South of Olympia, Washington, lies Capitol State Forest, a 92,000 acre swath of timberland veined with over 160 miles of trails. Once known for its gunfire and garbage, Capitol Forest is fast becoming a mountain biking mecca, thanks to the decade-long effort of its grassroots trail crew, Friends of Capitol Forest (FOCF)
. Each August, when the trails are dry, when the thickets of salmonberry and blackberry are trimmed and tamed, when the rocks are raked, FOCF hosts its signature event, The Capitol Forest Classic
. On paper, the Classic is a cross country race one day and a mini-enduro “Double-D” the next, but that describes the reality of the Classic about as well as the word “concert” describes Ozzfest. The Classic is more than a race; it’s a festival, a campout, a reunion, a tradition. With kids races, a BBQ menu worthy of a wedding, and beer aplenty, racers don’t leave until the sun goes down. Or they stay and do it all again the next day.
Often, northwest summer mornings are tucked into a foggy “marine later,” but not on this particular Saturday. The sun was out early, baking the dirt and turning the many clearcuts on the cross-country course into so many small ovens.
Right from the start, riders were sweating through their spandex as they grunted their way through a gruelling xc course of ten, twenty, or thirty miles depending on their race category. Luckily, there was plenty of beer from Three Magnets
, Olympia’s newest craft brewery, to quench thirst and dull pain.
The Capitol Forest Classic is half-race and half-party, and the shenanigans were in full effect on Saturday night. Those who took advantage of the free camping were treated to a drive-by drum circle, hung out in the outdoor “VIP lounge” and shared laughs around the campfire late into the evening.
Sunday was the gravity-oriented portion of the Classic. It featured the all-new “Double-D,” a two-stage mini-enduro that consisted of the classic Super D course down the Greenline trail, a short transition, and a second timed stage down Little Larch Mountain. Just three years old, Little Larch Mountain was designed and built by Friends of Capitol Forest and is the first new trail in Capitol Forest in over 30 years.
These two stages boasted very different terrain. Stage one was long, covering nearly six miles and 2200’ of elevation loss. Full of tricky switchbacks, root sections, and flowy singletrack, riders ripped down this stage with smiles on their faces, smiles that were intermittently replaced by grimaces of pain through the pedaling sections. Stage two was nearly the opposite; jumpy, smooth, and as fast as courage would allow. Upon crossing the finish line, racers received a printout of their stage results, courtesy of Red Tent Timing and their chip-timing system.
Kirsten Jensen of Jack’s Bicycle Center and Transition racing’s Logan Wetzel took top honours for the day. Both Logan and Kirsten took podium spots during Saturday’s XC race as well, which earned them the coveted King and Queen of Capitol Forest titles. However, the center piece of Sunday’s post-race festivities wasn’t the award ceremony or the raffle. It was a whole pig, roasted to perfection on-site for 24 hours, pulled by hand, then served alongside homemade coleslaw, an annual tradition.
The Capitol Forest Classic was more than a race and more than a party; it was, and will continue to be, a celebration of mountain bike culture, an homage to the reasons we ride: adventure, community, and a dedication to preserving the beauty of Northwest trails.Click Here Full Results
Thanks to all the racers and sponsors who have supported us over the last eight years. JoyRide Bikes3 Magnets BrewingBike TechClif BarOn-One/Titus USAAudio NorthwestBody Mechanics myotherapy and massage school
See you in 2015!