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Southridge DH course in Fontana

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Southridge DH course in Fontana

Old 01-23-06, 11:39 PM
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dminor 
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Southridge DH course in Fontana

OK, here's the deal: I'm probably only going to be able to make it to one NORBA National this year . I've been lucky the last three to have one in my back yard (Schweitzer Mtn., ID). I'd like to go to #1 in Fontana, CA, as I can visit my adult daughter in L.A., visit some sponsors in person, etc. My question is this: is the DH course itself going to be worth the time and expense of going (other factors aside?) I've seen a short video clip on the web and it appears to be more of a local/regional caliber course rather than a National-worthy venue.

I know, a Nat is always worth it because of the atmosphere and all; but I'm wondering if I'm better off shooting for pulling it together earlier for Sea Otter or maybe waiting for Deer Valley instead?

Can anyone who's actually ridden Southridge shed some light? Maybe there's more there than meets the eye. I'm a 50+ Expert who still likes the pro/Expert courses (even though Team Big Bear won't let us old guys run 'em). Thanks
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Old 01-25-06, 12:27 AM
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I don't have an answer for you, but a question you may have the answer to... Where do they run the DH at the Sea Otter? I live between 5 and 20 minutes away from the Ft. Ord trailheads (depends on which I go to) and ride the trails 2-3 times/week and can't for the life of me figure out where the DH course is. I didn't go to last year's Sea Otter so I wasn't able to see for myself.
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Old 01-25-06, 01:30 AM
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I honestly can't tell you, because I've never been . It is a dream of mine to get there one day. My worry about the SOC is that it is early and our winters linger here in Eastern Washington. I'm always afraid that I won't be quite ready for a national-caliber event that early in the season.
To answer your question though, I checked on the 'Otter site and their maps for this year aren't posted yet. Well I guess that didn't answer it. As soon as they post the new maps, they should be on their site. I remember seeing a helmet cam vid one time of the whole run and there's terrain you might recognize if I can find the link again. I understand that it's not that technical so it is a jump-fest to make up for that. I don't do air as well anymore. A 14-16' gap is about my limit.
BTW I have another question: If my wife's cousin and his family let me stay at their place in San Jose, is realistic to think I could commute to the event each day reasonably from there?
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Old 01-25-06, 07:45 AM
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If you are going to make the trip from ID I would say get to the Otter. South ridge is fun but not worth the time and money you will put into it. It is a short but technical course, lots of rocks/boulders, drops and jumps with a 150yd flat sprint at the end. Fast guys do it in 2 to 3 min the slower beginners will take up to 5 or 6 depending on how they route the course. It is fun and you would have some good competition but definitely not worth it for you.

The otter would be the way to go and there are still rooms available. You might want to book one now because if you wait to long it will be tough unless you want to fork out some bucks. The Otter has a great atmosphere; most of the manufacturers are there and if you bring some little ones along there are things for them as well.
The one negative about the Otters Dh course, it is crowded, I would highly recommend getting there on a Wednesday and practicing on Thursday and using Friday to relax, enjoy some sites in Monterey and watch some of the pros run the course. Then on Saturday do a walk down early before practice and then get in line as EARLY as you can because the line can get so long that it will take you an hour just to get one run in.

DBD
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Old 01-25-06, 12:26 PM
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Originally Posted by dirtbikedude
If you are going to make the trip from ID I would say get to the Otter. South ridge is fun but not worth the time and money you will put into it. It is a short but technical course, lots of rocks/boulders, drops and jumps with a 150yd flat sprint at the end. Fast guys do it in 2 to 3 min the slower beginners will take up to 5 or 6 depending on how they route the course. It is fun and you would have some good competition but definitely not worth it for you.
Thanks for the 'insider's scoop,' DBD. That's exactly the info I was looking for . . . and kind of what I expected. Sounds like our Beacon course in Spokane: just under 2 min. for the pros and 2-2 for the faster amateurs. (But still one of the best courses in WA, despite the length) Not the five-minute-plus pounding that a Nats course should be.

Originally Posted by dirtbikedude
The otter would be the way to go and there are still rooms available. You might want to book one now because if you wait to long it will be tough unless you want to fork out some bucks. The Otter has a great atmosphere; most of the manufacturers are there and if you bring some little ones along there are things for them as well.
I checked their site last week and this and it looks like the tent camping spaces at Laguna Seca are gone already. If I do this, though, I'll probably fly anyway. I might be able to stay free with family in Cupertino; is commuting to Monterey realistic time-wise? It looks to be about 70 miles but I don't know what that translates to in CA highway hours
Originally Posted by dirtbikedude
The one negative about the Otters Dh course, it is crowded, I would highly recommend getting there on a Wednesday and practicing on Thursday and using Friday to relax, enjoy some sites in Monterey and watch some of the pros run the course. Then on Saturday do a walk down early before practice and then get in line as EARLY as you can because the line can get so long that it will take you an hour just to get one run in. DBD
Thanks for those tips too.
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Old 01-25-06, 01:16 PM
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Originally Posted by dminor
I checked their site last week and this and it looks like the tent camping spaces at Laguna Seca are gone already. If I do this, though, I'll probably fly anyway. I might be able to stay free with family in Cupertino; is commuting to Monterey realistic time-wise? It looks to be about 70 miles but I don't know what that translates to in CA highway hours
If you're planning on staying up around San Jose, then it could take anywhere from 80 mins to 2 hours to get to Laguna Seca - depending on traffic. I've done the drive from San Jose to Monterey in an hour, but lately there's been some construction on the 101 in Gilroy, and that adds some time to the drive. If you don't care about that kind of commute, then stay with family, otherwise, stay in the Monterey area. Keep in mind that any hotel/motel in Monterey will have a premium attached because of the address, but you may be able to find a deal. I think I read on the Sea Otter website that they have special rates negotiated with some of the local hotels. You can also look for a hotel/motel in Salinas - some of the neighborhoods may be a bit iffy, but they are just as far from Laguna Seca as the ones in Monterey are (just the other way), but the scenery isn't as nice and you're a bit further away from the typical Monterey sights. The Salinas hotels may be a bit cheaper, but I personally wouldn't want to commute to the Sea Otter from San Jose.

I hope this helps. Pls let me know if you have any more area-specific questions.

As far as the route, the website lists the XC course map, but also says they are working with BLM to revise it to protect the trails. There are definitely some trails that are getting pretty eroded lately - I'm intrested to see the new route. That said, there wasn't a space that I could find for the DH course map, hence my question. DBD, any data?
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Old 01-25-06, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb-chop
Where do they run the DH at the Sea Otter? I live between 5 and 20 minutes away from the Ft. Ord trailheads (depends on which I go to) and ride the trails 2-3 times/week and can't for the life of me figure out where the DH course is.
Thanks for your further info down later in the thread. Gives me enough to make an informed decision. I couldn't find the helmet-cam clip of the whole course anymore, but here is one of a double-drop on an older version of the course (2002?). Anyway, maybe you'll recognize the hillside vista.
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Old 01-25-06, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by mtb-chop
...That said, there wasn't a space that I could find for the DH course map, hence my question. DBD, any data?

As far as I know it will be the same general area as previous years. The start will be on the large hill behind the shooting range, run down along the ridge and fire road, then cross the pavment to the dirt road at the bottom with the 1/4mi pedaling section to the finish. I also believe they will have the ladder drops again as well.

I am not racing this year so I have not really been folllowing the course maps. i have a friend that usually helps design the course and I can ask him if there are any changes.

DBD
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