelve months ago about the bumpy surface, with Dani Pedrosa likening the surface to a Supercross race and saying he wasn’t prepared to ride at the track again unless something was done about them. Built on an almost unique type of soil local to the area and known as black gumbo, the track has subsided considerably since opening in 2012, leaving it in a difficult to ride condition last year.

It’s an issue that faces road construction in the area as well, with new routes often prepared and then left to stabilise for up to a year before being completed.

To remedy those bumps, circuit staff have attempted to utilise heavy road construction planning equipment in recent weeks to uniformly sand down the track and remove them. However, that’s believed to have exposed the ultra-abrasive under-surface of the asphalt in places, leaving the track potentially highly abrasive on tyres.

Still to be properly assessed by the riders, MotoGP’s safety representatives and sole tyre supplier Michelin, there’s a possibility of extreme solutions like mandatory pit stops being introduced to this weekend’s event if the track is found to be not up to scratch. Any action is unlikely to come until after the opening day of action and the subsequent Friday night safety commission meeting, however.

 

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COTA takes steps to smooth out MotoGP’s bumpy ride

 

Mandatory pit stops? Ho lee fuk. 

Seems like COTA's trying to pass this off as the big fix the track needs. & Notice how they continue to blame it on other series and the bad weather over the winter? Same thing they said last year, and iirc the year before that. 

https://www.mystatesman.com/sports/motor-sports/cota-takes-steps-smooth-out-motogp-bumpy-ride/ucHffGxXVIiKIy7KKUwp6L/

Quote

When MotoGP bolted from Circuit of the Americas a year ago, the stars of the show fired a few parting shots tied to their bumpy rides, with Honda’s Dani Pedrosa even comparing one section to a “motocross” track.

The combination of six sports car weekends, Formula One and an unusually rough Central Texas winter that included more than a half-dozen freezes has pulled and tugged at the surface even more since last April.

COTA officials said they went to significant lengths to address the track’s growing number of bumps, adding that they are confident the surface will be much improved this week when MotoGP returns for the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas.

“It’s smooth enough to ride around the track at 210 miles per hour,” COTA chairman Bobby Epstein told the American-Statesman on Wednesday.

The real test will come Friday morning when the rubber meets the road in practice. For now, officials with Dorna, the Barcelona-based commercial rights-holder for MotoGP, say they are guardedly optimistic.

Dorna CEO Carlos Ezpeleta and the FIM safety officer Franco Uncini, a former world champion rider, both said any final judgment will be withheld until riders speak to the safety commission Friday afternoon.

“The work looks good, and we appreciate the effort that COTA has made to improve the track,” Uncini said. “We must wait to get feedback from the riders, but we can see there is improvement from last year.”

COTA brought in industrial smoothing machines to grind down the bumps, concentrating on the area between turns 1 and 12. The track also contracted specialists to shave the bumps on multiple occasions.

“We worked with (organizing bodies) FIM and FIA to come up with a plan to address the bumps yet leave the surface in a condition that suited both cars and motorcycles,” said Katja Heim, COTA’s chief operating officer.

FIM has used a specific drum grinder on European tracks that left the surface with a texture that was immediately driveable.

“COTA purchased one of those European drums and had it shipped here so we could do the same thing,” Heim said.

Before the recent grinding project, former world champion Kevin Schwantz of Austin and Moto2 rider Joe Roberts, the only American currently on the grid, toured the track just more than two weeks ago.

“We took all their feedback and made the necessary changes,” Heim said.

After the European drum was deployed, Schwantz was brought back for more test rides. He reported a major improvement in the size and texture of the bumps and “felt the grip was nearly equal” in places where the track was ground to where it was left alone.

Roberts, a 20-year-old Californian, is eager to give the circuit a go at his first MotoGP race in Austin. He has competed on the track in the MotoAmerica series, which also will race here this weekend.

“It’s one of the toughest tracks we go to, and I know it’s gotten bumpier,” Roberts said. “Pavement can be weird. It stretches, it contracts. F1 cars put a lot of stress on the pavement. So can the heavy sports cars.

“America is car country. I grew up riding bumpy tracks. Road America, Road Atlanta. I’m not too pampered with the European smooth tracks yet. Now if it’s still really bumpy here next year, I might come back and start screaming,” he added, flashing a smile.

The stakes are significant. Austin is the only North American stop in this wildly popular international series, and MotoGP trails only F1 in drawing motorsports fans to COTA.

