Downhill mountain biking in the High Country is about to get dirty when one of the South’s newest downhill mountain bike race series, The Dirty Bird, makes its return to the Seven Devil’s area multi-sport resort this year. The three-event series is making big strides in its second year as organizers have come up with a new format that provides downhill racers a chance to bomb it down a different course for each of the three events for big cash prizes.
The first race is set for Sunday, June 6, and will take place on the steep and challenging downhill course that made the inaugural Dirty Bird one of the most highly talked about new races in the South. The slightly improved track takes riders through a series of steep berms, rock gardens and big jumps while dropping more than 700 feet in elevation—providing racers with enough gradient to rip it through the boulderfields and big drops that make the course such an exciting event.
According to race organizer and trail builder Will Washam, the course in looking better than ever this year.
“The track for the first race is the exact same, but what’s new is the variety of new routes,” Washam said. “A lot of new rocks have popped up and a lot of extremely good dirt has been uncovered after the long winter.”
The result is a more mature course that offers a variety of different lines that will make for some exciting options for the racers.
“The course is better than ever,” Washam said. “Better than we could have ever dreamed. It seems like it’s turning into a mini world cup course, a course that’s really worthy of high-level racing.”
The first event will kick off on Saturday morning with an all-day practice session. “Registered racers will have over seven hours of time to practice the course, dial it in, find their favorite lines and, most importantly, ride with friends,” Washam said.
The race will take place on June 6 at 12:00 p.m. and will be setup with a variety of different categories for all skill levels. For this year’s Dirty Bird, the pro racers will be battling it out for a chance to win big cash prizes. The total amount of cash on the line for the first race will be $1,500, with prizes going to the top five in both men’s and women’s categories. The top five riders in the other categories will receive a variety of product prizes being offered by the events sponsors.
Spectators are encouraged to come out and check out the action on the course by either hiking up the mountain for a course-side vantage point, or chilling out on the top deck of Hawksnest Resort and taking in the view as Washam provides color commentary of the action.
“It’s an extremely spectator friendly course,” Washam said. “If you don’t want to hike up the steep mountain you can just chill on the second-story balcony and can get a view of the final 30 seconds of the course and watch riders hit multiple jumps and big berms.” The course finishes with an exciting 40-foot descent down a steep, rocky embankment before a short grass sprint to the finish line.
Over the weekend, Sledgehammer Charlie’s will be on hand to dish out BBQ, burgers and hot dogs for those looking to quell their appetite with some great food. Additional snacks and cold beverages will also be available. Boone Bike & Touring Company, Recycles Bike Shop in Greensboro, Cycle Therapy in Winston-Salem, Cycle Path of Cornelius, Eastern Bikes and Good Health Natural Products sponsor the event.
Those interested in participating are encouraged to pre-register for the event to take advantage of the discounted rate of $40 for a single race, or $90 for all three scheduled races this year. The on-site registration fee will be $45 for the first race. For more information on the race series, and to register for the event, click to www.dirtybirddh.com.