The inaugural Trans-Cascadia
race got under way on Wednesday, September 23 – Autumn Equinox, with racers arriving by shuttle to the remote backwoods of Oakridge, Orgeon. Sixty-six racers unloaded from the buses and set up camp along Lake Timpanogas.
|We are out in the middle of nowhere, we are two hours from anything civilization-wise and I feel really good about it. People are hanging out by the lake, it's sunny, people are smiling, people are drinking, and it's great! |
- Nick Gibson, Race Organizer
The goal of the event was to create a community around camping, riding, and hanging out around campfires sharing the stories of the day. When Alex Gardner, Tommy Magrath, and Nick Gibson, all of Modus Sport Group
, decided to create the Trans-Cascadia they knew they wanted a remote location with no cell or Internet service, amazing trails and a beautiful place to camp. And after the first day of racing on Thursday, it would seem that they have attained the trifecta. “This is a first year event so no one was sure what to expect going in, some of the guys have been out here to this area before and it’s obviously really killer, everyone has raved about it,” says racer, Lars Sternberg. He continues with, “as far as the infrastructure, everyone is pretty blown away by what these guys have been able to pull off out here in such a remote location. It’s a fully set-up, dialled little community out in the woods an hour drive from anywhere – it’s pretty awesome. They have the trailer showers, they have [Chris] Diminno cooking gourmet food for everybody and epic trails. It’s been a really, really good first day.”
|For the most part it's just ripping singletrack. It's the polar opposite of what we have at home so I'm just soaking it up. |
- Lars Sternberg, Racer
As for the riding itself, the trails have been described as “primitive,” meaning that they are still covered in loam; organic on the surface of the trail. The area doesn’t see much traffic for riding and so the trails are in beautiful shape. While they are not extremely technical there were still some steep and rocky spots along the five stages of Day 1. “I’m so impressed that there are this many trails and this diverse of trails in such a small zone. We were chilling at the lake after the race and we could see the mountains that we all came down. It’s crazy that there is going to be more tomorrow even,” says Allan Cooke. However, the best description yet of the trails came from a racer pinning it through the finish line on Stage 5, who yelled out “you can’t wipe the smile off of my face!”
|I was really excited [to do this race], I've done Trans Provence a couple of times and I really love this kind of format of blind racing and the social atmosphere of hanging out and camping with everyone. I've been hanging out with everyone all day and it's a beautiful location they've set us up with here - it's pretty remote. We lucked out on the weather today, just beautiful. |
- Geoff Kabush, Racer
The blind-racing format has added to the comradery amongst the racers explains Mark Weir, “it’s refreshing to see a course, and all these courses, that no one has ridden, so the whole vibe of the event is different because no one knows where they are going. It makes everyone friendlier and all the transfers more friendly, they talk about the riding more. My first impression so far is really good.” With the tight group of sixty-six racers and the remote area, racers are finding that they are either already friends with the people here or will be by the end of the four days.
|I think the trails are different to the Andes Pacifico and the Trans Provence that I've done before, but it's just because of the terrain. The Andes is different, it's the anti-grip, and the Trans Provence is the French Alps, and here it's a bit smoother and it's fast. Sometimes you can't see very far ahead, sometimes you can, but you know there's nothing too technical and you can just let off. We had a good amount of climbing today, which I enjoyed. |
- Rachel Walker, Racer
Stage 1 ended with Rosara Joseph in the lead for the Pro Women and Geoff Kabush in the lead for the Pro Men. “It was a nice day of trail riding; nothing flashy for me, just kept on the trail and kept on the power. There was definitely some good pedaling out there so it's not a complete surprise for me to be up near the front, but I'm a little surprised to have a good little gap. I'll try to keep things steady for the next couple of days and have some fun,” says Geoff.
With $16,000 of prize money on the line between the top three podium spots in both Pro Men and Pro Women, we can expect to see some good efforts to the close the gap put in out on the trails in the next three days.
As the race continues for the next three days the riding areas will get closer to the town of Oakridge. “As we work into town the trails get less primitive and they are little more ridden but they are also really good trails that are phenomenal descents and good pieces of the woods. I think it just gets better,” explains Race Organizer, Nick Gibson.
TransCascadia Day 1 ResultsSponsorsShimano
, Chris King
, Pearl Izumi
, Travel Oregon
, Modus Sport Group
, Clif Bar
, Clif Family Winery
, The U.S. Forest Service
, and Oregon Adventures
.About the Promoters
Modus Sport Group – Modus Sport Group understands that mountain biking is not just a sport, it’s a way to grow an appreciation for the world that we live in, we feel that this is critically important and we understand that it takes effort and work to insure this experience for the generations of riders to come. As Trails Stewards we hope our work will open up new areas of riding and contribute to maintaining current trials in order to create lasting and sustainable riding areas that will be ridden and enjoyed for years to come. For more information visit Modus Sport Group