“It’s important we get this right,” Epstein said. “We feel good about what’s been done.”

 

Edited by wood

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https://www.motorsport.com/motogp/news/dovizioso-says-austin-bumps-remain-very-very-very-bad-1028421/

 

MotoGP riders say that the efforts to reduce the bumps at Austin’s Circuit of the Americas have failed to address the issue, while simultaneously creating a huge amount of dust on the track’s surface.

 

Many complained last season about the large amount of bumps in certain parts of the Grand Prix of the Americas venue, which hosts the third round of the championship this weekend. 

Ahead of this year’s race, event organisers attempted to mitigate the flaws in the track surface with the use of diamond-grinder trucks, with a focus on the first two sectors – from Turn 1 to Turn 12.

Formula 1 cars have been blamed for creating the ripples in the asphalt, and the bumps are exaggerated for those riding 200mph-plus MotoGP bikes.

Speaking after FP1 at COTA, Ducati’s Andrea Dovizioso said: “For me it is the same and it is very, very, very bad because we are on a wonderful track and like this all the positive things of the track go away, it is very bumpy

The track was too dirty, I don't understand why we have to speak in the safety commission about that, because normally they are doing a great job about that, but the worst thing is the bumps – the bumps are very bad.”

Honda’s reigning champion Marc Marquez echoed his 2017 title rival’s thoughts.

“Of course we expected less bumps, but it's very similar like last year,” said Marquez, who topped the opening session of the weekend by four tenths from Valentino Rossi.

“More or less same bumps in the same places, in some places more, in some places less. But, anyway, the bumps are there for everybody.”

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Yep. Who could possibly have seen this coming?

Petrucci really dropped the hammer. Wow...

Austin MotoGP: Petrucci: COTA bumps a throwback to Hailwood, Agostini!   https://www.crash.net/motogp/news/894126/1/petrucci-cota-bumps-throwback-hailwood-agostini

Quote

Danilo Petrucci had some strong words for the condition of the Circuit of the Americas after day one of the Austin MotoGP.

Prior to the event, industrial grinding machines were used to try and reduce the notorious bumps - but Petrucci was one of several riders who said they are worse than ever.

"Here we struggle a lot on the bumps. They say they shave the bumps, but maybe they shave in another circuit because the bumps are much more than last year," he said.

"I think it's not safe to race on a track like this. I mean we are in a world championship and I never found a track like this even in the national championship.

"For sure the world championship is the hardest one of the world - and we have to race in every condition and every track.

"But crashing because of bumps I think is a thing that maybe Hailwood and Agostini had in their careers! And today, a lot of crashes for the bumps."

 

Edited by wood

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Epstein's response: 'Check the tires for lumps'

https://www.mystatesman.com/sports/motor-sports/motogp-notebook-some-riders-still-doing-the-bump-cota/DlgHd1NxoC3fPe7qojBSfP/

COTA Chairman Bobby Epstein tweaked the critics.

“We’re calling Hoover and Dyson to see if we can get a vacuum sponsor to help with our dust problem,” he said. “As for the bumps, they are actually much better than last year, but we will continue to work on them. I’d check the tires for lumps.”

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21 minutes ago, Updawg said:

Add some rain - what could go wrong.  

Yeah, so, on that note...

Miller says Austin rocks “like bullets” broke windscreen; fears dust will turn to mud with predicted a.m. rains

https://t.co/jGhrSo6M0W

Quote

Argentinian Grand Prix poleman Jack Miller says the poor condition of Austin’s Circuit of the Americas caused a broken windscreen in practice for this weekend’s MotoGP event.
Miller said the amount of dust and rocks on the track was “worse than Qatar” after residue from diamond-grinding work, to reduce the severity of the track’s bumps, left the surface in a poor state. Valentino Rossi referred to the situation as “like being at the ranch – a lot of white dust, you don’t see nothing in front, very strange!”

Miller said: “I don’t wanna be negative but it’s definitely worse than it was last year. The track I thought was fine last year, but this year she’s turned into a bit of a motocross track, especially with the rooster [tails of dust] down the back straight. 

“We’ve broken a windscreen already with the rocks and the dust, I’m gonna put some drops in my eye now because I hate dust! And it’s so bad down that back straight, it’s ridiculous. 

“Honestly, I couldn’t believe it. I was in the Clinica [Mobile] when Moto3 was on, and everyone was like ‘did you see the dust on the back straight?’ and I thought ‘how bad can it be? It can’t be worse than Qatar.’ 

