Capitol Forest has one of the most stoked and supportive bike communities of any riding zone I’ve traveled to. After a few hours of riding and hanging with the locals, you feel welcomed as part of the crew. Not to mention they work countless hours to build and maintain some of Olympia and Washington state’s best trails and trail systems. They host several events each year, including the Capitol Forest Classic XC race, and their events never fail to be some of the best. The Cascadia Dirt Cup started with their very first enduro race in the area back in 2013, and it’s cool to come back to the original venue and see the massive progression in racing over the last few years.
This year we got to race a completely new trail system on a different side of the mountain. In the past, Cap Forest has been known for its flowing XC trails and long descents. This year was quite different, with several short, steep, and technical descents on freshly built loamy trails.
The race was one of the shorter races of the season, but definitely didn’t lack any excitement. We arrived Friday afternoon to pre-ride the course and were surprised with a late spring downpour. Despite getting completely soaked, the rain was happily welcomed as it revived the previously dry and dusty trails.
On the day of the race, the sun came out and made the trails just slightly on the wet side of hero dirt.
Stage 1 was a short, technical descent down a trail called stormy. It was surrounded by bright green moss covered trees and ferns that made it feel like a trail deep in a tropical jungle. It was pretty greasy after Fridays rain, so the main objective was to stay upright on the wet roots.
Stage 2 brought us to the top of the mountain for a longer descent. The first section raced through a clear-cut with fast bermed corners and a few gap jumps.
Stage 3 ducked back into the dense forest for a ripping descent down a trail called “Down and Rowdy”. It was quite fitting as the trail was scattered with jumps, ripping fast sections through the ferns, and technical steep bits.
Stage 4 was my favorite of the day. It was a newly-built downhill track with fast berms, large jumps, and plenty of steep off-camber sections of trail.
Stage 5 was another short, technical trail similar to the first stage with a few crucial line options to save time.
I landed on the podium in 2nd, with Delia right behind me in 3rd! Once again, the Capitol Forest crew never ceases to impress me with their incredible community and trails. Looking forward to next year!