CYCLING CULTURE
SIGHT LINES PT. 1: A Rider’s Perspective—Racing Trans-Cascadia
In Part 1 of our SIGHT LINES series from Trans-Cascadia,…
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In Part 1 of our SIGHT LINES series from Trans-Cascadia, brothers Dane and Zach Petersen share a racer’s perspective from five days of alpine riding bliss.

Trans-Cascadia is more than a bike race. To us, it is a multi-day immersion in all of the purest aspects of mountain biking. In late September, Trans-Cascadia was back for its sixth year, and it’s always a welcome reminder of why we ride. With five single-day stages, this event is a visceral backcountry riding experience, where racers are transported far from the demands of everyday life into the backwoods of the Pacific Northwest—no cell service, camping out, good food, and nothing but the days of riding to worry about. It’s a fully immersive mountain biking experience!

The race still follows its signature blind format and with little more than a physical map and some quick highlights from the organizers, riders set off for the day’s adventure each morning. Raw and gritty wilderness-style trails are par for the course. Summiting high peaks, traversing ridges and plunging down seldom-used runs are staples of each stage. But it’s about more than the riding—Trans-Cascadia has grown into more than just a race; the event now operates as a non-profit that is dedicated to maintaining and rebuilding trails in the area. Every year leading up to the big week, the event brings together volunteers and community members who log hundreds of hours to reopen and revitalize neglected trails. The majority of each stage route has never been ridden on a bike (or, at least not recently!), and much would be impossible without these months of hard work and dedication that the organizers put into breathing new life into these forgotten trails.

Unlike most cycling events that quickly fade after the racers have gone home, Trans-Cascadia leaves the best kind of impact on the region with improved trails and expanded riding opportunities. It’s a model for what sustainable racing and riding looks like if we all come together with a shared purpose.

Photography captured by Riley Seebeck @flowphoto_co

A quick tune-up at Trans-Cascadia 2021
Trans-Cascadia MTB 2021
Trans-Cascadia MTB 2021
Trans-Cascadia MTB 2021
Trans-Cascadia 2021
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One thought on “SIGHT LINES PT. 1: A Rider’s Perspective—Racing Trans-Cascadia

  1. I started racing Mt Bikes in the mid 80’s and raced until the mid 90’s. I went to Sea Otter this year as a friend invited me to go. I raced the Sea Otter in ’02 when I was 52 and made the top Ten! It was a great race though the promoter was giving us “ol guys” grief that we should have been home reading the Wall Street Journal rather than racing Mt Bikes!?! The racers waiting at the start told him to shut up and just start the race!

    Had seen any Mt Bikes until then…so after 20 years the bikes have really changed…No More Triple rings, Rim Brakes or bikes made with actual tubing of any kind. Everyone seemed to be on a Carbon Frame….Dropper Posts and huge 12 speed Cassettes. My day we had 5-6 gears on the back.

    Anyway got so stoked that I got myself my first new bike in over 20 years and it had Batteries on it!!

    So now almost a month into my new E-Bike (Luna Cycle Apollo) and I’m like a little kid again with a new toy. I hope to race the new eBike class this Spring at the Sea Otter…the 70 yr old class!

    I really enjoyed this article and it looks like it was a great race! Never done a stage race before as most my racing was at Big Bear, Mt High and Mammoth Mountain.

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