The Freaks Come Out at Night

Oct 29, 2013
by Dan Severson  

Night Race 2013
Night Race 2013

As the light fades, and the sky turns blood red, the ghouls come out to waken the dead. And even though this looks like a peaceful hood, when the bikes come out, they are up to no good. Generators hum and cry into the night, while the light they shine will be a most welcome sight. Making the dirt scream and the rocks bleed, the racers' only concern is the top speed. Riding down the trail into the dead black, don't stop or even think to look back.

Night Race 2013

For the ghost of 1000 riders before, have left their mark on the Fontana floor. As the werewolf cries into the full moon, bones crunching will seal some's doom. For when the rubber slips from the dirt, there is no escaping evil's deadly hurt. And if you happen to finish in one piece, consider yourself lucky to be spared from the beasts. When awards are finally collected by the dead, at last they will serve as a tombstone for your head.

Night Race 2013
Night Race 2013

Okay, now that you've made it through my attempt at what may be the world's first DH bike Halloween poem, we can talk about the race. The nightmare just described is known as the Emerald Predator DH Night Race, presented by Suspension maestro's, DVO. This year marked the 4th annual of the night race held out in Fontana, California.

Night Race 2013

bigquotesWe used to race night time moto x out in Corona raceway back in the early seventies and eighties, so it was in the thought process of, how can we do this for Downhill, without having to put lights on guy's bikes? So, I kind of played with it for a couple years before we pulled the trigger on it, but once I figured out that we could lay out a course and put it under the lights, we said, let's try it and see what happens. - Race promoter Donny Jackson gives a brief history of how the event got started

Night Race 2013
Night Race 2013

Although the original intent of the race was for riders to solely use the stadium lighting, as the event progressed, rider safety became more apparent, and instead of being penalized for using lights, by the third year, individual lights were allowed. In addition to this, riders are given an hour and a half to practice the course, and shuttles are available as well. Format for the race is single run, so you better make it count.

Night Race 2013
Night Race 2013

As usual for this location, course conditions were super dry and dusty. The Summer heat shows no mercy on the dirt here for a solid 3 months, and most racers have become quite familiar with the loose, blown out turns and hard packed ground.

Night Race 2013
Night Race 2013

bigquotesIt's a fun event. Everyone has a great time. - Donny Jackson

Night Race 2013
Night Race 2013

This year's track could be considered a bit more tame than the one laid out last year. The upper section consisted of smooth back to back switchbacks and a few rock slabs in the mix as well. As riders approached the middle section, they had to navigate a chunky rock garden, that was probably the most challenging section of the course.

Night Race 2013

One of the more interesting parts of this course was the dimly lit water tank area. At this elevation you have a great view of the city lights below.

Night Race 2013
Night Race 2013

As the times began to roll in, Trek / Southridge Racing rider, Waylon Smith would take the top time of the night with a 1:43:14 on the short course. Following close behind was fellow pro rider, Michael Kollbek, with a 1:49:29. Joe Picchiottino and Joe Simpson held down the fort in the Vet Pro division, while Jr. X racers battled it out to the death. Incycle rider, Bruce Klein ended up taking the top step, while Andras Simon and Jason Schroeder were left nipping at his heels. Wether you are a beginner or a seasoned Vet, this is a great race to come out and ride and hang with your buddies.

Night Race 2013
Night Race 2013

If you want to ride like Cedric, this bike would be a great place to start. The Santa Cruz Carbon V-10 show bike was kitted out with the a beautiful looking Emerald fork, and all the premium components one could ever dream of.

Night Race 2013

bigquotesWe had a great turnout, you know there are a lot of other activities going on this weekend, but we had a solid couple hundred racers come out. We are going to be working with a lot of the teams that come out here in the future, so we're pretty happy. This local event is good. It's all hard-core So. Cal DH riders. I've known Donny for a while, and he puts on a really good event, and we're going to support all the local riders and give them factory support and get em' racing! - Bryson Martin of DVO Suspension

www.southridgeusa.com




19 Comments

  • 17 1
 Super fun race. I went down the first run with no lights on my bike. So sketchy.
No idea someone from pinkbike would be there. Awesome to see.


Video of my run. www.pinkbike.com/video/337987/#top
  • 14 0
 When I was a kid I once tried night biking. I had a flashlight taped to my bars. Needless to say... I ate shit.
  • 40 2
 Why? Did you ride to McDonalds?.....
  • 4 3
 Hahahahahahahahaha I get it!
  • 1 0
 Hahahaha, i can't stop laughing
  • 7 1
 yeh im usually more into seeing where im going. gives me a real kick.
  • 5 0
 Props to the banana suit guy!
  • 9 0
 Thats me! hahaha
  • 3 0
 I ride my local DH track at night too, would love to do a race and only light up the tech parts the rest you would be on your own.. Night riding is so much more fun too
  • 4 0
 Perfect kind of race for Tippie's bike !
  • 4 0
 Forget the rules on lights. What about that dudes (banana) skin suit! Wink
  • 2 0
 This such a cool idea! It's good to see that racing is still made different and querky.
  • 3 1
 Michael Kollbeck ftw!!!!!!
  • 3 1
 wanna do this next year
  • 2 0
 You should! So much fun!
  • 1 0
 Where were the costumes?
  • 3 0
 Apparently this race was serious business. I just put lights on my bike & people were talking shit like I showed up signed up for the beginner class on that V 10 Carbon.

Could have been much more fun.
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