10th Congressional District. Capitol of Washington State. Headquarters of Race Cascadia. Home.
It’s no secret that Capitol Forest holds an extra special place in the hearts of the Race Cascadia crew. It’s the backyard trails and where many of them cut their teeth on mountain biking. It’s where last year, after debuting a new trail network, the Cascadia Dirt Cup eclipsed the $100,000 mark in trail donations across Cascadia. It’s the home of Friends of Capitol Forest, the raddest and rowdiest group of trail advocates and builders in the land. And it’s where seven years ago the first Capitol Forest Enduro planted the seeds for what is now the Cascade Dirt Cup. Capitol forest is, in a word, home.
Sitting on the edge of the puget sound, Capitol Forest is on the receiving end of the prevailing westerly winds that draw weather off the Pacific and shroud Capitol Forest throughout the day in a rapidly changing, dense and damp cloud cover. It’s that moody atmosphere that inspired the first people of the Puget Sound to bestow the name “Klahle” - translated as The Black Hills - upon the forest. It’s also what makes the dirt in Capitol Forest so damn magnificent.
If you’ve ever raced Capitol Forest, you likely have memories of the rolling miles of single track, shared between user groups and mostly devoid of steeps, berms and puckering moments. Trails that are as fast as they are narrow, and that test the lactic acid thresholds of your thighs. Well, those trails are still there and they’re still great, but thanks to the decade-plus of work from Friends of Capitol Forest
the Cascade Dirt Cup has a new trail system to play on in Capitol Forest, the North Slope. New as of last year, the North Slope of Capitol Forest brings together some of the highest concentration of A+ shralping south of Utqiagvik
(We’re biased, you should know this by now). A whole new trail network capitalizing on a formerly untouched side of Olympia's favorite forest, and an opportunity for a new generation of riders to test their mettle in Cascadia. Andrew Howe (Left) and Ben Combs (Right) step into the Octagon to test their might. The quality of the trail had most riders opting for the more technical Octagon stage one over the arguably safer and open right line.The CDC strives to ensure that the brands we work with reflect our own values, a commitment to the growth of mountain biking in the PNW, a passion for trail work, and a hankering for a good ol' Party in the Woods. Thankfully for Race Cascadia, we've never had to look far from home to find our supporters. Kyle Young (Expert Men 40+) spends his non-racing weekdays as the owner of the #1 bike brand in Cascadia, Transition Bikes. But on race weekends you can find him towing his kids and a gaggle of other groms down the fast lines, making sure the next generation rips. Oh, and sometimes taking the steps in his category.There are a lot of moving parts to put these events on, and moving parts need lubrication. Greg Parker (Expert 40+) of Iron Horse Brewary fame samples the wares to ensure that the races are only getting the Creme de la creme. And after taking a tight #1 in his category, he obviously earned it.In this edition of The Faces Behind the Races: Ever wonder where all the great shots come from at our races? Meet Chris McFarland. This man has shot more Cascadia Dirt Cup races than any other dirt bag alive. And on top of knowing how to wield a camera, he can also ride a bike. Stay tuned for next races episode of The Faces Behind the Races.
On top of the Octagon, the Cascadia Dirt Cup also had the opportunity to debut the newest legal trail in Capitol Forest: Low Key, a pro/expert only stage named after Loki, the Moto trail that racers pop out onto when they exit. Low Key is the latest trail of variable legality that Friends of Capitol Forest and DNR brought into the fold. Nestled deep between two valleys, Low Key makes use of use of a densely hemlocked ridge line, needling close to the hidden giants and allowing riders to get intimate with the intertwining root veins that run at every degree past ninety, intersecting the trail at every corner. Sit down, stay awhile, podiums happening once the last rider comes in.Iron Horse Brewery providing the goods to keep racers well lubricated.And the real heroes of the race.
Special Thanks to everyone who made this race possible:CLIFShimano Transition Bike CompanyFSADakineEVOMucoffIron Horse BrewerySchwalbe JulboCushcoreVanDOit
Thanks for playing.