2015 Dual in the Dirt Relay Mountain Bike Race #1


Seventy and more years ago these rocky hillsides quilted in sagebrush, coyote bush, mule fat and other species, these shallow canyons shaded by the protecting branches of mighty Valley Oak resounded with the pop-gun bangs of mock Hollywood gunfights. The make-believe town streets are long gone, the buildings with their wooden false fronts only appear in the imagination, conjured from the remains of concrete floors and wall foundations. One thing that does remain are the grit and hardpack of dusty trails along which wagons and horses once rumbled.

Today people wander the trails and hillsides in search of a few hours respite from a busy, modern life. They may find memories of a fabled Old West, they may make their own memories while climbing rocks and trees. Mountain bikers also come here, to test themselves against terrain, and one another. The Dual in the Dirt Relay Mountain Bike race follows a course at Corriganville that runs fast and tight, and is quite short - I didn't track my distance when riding the loop post-race, but I don't see how it could be any more than 1.5 miles around. That is a mile and a half of flat with some sandy sinks, some short, rutted climbs and descents, cracked hardpan bedrock, a section of bushwhacking (or at least getting whacked by brush encroaching on the trail), an off-camber turn that caused at least one rider to slide out, and a few tight twisting turns thrown in for good measure.

That word Dual in the race title is neither a grammatical mis-spelling nor a typo, this is a paired race series with each racer riding half the distance in laps - you can switch off every lap, every other lap, or what ever combination works best for you. Pardner up and check out the next race in the series, 22 February. I threw a copy of the 2013 Seasons in the Sun into the prize package (I believe the fastest Junior racer on the day won it) and may do so again next time. There may even be a 2014 edition, which admittedly turned out much better than the 2013 book, thrown into the haul by series end.

But back to this day; racers came out with both barrels blazing, spitting fire and lead, and were posting some quick lap times. The shortness of the course makes for great spectating. The fastest riders, in particular, those who bolted from the pen and kept going, circled around in mere handfuls of minutes. Even the backside of the course, and the one rutted climb is only a short foot trek from the start finish. Because of that, and you can probably imagine, this is not an endurance type race. Instead speed and the ability to navigate varied and quickly changing terrain will serve you well. Maybe I will see some of ya'll out there when the race comes through once a month over the next three months.




The photo selection is not quite as big this time, only sixty-two in the Flickr album. Of course I took many more than that, so if there is someone you are looking for, just let me know and I will check.

As usual, if you see a photo you like feel free to download it (credit where credit due, of course). Want more? Go ahead and order your own copy of the CLR Effect racing annual. There are two editions available right now (2013 and 2014), and you can preview them by clicking the 2014 Seasons in the Sun Book Preview button near the top of the right hand column.

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