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  1. #1
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    Willamette Pass DH Race

    I'm thinking of racing the downhill race at willamette July 25-26th.

    I have no idea what class to enter though? The only DH race i ever did was 1998 at willamette but back then it pretty much went down the access roads. Been away from bikes since then until a couple months ago.

    I'm thinking Open Beginner? I can make it down the sport and easy trail and the lower part of expert (where it intersects ezr). Never tried the top section. I wouldn't want to end up sandbagging by accident. I'm 31 though and have to go to work monday

  2. #2
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    Race sport.

    the beginner is mostly fire road. or has been in the past.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hack
    Race sport.

    the beginner is mostly fire road. or has been in the past.
    Ah cool thanks I don't want to ride the fire road

    on their map http://www.willamettepass.com/summer...n_bike_map.pdf
    would the beginners end up on "Terrapin" trail? Sport run down "Jack Straw" ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by KTMDirtFace
    Ah cool thanks I don't want to ride the fire road

    on their map http://www.willamettepass.com/summer...n_bike_map.pdf
    would the beginners end up on "Terrapin" trail? Sport run down "Jack Straw" ?
    boy..I don't know the names. I just know it's rough so don't do 12 practice runs.

  5. #5
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    Yea i just rode it all day this saturday and it rattled me. Fairly used to it though from riding my dirt bike.

    PS they still have not cleared the trails yet. the expert line has a tree down in it...etc.

  6. #6
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    Yeah, I ran it(sport course) last year on a single crown and did like 6-7 practice runs the day before. FAIL. I didn't have anything for the next morning. The brake bumps swallowed my 36 talas.
    Ride. Dig. Party.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Switchback78
    Yeah, I ran it(sport course) last year on a single crown and did like 6-7 practice runs the day before. FAIL. I didn't have anything for the next morning. The brake bumps swallowed my 36 talas.
    Lol yea we did 6 or so runs this saturday.. I slept all day sunday wtf! haha.

    I'm on a giant reign x with 36 vanilla.

  8. #8
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    Guess this is what downhill bikes are made for.

  9. #9
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    I'm there a lot of weekends, and its great. It's all pretty easy. EZR, Jack straw, and Sanchez are all fun ones that are fairly steep but pretty easy cuz the dirt is solid. I don't understand exactly what your asking though..how good are you?

  10. #10
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    I was asking what class to enter.

    Pretty much decided sport. I don't know how good/bad I am. I make it down jack straw without falling or anything so I think i'll just enter Open Sport.

  11. #11
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    Enter Cat II/Sport if you want to have fun! The best course on the mountain and (normally) the biggest group of competitors. No need to race a boring course and win because nobody else is in your class (=Beginner), unless you are obsessed with being the best.

  12. #12
    VCH
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    I've been a lurker on the forums for quite some time, but was encouraged to register after reading this thread.

    I've been involved with the trail building process up at Willamette Pass every day we have been open so far this summer and I apologize that we haven't been able to get all of our trails open yet. We have actually been quite busy building new trails that are more sustainable and doing reroutes on our current ones. However, this past Sunday, we did do some trail maintenance and cleared the brake bumps on lower China Rider and improved the berms there too to get ready for our upcoming race.

    We also just completed a new expert trail called 'Dark Star,' which will be our expert/pro course for this upcoming race because we currently don't have the man power to get Mind Bender open because it needs A LOT of work. Dark Star currently terminates into Jack Straw and we're going to try and expand Dark Star over to the lower section of Mind Bender. If you're interested in seeing the new trail, we posted some on our Oregon Skyway Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/al...7075352&ref=mf

    Just to get some numbers, how many of you are planning on attending our upcoming race July 25?
    Last edited by VCH; 07-15-2009 at 03:53 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VCH
    I've been a lurker on the forums for quite some time, but was encouraged to register after reading this thread.

    I've been invovled with the trail building process up at Willamette Pass every day we have been open so far this summer and I apologize that we haven't been able to get all of our trails open yet. We have actually been quite busy building new trails that are more sustainable and doing reroutes on our current ones. However, this past Sunday, we did do some trail maintenance and cleared the brake bumps on lower China Run and improved the berms there too to get ready for our upcoming race.

    We also just completed a new expert trail called 'Dark Star,' which will be our expert/pro course for this upcoming race because we currently don't have the man power to get Mind Bender open because it needs A LOT of work. Dark Star currently terminates into Jack Straw and we're going to try and expand Dark Star over to the lower section of Mind Bender. If you're interested in seeing the new trail, check out the pictures: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/al...7075352&ref=mf

    Just to get some numbers, how many of you are planning on attending our upcoming race July 25?


    hey do you happen to be either kevin or randy?

