Trans-Cascadia 2017 - The Photo Recap
December 18 — 2017
The 2017 Trans-Cascadia singletrack race went full tilt from day one. Videos started to flow out immediately (see the video recap here), and soon after that, the photos of what we can only describe as one hell of a good time. Our camera triggerman and photography mastermind Mike Thomas was on the scene to capture the action. Keep scrolling for all the racing from deep in the woods of Oregon.
A thick coating of loam was the badge of honor that followed riders throughout the race.
Santa Cruz's own Scott Chapin drove up from California to race through the mossy highlands and firey foliage of Oregon.
Camping accommodations were kicked up a notch this year. Each racer had their own tent and sleeping pad that was already set up for them at the start of the race and then moved as new camp was made for days three and four.
Racing alongside a handful of other Santa Cruz riders was Dylan Wolsky of the Santa Cruz Nomads.
Tommy Magrath, Nick Gibson, Alex Gardner—the masterminds behind the Trans-Cascadia alongside Wicks the man that makes the magic mixed drinks—the man that kept everyone going through the after party.
Rain was always in the forecast and on the horizon. The weather was cold and wet at times, but it made for some amazing trails.
After an hour-plus climb up the south side of Crescent mountain, racers descended the north side of the mountain. They were treated to fast, wide-open straightaways and then this perfectly shaped corner that Dylan Wolsky had more than a little fun with.
Riders were treated to a descent down a ribbon of green mixed with fast, exposed bench-cut trails before hitting this neutral zone river crossing. It gave everyone the chance to clean some of that tacky loam from their shoes and bikes.
The final stage of the race brought riders through some of the most impressive 2.6 miles of the entire race. Sight lines were wide open on perfectly cut track, the corners were loamy, old growth forest loomed above, and the light changed and amazed second by second. Chris Johnston was in his element.
The blind racing format meant that maps of the next day were handed out at dinner each night, and each map let the the riders know just how much climbing and descending they had to look forward. This also let them know just how much of party they could enjoy before calling it a night.
Josh "Loosedog" Lewis typically races on the Enduro World Series but joined the Santa Cruz crew at Trans Cascadia for a change of pace. Despite racing hard each day, he still had the energy to session this fence. It's up to code.
Fire was definitely a theme throughout the event but none of the campfires were as impressive as this beast at the final night. Wick's bar kept everyone smiling, and then kept everyone warm when the front of it became part of the bonfire.
Radler's were plentiful at the bottom of each stage, as were muddy smiles and high fives.
There's nothing better than perfectly prepared meals after a big day of riding. Each night of the race a different Portland area chef whipped up a new creation, from Ramen to Elk burgers, and there were plenty of options whatever your diet.
Day one was mostly descents, so when a seven mile 2500ft hike-a-bike/climb kicked off day two, it was obvious that the organizers wanted to remind everyone that this was an enduro and not a DH race. The upside? The open meadows had spectacular wide-open views.
That sweet, sweet Oregon loam didn't disappoint.
The surrounding forest during the final descent was just as impressive as the trails. Riders were treated to a surreal experience that brought to an end a day that began at around 5,200ft where the the temperatures hovered at freezing.
Everywhere you turned the dirt was perfect and the views impressive. The trails were a great mix of wide open, full-throttle speed sections, steep descents, and corners that were either high speed and pinned or tight and technical. For a blind race, this environment was as good as it gets.
Loose and Mitch Ropelato (who drove up from Utah to join the fun) warming up at a fire between stages. They were either talking about how fun the trails were, or how fun the night before was or maybe about Mitch's coveted "Go Hard" jersey that he's been known to wear on the trail and through the afterparties.
The story of the race. It was quite the battle between Geoff Kabush and the Santa Cruz Nomads' own Chris Johnston. Chris held the lead the first three days, but Geoff was just a bit faster on the final day. Chris took second, barely missing the top step of the podium by only 21 seconds over four days of racing.