Downieville, California * July 14th & 15th, 2007 

dhReno racers Don Morehouse, Sean Martin and Clark Wright all rocked the Downieville Classic Race last weekend – awesome job guys!  Check out the reports from the race below.

Here’s something you don’t see every day – Nathan Rennie – racing the Downieville Cross Country, originally uploaded by Photo-John.


Don Morehouse’s “Downieville report for ya!”

Like I’ve told ya before, everybody is always talking about the 30-31 pound Nomad, whatever! I brought my bike to the weigh-in and it came in at 37.8, the heaviest damn bike in the whole All-mountain class, damn, gotta figure some other parts out I guess for next time (ti spring?). The XC race started with the usual mass take-off right outta Sierra City. I wove in and out of traffic and circus activity for about 8 minutes or so, and then decided it was time to hammer as hard as possible to the top. I reached the top of Packer in a little less than 1:08 (three minutes faster than I ever have before), I was stoked on the time, bummed that my back was cramping, and also bummed that my legs were like jello only halfway into the race. Hmmm, just keep going toward the “baby head section” I kept telling myself. After about 3.5 miles of rolling fire road (felt more like 20!), I reached the baby heads with about 20 XC bikes trying to descend right in front of me. Whoa, a few twists of the pro-pedal, then try to cut left, nope, right maybe, no chance, tons of dust, hardtails in front just creeping over the sections, can’t seem to pass without the thought of a snapped collar bone (no offense Eric!), through the creek and flats to the start of Pauley, try to get the flow going amidst the chaos.

I kept wanting to sit on the seat to rest the lower back, DON’T! Finally on to the more familiar Butcher Ranch, down to the bridge, suffer up the climb to 3rd divide, finally a little bit of high speed recovery, uh oh, a train of XC chaos coming up, DUST, two guys let me by, then the next, thanks, last guy, forget it, he ain’t gonna budge, up to the rock climb, comes up to it quick, dismounts right when he hits it clogging the line, arrrrgggghhh! Legs are now like melted jello and nothing but flat back to D-ville, try to hammer, can really only pedal, a few dudes pass on the flats, back to town in 2:27 something, almost the identical time from two years ago on an XC Blur with two flats! Well, that got me 4th for Ex. All-mountain XC, with the next guy (common D-ville nemesis Rich Soriano) 20 seconds ahead in 3rd. Again, the best beer I’ve ever had is at the end of that XC, doesn’t matter what it is, it’s always the best I’ve had in my life up until that time in my memory. Hmmm, wait a minute, this is DHReno, not XCReno, too much XC spew, onto the DH details!

 Downieville Cross Country, originally uploaded by Photo-John. *Note: TBS racer Wolfy is the 5th rider from the front.

Well, although I felt like crap the remainder of Saturday, I woke up early Sunday and actually felt pretty damned good even with the torture the day before. Up to the top of Packer for another weigh and wait around for 2.5+ hours, at least the top of Packer is a damn nice place to chill for awhile. I wasn’t as bummed with the bike weight as the day before, pinch flat insurance dude! Race run starts with the heart-rate high on Sunrise trail, down into the fast fire road and then to Butcher, kept it smooth and my tires beneath me, climb didn’t hurt as bad as I thought it would, but still pretty damn bad. 3rd divide, ahh, what a great feeling, descending without dust!! I made three uneventful passes on Butcher, 3rd and then another on the road back to town, felt good, 57:10 I believe, good for 6th place in Ex. All-mountain DH. I ended up stacking up 4th in the combined Ex. All-mountain category. It was the usual cast of characters shredding the course in the Pro category, Weir with the win in DH (45:20 i believe, amazing!), Moeschler with 2nd in DH, 1st in XC (broke the XC course record) and the combined All-mountain and Nathan Riddle with 3rd in DH. Nathan Rennie, Eric Carter, and Jurgen Beneke all were present to throw down with Weir and Moeschler. I believe Beneke was 4th, the other two must of had some mechanical issues, not quite sure at this point. D-ville seems to definitely be growing in popularity though with top dogs like that showing up for a piece. Maybe Sam Hill will come out next year, I noticed on that he was up at the Mount 7 Psychosis in Golden BC, another long course style DH event, of course he crushed it.
Oh yeah, Jude “The Destroyer” Mayne from here in Reno won the Ex. All Mountain! I consistently race against him in the Thursday town series, and he’s called The Destroyer cause he’s a 200 pound ex UNR football player that rips on a 26 pound SC Superlight. I thought he was rolling the dice big time with some tubeless XC tires and light bike, proved me wrong, killed the XC and DH to take the overall. He has a Yeti AS-X as well for pinning DH runs and will more than likely come out for a Northstar session this Saturday with us. He’s definitley one that should be talked into a full DH rig!

Paul Ferguson – Downieville Downhill, originally uploaded by Photo-John.

The Downieville Classic by Sean Martin

                        I had a bad case of the pre-ride jitters, which unfortunately lasted through one stupid crash and half of Butcher Ranch.  Once I got a little tired things started to flow.  Judging by the number of mechanicals I passed, the DH casing tires were a good idea.  My 38 lb Nomad didn’t exactly scamper up the hills, but I didn’t flat.   It sure was dusty, but everyone was good about getting out of the way (including our own Clark Wright).  Special thanks to Don for the goggles tip–don’t race Downie without them.  I’ll take 8th in Sport as a good showing, especially since I spent all last week on vacation.  Someday I’ll write a book about my drinking too often and eating too much training program. 

            Camping at Wild Plum proved to be a really good option, being halfway between Packer Saddle and Downieville.  I stayed with the Bacon Strip guys; they had a good showing, but that XC course sure calmed their usual exuberance. 

            The Saturday street festival was great, with the usual assortment of high-end industry booths doing maintenance and the beer flowing.  Chris King himself was even serving free fajitas to the masses, but I suppose he can afford it.  The absence of the SaddleTramps had some folks worried, but from the looks of most of the volunteers on Sunday everyone had a good time (I, of course,  was back at camping sleeping the sleep of the virtuous). 

All in all, a really fun experience and I’m definitely there again next year.

D-Ville festivities

River Jump, originally uploaded by nicalorber.

Pixie Cross, originally uploaded by nicalorber.

Free fajitas at Chris King, originally uploaded by walruswong.