Riders from all over came to the Mt. Shasta Ski Park for Sunday’s second annual Shastarama Mountain Bike Downill.

The course started at the top of Douglas and dropped 1,100 feet, ending at the lodge. Among the features were a 20-foot road gap, rock garden, ladders, catwalk, rainbow bridge, pipe dragon and wave box.

Thirteen year-old Warren Kniss of Fremont, the California State champ for 12 and under, described the course as “fun and technical.”

Sixty-one year-old Ken Trowbridge said, “The course was great.”
Styles Larsen, owner of Shasta Base Camp which hosts the event, said, “The pros always love it because it’s such a technical race. It’s a combo of free ride and downhill.” He said most downhill courses are strictly downhill. This course has lots of vertical relief, “lots of steep drops.” Larsen said riders like the “snowboard terrain features that are incorporated into the terrain.”

The event was spectator friendly, as people hiked up from the lodge or rode the Douglas chair to hike down to view the course. Many walked the short distance to the pipe dragon feature to cheer for riders as they jumped. The wave box was viewable from the lodge.

The Coyote Grill and the bar were open all day. Scott Valley Bikes and Sporting Goods was on site for technical help. After the race, Sacred Sound System from Mount Shasta entertained a crowd of about 100 on the patio.

Larsen says Shastarama, part of the Bigfoot Series, “is a great opportunity to build our economy. A good percentage (of participants) are from out of town.” He said many participants choose to stay in town during the event, even though free camping is available in the lower parking lot at the Ski Park.

“We have great resources. We need to utilize them,” Larsen said.
Ideally he would like to hold it three times a year or open the park on weekends for mountain biking. Those who are into the sport have to travel to Tahoe or Willamette Pass for the next closest downhill course.

Sunday’s event had 54 registered participants, which Larsen said was down from last year. He blamed it on the economy.

Feedback he received from the riders indicated the fee was normal for an event with lift access. Larsen said attendance may have been affected by less advertising than last year and making it a one-day event instead of three.

Larsen said the Ski Park has been supportive of Shastarama. Race timing was done by Bigfoot.

The course was built last year, Larsen said, but required some maintenance for this year’s race. They improved the beginner and sport course and watered 40  percent of the course, keeping the dust down and packing the dirt, which riders said they really appreciated.

Ski Park operations manger Richard Coots said he designed the gravity driven sprinkler system from hundreds of feet of recycled PVC hose confiscated by the Forest Service during the Rainbow Ridge raids. Coots said the whole project only cost about $50.

Locals Jesse Silva, Weston Stroud and Zak Owens placed first in their division. Owen Stroud and Malcolm Mattson earned second place finishes.

Event sponsors were: Seattle Bike Supply, Jamis Bikes, Berryvale, Burger Barn, Soul Connection, Shasta Vortex, Couch Critics, Chris and Dena’s Deli, The Green Heart, John Thomas, Helmetcam Central, Noah’s Ark, Goat Tavern, Sportsmen’s Den, Seven Suns, Hemp Heads, Poncholefkowit, Dolphin Star, Anika Boutique, Kevin Lahey, and Parks Custom Offroad.

For more results check www.teambigfoot.com