  14. #14
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    Just to get some numbers, how many of you are planning on attending our upcoming race July 25?
    2-4 in my group. 2 for sure.

    I really like that place, my friends don't like how bumpy it is but I find it fun. I think you guys were smoothing out jackstraw when we went down it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VCH
    Just to get some numbers, how many of you are planning on attending our upcoming race July 25?
    I will be there!

    Great job on getting the trails ready! But stop smoothing out those braking bumps! Like KTMDirtFace said, this is what makes WP so fun! Gives you and the bike a good workout.

    Did you consider mixing up courses for the different races? Upper sport to fireroad to EZR into lower Expert would be sick course for Sport/Cat II!

    BTW: that first log drop on the re-route of the sport course is funky. You can't carry enough speed through the tight corner to actually drop it. At least nobody I have seen trying it.

  16. #16
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    I'll be there with at least 1 more.

    I'm also willing (as I'm sure others are) to come do some volunteer trail work. I've talked to a number of employees there and gotten everything from the shrug-off to insurance excuses.

    Also, new trail pics look good. Can't wait.
    Why do you talk to me this way. When you know that I will kill you for this?

  17. #17
    VCH
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    No, I'm Cameron, but you probably have seen me working alongside Kevin and Randy.

    I hear you on the brake bumps and they're a major problem we face because of the volcanic dust that's mixed in with the soil. To combat the situation, we have been building a lot of berms and are trying to avoid going directly down the fall line. However, I think everyone will enjoy the new banked turns we built on Jack Straw though. They're designed to handle a high rate of speed from people coming off Dark Star onto Jack Straw. We're almost finished with the Jack Straw reroute which runs down the lower section of Upper Rosary in the trees. Hopefully this section will be completed by our first race too, so that our service road can be avoided because of the shape it's in.

    If you see us working next time, feel free to stop and say hi. We like hearing input about our trails and what to improve upon.

    Cheers

  18. #18
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    So VCH, if I come to ride in say 1st or 2nd weekend in Aug will all the trails be available to ride? Thanks for your work too by the way.

  19. #19
    VCH
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryebread
    I'll be there with at least 1 more.

    I'm also willing (as I'm sure others are) to come do some volunteer trail work. I've talked to a number of employees there and gotten everything from the shrug-off to insurance excuses.

    Also, new trail pics look good. Can't wait.
    We would love the additional help. The real reason why we can't have volunteers is because of Oregon's new labor law, which states that for-profit companies can not use volunteers unless they have 501(c)3 organization status. However, I would recommend talking with Jarred Tuska of the Downhill Coalition (downhillcoalition.org) and seeing if you can join their organization. They have been a big help with all of our trail work over the years and helped construct the new Dark Star trail.

    I'll let Randy and Kevin know that you guys like the brake bumps. I should reiterate that the berms that we have been building are more to prevent trail erosion than eliminate the brake bumps.

  20. #20
    VCH
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hack
    So VCH, if I come to ride in say 1st or 2nd weekend in Aug will all the trails be available to ride? Thanks for your work too by the way.
    I know the goal is to try and get them open this summer, although we have no set date in place at this moment. We base all of our trail building based on what Kevin believes is the most important thing to be done next and for the most part, with only three people working on the trails, it can be a time consuming process to finish something. I know there are plans to reroute Terrapin and put it in the trees rather than being on the ski run Lower Rosary.

    However, I'll let you guys know when we begin working on upper Mind Bender and China Rider and when they will open.

  21. #21
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    Thanks for all the updates Cameron. I'm on FB and have been following there as well. I'm hoping to make it up this year a couple times if not on race day as I went on closing day last year and had a good time.

    It's gotta be hard to build this time of year and I commend you for it. I always try to time my visits after some rainfall... I couldn't imagine trying to shape anything as dry as it must be right now.
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    The internet sounds like a tough place to ride.

  22. #22
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    I rode the new expert course at WP this weekend(or what was ready of it) and I must say in all respect that I feel it is definitely not going to offer alot of the fun we had last year. Although it seemed it was not finished yet I have been hoping for the past three days that the course will be a whole other animal when i show up on saturday. All the steep terrain filled with drops and rocks seems to be replaced with single track through perilite looking volcanic soil. I am looking forward to racing and hope the course offers the same challenges and terrain that has been accessible to us in the past!
    BLKMRKT

  23. #23
    VCH
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    We're hoping Dark Star will only be a temporary course for this upcoming race, but the amount of erosion issues we have to deal with on the upper courses is quite large. I'll have to walk down it and take some pictures.

