The Dog River Super D took place this weekend, kicking of the first round of the Mountain Man Challenge. Presenting some of the best grassroots mountain bike racing in the area, the super chill vibe made for a good day of riding as riders gathered for a shuttle to a timed run down a closed course.
Deciding to participate a few days before the event took place, we missed out on chances to get out and pre-ride the course. I’ve ridden it before (8 years ago as noted in this post) and knowing it is a fun run, pinged riding buddy and Bermstyle webmaster Adam to sell him on the even. Between the inexpensive entry, which included a shuttle to the start as part of the package and the promises of a fun ride, we pre-registered and committed our Sunday to racing bikes.
Arriving at the bottom of the Dog River Trail head promptly at 9:30,we picked up our number plans and sized up the vibe. It’s been a while since I’ve participated in an gravity themed MTB event in the PNW, but it was great to be back as I was greeted by faces old and new.
It’s amazing to see Petr Krates of Hurricane Racing is still active in the scene. Hurricane has been the cornerstone of gravity events in the area as long as I can remember.
After the typical rider meeting, we loaded bikes and piled into shuttle vans to get dropped at the top of the trail. After setting up timers the riders lined up for their runs, setting off at 2 minute intervals. We warmed up by pedaling up and down the adjacent road while waiting for our turn at the starting line.
The smaller grass roots theme meant our wait was short and we were quickly off, charging down the 7.1 mile trail. An uphill traverse and classic PNW style trail, filled with numerous switchbacks with tight radius turns valued a lighter weight, faster steed and fast rolling tires.
I managed a clean but overly cautious run down the trail without knowing what was coming up. My strategy: pin it on the straights and anywhere sight lines were open, and keep the tires on the trail. The tight turns combined with long wheelbase of my new Transition Sentinel and the lack of time riding on the new bike took a bit of a toll as I creeped though corners. The aggressive DH-like geo was the wrong combination for Dog River.
Having logged plenty of commuter miles, my legs felt good at the bottom. Unfortunately, my lungs hated me.
All good though, anytime you get to pin it on a closed course is a good one. At the finish, the keg was flowing and hot dogs grilling as riders shared their experiences on the course, commiserated or celebrated their runs.
There are two more events in the Mountain Man series with registration currently still open. With most of the area enduros all filled up and sold out, act quickly to get in on the fun.
Check it out at Fattirefarm.com/mountain-man-challenge