By Justin Steiner
As a northerner, Yankee if you will, I’m always stoked to head south for bicycle events, ‘cause you know you’ll be treated to some good ol’ Southern hospitality when you get there.
That’s certainly been the case when we head down to Massanutten Ski Resort near Harrisionburg, Virginia, in the Shenandoah Valley, for any of the events race promotor George Willetts has put on in the last 23 years. George knows a thing or two about showing people a good time.
This time around we loaded the van and headed south for the Massanutten Yee-Ha! Downhill race. We’re all pretty new to the DH racing scene, this being just my third and Karen’s first ever. Just so happens the 2010 Yee-Ha! was my first DH race ever, and you can check out my report from last year, too.
The Yee-Ha! course saw a couple of changes and improvements for this year, all of which made for a more cohesive and fun run if you ask me. I was hoping to film my race runs, but yours truly neglected to turn the camera on and record—starting line excitement and jitters. This course is kinda old-school in there aren’t a lot of man-made features, but natural flowy terrain. The Massanutten soil is somewhat sandy and handles moisture particularly well, even after substantial rains the week prior, this course was in awesome condition.
Here’s a video from Friday’s practice session. The rock gardens at 0:35 and 3:40 of the video are the most technical sections of the course, by far.
For this year’s race, Trek set me up with a Session 8 test bike. Look for a first impression blog with more info about my experience racing the Session in the very near future…