Thank you Thumper Talk for allowing me to post our National AMA Hare and Hound in January, 2013
A Tour of Johnson Valley, California
What DMC is trying to accomplish: Bottom line is we're trying to get creative and come up with some fresh ideas. We began by doing some brainstorming early this year and came up with two objectives. First, we wanted our 2013 event to be different and give the riders a course that wouldn't feel so familiar. Second, we want to give our 1 loop riders a truly unique experience ... that focuses completely on them. We're listening to the racers, our customers, and creating an event that will appeal to everyone from the first time racer to the fastest pro.
What we came up with: A point to point, sort of, or at least the closest thing possible. Our two loop riders will, in essence, be riding one 80 mile loop with a remote gas. The start and finish will be off Camp Rock Rd with the pits being at Means (Boone Rd). We know this will create some logistical challenges for both the racers and the clubs (including DMC), but we'll be doing a lot to help make it as easy as possible. We believe the positives will far outweigh the negatives.
Our one loop riders, which will include red numbers, beginners, and quads are really in for a treat. They'll start in their normal lines, but at the first check, they'll split off onto their own course. This loop will be tailor made for 1 loop riders since they will be the only ones on it. The course will be a little bit of everything, but with a focus on fun trails. Nothing too difficult that might hinder a less experienced rider. We will also be taking a couple of race set up quads around it to make sure no part is too narrow.
Why we're doing this: Many of the DMC members have been laying out this race in Johnson Valley for years and in some cases, decades. One thing that has been passed down from our elders is that you don't go through 10 miles of trash to get to your favorite trail. In the past, we've left out some great spots for this reason. We all know that courses are forced to follow some standard guidelines and there are only so many configurations available when the race needs to go in or out of the start/finish area four times. Unfortunately, many of those trails are what we might call, "high traffic zones" and are pretty beat up. It also means that if you spend any time at all out by the N/E border, you have very few options to get back and still stay within 40 miles. We came to the conclusion that if we wanted to get out by the competition area borders and not almost immediately turn around and make a beeline for the finish, we needed a longer loop. With this layout we will be able to put the racers in areas and on trails that even the most tenured participants won't recognize. Our focus of this loop will be on fun as well. There will be technical sections but our goal is to make sure everyone gets their money's worth without undue abuse to bike or body. For the one loop riders, we wanted to provide something they don't usually get. First, that's a course that's laid out with only them in mind. There will be no compromises. Second, we want them to ride a course that doesn't already have the abuse of 300+ riders on it. After the first few miles, one lucky 1 loop rider will be running 1st OA on this course and I hope that person hasn't gotten too accustom to just following the silty beat up ruts typical of a Hare and Hound because they will be relying on their ability to follow ribbon. Luckily DMC has boxes of pink ribbon and we're going to use it all.
We have created a Facebook page for the event. Once in place, I'll post a link to it in this thread. We'll be adding more information about the race to that page, maybe even a map of the course. You can see all the updates as they're added by "liking" it.
Thanks for reading, we look forward to seeing everyone in January.