Category: trevor pratt

Trans-Cascadia Part 2

Now for part two of Trevor’s Trans-Cascadia race.

Day 3 Ranch Camp

Day 3 Ranch Camp

Day three was our moving day, after breakfast everybody packed up their camp and laid it out to be transported to the second location for the weekend, a huge ranch much closer to town.  Stages 11-15 had several shuttles in between, and included some of the most diverse conditions of the whole weekend.  The first two stages of the day were up in a cloud, with air so moist it rendered glasses and goggles useless and a hindrance.  The soil was dank, and in some spots even muddy, with greenery growing over the trail making it hard to see very far ahead on the trail.  After the second stage we took a shuttle to a different facing slope, and ended up on the completely opposite type of bone dry, ball bearing, rocky dirt.  After a rough second day, day three’s stages treated me great with a little more conservative riding, and a few more high speed stages, the last topping out at 36 mph, it was a great day on the bike that finished at the local pub.  Back at camp we built a fire ten feet tall, and the entire camp mingled over beers and another amazing dinner, and by the end of the night a ramp was built and the fire was jumped just as it should have been.

Sunday start

Sunday start

The fourth and final day of racing had finally come, and the trails were those that Oakridge is most known for.  Six stages for the day, and it was easily my favorite, and hardest day of the weekend.  Almost 26 miles and 3k of climbing that started with a shuttle to our first stage that began in a picturesque meadow of grass and flowers.  The final day of racing had everybody hooting and hollering on the ripping descents of alpine trail, and only minutes later grunting and grumpy as we climbed almost 2k in one transition to finish off the wild weekend in the final two stages.

The finish was a bitter sweet feeling of having survived 4 solid days of racing on blind trails, but at the same time having the best time out of cell service riding singletrack that some people only dream of.  We had lucked out on the weather and missed all of the rain, even had a lunar eclipse to cheers to on Sunday, the last night in Oakridge.  Overall it was the best four day’s I have ever spent on my mountain bike, racing and burning things with my friends.

Sunday view

Sunday view

Nick, Alex, Tommy, and all of Modus and Shimano really outdid themselves at this event and I can only imagine how amazing it will be next year with the unlimited amount of terrain out in the hills of Oakridge.  Thank you to all my friends and family that donated and helped me get there, Marin Bikes for putting me on a dialed Mt Vision for the race,  Wittler for really connecting the dots and getting this dirtbag out to a great event, and most of all Team Lost Coast Brewery for the support throughout the seasons.

Pinkbike also has great some writeups and photos from the last two days: day 3, day 4

Trevor

 



Trans-Cascadia Part 1

Thusday Transfer

Thusday Transfer

Last weekend was the inaugural Trans-Cascadia race up here in Oakridge, Oregon.  For those of you unfamiliar with the Trans-Cascadia, it was a four day long, fully supported enduro stage race.  The event was aimed to be the answer to the European multi-day enduro stage races much like the infamous Trans-Provence.

The race began Thursday the 24th, so in order to make it to the campsite at the undisclosed location outside of Oakridge, shuttles were arranged on Wednesday, where dinner would be served at 7pm.  This was a problem for me as I could only get enough time off of work for the four days of racing, so I had to leave town after work, which put me into Oakridge at about 11pm the night before the race.  Luckily my longtime friend Wittler was running errands and was able to wait around and give me a ride back to camp.  An hour and a half of gravel roads later and we were in the middle of nowhere at lake Timpanogas, setting up my tent in the dark, trying not to wake the hundred or so surrounding tents.

Don't miss breakfast!

Don’t miss breakfast!

Breakfast was served at 6am, with the first riders leaving the camp at 9.  All the meals were provided by Chris King, and there wasn’t a single complaint the entire weekend.  The first day of racing consisted of five stages ranging from 1 to 12 minutes in length, on trails that the average Oakridge bike tourist would never even hear of.  Amazing deep wooded loam, insane views, and brutal hike-a-bike transfers was a great first day of racing that left everybody with huge smiles and am amazing start to a long weekend.  The day totaled only 16 miles of riding, but at over 4000 feet of climbing it was a steep day that left me ready for bed early after only 5 hours of sleep.  After the riders meeting at dinner, we got an idea of the next day’s stages, drank a few beers around the campfire, and it was time for bed.

