On July 17-20 the U.S. National Mountain Bike Championships for cross-country and Super-D return to the Bear Creek resort in Macungie, Pennsylvania. We took a few laps around the cross-country course and here’s what to expect, along with a schedule of events.
Course And Conditions
Currently, conditions are dry, rough and fast. Some parts of the course, those hidden in the trees, have good traction while the sections that have been baking in the sun are dry and kitty-litter slick—especially the fresh switchback descent after the new wooden ramp drop at the very top of the course. The dirt around the “Wall of Sound” is in great condition. All the rocks and roots throughout the loop are dry and grippy. If the forecasted thunderstorms pass through early in the week before racing kicks off it could provide near perfect conditions.
The sharp left turn within the Wall of Sound is silent. For now.
The amateur loop remains basically the same as last year. The major change to the pro loop is the addition of the wooden drop-in. Racers will exit the “Wall of Sound” section and shortly after climb up the grassy mountain face to the top of the hill towards the feature. It’s too high to roll so it’ll take commitment. For those not willing there is a by-pass. Once off the ramp it’s a switchback plunge down to the start/finish.
Two views of the new feature on the Pro XC loop.
Schedule Of Events
Packet pick-up begins next Wednesday with Cat 2 and 3 cross-country starting at 9am Thursday and Cat 1 short track later that afternoon. Friday is Junior, U23 and uncategorized Master’s cross-country. Saturday morning is Cat 1 cross-country and in the afternoon is the big show: the Pro cross-country.
The woods are deep and dark in places.
Sunday is Super-D in the morning and Cat 1 and Pro short track in the afternoon.
For a complete schedule and start times go here.
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