The Ashland 12 Mile Super D took place this past weekend in scenic Ashland Oregon. Riders from all over converged to take part in this event and to challenge themselves and their bike to the 12 miles of trails that begin on Mt.Ashland and end in Lithia park back in central Ashland. Break Away Events and SRAM partnered up this year to really get the word out there and let it be known that this is one mountain bike event not to be missed. I was fortunate enough to be able to tag along on this journey.Check out tons of video clips, pics and my story from the event inside
Myles and Evan getting ready to head up the hill.
Heading up to Mt.Ashland
Looking down on the venue from the ski hill
These all mountain events bring together the biggest mix of riders of any bike event. All Mountain is where I find myself having the most fun and I'm super impressed with the rider field here in Ashland. Everyone from WC DH Champions to Pro XC racers to weekend warriors are here for one event that they all can enjoy and compete against each other on an even playing field. Full face versus XC lid, DH kit versus spandex, full suspension versus hard tail and toe clips versus all other pedals, this race had it all.
The course for the Ashland 12 Mile Super D begins at the day lodge at Mt. Ashland and descends at full throttle for just over 2 miles on fire roads before tossing you into one hell of a climb. The climb itself is far from technical, but since you've just pinned it for over 2 miles, the climb just feels rough on the legs. Eric Carter told me that it was 2 songs on his iPod long, well they'd be techno songs on my iPod if I had one as I was HELLA slow on that climb - like cement legs slow. Then into the woods for some sweet single track XC riding and some fun descents and back to the second leg of the fire road wide open rips.
Kirt Voreis off the line:
Random racer near the top on the fire road:
Tyler Morland near the top of the course:
Riders train through a high speed fire road section:
Two flats and one tube sent Kirt to the side lines.
Crew trains through a corner and up the big climb:
Greg Herbold showing us how uphill climbing and corners are done:
Looking back at Mt.Ashland after the big climb.
Myles on a single track corner in the woods:
Myles on a multi line corner:
Tyler Morland films Myles and Willow on a fire road section:
Myles getting loose on a flat fire road corner:
From the second fire road section it was back into the woods and on the gas to keep up your speed, all the while pedaling and smiling as the trails are so sick. After a few miles, you pop across a road and onto the Caterpillar trail which was a slight climb for a few minutes and lead you to the top of the BTI trail and full throttle to the finish. 12 miles and only 33 minutes for the likes of Adam Craig and 57.57 for me, does that make me twice the man that Adam is? Nope but I will be back to try my luck again next year and to get closer to the 50 minute mark.
Bike set up is pretty key out here, as with any race, but you could see the XC and DH influences coming together on one bike. Chain guides, 36T rings and mountain cassettes were the go to for gearing. 185mm front and 160 rear rotors were also a common mix for brake set ups. Another new thing that I've been introduced to while here at the race is adjustable seat posts - holy crap that Joplin seat post
that I stole from Tyler is amazing! Up where I live, we just don't seem to ride the trails that I thought would necessitate one, but here in Ashland it was as common as a rear derailleur on most bikes.
If a company makes an All Mountain style bike, it was at the race. From what I saw Santa Cruz bikes had the lock down on the AM scene in southern Oregon, but other notables were Ibis Mojos, Giant Trances, Turner's 5 Spot, various Specialized bikes, really if it has 5 inches of rear travel, good geometry and fun to ride, then it was probably there racing.
Riders from Colorado, Australia, Oregon, Washington, Canada, you name it, if they love great trails, then they were here racing the Ashland 12 mile Super D. Besides some crazy fog, the weather held out for the duration of the race and didn't unleash until the awards began.
Racers at awards
The top 3 pro men were Adam Craig, Jason Moeschler and Sam Koerber. Adam was a machine this past weekend as he raced in Colorado on Saturday where he placed 6th in a Pro XC race, hopped on a plane and then raced the Super D without having done a pre ride of the course. Congrats Adam!
For the women it was Willow Koerber taking the top spot by approximately 4 minutes, Sharon Hill and Jamie Stamps rounded out the top three in pro women.Check out full Super D results here at Break Away Events
Once the awards wrapped up it was time to clean up and reflect on the weekend that just came and went. I am stoked that I was a part of the 4th annual Ashland Super D and plan to make this an annual pilgrimage and bring along more friends next year too.
Another part of the weekend that I want to reflect on was my introduction to Myles Rockwell and his return to racing. Myles Rockwell sits poised to make a comeback in the scene that once crowned him king. He's fit and sees the need for a rider like himself to take the All Mountain scene and tear it up. His skill set is rivaled by few and I think we can expect to see great things out of him in the coming years on the All Mountain circuit.
Bee sting swelling
Quiet and poised prior to the race
Out of the gate
The Ashland 12 Mile Super D could not happen with out event crews like Break Away Events
and supporters like SRAM
, Ashland Mountain Adventures, The Town of Ashland, Cog Wild Adventures, Dakine, WTB, Thule racks and many local supporting businesses.
Ashland Mountain Advetures Van
SRAM Crew enjoying their weekend in Ashland.
Don't stick your finger in your handle bar if you don't have an end cap on one side. Here is Nate with his finger buried in a few knuckles deep and getting help from Mark Jordan and Greg Herbold to free it.