Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Mammoth Bike Park To Open June 24th

dhReno clued us into the fact that Mammoth Bike Park will be opening for the season on June 24th, 2006. Normally I wouldn't be covering this, but with the Northstar canceling their season and the US MTB Championships being moved, I figured some people would want to know about it. They must not be opening much of the mountain in June...

Norcal Racing This Weekend: May 31 - June 4, 2006

There's racing at all corners of NorCal this weekend, with a little of something everywhere for everyone:
Tonight (WEDNESDAY) marks another Prairie City Race (PCRS#8). Riders do a varying amount of 4 mile laps (course varies weekly) depending on category. Registration starts at 4:15 PM and costs $25 (subsequent races cost $10). Make sure to come out to Prairie City (near Folsom, CA) for your midweek XC races.

SATURDAY brings us downhill madness at the Tish Tang Televison in Hopa, CA (near Arcata, CA) and steep XC climbing fun at the Peavine Challenge in Reno, NV. Tish Tang TV had to be rescheduled from last week, but promises to be another quality DH race. And best of all, its free. The Peavine Challenge is the third XC race in the Northern Nevada MTB Cup and is a US MTB National Championship qualifier. Expect 7 - 26 miles and 1200' to 4400' of climbing depending on your category. Peavine registration is held onsite and costs $25 for adults ($10 for juniors).

SUNDAY closes out the busy weekend with the return of two coastal classic XC series: CCCX (now number #5) and Billy Cross Races (Billy Cross #6). CCCX #5 restarts the season after a two month layoff, but you catch up with what you missed with this handy first half recap. Be ready for the fast course in Seaside, CA (near Monterey) as “laps will be between five and six miles … 3 laps for Beginners, 4 laps for Sport, 5 laps for Expert/Pro.” The race costs $30 ($15 for juniors) with registration onsite. Billy Cross Racing #6 returns back to the XC format and Bogg's Mountain (near Cobb, CA in the North Bay) after May's team marathon races.

But were not done! Sunday also features the Humbug Hurry-up way up north in Yreka, CA [ MAP ]. An XC race ranging from 9 - 24 miles (depending on ability), the Hurry-Up is now part of Breakaway Events 2006 Cross Country Series. Registration is $25 plus license and available onsite for a $5 fee.
For you downhillers looking to qualify for the US MTB Nationals, there is also a NORBA sanctioned qualfier in Santa Barbara this weekend. I'll post something later today or tomorrow on it.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

12 Hrs of Weaverville Pics

I haven't seen any results from yesterday's 12 Hours of Weaverville, but it looks like they have posted some pictures. I'll update this with results when I see them.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

ROAD TRIP: Fears, Tears and Beers Enduro

Okay, so I am just going to float this one out there since June is a little bit of a slow month for NorCal racing . . . The Great Basin Trails Alliance announces the Eastern Nevada's First Annual Mountain Bike Enduro: Fears, Tears and Beers. The enduro (or rally) styled) race will be held in Ely, NV (about 9 hours east of South Lake Tahoe) on June 10th, 2006. The race will consist of "3-5 timed sections, mostly twisty downhills. The sum of the times on these special tests will determine the winner. Additionally, riders must reach the beginning of each special test by a predetermined cutoff time to avoid penalties added to the time. These cutoff times will be set to allow approximately 90% of the riders to make the cutoffs if they ride at a moderate trail pace." The length of the race depends on ability:
  • Beginner: 17.5 miles, 2,300' elevation gain, 2 timed sections
  • Sport: 26.6 miles, 3,500' elevation gain, 3 timed sections
  • Pro/Expert: 33.2 miles, 5,400' elevation gain, 5 timed sections
This sounds like a really cool event on an open weekend. It's a drive, but you could also hit Austin, NV and Winnemuca, NV on the way.
Event: Fears, Tears and Beers Enduro
Dates: June 10th, 2006
Location: Ely, NV [ MAP ]
Competition: XC/SD/DH
Cost: $30 pre-reg / $40 (after June 4th)
License: none
Registration: online

Saturday, May 27, 2006

RACE REPORT: Skyline Park

The results are in for last weekend's Skyline Park XC race. Congratulations Aren Timmel (Soulcraft) who won the Pro Men's competition and Sarah Kerlin (Another Bike Shop) who took the Pro Women's race. Aren also won the Napa Valley Dirt Classic last month.

I haven't seen any pictures posted but I will update this if I spot any.

Friday, May 26, 2006


The seventh race in the Prairie City Race Series was held Wednesday night after last week's off week. Results are posted here and a few sets of pictures are posted here and here.

