Video: POV of Greg Minnaar Blind Racing During Trans-Cascadia
I've always wondered what it would be like to jump in and follow a pro level racers down a DH or enduro track. How long could I hold on? Would their slipstream and line choice ooze into their wake so far as to catch me and carry me along for a while? Would I be left in the dust instantly as soon as we took off?On any normal track, DH or Enduro, that would be the case without a doubt. But at the Trans-Cascadia bike race, deep in the PNW backcountry, the blind racing style can level the playing field a bit. Trails are dreamy, loamy, and, in the words of the organizers, primitive. They snake down bench cut style paths leading to off camber outside corners, naturally bermed insides, lightning fast straightaways that usually lead to a quick tight turn before too long. Dirt is amazing, the views are stunning, and the vibes are high. I was very lucky to join in on the "shuttle day" on the Friday of the event. Day 1 put the racers through a punishing 8 hours of riding, with seven thousand feet of climbing to connect the dots for the day. Coming in fresh, I was feeling good. First stage of the day... and... I was instantly dropped by Matthew Slaven when I flatted 20 seconds in. Once it was fixed, I figured I would wait for whoever was next, and join their train. I heard the sound of two riders approaching around the corner and got ready. The riders passed, I let loose, and hung on, realizing part way down the trail that it seemed I was behind none other than Greg Minnaar.After slowing up in the neutral zone, I made quick note of the situation and asked if I could keep on the train. With casual acknowledgment, we commenced the stage, flying down the hill until I got left in the dust. Thanks Minnaar for the experience of a lifetime! On the second stage of the day, I attempted to follow the very fast, Spencer Paxson. After flying down sections in his wake at dizzying speed, I eventually washed out in relief that I could resume at a slower pace.On the final stage of the day, I jumped back in with Matthew Slaven and was pretty much immediately dropped! But he waited at the neutral zone and I was almost able to keep him in the sights to the end. All in all, I was truly amazed, humbled, and scared of the speed and level of fitness the racers have to just complete the event, not to mention compete. It was a dream to get to ride and meet some of my racing heroes, hang with some old and new friends, and get a glimpse into the amazing event which is Trans-Cascadia.