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Anybody race the Downieville Classic DH??

DH Diva

Wonderwoman
Jun 12, 2002
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I'm putting together my race schedule for next season and have always wanted to do this race. Given my physical "limitations," I'm having to pick my races very carefully. Full blown DH national course racing is out of the question for now so I'm planning on doing some more endurance based DH races.

What is the best bike set up for this race. I will have my Foes FXR with a Talus. Is this not going to cut the mustard? Do people run their DH bikes for this race or would a trail bike be more applicable. How technical are the trails? How big are the drops? Is there a practice day or do you just go and race it? Any input would be much appreciated!
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
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There are no real drops. I suppose you could take some crazy line, but everything is ridable.

DH bikes are overkill, although I do go faster on my VP-Free w 888 than my Kona Dawg w Talas. The top riders were riding 6-7 inch travel bikes around 30 lbs. Weir and Marla used Nomads with Fox 36 and Abby used a Maverick ML6 with a Duc32 fork.
 

.:Jeenyus:.

Turbo Monkey
Feb 23, 2004
2,832
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slc
A little off topic, but you should hit up Spring Thaw in Ashland at the beginning of the year. Nice mellow trail that is fun to rip down and lots of people there also.
 

DH Diva

Wonderwoman
Jun 12, 2002
1,808
1
Thanks for the input guys. Sounds like the FXR will be perfect, and the trail isn't too crazy! (not to sure about the lycra though, guess it depends on how good of shape I can get in by then!)


And Jeenyus, I'm actually from Oregon and have raced the Spring Thaw before! It's on my schedule for next season already! How long have you been racing the OBRA circuit in Oregon? We may know each other!
 

Snacks

Turbo Monkey
Feb 20, 2003
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GO! SEAHAWKS!
DH Diva said:
Thanks for the input guys. Sounds like the FXR will be perfect, and the trail isn't too crazy! (not to sure about the lycra though, guess it depends on how good of shape I can get in by then!)


And Jeenyus, I'm actually from Oregon and have raced the Spring Thaw before! It's on my schedule for next season already! How long have you been racing the OBRA circuit in Oregon? We may know each other!
Hey! When is the Downieville race DH Diva? Kevin and I are planning a trip down to Cali next year. Thanks!:D
 

DH Diva

Wonderwoman
Jun 12, 2002
1,808
1
Snacks said:
Hey! When is the Downieville race DH Diva? Kevin and I are planning a trip down to Cali next year. Thanks!:D
Looks like tenative dates are July 29-30. Their site says that they are still waiting on forest service approval though. If you want to save some gas $$ let me know, I usually try and car pool to races that far away!
 

Snacks

Turbo Monkey
Feb 20, 2003
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GO! SEAHAWKS!
DH Diva said:
Looks like tenative dates are July 29-30. Their site says that they are still waiting on forest service approval though. If you want to save some gas $$ let me know, I usually try and car pool to races that far away!
Cool! Thanks. I'll talk to Kevin about it. Do you have a link to the race site. I think it's great you are hitting the trails again!:cool:
 

DH Diva

Wonderwoman
Jun 12, 2002
1,808
1
Snacks said:
Cool! Thanks. I'll talk to Kevin about it. Do you have a link to the race site. I think it's great you are hitting the trails again!:cool:
Their site is downievilleclassic.com

Yeah, I had myself all convinced that not racing wasn't going to be a big deal (it took a year to convince myself!), but lately, I'm really feeling the need to get out and be competative again. Now the problem is figuring out what class to race!!
:confused: :confused:

I haven't run all this by Dave yet, so I don't know if he will want to go or not yet, but if you decide to go let me know. If we don't drive down together we should at least meet up and camp or split a place to stay. I miss the PNW racers!!
 

PatBranch

Turbo Monkey
Sep 24, 2004
10,461
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wine country
I'll be there. I haven't been there before. The Whole town looks fun. I will be riding a 7.3 (if I get one), otherwise my hardtail in my signature.
 

Jm_

Turbo Monkey
Jan 14, 2002
9,450
1,850
AK
DH Diva said:
What is the best bike set up for this race. I will have my Foes FXR with a Talas
That works great in downieville. A lot of it is very high speed, but no big bumps, and there are some cilmbs (there's one real significant one that will kill the DH-bike riders) and more level spots where pedaling will make the difference.
 

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
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NORCAL is the hizzle
Jm_ said:
That works great in downieville. A lot of it is very high speed, but no big bumps, and there are some cilmbs (there's one real significant one that will kill the DH-bike riders) and more level spots where pedaling will make the difference.
Exactly. I've ridden everything from full on DH to xc hardtails up there. On a big bike you lose WAY more time on the pedalling sections than you can gain on the downhills, it's really an endurance test as much (more?) as a downhill. There are some sharp rocks, so tubeless or DH tires (or at least thick tubes) are a good idea. I raced on my heckler this year and it was perfect.

It's not a closed course, it's the same shuttle run that is always open in the summer. You can go ride for days prior to the race. If you're not used to the altitude, I find it good to go a day or two early.
 

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
9,750
179
NORCAL is the hizzle
Transcend said:
About 15-20 mins higher then weir's I think.
That's not far off. Weir's record is below 40 mins, most relatively speedy folks finish around 50 or so.

mtnbrider, they haven't confirmed the dates for next year and I don't see sign up available for '06 yet. You might be looking at some from '05. It definitely fills up, and it fills up early - do not plan to just show up and race.
 

.:Jeenyus:.

Turbo Monkey
Feb 23, 2004
2,832
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DH Diva said:
And Jeenyus, I'm actually from Oregon and have raced the Spring Thaw before! It's on my schedule for next season already! How long have you been racing the OBRA circuit in Oregon? We may know each other!
Just started racing last year so I doubt it, but I will be there this year also. :thumb:
 

Heidi

Der hund ist laut und braun
Aug 22, 2001
10,130
673
Bend, Oregon
I think I may give this a try this year so I'll see a lot of you there! Seriously though - if I have NO downhill race experience could I race the course and be fine?
 

OGRipper

Turbo Monkey
Feb 3, 2004
9,750
179
NORCAL is the hizzle
Heidi, yes you should be fine. You won't win but you won't die. There is not much that is very steep or dangerous - the only real danger comes from the fact that if you want to to go wide open, there are some super fast portions of the course. That and the fact that given the length, fatigue becomes an issue. People who win or come close have a rare mix of DH speed and XC power/endurance. The race weekend is really fun but you can go ride the course any time, and there is something to be said for having less people around. If you have a chance, go ride up there prior to the race weekend.
 

sanjuro

Tube Smuggler
Sep 13, 2004
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OGRipper said:
Heidi, yes you should be fine. You won't win but you won't die. There is not much that is very steep or dangerous - the only real danger comes from the fact that if you want to to go wide open, there are some super fast portions of the course. That and the fact that given the length, fatigue becomes an issue. People who win or come close have a rare mix of DH speed and XC power/endurance. The race weekend is really fun but you can go ride the course any time, and there is something to be said for having less people around. If you have a chance, go ride up there prior to the race weekend.
There are no big drops or super gnarly sections. Ride N* for a day, and Downieville will seem like a piece of cake.

On that note, I think the best technique combined with fitness wins the day. I was standing next to two rocks about 6-8 feet apart. Mark Weir doubles both rocks but with the smallest jump possible to clear both. He lands with the same speed and motors away.

On the other hand, I think the XC course is much more technical. Maybe because I have only ridden it once, but there was a lot of loose rock and steeps. What I chuckle about is the XC bikes that come out. Downieville is not the place for 22 lb bicycle.