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    Hey all,
    Glad to hear all the comments on the pass. Good, and the bad. There is alot of work to be done, and we are doing the best we can with what we have to work with. I know the new dark star trial is not the best or hardest course, but this year the old expert/ pro course was dangerous. And I am used to racing that course, I miss it but the erosion this year would have taken people out.
    Best believe we will be working our asses off to get a top notch DH course in. New IMBA standards are being adopted to bring the pass to the next level. All of us who ride the pass know its potential, oh and it has GONDOLAS. Please hang in with the pass during its transition. Big thanks to all who show up to race and rip the pass. See you on the hill.

  25. #25
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    Sorry for the slight hijack, but...

    Does one need a DH-specific bike to ride Willy Pass? I've seen a few videos and it doesn't look like it, but you know how vids and pics are: they tend to make things look easier than they are.

    I ride a Turner 6pack with a 66 up front. Is it worth the trip and lift ticket? Or would the bike be outmatched by the terrain? Thanks in advance for the advice.
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    No worries

    Your turner should be fine @ the pass. The conditions are sandy, and loose right now. The race this last wknd did a bunch of damage that we need to fix.( brake bumps, ect.)
    I guess it all comes down to your ability. Your bike will be a little more reactive on road rocks, but I think you should be able to kill most all of the trails on a six inch bike. Adjust your suspension a bit softer, and let it work.
    I cant say anything on lift price, but I know you can drop allot of vertical feet in one day. If you go, I hope you have a great time.http://forums.mtbr.com/images/smilies/thumbsup.gif

  27. #27
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    No need for a DH bike. It's a (mostly) non-technical moonscape. It's nothing crazy or wild. As per much of the area's riding: speed dictates the "technicality" rather than terrain. The dust,erosion and lack of building/upkeep are what killed it for me up there. There's a buttload of potential though and it seems like there's some good energy around making it a worthy destination. I hope they do...OROR could use it.

    BlackRock, Post, and Shellberg are all more fun and technical...now if they had lifts...!

    Brock...
    Are the wheels roundish? Ride it.

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  28. #28
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    If you are more into XC riding take Skyliner on the back side to maiden peak then down to Gold Lake Road and back to the Pass...one of my favorite XC rides...really fun flow and because you have a lift you can get in a couple runs on it
    The other Randy (ex promoter)

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImaKlyde
    No need for a DH bike. It's a (mostly) non-technical moonscape. It's nothing crazy or wild. As per much of the area's riding: speed dictates the "technicality" rather than terrain. The dust,erosion and lack of building/upkeep are what killed it for me up there. There's a buttload of potential though and it seems like there's some good energy around making it a worthy destination. I hope they do...OROR could use it.

    BlackRock, Post, and Shellberg are all more fun and technical...now if they had lifts...!

    Brock...
    Just curious, how do you define technical? Black Rock and technical is something I wouldn't really use in one sentence. The Sickter rockgarden is tech, the rest is smooth trail that a true beginner can ride. You only need balls for the stunts.
    But I agree, in WP the speed dictates how tech it gets. And the dust, erosion, lack of upkeep make it fun IMO. It is good to not only have sanitized trails. Improves you riding skills so much. And look at resorts/race tracks like Northstar and Fontana. Very similar to WP, only more rocks (and trails).
    I think a 6pack should work fine in WP. If you have good skills you can go nearly as fast on a shorter travel bike as on a full DH bike. Some friends took their SX, Reigns and Enduros up there and they all had a good time.

  30. #30
    Making fat cool since '71
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    The stunts/features are my thoughts on most of the "tech" at BR though, I am forced to agree that balls plays a huge part in going big. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a sanitized trail guy. There's just a lot of unrealized potential at WP and trails being closed due to lack of upkeep well, kills it. The best stuff is shut or rutted/chopped up. Sounds like better days are on the horizon perhaps.

    Andrew, when are you going?

    Brock...
    Are the wheels roundish? Ride it.

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  31. #31
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    Brock...no plans to get out there...mostly just curious. I've never done lift riding, but I like the sound of it! I'd be up for meeting you down there some day to check it out.

    Though I still haven't been to Black Rock this year, so that will probably take precedence.
    Bend, Oregon. Proof you don't have to die to get to heaven.

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