“But I came out of there on the first lap behind Dovi and I actually buttoned off [the throttle] because it was getting roosted, and it was like big old rocks hitting me at 300km/h… They felt like bullets. I wasn’t too keen on that. 

“It’s a real shame, because I really enjoy this track, but to get a rhythm today was really hard.”

Miller said he would raise the issue at Friday’s Safety Commission meeting.

“I’m keen to get to the Safety Commission and see what they have to say about it, because it doesn’t look good on the TV,” he added. “[At] Qatar we run a different type of air filter for the bike, you’re gonna need that here because the dust is worse than Qatar, by far. It’s just that shitty concrete dust.”

Potential for rain on Saturday
A rain-bearing weather front is scheduled to cross the area on Saturday morning, with the potential for thunderstorms around the time of the third free practice session.

“I’m actually wondering how it’s gonna be to ride on that shit, because I swear to God, you have no idea how bad it is, how dusty it is,” Miller added. “It’ll be almost like riding on mud when it mixes with water. It might be better when it dries, but if we’ve gotta go out there and ride [in the wet] I’ll be interested to see how the grip is. 

“From my past experience, and my theory, dirt and water on top of a normal track normally don’t combine too well.”

 

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Oof...

 

More re: the track from other riders...

 

Crutchlow: "I think they’ve made a terrible job," he said. "They tried to make it better but they made it worse. I know last year was bad, and now it’s even worse.

"I don’t understand how we can come to a GP and it’s worse than last year," he fumed. "I love this circuit, but it’s bad. It’s honestly bad that we now come to GPs and the circuit be in this shape."

"They haven’t really done anything.
"It’s so dirty, and so bumpy you can’t imagine. I love this circuit, but it’s bad. It’s honestly bad that we now come to GPs and the circuit be in this shape.
"And it’s so dirty you can’t imagine. You can’t see down the back straight if you’re behind someone."

 

Rossi: "It’s a disaster," said Valentino Rossi. "For me it’s the worst situation during all the season. You have three or four bumps that are very big."

“With our bike it’s difficult, because you have a lot of bumps on the straight, so the bike moves very much at more than 300km/h and it’s a critical situation.” 

"Back straight, after the hole, you go up, you go over the crest, [in] fifth and sixth [gears] the bike moves a lot because of big bumps. There are a lot of bumps in the braking [zone] also," Rossi added. "Maybe the biggest one is Turn 18, before the last two lefts, the bodywork touches the ground, so it’s like motocross. Personally, I like very much this track, but the bumps start to be a problem."

"Last year we asked to do some improvements. They did something, but unfortunately it didn’t work."

"It was like being at the ranch!" Rossi complained. "You don't see anything in front, and it's very strange ... Maybe coming from the asphalt, but I don't know."

Espargaro: 'described the situation as "unacceptable", urging organisers to resurface the track'

 

http://en.f1i.com/news/301329-cota-track-surface-criticised-motogp-riders.html

https://jalopnik.com/heres-what-everyone-in-the-racing-world-is-mad-about-th-1825442655

http://www.thedrive.com/accelerator/20296/valentino-rossi-circuit-of-the-americas-track-conditions-fitting-for-motocross

https://www.motorsport.com/motogp/news/rossi-worsening-austin-bumps-disaster-crutchlow-1028571/

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I wish I was wrong...

FYI if you're headed out there in the a.m., there might be some delays if this fog sticks around too long.

31124580_2011444472203421_46164944662434

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I didn't get out there yesterday til after FP1, then I came home & read about the dust. I had no idea how bad it was til I saw this shit...

That's fucked up. Then for FP2 it was fine, so apparently they cleaned the track between sessions? Nobody thought about doing that after grinding the track ... seriously?

DbPBVIoW0AAyTPB.jpg

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On 4/6/2018 at 11:16 AM, Speedtrucker said:

Does CoTA do track days for the public?

 

On 4/6/2018 at 2:44 PM, dingleberryswitzer said:

How much?  Should we organize a Surly track day?  Whats better than a day on hot tarmac watching guys in cargo shorts driving their f150s around a track?

 

On 4/12/2018 at 5:28 PM, Paper_jam said:

Edit: actually, if a group can get a day of track time for $600 as mentioned above, that sounds pretty reasonable.  Or is that $600 per person...

