After summer fires raged in Washington this September, the original final race venue near Mt. Rainer had to be relocated to Dry Hill in Port Angeles, WA. The Race Cascadia crew did an amazing job at rolling with the punches and organizing an entirely new venue on short notice. In fact, this race ended up being one of the most well-organized and smoothest races we’ve attended so far, and Dry Hill has become one of our favorite places to ride!
For this Blog Post, the four of us that raced wrote a little recap of the weekend:
“We scored an awesome camp site at Salt Creek Campground on the beach outside of Port Angeles on Friday night. After some heavy rain all night we reluctantly left the warmth of our tents to catch some shuttle laps early on Saturday morning.
The shuttle vehicle was a Uhaul pick up truck, and the shuttle system worked flawlessly. We all piled into the back with our bikes which kept them all safe, was efficient loading and unloading, and could carry around 20 people per trip!
I had a blast racing both downhill and enduro in the same weekend! The DH trails were fast, loose, and chunky with lots of jumps and doubles to send making for some exciting racing. I snagged 5th in the downhill race on my Process 153 CR.
The venue, dirt, course, and trails were all amazing making for an awesome weekend and great end of the season. Delia and I rode together all day (singing Fleetwood Mac along the way) in the enduro and finished only seconds apart!
My favorite stage was stage 1 which was fast and full of doubles and sweet berms. Stage 2 was rocky, steep, and greasy, while stage 3 was dry, rooty, and dusty!
Despite a nasty climb in the middle, stage 4 was also a favorite, it had some epic, loamy singletrack at the end that had me grinning the entire way. I was stoked to finish the season strong, without crashes this race, and to take 3rd for the overall for my first year racing pro.”
“The Port Angeles race was the smoothest run race I have participated in. The race course was set up perfectly so that the sport class could race one side of the mountain while pro/expert did the other and then we flip-flopped. This way, we all finished around the same time and didn’t have to wait in line for the stages.
The trails were fast, loose, and super fun! It was awesome to come at the bottom of a stage, breathing hard, with a huge smile on your face. Hanging and laughing with the sport class ladies made the climbs manageable.
Despite the uphill sprint in the middle of it, stage four was my favorite stage of the day because you finished the last couple minutes weaving in and out of the trees in woods laced with beautiful tacky dirt from rain the day before. You ended in the staging area where you could grab some hugs and high fives before heading back up the road.”
“After some rain for the downhill race on Saturday, we arrived at the enduro race on Sunday with tacky trails and greasy roots, which are my favorite conditions!
Mickey headed up the road climb with the sport ladies to stages 3 and 4, while Hannah and I made our way up to start on Stage 1.
We ripped down the jumps, stayed upright on the loose entrance to Dante’s Inferno, and finished feeling stoked about the rest of the day. Steph and the expert ladies were beginning their pedal up to stage 1, so we joined forces to make it up the hill again.
Stage 2, also known as the Cat 2 downhill course, was running super fast after a little rain on those loose corners. I had a moment of excitement when my Garmin broke loose and popped off my handlebars halfway down the trail, but decided to let it go and come back for it later! Hannah and I regrouped and made our final pedal up to Stage 3, on the “dry” side of Dry Hill.
We were relieved to find the the roots weren’t too wet, and each had clean runs down the trickiest trail of the day. Next was one more easy pedal up to stage 4, during which we amused ourselves by listening to Fleetwood Mac and posting silly videos to Instagram. Stage 4 was the longest run and the stage with the most pedaling, but we got stoked and dropped in. I pedaled my little heart out, and was very thankful for my new Kona Process 153, which pedals so well I forget it’s a trail bike sometimes!
We finished, exhausted and full of adrenaline, and discovered we had both made it on the podium, just 4 seconds apart.
For me, this was the highlight of my season. I had some serious doubts about myself and my skills this season after having some bad crashes and disappointing results, but I finally had a race where I had fun and rode well, and felt like I actually belonged in the pro class! It was also amazing to see all of my teammates make it on the podium at our final race of the year–congrats to Steph for 3rd in Expert and Mickey on 2nd in Sport! Yeah ladies!!!”
For the Expert Ladies, it was all about having a good time and hanging with your friends. The weekend started out with shuttle lap after shuttle lap in the back of a dark Uhaul with, no joke, 20 other people.
I got to pre-ride with the lovely Michelle Warner and Julie Baird. On race day, at the start of the first climb, I ran into my fellow Supremes Hannah and Delia, and was able to pedal up with them to stage 1 – which really set the tone for the day. Rarely on race day do I get to ride with the other Supremes outside my category. This theme continued when I saw them again at the next transition to stage 2. After stage 2, which was slick, greasy, and fast, I ran into the Mickster and got stoked again to start the pedal over to stage 3 and 4. Stage 3 was still dry and loose despite Saturday’s rain, and the climb in the middle of stage 4 was exhausting.
However, at the end of the day, it felt good to stand on the podium in 3rd for the Expert Women after starting the season in Sport. Looking back at the season, racing the CDC allowed me to progress on my bike and meet some amazing people that Im now lucky enough to call friends! As Michelle (friend of the supremes and fellow expert race) put, “I race because I’m pretty much paying money to make friends.”
Everyone landed on the podium this race (including Brooklyn who couldn’t make it, but took 3rd in the overall for Sport). Mickey took 2nd in the enduro, and 2nd for the overall series. Steph got 3rd in the race in expert after catting-up this season. Delia and Hannah both landed on the podium in pro taking 5th and 4th and finishing only a few seconds apart! Hannah snagged a solid 3rd place in pro for the season.
We can’t thank the Cascadia Dirt Cup enough for hosting such awesome events, and all of our sponsors, fans, friends, and fam for all of your help and support this season! Thanks to Chris McFarland and Eric Mickelson for the AMAZING photos and for being such awesome humans. Huge shout-out to Nuun Hydration for keeping us hydrated, The Kona Bike Shop for helping us fix many broken bike parts, and Kona Bikes for making amazing bicycles!