Norcal Racing This Weekend: May 27 - 29, 2006

So there's only one thing on the old calendar this weekend, and it isn't even actually this weekend: Team Bigfoot's 12 Hours of Weaverville will be held in Weaverville, CA on Monday, May 29th, 2006. Unfortunately, the registration deadline has passed, so if you haven't registered you're out of luck.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

X-Fusion To Sponsor US MTB Natl Championship

Not that I am bagging on USA Cycling or X-Fusion, but has anyone heard of X-Fusion before ? Does anyone actually have one of their products ? It's nice that they actually are paying the pros this time around . . .
USA Cycling announced today X-Fusion as the title sponsor for its 2006 National Mountain Bike Championships this summer . . . X-Fusion’s support of the event, along with a supplemental contribution from Infineon Raceway, also means a $25,000 prize purse is up for grabs in the 12 men’s and women’s pro events. Competitors in the pro ranks of the Cross Country, Short Track, Mountain Cross, Downhill, Marathon and Super D will compete for a $1,000 cash prize to compliment his or her stars and stripes jersey, gold medal and title of national champion. Additional cash prizes will be paid out five deep - $500, $250, $150, and $100 respectively. Furthermore, an added $1,000 bonus will be on the line for any pro rider that wins two national titles over the weekend.

X-Fusion will also provide suspension products for expert categories through a post-race lottery system amongst podium finishers. In total, three Cross Country and three Downhill suspension packages will be awarded. Additional X-Fusion branded apparel and soft goods will be awarded to amateur category participants.
Full press release here.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

12 Hours Of Weaverville Deadline

So there is still time to sign up for the Team Bigfoot's 12 Hours of Weaverville. Remember, there is no registration onsite. Online registration closes at noon on Thursday (12 PM 5/25/06).

12 Hours of Weaverville is a relay race for teams of 1, 2, 3 or 4 rider from 8am to 8pm on Monday, May 29th, 2006. Held on a 13-mile course is on the flume trails and single-track of the Weaverville Basin Trail System. There's about 1600' of climbing per lap, most of that is in the first three miles, then singletrack the whole way back.

The course should be marked by the afternoon of 5/25 for pre-riding.

Tish-Tang TV Rescheduled

From the Trinity River Pirates website: "Hate to tell you but we have rescheduled the DH for this weekend to June 3, 2006. We pushed the race back a week due due to several reasons but mainly because of the weather and not being able to spend enough time preparing the course for the race. Dig day help would be greatly appreciated if you are interested." I've updated the schedule and event info.

Magic Mushroom Speedway DH 2006


In addition to delaying the Tish Tang Television DH race, the Trinity River Pirates have posted some details on their June downhill race (Magic Mushroom Speedway). And it's another innovative one: "This race will be held under the moon and stars. The trail will be lit with all manner of multicolored lighting available including glow sticks, black lights, christmas lights, and halogen floods for the technical sections. The trail is rather short and fast with minimal technical areas. Bike lights will not be allowed, however, rest assured we will make sure that you are able to see the trail well enough to mob." It looks like the race will begin at dark with some practice time beforehand. Three runs combined times format will crown the winner. Course details are here.
Event: Magic Mushroom Speedway DH
Dates: June 24th, 2006
Location: Hoopa, CA [ MAP ]
Competition: DH
Cost: free!
URL: Magic Mushroom Speedway page
License: none
Registration: email

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Norcal Racing This Week: May 24 - 26, 2006

Were back with midweek racing this week. On tap:
Tomorrow (WEDNESDAY) marks another Prairie City Race (PCRS#7). After the off week, we are back racing in Sacto. Riders do a varying amount of 4 mile laps (course varies weekly) depending on category. Registration starts at 4:15 PM and costs $25 (subsequent races cost $10). Make sure to come out to Prairie City (near Folsom, CA) for your enduro-style XC racin'.

THURSDAY night is the fifth race in the Reno Wheelmen's Twilight MTB series in Reno, NV. This week's XC race will be held at Hidden Valley [ MAP ]. The race costs $10 with onsite registration and starts at 6:30 PM.

RACE REPORT: Rainbow Ridge Challenge

Hey, I never posted the 2006 Jetway Chevrolet Rainbow Ridge Challenge results (because I couldn't find them). However, the good people over at the Reno Wheelmen site pointed me in the right direction. Here they are. The 2006 Pine Nut Cracker results are also posted (although in PDF). They also have the rest of the 2006 Nevada Cup race information posted.

Monday, May 22, 2006

RACE REPORT: 2006 Pine Nut Cracker

Zon and I got up early Saturday morning to drive over the Sierras to compete in Alta Alpina's Pine Nut Cracker race. Our two hour drive was well worth it. It was a beautiful day for a race in a beautiful place for a race.

Sierras From Gardnerville

We got there early and hoped to register one class up to make up for the short course. (Un)fortunately, this was a NORBA event and they couldn't allow us to race out of class without a bunch of paperwork, which turned out to be a good thing. The course looked short but was actually pretty challenging. The race was well organized with easy registration, a band and even a cookout with the largest burgers I had every eaten after the race.

