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The New England Downhill Race Report
Ragged Mountain Rush Race #4 - September 13-14, 2003
By: Rasta Racer

Gravy goes good with almost anything, especially roots. And at DHD Promotionís Ragged Rush #4 they had plenty in stock. Itís an acquired taste but one youíll soon love to serve at all your family functions. It was beautiful on Saturday. Picturesque even! The sun was shining, and it was nice and warm. The course had some gnarly new singletrack at the top through some dense forest that resembled a national park. A really nice trail for a morning hike even. There was a good layer of peat moss type fluff, that was soon skidded away to reveal a really interesting root system. It was really steep and pretty tight which made it a nicely flowing "freeride" style course with a few drops and switchbacks. Pretty technical but not too bad. The hardest part of the course was probably the "Aztech" drop, which had a really steep set up and a rocky multiple line landing. It was only about three feet high but was a really tough section to clean. The bottom half of the course was much the same as last time, minus a few "squirrel lines". There was a great turnout with lots of happy riders in attendance.

Sunday was another story. The sky opened up and delivered a monsoon to the mountain. Our scenic trail through the forest turned into something out of a horror movie. Every root on the mountain had a couple of brothers, and they all came for our little party. Stumps that were half an inch tall became pedal snatchers that took one unaware at times. The mud was thick gravy and every rock and root had a good coating on it. The "Aztech" drop became gnarlier by the minute and was tooling on riders left and right. Some of the uh, "non hearty" types even packed it up and went home with their tails between their legs. But the show must go on so on it went. A ton of mud left the mountain covering every bike and rider who came down. It wasnít a question after oneís run of "Did you crash?" It was "How many times?" Even Top Pro Fred Basset had a crash and still won Pro class, with a time which wasnít far off of his time with a dry course. That takes skills man, Kudos! The Madman of the week was "Glennder" Glen Davis riding for Team420/Aztech. His hard tail time would have put him mid-pack in the Pro Class at 6:45. He took first place in hard tail class and then went back up the mountain and raced Expert class on his hard tail placing high in that class. Thatís some amazing riding skills, tear it up! Maybe we should hide his gloves more often.

The course designers had every intention of making this race more difficult than previous races, just not as difficult as it ended up being. Mother Nature has her own way of keeping any outdoorsman in check and she did just that for this race. This was a race of survival, pure and simple. With so many crashes and mechanicals none of the riders really knew how they did until the very-much-delayed results were finally posted. Many surprises in the standings then appeared. While this mess of a mudfest took its toll, it also gave some riders a chance to be on the podium when they otherwise may not have. The racers seemed to be very patient, as most were aware that Pyramid timing company had once again dropped the ball. Which left Dan McDonald in a tight spot. Dan being a DH racer himself knew the frustrations of the riders and did a very good job of handling the situation. There was a happy vibe at the much awaited awards ceremony and lots of satisfied riders stuck around to cheer their friends on. When an event of this difficulty level is put on, anyone that made it down the course in one piece is a winner for sure! Cycle Loft Racer Will Gaudette was quoted as saying, "We all had a Root awakening today." I think he hit it right on the mark.

See you at the next and final race in the NH State DH Championship series on October 11th & 12th.

Volunteer Grunt, Jay Kolarik and
Race Promoter Dan McDonald
Directions To Ragged Mountain:
From Points North: Take I-93 South to Exit 23. Take Route 104 West for about 20 minutes through Bristol to our access road on your left. Take I-89 South to Exit 17. Take Route 4 East for about 30 minutes to Danbury, turn left on to Route 104 to our access road on your right.
From Points South: Take I-93 North to Exit 17. Take Route 4 West for about 30 minutes into Danbury, turn right on to Route 104 for about a mile. Turn right on to our access road. Take I-89 North to Exit 11. Take Route 11 East. Follow to Route 4 West to Route 104 to our access road on your right.

Race Dates:
Rush 1: May 17th/18th
June is out for NCS
Rush 2: July 26th/27th
Rush 3: Aug. 16th/17th
Rush 4: Sept. 13th/14th
Rush 5: Oct. 11th/12th

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