Sometimes it’s easy to pick your class. Sometimes it’s not.
Million Dollar Question(s). ‘Was I challenged enough in my class last year?‘ ‘I’m new to Over the Hump. Where do I fit?’ Over the Hump is a finely tuned balance of FUN with the perfect(est) mix of Epic Competition. Here’s how we calibrate the scale.
Beginner (6 Race Series): an Over the Hump Beginner Racer is an entry level, dip your toe in the water, have an interest in participating in a mountain bike race with your friends, but no idea what you’re getting yourself into… (insert breath)… someone who is entering the mountain bike race as a new racer, without previous race experience, or who has an inability to compete with the Intermediate Race Class.
Beginner Bottom Line: Beginner is never a forever class. Beginner is slow with a focus on trying something new for a novice rider turned racer.
Intermediate (6 Race Series): The intermediate class is a bridge class between beginner and sport. It was designed for racers with prior race experience (or those of you who have been training your ass off before you pulled the trigger on racing). You know you’ve been riding too fast or for too long to be called a beginner. If you’ve been racing for a while, stop the “SHAME GAME” and elevate your status with coworkers. You are a BEGINNER no more(stop sandbagging), Intermediate is for you. It’s designed to be a challenging race class for racers who don’t feel they are ready for Sport.
Intermediate Bottom Line: Intermediate is faster with more of a competitive flair than beginner.
Sport (12 Race Series): The Sport class is a class designed for the experienced racer with the fitness to match. You go from Intermediate’s two laps, to three. That adds one 4 mile lap increase in distance, a big increase in friendly competition, and a whole lot-a-fun. (No leg shaving required). If you are a regular rider (racer), want to go the distance, but but aren’t ready to find that extra gear of Super Sport, this is your class.
Sport Bottom Line: Sport is one lap longer than Intermediate, with more focus on competition, and a gateway class to full “Super-Sport” 3 lap throttle chasers.
Super Sport (12 Race Series): So you’ve done the 3 laps, and gained some fitness, gone the distance and ready to nitro-boost your race pace? Good, let’s do this. Super Sport is a notch below the expert distance of 16 to 18 miles but a similar pace. Seasoned racers, and experienced “Humpers” push themselves. You’re leaving nothing on the table, and pushing yourself to the limit, loving the fiercely friendly competition that we all know and love at OTH.
Super Sport Bottom Line: Fast! And has an elevated competitive flare. If you use a power meter, do intervals and train on the road bike…you guessed it this is your class.
Elite (12 Race Series): Elite is our broccoli chomping, road churning, gram watching, obsessively focused racers who build their life around the bike. However our elite attitude is not allowed the “Elite Creep”. Let’s be clear. You are the example of how to smile and high five in the midst of the competitive furnace, 195 beats per minute heart rate, and speed obsession so deep you can write a dissertation on hair removal (Nair-e-nomics?). You’ve dialed in your training, now be the leader to show the rest of us how it’s done.
Elite Bottom Line: Elite is a Super Fast and is competitive. Longer, faster…better? You decide (we’ll watch).
OTH Vets who should move up: are qualified by one of three things:
A Note to bottom finishers: are you sitting in the bottom 20-30% of the class you were racing last year? If you’re not having fun, or are needing to overcommit training hours to keep with the demands of your class’s speed and distance, you may be a candidate to move down a class. Need help deciding? We can help, just send us a note (Click here to fast track your request) Keep it fun!
And if you’re 60 or turning 60 durning the season, don’t forget about the 60+ open class. This year the class seems to have lost the stigma of being just for slow old guys, with a starting grid of 24 racers. Trust me, I finished mid-pack in the season opener and had one of the most enjoyable races to date.
Craig, you’re rad!