The race drew about 60 riders in varying categories, with a strong showing in the expert and ladies classes. The course differed depending on racing class, varying length from 12 to 26 miles. As courses go, it was the standard "climb up the mountain, come flying down the backside, repeat if necessary" variety. A beginning/ending on fireroads/asphalt that led to the mountain loop. As I was pedaling the course, I couldn't believe that the elevation profile that they had posted could be correct. The profile showed a slow, steady 1000' climb over about 7 miles. However on the course, it was a series of 100' climbs with 50' gullies . . . that went on forever. After the race, my GPS elevation profile looked exactly like theirs.

My race went pretty well. I got out fast in the mass start, setting up with the front section of people. I didn't judge anyone to by in my age group, so I settled in with them. Though I had trouble keeping with the quick pace on the asphalt/fireroad lead to the loop, I caught up with everyone on the mountain singletrack. The altitude (5000+) was killing me, all my races this year have been near sea level. The gullies played to my weight, as I could blast down them and up almost the entire next hill before repeating. By the time we got to about 5750', I was primed to pass the last two people ahead of me. Knowing that I could downhill well on my ride (I was the only one of the group with dual suspension) I took my chances near the top, spending most of my energy to pass the last two people in front of me. I think I did it at about the perfect time, as 100' beyond that point it turned to straight downhill. I ripped down the singletrack, swooping through the whoops and berms hitting a consistent 30 MPH on the straightaways. I never saw anyone in my class again, but about go ran over twice by Experts on their lap. I cruised into the finish -- just to find out someone had slipped out in the front of us and beat me. Crap. Oh well, second place was still nice (and I hope it qualifies me for Nationals).

Pine Nut Cracker Finish

Zon also had a good race. He did a slightly longer track and was able to keep his leader in sight all the way to the final asphalt returns but got outsprinted to the finish.

After the race, the organizers had a band, extremely large hamburgers and winner PAYOUTS! Zon and I actually made $10 for our second place finishes. Wow, that is definately the first time I have actually made money riding.

The next race in the 2006 Northern Nevada Cup is June 3rd at the Peavine Challenge in Reno, NV.

UPDATE (05/22/06): The results are in. They are posted here in PDF.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Team Big Bear Moves Northstar Race

Due to NorthStar at Tahoe's extensive construction activities, Team BigBear has decided to move the September 9th, 2006 Cal State Series to Elling Park in Santa Barabara, CA. Unfortunately, this means that this will now be a cross country (XC) only race. The downhill (DH) and super D (SD) races will not be held. The date will remain the same.

2006 Peavine Challenge

As part of the ongoing NORBA Northern Nevada State Mountain Bike Championship Series, the Reno Wheelmen will be sponsoring the 2006 Peavine Challenge in Reno, Nevada on June 3rd, 2006. The course is described as "Pit your skills against Peavine, Reno's Lonely Mountain with long grinding climbs and fast twisty single track. Pro, Semi-pro, Experts - 2 long laps (26 miles, 4400 ft of climbing). Sport, Junior Expert - 1 long, 1 short lap (19.5 miles, 3400 ft). Beginners, Junior Sport - 1 long lap (13.5 miles, 2200 ft). Junior Beginners - 1 short lap (7 miles, 1200 ft)." Course maps for 2005 have been provided:
There is also an elevation profile:
Registration opens at 8:30 am and the race starts at 10:00am.
Event: Peavine Challenge
Dates: June 3rd, 2006
Location: Reno, NV [ MAP ]
Competition: XC
Cost: $25 ($10 juniors)
License: NORBA (one day licenses available)
Registration: onsite

Friday, May 19, 2006

2006 Pine Nut Cracker Update

So I've got some additional details on tomorrow's 2006 Pine Nut Cracker for those of you making the trek into Northern Nevada. According to the race sponsors, this year's course will be the same as last year's. I found these maps of last year's course, courtesy of the Reno Wheelmen website:
They also had an elevation profile (click picture to enlarge):
There is also a 3D map of the course, if you are interested.

The sponsors also said that they were adding a team support/feed site where the return trail touches the road (see map). In addition, they confirmed the this event is a qualifier for US MTB Nationals. You can get the full race details on the 2006 Pine Nut Cracker here.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

2006 US MTB Nationals XC Course Maps

Our helpful GPS friends over at have posted the XC course maps for this year's US MTB National Championships at Infineon. They've also included the elevation profiles. It looks like exactly the same course as last year's Cougar Mountain Classic.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Norcal Racing This Week: May 17 - 19, 2006

There are no weeknight races this week. The Prairie City Race Series is on hiatus this week due to the Hangtown Motocross Classic being held at the OHV park and there is no Reno Wheelmen MTB Twilight race scheduled. Weeknight racing returns with both events next week.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

RACE REPORT: 24 HoA Laguna Seca

The 24 Hours of Adrenalin folks have posted the race results from last weekend's 24 Hours of Adrenalin Laguna Seca. The whole list can be viewed here. There is also a lively thread over at MTBR about it. Race pictures will be up sometime later this week.

