For first timers, and curious veterans, we’ve put together this How To Guide for a safe and fun Wolfman. Here are some tips on bike set up, advice on riding technique, and strategies on getting through course with style and ease!
-Flats make it easy to restart after you come to a stop. You won’t struggle flipping the pedal around trying to get clipped in.
-Since you’re not clipped into the pedal, it’s not unheard of that your foot slips off the pedal and smacks you in the calf or shin!!
-You’re feet aren’t going to bounce off the pedals so you might be able to keep pedaling through some rough stuff, and you won’t get whacked in the shin as much!
The Wolfman bike leg has a ton of variety. For much of the ride you can just sit and spin, like you would on a road bike. However, there are lots of sections where real mountain bike skills will come in handy for safety and fun. There are some very rocky sections, some narrow stuff, and some short and steep hills. I’ll do the best I can share some basics that will help, especially if you can get a little practice before the big day.
You’ll grab a right onto some sweet dirt roads for another 2 miles of easy riding. After you cross a paved road, Van Alstine, you’ll soon be guided onto the first sections of the Famous Wolfman Single Track. For a increased safety you may want to drop that seat an inch or two, or get ready to hit that dropper lever! Remind yourself to stay low, scan ahead, move fore and aft on the bike as you climb and descend, and smile.
The first challenge, soon after you cross the highway, is a pretty tough climb. For now I’m calling this Bitch Hill, but I’m sure it’ll get called lots of things on race day. For a lot of us this hill may not be ridable so if you can’t make it, relax! You’re in good company. This probably isn’t the time or place to bury yourself. There’s a lot of race in front of you. Its not technical, but its a long steep bugger with some false summits.
For the next 3 miles you’re in and out of various single track sections. This is the time to keep things in perspective and Ride When You Can, Walk When You Need To. Don’t burn a lot of energy fretting about things. This is a tough part of the race and you’re goal should be to be safe and get to mile 11.4, when you leave the single track behind! Cruise down the dirt road to the river crossing and YIPEEE!, just 1.6 miles to go!!
There is a little more flat single track right before the river, but it isn’t too hard. Just a little riding on the islands, carry your bike across the main channel of the river, spin up the last dirt road, and you can finally hand the bike to a wonderful volunteer!
Don’t worry, the fun’s not over! You’ve still got the gorgeous Trail Run before you cross the finish line and can finally say…
IMBA ICP Level 2 Instructor