Day two at the 12 Mile Ashland Super D race
saw us put more time on the new SRAM 10 speed X.O
. group as we rode the incredible trails that Ashland has to offer. Have a look inside to see photos and a video from the days festivities!Read on...
My second day in Ashland did not start with the alarm rudely awaking me, but with the smell of bacon and the anticipation of my first ride in this well known bike town. Wandering upstairs in a bit of a haze I found what can only be described as Mount Bacon towering before me, as well as cheesy eggs, english muffins, and a healthy fruit and yogurt medley. During our time here we are being looked after by the wonderful folks at Western Spirit
. My diet while at home consists of candy bars and energy drinks so I always feel that the Western Spirt crew is nursing me back to good health whenever they are catering an event I'm attending, thanks guys and girls!
Bacon first, fruit and yogurt second, just like how it should be
Ashland Mountain Adventures got us to the top of Mt. Ashland again today
The plan today was to pile into the vans and shuttle up to the top of Mt. Ashland to ride the upcoming Super D course. Ashland Mountain Adventures
provided the shuttle service and it's always a sight to see so many bikes gracing the top, front, and back of the big vans. The drive is fairly long as it is a big mountain, but as we got closer and closer to the summit things started to look a bit... white. As in snow. I was a little surprised as it's nearly the middle of June, but I don't think it affected anyones enthusiasm, although there was a lineup of cold riders who were waiting to warm their hands on the van's heating vents before departing.
This picture makes it look like it was a touch cold, but it was even colder than it looks!
Once out of the open and onto the singletrack things started to get much warmer
What a trail! The singletrack portions of the course are truly eye opening, not just because of the outright insane speeds that you can hit, but also the corners that seem to have come directly from my dreams. The run starts with a super fast fireroad section that was covered in patches of snow and icy mud today which made it interesting to say the least. I felt relatively safe due to the speed governing limits of my bike's Hammerschmidt gear range, but some in our group were going warp speed! Obviously most riders, myself included, would choose a skinny brown ribbon of dirt to ride over a wide forrest road, but there were certainly some fun drifty corners to be had on this portion of the ride.
Ryan checking to make sure his front wheel is still doing what it's supposed to
Don't be mistaken, this is far from being even close to a proper DH race. Soon after the speed session on the fire road you make a left and slowly (for me anyway
) climb for about 10 minutes until you reenter the forrest. Now the fun begins. Single track with gently banked, not bermed, corners that seem to hold you up no matter how fast you hit them. Natural lips litter the trail left right and center, with mini transitions that you can reach if you are really moving.
Regrouping, or should I say "waiting for that Mike guy from Pinkbike"
Technophiles will be a little let down as the majority of the run is on buff and banked singletrack, but a few rock gardens do come up quickly on you just to keep you honest. On todays ride I managed to pinch flat in both of them... which really sucked! My always questionable line choices combined with equally questionable air pressure and a lightweight tire all conspired against me today. Even though the flow was interrupted a few times, there was still plenty to be had. Tomorrows race should be interesting as there are some heavy hitters here to lay down the hurt. Ross Schnell has been shredding with us throughout the week so far and it's been a real treat to watch him get rad on the course. My money is on him to pull off the win tomorrow. Watch the video below to get an idea what the upper part of the course looks like. There is no footage of the lower buff singletrack due to a cougar that swiped the video camera right off the top of my helmet!
Here's a brief look at the upper fast sections of tomorrows 12 Mile Super D race
Below are some photos of the new 2011 X.O. component group for you to get the first look at! Tomorrows update will be full of all the techno-geekery that you'd expect, but for now have a look at what's coming up. Stay tuned for all the info!
My X.O. equipped Remedy in the front yard of our house. Not a bad view!
The new X.O. carbon cranks are hollow and filled with a rigid foam
Shift points On the new rings work together for fast and consistent shifts, even under load
The new X.O. 10 speed cassette is impressive
SRAM's X.O. shift and brake lever
X.O. rear derailleur
Stay tuned for more coverage of both the 12 Mile Ashland Super D and all the info on SRAM's new X.O. components!
New Code master cylinder