As for the results:
  • Yuri Hauswald (Petaluma, CA) won the solo men's with 21 laps
  • Jennifer Ratay (Hillsborough, CA) took the solo women's honors with 18 laps
  • (Santa Cruz, CA) took the corporate race with 30 laps
A special shoutout goes to Joey Figone (from NorCal MTB Racing's own hometown of El Dorado Hills, CA) for finishing third in the solo men's competition with 20 laps.

Bigfoot Classic (Cal State Championship)

This year's Team Bigfoot Classic will be held on Bald Mountain just outside Arcata, CA [ MAP ] from June 29 - July 2, 2006. The Bigfoot Classic will have the following events:
  • HILLCLIMB (Thursday 6/29 @ 5pm): "It's free! It's tough! It's all about bragging rights. It's a 1-mile lung-searing leg-burning chug to the top of Bald Mountain. A $20 bill is tacked to a post at the top, first one there grabs it."
  • SUPER D (Friday 6/30 @ 5:00 pm): "We start at the top of Bald Mountain and send you down some of the XC course, some of the DH course and finish down in creek canyon. It's almost all downhill with one short level section and one very short climb."
  • CROSS-COUNTRY (Saturday 7/1 @ 10am): "a 60% / 40% mix of singletrack and fireroad with lotsa singletrack. Beginners will do about 14 miles, sports will do about 21, experts & pros will do 28 miles."
  • SHORT TRACK XC (Sunday 7/2 @ 10: 00 am): The short-track is held on a 1-mile all-single-track loop.
  • DOWNHILL (Sun. 7/2 @ 1pm): "has been called "world cup worthy." It has high speed stuff, a little bit of slower technical stuff and all the jumps and drops that the experts love, but with safe & sane outs for the beginners and sports. Best two of three format."
Registration is available over at and this race doesn't require a NORBA license.

UPDATE (7/3/06): There's a race report for the XC competition here.
UPDATE (7/4/06): Race results have been posted.

Monday, May 15, 2006

2006 US MTB Championship Registration Open

Cougar Mtn XC Race Starting Line
After the confusion and controversy of last week's Championship relocation, USA Cycling is starting to put some details behind the new schedule. Today, the Cougar Mountain Classic registration website has been remade with the new events and information for the championship. Here's the lowdown:

Cross Country (XC): This appears to be the same course as last year -- a "7.7-mile cross country course uses 1,500 rolling, grassy acres northwest of Infineon Raceway." It has a few tough climbs, but is technically very easy. You must qualify for this race. I'll post some more information on this course later this week.

Downhill (DH): Also appears to be mostly the same course as last year: "Expect runs with plenty of natural jumps, g-outs, banked and off-camber turns. On a clear day, from the start house, you can see the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco skyline." I've got some video from last year that I will post in the next week or so. You also must qualify for this race.
Infineon Raceway

Mountain Cross (MTX): Same location as last year (see the picture below and click on it for details), but probably a different layout: "Expect a fast course with a furiously fast downhill sprint to the first corner followed by tall berms, multiple 120° to 180° turns, step-ups, rhythm sections, tabletops, and a wide, straight finish sprint." I thought this was a pretty good course last year -- not too hard, not too easy. You must qualify for this race.

Short Track (ST): They didn't offer this last year at Cougar Mountain, so I am not sure where it will be held: "Course design is being done at this time and we will post more details once it is final. Please check back later." Sounds like they don't either. You don't need to qualify for this.

Six Hour Marathon (MA): Last year it was 8 hours, but it certainly on the same course as the XC: "MTB riders will ride Saturday's cross country course." No qualifying necesssary.

Super D (SD): I don't think they did this at Cougar Mountain last year either, so I am not sure where they will do it. Probably share some of the downhill course. No qualify here either.

The full event schedule posted here. Online registration is open until July 9th, 2006. Prices range from $25 to $60 per event.

RACE REPORT: The Coolest 24 Results

They have posted the Coolest 24 Hours Against Cancer results. Congrats to the Noble Raiders who posted the most team laps with 27, Sean Allan who posted the most solo rider laps (25) and Roger Lackey who posted the most single speed laps (20). Mary Ellis scored the most laps for a solo female (13).

Photos are also on sale within the next week and 10% of the proceeds will be donated to the cause.

