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2014 Ashland, Oregon Spring Thaw Weekend

May 22, 2014
by Jason Van Horn  
Ashland is a small town in Southern Oregon located just north of the California border. Known for being the home of Southern Oregon University and the Oregon Shakespeare festival, the city lies in the foothills of the Siskiyou and Cascade ranges. It also happens to contain some ridiculously fun single track rides down the mountain. Easy to shuttle, the most popular routes start at the top of Mount Ashland and end 14 or so miles later, in town making it a popular mountain bike trails destination.

Ashland Spring Thaw 2014 images

Marco Osborne of the Cannondale OverMountain, enduro racing team had a good weekend, taking 9th in the XC and 3rd in the DH, earning the the King of the Mountain Title.


The Spring Thaw has been an annual tradition for over two decades now, and is one of the longest running mountain bike festivals in Oregon. Consisting of a cross country race on Saturday and a two stage downhill race on Sunday, riders also have the option to compete in both for the coveted King of the Mountain title.

Home town hero Nate Riddle takes the win at the Spring Thaw DH
Nathan Riddle on his way to take the win in the DH. The wet conditions made traction dicey, but even with a crash, Nathan took the win. A 12th place finish put him in second for the overall.

Ashland Spring Thaw 2014 images
The weekend also heralded Mark Weir's return to racing after sustaining a major injury.

Although it started with great weather, Sunday's precipitation dramatically changed the conditions of the course.

Ashland Spring Thaw 2014 images
Temperatures dropped during a few hours of rain Sunday before clearing up again.

Ashland Spring Thaw 2014 images
Racers were shuttled to the start by Ashland Mountain Adventures, who also took over putting on the event this year.

Ashland Spring Thaw 2014 images
The start and finish line for both days of racing.

The weekend started off with perfect weather for Saturday's XC event. The weekend started off with perfect weather for Saturday's XC event. The sun was out with moderate temperatures for a long and painful ascent of the mountain.

Ashland Spring Thaw 2014 images
Riders approach the top of Bull Gap.

This year marked the first time the course was able to utilize the Bull Gap Trail, as it is usually still blanketed under a layer of snow this time of year. A lousy season for skiing made for a memorable race weekend. After the racers endured a painful climb at race pace, they rode back down the mountain at high speeds.

Ashland Spring Thaw 2014 images
Normally under a layer of snow, most of the racers stayed focused on their breathing and pace as opposed to the beautiful views.

Descending most of the incredible single track offered on the Eastern Ridge of Mt. Ashland, racers returned to the finish with comments like, "That was the hardest, funnest XC I've done here yet" (Jason Mosheler) "That was a hell of a race" (Don Morehouse)

Ashland Spring Thaw 2014 images
At the end of the weekend Marco Osborne took the KOM, with Nathan Riddle and Jason Moeschler in 2nd and 3rd.

Check all images from the Thaw here.

The XC saw a turnout of 197 racers, the largest field in several years. Next up in Ashland is the Ashland Mountain Challenge Enduro, June 28th. See you there!

Words and Photos: Jason Van Horn /// Bermstyle.com


15 Comments

  • 10 0
 Thanks to all of you that came in support of this event! Thank you to all of are Staff and Volunteers and awesome Sponsors! Thank you Jason Van Horn for the great images of this event! Next up AMC! So Enduro Bro!
  • 1 0
 Signed up and driven' up from SF for the AMC!
  • 12 1
 Mark Weir is the man.
  • 4 0
 And he finished 9th!!!
  • 4 1
 Great to you back at it, Mark!
  • 4 0
 ASHLAND WAS BRILLIANT !!! CATWALK TO B.T.I RUNS ALL WEEKEND ! MISSING LINKS BROWN POW ! BERMS WHERE DIALED !! ASHLAND ADVENTURES WAS PUTTING SHUTTLES IN OVERDRIVE GETTING US TO THE TOP !! ASHLAND IS A TRAIL BIKE THANKSGIVING FEAST !!! MY BIKE BROKE AND WILD BILL THREW IT UP ON THE STAND, FIXED ME RIGHT UP SO I COULD HAVE SOME MORE ROUNDS ON THE FEAST !! LOAM GRAVY !!
  • 2 0
 The weekend started off with perfect weather for Saturday's XC event. The weekend started off with perfect weather for Saturday's XC event.The weekend started off with perfect weather for Saturday's XC event. The weekend started off with perfect weather for Saturday's XC event.The weekend started off with perfect weather for Saturday's XC event. The weekend started off with perfect weather for Saturday's XC event.
  • 2 0
 Lmao
  • 2 0
 What a great event this year....never thought I would have so much fun racing xc.
  • 2 0
 I'm gonna take my first trip down that mountain in the next couple of days!! Can't wait!
  • 1 0
 Damn, I missed the XC race to do a race at Washougal MX. I'll for sure race it next year!
  • 3 1
 BroLeary for the win
  • 1 0
 Great to see Weir back... but with only one leg?
  • 1 0
 Yay!!! Glad to see Mark W is back! :-)
  • 1 0
 Nice work, Jason!

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