Donner Downhill Festival 2001

Donner Downhill Festival 2001

Donner Downhill Festival

Donner Pass, CA

EDI's first domestic race was held on Donner Pass between Soda Springs and Truckee on the portion of the road leading to Donner Ski Ranch,

about 45 minutes outside of Reno. Soda Springs is a small ski resort town that seems to consist of a gas station, hotel, and restaurant. The town was a few minutes from the ski resort.

We rode on the hill leading from the ski resort to Truckee. The hill is about three miles long, but we only rode on a .7 mile section near the top. We didn't start on the top, because there was a bridge that they thought would be too dangerous for standup guys if we started at the top.

Shortly after the start we had to turn right,

head across the bridge, and turn right again.

There was a cone at the end of the bridge because there was a large pothole there. The course continued around the hill with three lefts

followed by a short straight, a large right hand sweeper to the finish line.

The course in Google Maps.

Saturday, June 16th

EDI appears to be trying something new this year. They will do all of streetluge on the one day, and gravity bikes and standup on the the other day. This weekend streetluge is first. We pit in the parking lot of the sky resort.

We had a flat bed truck to takes us to the start line.

I thought it looked pretty cool with about 30 luges sticking straight into the air.

But it doesn't look so good from close quarters.

After a few practice runs we broke for lunch. The ski resort was serving hamburgers.

I love it when there is food on site. The Donner Downhill Festival was more than just us, there were also mountain boards racing.

As usual there was some waiting around to do.

I had trouble with the course, so I ended up at the bottom of qualifying racing against Todd and Dennis for one spot in the top 16. Coming off the bridge Todd spun out in front of me, I had to slow down to avoid hitting him and thus lost the race. One of the cool things about this race, is after the course crosses the bridge it wraps around the hill, coming out below the bridge. Standing on the bridge, you get to see the race cross the bridge,

see them set up for the series of lefts,

and then turn around to watch them approach the right hand sweeper.

It was long before the finals. Biker and Lee are neck in neck, John Rogers is just behind them, and Kurtis is apparently in fourth. Especially as he takes the longer line.

But Biker and Lee go off course, John pulls up just short of the finish, and Kurtis keeps on going seemingly to win the gold.

But Kurtis was DQ'd on the start line, so ends up back in fourth.

There were some problems with the trophies, so these were thrown together at the last minute.

Amateur Streetluge Podium:

Pro Streetluge Podium:

Back to the hotel to clean up for the nights party. Most of us stayed at the hotel in Soda Springs. The front of the hotel had a porch that all of the rooms led onto. I wonder who was staying in this room?

Just down the street from the hotel was a lovely little restaurant.

And then it was back to Donner Ski Ranch for a party.

Sunday, June 17th

One nice thing about racing on one day, I get to sleep in the next day. I got to the hill in time to watch the Standup Qualifying.

The gravity bikes were also qualifying.

Gravity Bike Podium:

Standup Amateur Podium:

Pro Amateur Podium:

I got to the race about 11 AM, the sky was clear.

Not too long afterwards a fire started.  It got bigger throughout the day.

I had to head back to Reno for a late flight out, but the fire was near the freeway so the freeway was closed! The 45 minute drive took over two hours!

The scenery was beautiful, and the weather was gorgeous. The ski resort seemed to love us, and the town didn't mind having the road closed. Personally I think the course was too short, but fortunately there were no injuries this weekend.

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