UPDATE (05/15/06): They have also added lap times results.
UPDATE (05/16/06): posted their race report.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

NorCal Qualifers For MTB Championship

So with the changes in the NORBA and MTB National Championship schedule, I thought it might be good to go back over qualifying criteria and races. USA Cycling conducts National Championship races in cross country (XC), downhill (DH) and mountain cross (MTX). To compete in these championships, you need a top 10 finish in your category (ability category / age bracket) at a qualfying event, be a US Citizen and a NORBA member. USA Cycling recognizes these qualifying events:
Q: Where can riders find qualification races and/or series?
A: The qualification races for the 2006 USAC National MTB Championships are NORBA State and Regional Championships, American Mountain Bike Challenge (AMBC) events, Alison Dunlap Junior Olympic Mountain Bike (ADJOMTB) events for juniors, NORBA National Mountain Bike Series (NMBS) events, and the USA Cycling Junior Development Mountain Bike Camps.

You also qualify if you were in the top 10 of last year's Cougar Mountain Classic.

I am a little hazy about this language. It seems to say that only state / regional championship races qualify, but I see people on the qualfier list from series races. However, following these rules, I believe the only qualifying race left on the NorCal / NorNevada calendar are:
  • Bigfoot Classic (June 29 - July 2, 2006 in Arcata, CA) for XC and DH
  • Pinenut Cracker (May 20th in Garnerville, CA) for XC
  • Peavine Challenge (June 4th, 2006 in TBD, Northern Nevada) for XC
I think there are a few other qualifying opportunities, that are a bit of a roadtrip:You can check the list of qualifiers at the NORBA National Championship Qualifiers Page. And if you race a lot, you should -- I found out this morning that I was qualified in MTX from last year's Cougar Mountain/Infineon Race.

I'm hoping that there are some more qualfiying opportunities so I'm checking with USA Cycling and will update this as necessary. The National Championship site is being updated and registration will be opening tomorrow at 5PM. Leave a comment if you have any information to add. Otherwise, I expect to see a lot of people in Arcata come late June.

Sandhill Announces Summer/Fall Races

P&R Sports have announced their Summer/Fall schedule, although without many details:
Next race is our traditional Father's Day Eve (Saturday,6/17/06) evening Dual Slalom. Start times and more info will be posted soon. Then, we will have our Fall Series of Mountain-Cross and Dual Slalom in Sept/Oct, dates to be announced.
Mmmmm ... Dual Slalom. I'll post the details as I hear about them.

UPDATE (05/16/06): Some details on the Father's Day Eve race: "Sign up and practice from 3- 5 pm, qualifying starts promptly at 5 pm. $30/race. $5/park. NORBA sanctioned - licenses available at sign ups ($5 for a one-day license, Beginner and Sport categories only, Expert and Pro require annual licenses) See our Results page for the categories we usually run. Race should be over by 9 or 10 pm. Feel free to bring your BBQ and/or camp out in the parking lot that night."

Saturday, May 13, 2006

PRODUCT REVIEW: Crank Bros Candy SL Pedals

Over the past year or so, I have gotten increasingly disasatisfied with my choice of MTB pedals. I have always been a Shimano SPD kinda guy, with a variety of 535, 540 model pedals on my rides. This early racing season made me rethink my pedal choice. With a really wet winter, every race this season was a complete crap shoot whether the pedals would perform at all. Obviously, on some of them they did not. Motivated by this experience, some good word of mouth from a few fellow racers and a good discount at REI, I decided to pick up a pair of Crank Bros Candy SLs.
The Candy SLs are a mid-level pedal in the Crank Bros line of MTB platform pedals. They differ from the Eggbeaters only in the fact that they have small platform along with the spring spindle. I choose these since I ride a fair amount of trails in addition to racing and I am kinda a bigger person. With my discount, I got the pedals for around $80 and they weigh 294 grams per pair. They retail for $120, but you can find them for a lot less.

Installation was a snap. Take off the old pedals and screw in the new Candys. However, since the Candys use a slightly different cleat (which comes with the pedals), you also have to replace the SPD cleats on your shoes. This was painless, but did require a little bit of trial and error. Since the Candy pedal is slightly wider than the normal channel in SPD shoes, I needed to add a riser (again included) to get a good clipin. Once I did that it was pretty easy. I had heard of other people having to shave down their shoe treads, but I didn't need to do that.
So far, the Candys have been a really nice change from the SPDs. It is a breeze to clip in (since there are four instead of two sides) and they seem to hold the cleat better. I can't think of one instance when I pulled out of the clip. The platform is nice (I stand on the pedals a lot) and they have worn well. The one thing that I have noticed is that you don't get the solid thuuurmpp of clipping in that you used to on the SPDs. Maintenance is easy with them (mostly you just use a grease gun to blow out the old grease), but I haven't had to rebuild them yet. I'll have to see how difficult that is. They have worn well (I am very hard on parts). Overall, I have been very happy with the new pedals: easy installation, nice weight savings (saved 150 grams over my 540s) and very good performance.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

MTB Nationals Moved to Cougar/Infineon

Wow. I am not sure what to think here.
Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif. will host the 2006 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships July 13-16 as part of the Infineon Technologies Cougar Mountain Classic.

