• The Raid: First Tracks on Sherwood Peak

    by  • June 13, 2012 • norcal scene


    The future of cycling is in the EPIC.  F-grand fondo’s and their half race/half team in training culture.  Look, nothing against you Team in Training people.  It’s just that you creep me out.  I want you to stop doing stupid team triathlons and start getting your danger on.  Racer friends…  I’m down with all the local action, you know i am… but we need to have some events that personal safety, dignity, mental well being are at stake. Watching you win at a crit in Hanford just isn’t cutting it week after week.  I want you to strap a camera on and bomb down some of these crazy courses.  Here is the latest from the NorCal Epic pioneer Murphy Mack.  Check it out… The Raid looks just about perfect.

    The Raid on Sherwood Peak was inspired by the Grand Raid and similar races in Switzerland and France and Italy.

    The route is not single track, it is a full day’s work. The short route is 52 miles and just under 6,000 feet of vertical climbing. The longer route, about 65 miles, is closer to 8,000 feet of elevation gain. The race will start in Ft. Bragg and roll out through downtown and then off onto logging road and haul roads. From there it begins one HC climb to the 3,000 Sherwood Peak. Starting at sea level and then heading into a creek drainage the route will take riders up onto Riley Ridge, around Dutchman’s Knoll and up, up, up, climbing out of the drainages and onto the narrow spine of the ridge. Riders will get spectacular views of redwood covered ridges and valleys for the duration of the climb. Gradually, the ecosystem changes from redwoods to oak and fir the higher the racers go.

    The temperature sometime can change as well, from a cool offshore Mendocino breeze to a warmer sun at the summit. There are three aid stations on course so you don’t need to carry 6.5lbs of water in your pack! (Fact: 100oz of water = 6.5 lbs) Just refill at each aid station. Cedar Cycling has a nice photo booth at the top too, just so they can capture a great photo of you with stuff all over your face and seven green and blue tree covered ridges in the background… glamourous right?

    From the top, make sure your helmet is cinched down – the descent down Sherwood Road is fast, fast, fast. Riders are advised to be sure to have sharp shoulder lugs on their tires as the endless curves and turns on this screaming downhill come up fast. From the bottom it’s a short rolling three miles to the finish line for the short route and for those racing the longer route, it’s time for the claws to come out. The longer route goes over a couple of small hills and and eats up the final twelve miles to the end. It will give the advanced riders something to show each other what they’re made of before getting to the finish line. The course is fully marked for high speed riding so no map or route finding skills are needed… just follow the bright markers.

    At the finish line there will be a complete BBQ buffet from Chef Dave (of SF Spring Classics food fame) and New Belgium will be on hand with neutral beer support too. Free camping all weekend, so be sure to come up Saturday morning and explore the 150+ miles of singletrack with the local bike club the Mendocino Coast Cyclists. Their entire club is going to be out on the trails all day Saturday and if you’d like to jump in with them they LOVE showing out-of-towners their trail network. Camping is in a shaded redwood grove on timber company property just on the north edge of town. Fire pits, grills and nice new picnic tabels for 300 people. Jump in now there’s plenty of room! Come out and explore something new!

    Sponsors include Cedar Cycling, The Hive (a Mendocino born & bred brand!), New Belgium, Clif Bar, Advanced Autowerks and Action Wipes.

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    Former NorCal resident now residing in Madison,Wisconsin. I race cross, but I'm named after a velodrome. Support your local bike shop, NorCal race promoters, and go learn to race on a track. Hellyer Velodrome - http://www.ridethetrack.com

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