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Mt. Abram Downhill

by Andy Trueworthy • October 04, 2022

Mt. Abram Downhill
Greenwood, ME
3 Stages
September 18, 2022

The trail crews at MTA have been busy this season digging and developing new trails to accompany the bike park. The fruits of this labor have culminated in three top-to-bottom routes each offering almost 1000’ of vertical descent! On display for the first time was also MTA’s first base-to-summit lift service operation, providing immediate access to all three of these fun and challenges tracks. Terrain and lift combined to allow for a truly unique race format; three timed stages with lift-only access. One hundred and eleven people registered for the event and ninety-three arrived to compete on Race Day. Although rain threatened to add an extra challenge into the mix, it held off until after the awards ceremony.

The race stages were:

Stage 1: Ghoster – Pinball Wizard – Rock Bottom
Stage 2: Bedrocker – Yellow Jacket
Stage 3: PB & C

Practice, 9/17

Having previous experience with two of the three Stages on offer was helpful and made for a pretty simple and efficient practice session. I ended up taking just four practice runs. One run on Stage 1 to loosen up and three runs on Stage 3, a trail on which I had no experience. Stage 2 was a toss-out. I rode the Bedrocker portion of Stage 2 for the first time the weekend prior and it felt good. I was already well versed in the Yellow Jacket portion so I skipped it, opting instead for the 3-step progressive approach to trail familiarity; Pre-Ride, Re-Ride, Freeride.

PB & C trail is steep and fun! A variety of mixed terrain including a long off-camber slab approach leading to a 90° wooden berm that rolled down and over a head-high ledge and down into the next steep bumpy woods section below.

Riding the long travel bike was a pleasure. A combination of excellent stopping power from the Shimano XT brakes and the bike’s aggressive geometry made for a loam-slaying weapon that surfed fresh brown powder. After the first run felt good, the ones that followed solidified the giant grin on my face.

Race Day, 9/18

The 30-39 Men’s category fielded nineteen competitors on Sunday. My approach to the day was simple; ride smooth, no crashing, get the laps in ASAP. My best performance of the day came in the latter 25% of Stage 3 where I, quickly tiring and coming-in fast over the boulder pile with too much front brake squeezed, rolled forward, and unclipped a foot beginning the rodeo that followed. Luckily, the long front-end of the Meta AM was steadfast through the chaos. The next fifty yards of riding were a mish-mash of sitting, standing, and struggling to reconnect to the pedal. After some chuckling, I was reengaged and sprinting towards two beautiful flat berms that gave way to the finishing corridor. Sprinting as hard as I could into the first berm and stealing a few more pedal strokes before the next I flew out of the woods hollering some sort of war cry. The crowd was cheering as I kicked my left foot and moto’d around the sweeping left-hand turn to the finish line. The crowd was excited up and so was I! With quaking legs, I removed my timing chip and shuffled over to the grass for a sit. I felt good. I felt fast.

At race end, I achieved a career-high 3rd place! Thank you so much for your continued friendship and support!

Ore to Shore
Bear Brook Classic