Originally planned for the following weekend, the 2006 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships have been moved up one week after a record amount of snowfall forced the event’s relocation from Mammoth Mountain last month.

Initially designated as the fifth round of the 2006 National Mountain Bike Series, the event has been removed from the series calendar and will no longer factor into the overall series standings. Instead, the event has been designated as the stand-alone, American-only national championship for all levels and disciplines of mountain biking.
Read the full details here.

UPDATE: Okay, I've thought about this. This sucks. Not only does it shorten the season by two races (the national championship and cougar mtn) since I probably won't qualify for nationals, but it takes away a really good race in Sonoma. Combine that with USA Cycling moving up the dates by two months and they have basically halved the racing season. I must say I am very disappointed in USA Cycling's decision. I really thought they were going to get back on track this year, but I am sorely mistaken.

UPDATE 2 (05/18/06): Lee Likes Bikes has also weighed in on this.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006


Another almost perfect night for racing out at Prairie City. A little on the warm side for some but just right for me. I'm not sure if we had a record attendance last night, but there were certainly a huge crowd -- they also announced that they had reached over 400 registered riders for the race series.

PCRS6 Sport Finisher
The track was the same layout as PCRS#3: fast, dusty and bit a bit longer. Measuring only 2.85 miles and 327 feet of climbing per lap, the pace was fast from the start. However, there were a few technical points on the course (I think someone endo'd during warmup and had to take a trip to the hospital). The steep rocky dropoff near the second to last hill and the jump that you really needed to double came to mind. There were also a pretty big detour this week to accomodate the MX Hangtown Races that are coming next week. Below is a map of this week's course (slightly rotated to show the whole course).

(PCRS#6 course map courtesy of Google Earth)

The elevation wasn't bad at all. The course modifications took out one of the steepest climbs near the end of the lap.

For me, this was the first decent race that I rode all year. I felt good from start to finish, I kept lap times within reason and didn't have a single digger or mechanical. If I had to hazard a guess, I think I finished middle of the pack in my category. I certainly passed more people than passed me this week.

Full photo sets for PCRS #6 are posted here. I'll link to the results (usually posted here) later tonight when they are revealed. No race next week due to the Hangtown Motocross races.

UPDATE: Results have been posted.

Norcal Racing This Weekend: May 10 - 14, 2006

There's not a lot of variety on the old NorCal Racing Calendar this week(end). It's local series XC racing during the week and multi-hour endurance XC racing on the weekend:
Tonight (WEDNESDAY) marks another Prairie City Race (PCRS#6). And it looks like another perfect night for racing in Sacto. Registration starts at 4:15 PM and costs $25 (subsequent races cost $10). Check out the link if your looking for some XC racing in the Sacramento area.

THURSDAY night is the third race in the Reno Wheelmen's Twilight MTB series in Reno, NV. This week's XC race will be held at Peavine Hillclimb [ MAP ]. The race costs $10 with onsite registration and starts at 6:30 PM.

SATURDAY marks the return of 24HoA (24 Hours of Andrenalin) racing to Northern California with the 24HoA at Laguna Seca near Monterrey, CA. Love it or hate it, 24HoA is the NORBA of the ride all night world. I am not sure what the registration status of this race is, their site doesn't seem to be releasing much information. Check out the link above to see if you can still get in.

SUNDAY is the first 8 Hour team race for the Billy Cross Racing series. Held at Bogg's Mountain this race pushes up to 5 team riders to alternate laps for 8 hours to determine the winning team.
That's about it for this week. Next week is a light schedule week with no midweek racing and just two XC races on the weekend, so get your racing in now.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

NMBS #1 (aka Fontana) Results

Results for NORBA National #1 (aka NMBS#1 aka Fontana aka Southridge Park) have been posted to the NORBA site.

In the Pro categories, Troy Misseghers (Blairmore, Canada / Mountain B) and Jennifer Smith (New Zealand / Trek+VW) took the 49 mile Marathon titles, Shonny Vanlandingham (Durango, Colo./Luna) and Geoff Kabush (Canada/ Maxxis) won the XC events (after a nasty crash took down two American riders in the final turn) and Cody Warren (Alpine, CA/C-Dub Racing) and Joanna Petterson (South Africa) captured the pro downhill titles.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

RACE REPORT: 2006 Bloody Shins Trail

The folks at the Nevada Passage are really on the ball. They had the race results up and posted by the end of each day with a little narrative of the days events. Quite a change from some of the races (I'm talking about you Billy Cross Racing :> ). In the Bloody Shins Trail MTB race, Chris Bondurant (Boise, ID) won the 24 mile experts race in 2:31, while Danny Knoll (Fernley, NV) won the 12 mile sport division at 1:21:10 and Valerie DellaRusso (South Lake Tahoe, CA) took the 7 mile beginner prize in 00:37:18.