A couple years ago the track could be rented for a measly $55K/day.  Not sure what it costs now.  Chin Track Days and MVP Track Time are two responsible groups that hold track days at COTA.  They aren't the cheapest but they provide a good balance of cost vs track time.  Chin is trying to get the track for the weekend after the USGP, so that might be a good time for a surly track day.

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Once again, concessions at COTA are a total joke... absurdly slow (if they move at all lines), watching workers struggle to figure out how to hook up extra registers, waiting in line on Saturday around lunch (not Sunday) and being told that advertised menu items weren't going to be available.  Really?  What a joke.  I want to keep seeing races there but they need to fix so much... feels like we write this after EVERY event.

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Yep. And there really weren't many vendors at all around the circuit considering this was the 2nd biggest event of the year. 

And re: the traffic, it doesn't help that they skimp on traffic control and aren't at all consistent with it from one day to the next.

 

Posted in  the other thread, but it might as well go here, too...

Dunno if this article is right, and I hadn't heard this until now, but it seems COTA has no MotoGP contract as of yet for 2019 and beyond. 

MotoGP arrives at COTA with its future in Austin yet to be settled https://www.mystatesman.com/sports/motor-sports/motogp-arrives-cota-with-its-future-austin-yet-settled/k2dAv2qEX9nobLkxd8IZkO/

Quote

Epstein said ticket sales were up “double digits” this year. However, MotoGP’s contract with COTA also is up after this year, the sixth time Austin has been host to the series.

Dorna, the Barcelona-based rights holder for MotoGP, keeps its cards close to the vest and will weigh riders’ criticism of the bumpy track, which surfaced again Friday even after repeated efforts in recent months to smooth out rough spots.

 

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Too bad - there's so much potential and yet...

I hope they renew but only because I do enjoy the racing but they need to get their act together.  I have no realistic expectation that they ever well, though.

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I'd only expect things to change if they get a new ownership group.  And with each passing year I'd say that becomes less likely.

 

I'm cool living with it for one weekend per year, especially since now I'm just staying out there the entire time and traffic in on Thursday, and out on Monday, is a breeze...

 

 

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Wow. Just saw this on another board, re: the MotoGP Weekend...

PDX_214 said: ↑


I was working one of the corners during the motogp race and was doing track walks between sessions. There was a 3x5" hole coming on to the main straight that kept opening up throughout the weekend. It was getting chipped away at, and I'm sure there were other parts of the track doing the same. So those "rocks and pebbles" they kept getting hit with, could have been parts of the track getting ripped up and thrown around. Not only that, cracks were developing on the racing line. Its bad.

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23 minutes ago, skittlebrau said:

Leaving COTA after riding the MS 150 and it is a grade A shit show. It will get even worse when the slow riders come in.

The circuit, or the way they're handling the event? Hope you had a good ride. I've never tried any of the 150s because I can't imagine going that far after going further the day before. 

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Handling of the event. Taking an hour plus for people to get in to see their family finish. Over an hour and a half to catch a shuttle w my bike back to the parking lot and the truck pulling the shuttle died most of the way up the hill, so we had to unload and walk the rest of the way. Heard one of the BP ladies yelling at COTA people on the radio. 

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Holy shit. Can't say I'm too surprised I guess , though. Those guys are truly an embarrassment.

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1 hour ago, wood said:

The circuit, or the way they're handling the event? Hope you had a good ride. I've never tried any of the 150s because I can't imagine going that far after going further the day before. 

I've done it a couple of times, it's definitely a bitch convincing yourself to get on the bike the second day. 

Too bad they screwing up the finish. That's sucks to have to put up with that kind of stuff after riding that far 

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22 minutes ago, skittlebrau said:

It’s especially hard if you haven’t ridden more than 20 miles at any point during training. 

Ha. That was me the first time. It's interesting how you ride yourself into shape the first 50 miles or so

Drinking a bunch of beer the night before Iis also a bad idea 

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I’ve done 6 of the MS150’s.  Last year was brutal, but we still finished in Downtown.  I’m surprised it’s a shit show at COTA.  The MS150 people run a good event.  They can’t be happy about this.

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5 minutes ago, Goofyboy said:

I’ve done 6 of the MS150’s.  Last year was brutal, but we still finished in Downtown.  I’m surprised it’s a shit show at COTA.  The MS150 people run a good event.  They can’t be happy about this.

I’ve done the last four. I’m going to actually prepare one of these years.

Logistic issues were all on COTA for sure.

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