 

Day 1-2 campsite Lake Timpanogas

Day 1-2 campsite Lake Timpanogas

After breakfast the next morning we started our transfer straight up the steep descent of stage three from the previous day.  From the top of stage six, called SawTooth Mountain, you could see for miles, and was one of the very few places anybody could find a sliver of service.  The entire second day of racing consisted of some of the tightest switchbacks and loosest scree fields I have ever ridden.  The stages were a true test of everybody’s bike handling abilities, and also their abilities to ride with enough heads up to see the tight corners ahead of time.  I had a tough time staying on the bike, much less blowing the switchbacks.  The blind racing format really kicked my ass, and I had to really try and tone it down after making one out of five stages clean that day and losing a lot of time I didn’t want to give up.

Stay tuned for part 2!

In the meantime, Pinkbike has great writeups and photos from the first two days:

Day 1Day 2

-Trevor



Sea Otter 2012!

After weeks of planning and anticipation Sea Otter weekend had finally arrived. We packed the car to capacity and headed south from Ashland with four pasty Oregonians hungry for sun. On our trip down we made a detour to stretch our legs and enjoy the birthplace of mountain biking, Mount Tamalpias. After we got a good taste of the local trails we scarfed some burritos and continued south to Aptos where our driver Austin’s mother so kindly let us stay for the night.

Where’s Matt?

The next morning we were up bright and early so we could get to the venue, get signed in and settled at our campsite, and relax until the Cat 1 start at 1:30 in the afternoon. Just as we had expected, it was hot, insane hot for us Oregonians. Bekah and Danny were right behind me at registration, signing up to race that afternoon as well. After Matt got done registering for Saturday’s pro race he disappeared in to the land of Sea Otter while Austin, our trusty Rastafarian water boy and cat2 crusher Shane, and I found shade under the only tree in the venue right by the pond. We kept cool just as long as we could until it was time to get a little spin on and make it to the start line. 1:45 ticked around and we were off with just barely over twenty riders in our 19-24 cat1 age group.

Competition

For most of the first lap I went back and forth with Austin, doing my best to not boil over in the extreme heat. I was doing fine until about halfway through the lap I charged one of the blind rutted descents and ejected a bottle. It was my only full bottle left so I stopped real quick to pick it up only to have Austin and another rider fly by and the bottle eject for good about thirty feet down the trail. I was frustrated to say the least but I knew the aid station wasn’t too far ahead so I conserved made due with the water I had until the aid station where I had to stop and fill my bottle and again watch Austin and a few riders re-pass me. We had caught up to group of riders from our category and stayed with them until the final climb where Austin was starting to lead them away when I had to stop yet again to relieve myself of the Redbull I had consumed before my race.

Frustrated and thirsty I finished up the lap and to my surprise Shane and Matt were waiting at the lap with two fresh bottles of water for me and news that Austin was about 2 minutes ahead of me. With new water, the first lap behind me, and Austin just ahead of me I felt my second wind. The second lap seemed to be a lot cooler with a slight breeze, full bottles, and faster descents without brake-riding-line-blocking roadies to follow. I managed to keep the rubber side down and get a fresh bottle at the aid station giving me enough water to squeeze down the 500 or so Gu’s I went through and finish the 40 mile course in 3:16, 9th in my age group.

I had survived the heat and had improved on last year’s time. I later found out that Danny didn’t get quite as lucky, he had ejected a bottle early on leaving him parched and nauseas starting his second lap. He made it a few miles and decided to turn back when he started getting dizzy. Bekah had survived the heat and crushed her race, finishing 10th in her age group and just under 2 hours. Like a lot of rider’s she didn’t enjoy the percentage of road there was in the course, but said her new hardtail handled it very well. It was a hot day of racing but a great break from the cold Oregon weather we had been used to riding in. The next day Matt was off in the pro race but got hung up in a crash midway through, dislocating his finger. He used a co2 cartridge to splint his finger and was able to finish the race rubber side down. We spent much of saturday hiding under trees and applying sunscreen since it was another scorcher. That night we went out to dinner with Marin and some of the factory riders. We listened to stories of Steve “Gravy” Gravenites fighting for his right to ride his bike all night and had a great time with the Marin crew. Sunday came around faster than expected and before I knew it we were already packing up, saying our goodbyes in the venue and back on the road north to Ashland. It was another Sea Otter for the books, my first year on a Marin and it was a great to meet some of the faces behind the names, looking forward to the rest of the season! See you at the Ashland Spring Thaw!

Photos by Shane Stiles

Till next time!
 Tbone