Full results available at the Nevada Passage Day One results page, while a good writeup is available here. The Nevada Passage also had some running and kayaking events that looked interesting.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

2006 Howarth Park Dirt Crits

The Santa Rosa Recreation and Parks department has announced their 2006 Wednesday night summer racing series in Howarth Park. Set to run through most of the summer, the races are described as "The excitement of short track mountain bike racing comes to Howarth Park! These races are for anyone who would like to try mountain bike racing on a short course, all skill levels are welcome ... The course is approximately 1 mile and consists of smooth, rolling dirt trails ... Prizes will be given at the end of each race." Race dates are as follows:
  • June 7th, 14th, 21st and 28th
  • July 5th, 12th, 19th and 26th
  • August 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th
I loved these kinds of races when I was younger.
Event: Howarth Park Dirt Crits
Dates: 6/7, 6/14, 6/21, 6/28, 7/5, 7/12, 7/19, 7/26, 8/2, 8/9, 8/16, 8/23 and 8/30
Location: Howarth Park, Santa Rosa, CA [ MAP ]
Competition: ST / XC
Cost: $4 jr, $9 adults pre-reg
URL: Santa Rosa Parks website
License: none
Registration: Santa Rosa Parks website or onsite

Friday, May 05, 2006

Norcal Racing This Weekend: May 5 - 6, 2006

Not much on the NorCal MTB Racing calendar this weekend:
SATURDAY into SUNDAY is The Coolest 24 HR Race Against Cancer in Cool, CA. I've got a scouting report on the course and information for those late entrants. It looks like the course will actually be the opposite direction from March's Cool MTB race, which will make it a bit safer descent after dark.

SATURDAY in Northern Nevada (Winnemucca, NV to be exact) is the Nevada Passage's Bloody Shins Trail race. Part of a longer multi-sport event, this race is a bit of a drive (4+ hours from Sacto) but might be pretty cool, especially if you are getting into adventure racing or offroad triathlons.
Myself, I'll be showing up at the Coolest 24 race (maybe even entering the 8 hr event if I can) and taking some epic rides. There are always some roadtrip you could take too (search for ROADTRIP at the top of the page).

Thursday, May 04, 2006

2006 Trans-Iowa II Video

SCOUTING REPORT: The Coolest 24 Race Against Cancer

Decided to take a drive out to Cool today and get the low-down on the course conditions for this weekend's Coolest 24 Hour Race Against Cancer. And I am happy to report, everything looks good.
Knickerbocker StreamFirst, lets start with the track. The Olmstead Loop is a foothills favorite trail, used for the Cool MTB race and innumerable weekend epics. The trail took a beating this year, what with the 40 days/nights of rain and some snow days, but has bounced back to passable shape. There is still some standing water on the course (maybe 5 places) but the streams are back in their banks and bridges above the waterline. There has been substantial erosion, especially in the north part of the course (the start if you are going clockwise), which leads to some tricky and technical descents. I GPS'd my ride today and here is what the Olmstead Loop looks like on Google Earth.
I've marked the CDF (fire house) and the school on the map. I believe they are using the school as the staging area / pit stop this year. By the numbers, the course is just about 10 miles with 1300' of climbing per lap. Here is the elevation plot:
A few recommendations:
  • It can get cold, not just cool, out there. Be prepared for overnight temps in the low 40s. It was damn cold out there this morning (at 9 AM).
  • You are going to get wet. Dress accordingly.
  • There are some tricky descents, many ending in streams. Temper your downhill speeds at night.
  • Some of the downhills are deeply rutted, some even have flowing water (not perpendicular but parallel on the path).
  • I would recommend slightly more aggressive than usual tires and dual suspension rides. A Specialized Epic with the Andrenalin tires or a Santa Cruz Blur with WTB Weirwolfs would be ideal. I rode it with my Specialized Stumpjumper FSR and Andrenalin tires this morning and was glad I had the rear travel.
  • Watch out for wildlife. I saw a bobcat on the trail this morning.
Online registration is still open until midnight tonight (Thursday).


Wow, another record crowd out at Prairie City Race Series last night (296 racers!). A little longer course this week, but still had perfect weather. This week was also the start of the summer team competition (of course, I have stayed neutral in this). Photos are up here and the results should be up later tonight (usually around 9 PM).

