What is Super D, the answer to my prayers! haha, It’s probably the best type of mountain bike racing out there, thats my opinion but hell so is this whole blog, so hear me out. It is the definition of mountain bike racing and if you are one of those people that are in to competing and racing but don’t feel like you are a cardio machine or don’t want to do a road race on dirt or don’t want to go by an expensive hard tail to add to your quiver or can’t afford to buy a bad ass DH bike, than this type of racing is for you.
It is racing that caters to the bikes that most of us already own or will most likely own, the trail and all mountain bikes, the full squishy 4, 5, 6 and maybe even 7 inch travel bikes like the Yeti ASR-7 that James Wilson talked about in his gear review.
So lets define Super D, ok I'll try to break it down for you. Super D is basically a XC downhill race. It does involve pedaling but is not a pedal fest. The races consist of approximately 80% downhill and 20% climbing or flats and the races are typically 10 to 15 miles long. Well in range for the average trail rider and with the majority downhill you don’t need a huge gas tank just some good efficient riding skills. For example the Oakridge Super D runs 14miles with 4,700 feet of vertical drop and 800 feet of climbing.
The major races are held on epic single track mostly on the west coast and in Colorado. Some of the major races are Downieville, the Oregon Super D series; Oakridge, Sandy Ridge, Hood River, and Bend, and the B.C. Bike race. Although the B.C. Bike race is a different beast all in its self, it’s an endurance DH race which is multiple super d stage races over 3-7days. These types of races have been popular in Europe for awhile, especially France but are growing in popularity here in the US, which gives me hope! I love reading about it and dream of riding and racing on these epic trails.
Like I had mentioned before the courses are on epic single track and mostly downhill but don’t worry if you don’t feel like you are on Gee Atherton’s level they don’t typically contain super technical sections like a true DH race. There are usually some drops, some jumps, maybe a smidge of pucker, some pump track, a dash of climbing, a pinch of flats with some just a splash of hard pedaling and a whole lot of flowy exciting perma-smile berm filled downhill ripping single track! So if this sounds like your bag, you might want to check out http://www.mfcmtb.com/ I know there are some races in this area and the Mid West Freeride Community does a great job of letting people know where and when these races are. I know they aren’t anything like the Oregon Super D but I’m sure they will be a blast!
Keep your eye on the prize, hit the gym hard and get ready for an amazing summer of riding. If any of you are looking for a great work out to get you through the long winter, check out the ultimate mtb work out at bikejames.com.
Take it easy