UPDATE (05/04/06): Results are up and some sweet helmet cam videos.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Norcal Racing This Week: May 3 - 4, 2006

Midweek racing update:
Tonight (WEDNESDAY) marks another Prairie City Race (PCRS#5). Another perfect night for racing. Riders do a varying amount o 4 mile laps (course varies weekly) depending on category. Registration starts at 4:15 PM and costs $25 (subsequent races cost $10). Make sure to come out to Prairie City (near Folsom, CA) for your enduro-style XC racin'.

THURSDAY night is the third race in the Reno Wheelmen's Twilight MTB series in Reno, NV. This week's XC race will be held at Keystone [ MAP ]. The race costs $10 with onsite registration and starts at 6:30 PM.

Tish Tang Television DH 2006

The Trinity River Pirates, fresh off last weekend's Slippery Eel Chainless DH, have scheduled three new DH races for this summer: Tish Tang Television DH 2006, Magic Mushroom Speedway DH 2006 (tentatively 06/24/06) and the Dreamcatcher DH 2006 (tenatively 7/22/06). I'm posting information about the Tish Tang Television race today and I will add posted for the other races when the dates get confirmed.

The Tish Tang Television downhill race will be held in Hoopa, CA (just north of Eureka, CA) on the Breakneck/Translator trail (since it's under the TV tower). This is the first race on this trail and best time of two runs wins. No entry fee with practice in the morning and race start at 1 PM.
Event: Tish Tang Television DH
Dates: May 27th, 2006 DELAYED ! now June 3rd, 2006
Location: Hoopa, CA [ MAP ]
Competition: DH
Cost: free!
URL: Tish Tang Television DH Page
License: none
Registration: email
I'll update this with more information when I get course details.

2006 Trans-Iowa

This is completely off-topic, as the race is across a state other than California, but our friends at The Biking Hub have a great series of articles covering the planning, execution and results of this year's Trans Iowa race. I am covering this for two reasons: (a) many years ago I lived in Omaha, which is across the river from Iowa, and (b) I would love to see something like this in California (maybe from Tahoe to San Francisco ?). The articles, in order, are:
Well worth the read . . . stay tuned for next week's article about the misery (doh! spoiler) that rivaled our Cool MTB race.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

2006 USA MTB Championships To Relocate

So this was kinda expected this, what with the problems at Mammoth and the high snow levels, but I was really hoping it wouldn't happen: 2006 Mountain Bike Nationals to Relocate. Basically, they can't have the 2006 MTB Championships at Mammoth due to snow levels (since they moved up this year's date to July) and are looking for a new venue. They'll keep the same July 20th date.

I really hope that this stays in Cali, but I bet that it moves to Colorado or Utah (pure conjecture on my part).

UPDATE (05/11/06): Okay, it stayed in Cali, but moved to the Cougar Mountain date and location. See here for details.

ROADTRIP: NMBS #1 (aka Fontana)

In a continuing feature this week, I'm highlighting a few non NorCal MTB racing events.

This weekend marks the kickoff of the NORBA Mountain Biking Series (NMBS) with NMBS #1 (aka Fontana aka Southridge) in Fontana, CA (Eastern LA - SoCal) [ MAP ]. Sure, its a seven or eight hour haul from the NorCal but NMBS #1 is a full blown NORBA event with cross country (XC), short track (ST). downhill (DH), mountaincross (MTNX), Super D (SD) and marathon (MA) races. You can check out all the race information (although a little bit skimpy on the actual events) through here [ PDF ]. Since this is an urban event (being in the Valley), hotels and other accommodations will probably be a bit easier to come by than some of the more remote events.

Team Big Bear (the promoter for this event) has teamed with GeoLadders, a SoCal trail and racing website, to provide course maps. Unfortunately, they require a free registration before you can see the cool google course maps with trail pictures.

Online registration has already closed, but onsite registration is available (must register one hour before race). Registration varies from $35 - $70 and you will need a NORBA license.

Monday, May 01, 2006

RACE REPORT: 2006 Shasta Lemurian Classic

The organizers of the 2006 Shasta Lemurian Classic have posted their results. Congratulations to:
  • Tim Olson (San Mateo, CA) for winning the long course (26 miles in 02:12:21)
  • Chris Coble (Concord, CA) for winning the intermediate course (20 miles in 02:01:11)
  • Hector Cadena (Pine Meadows, CA) for winning the short course (8 miles in 00:42:31)
You can replay some of the event over at with #3 Pro David Yakaitis (dyak), #5 Pro Oliver Bock (obock) or #6 Pro Mark Weir (norcal) GPS race summary.

There are some photos posted over at (also here).

UPDATE (05/01/06): Corrected winners. Sorry guys.
UPDATE (05/03/06): The SFist has a good race report.