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Fitzy’s Targhee Super D Pre-Race Scouting Report

New to the Wydaho Rendezvous Mountain Bike Festival this year is the Targhee Super D Race scheduled for Sunday, July 29th. With 12.5 miles and 4700 vertical feet, the Super D Race is certain to be a favorite event for Wydaho for years to come.  Fitzy took to the course one Saturday this summer to scout out all the lines, get the down low on bike and tire selection and have a bit of fun.    Andy at Grand Targhee and Dana Ramos posted up a Google Map with the entire course.

Scott swears he shared all of his impressions and given his best advice, but I guess we will all just have to race the Super D to find out ourselves if he held anything back for himself.  Here’s his pre-race ride report:

It’s awesome.    First of all the course starts at the top of the ‘Ghee.   I assumed that you would start at the base area and have a short uphill climb before descending Mill Creek.  Nope, you actually start at the top and begin racing on the downhill course.   The first descent is on Buffalo Drop to Sidewinder.  It’s rocky and steep and it’s no joke on a cross country bike.  I’d never ridden it before on a cross country bike, I’d only raced it on a downhill bike with bigger tires, more suspension and much slacker angles.  Boy, it’s a different experience going down on a cross country bike for sure.  Tire selection is going to be key for sure. So after a pretty hairball descent you get to the bottom of Sidewinder where you switch gears and climb the Powder Reserve Traverse to lower Sticks and Stones .

Congestion will be an issue – if you are fast, you’ll be passing people and if you are slower you will be passed alot. The larger the time interval between races the better.

Once at the bottom of Sticks and Stones you will climb the new Lightning Ridge Trail.   Lightning Ridge is a really nice singletrack climb with a fairly decent grade.  You could be in a tall gear cranking along up that trail.  Between the Lightning Trail climb and the previous Powder Reserve Traverse climb, you are going to want as light a bike as possible with as smooth a rolling tire as possible.  From the top of the Lighting Trail, you’ll do the Lightning Loop which I wasn’t able to ride because it wasn’t completed yet.  There is a bit of climbing on this loop as well.

Once off that loop, you’ll get on the new singletrack, Colter’s Escape, that goes down to Mill Creek.   From this point it’s pretty much a straight descent to the bottom of Mill Creek and Teton Canyon.   This is a really fun, cross country style descent where you can carry a lot of speed.  The trail is channelized in places and you will have to hold your line at speed or you will risk going down.  When I rode it, the trail was very dry and dusty and I was riding in second position so there were times when I couldn’t see because of the dust.  The trail is pretty smooth, but around some corners are rock gardens that you can’t really avoid because you are riding in a trough.   So the whole way down Mill Creek you are going to have to be on your game, it’s never a cruise.

Scott and his friends took a video which includes footage of a ride on the Arrow and Philips Ridge Trail.  The Super D Pre-Race Ride begins at about 2:58.

Arrow & Ridge Trails and Wydaho Super D Pre-Race Ride Video


Teton Valley Bike Trip 2012 from Kaitlin Barklow on Vimeo.

I started thinking about bike selection for this race.   I might go to a 26″ bike with beefier tires and slacker angles.  I think a dropper seat post is going to be critical.   It will be a personal choice to go with a downhill tire, but I think it is probably a good choice.  You could lose a ton of time on the downhills, particularly on Sticks and Stones, if you are not fast and blasting over rocks.   While you definitely don’t want a downhill bike, a longer trail 26″ bike with some meaty tires might be the way to go.  I think Jannine, who has the Scott Genius, has the perfect bike for this race.  I also think the Pivot Mach 5.7 would be a good choice.

It’s going to be such a fun race and a toss up.  Every piece of gear you choose will have a trade-off in this type of course.  There is no perfect answer.   We stopped quite a bit during our scouting ride so I have honestly no idea what the times will be like.  We could see times over an hour.

I love the new trails – the Lightning Trail is an awesome climb and I think this is going to a great race and cool new addition to the Wydaho Rendezvous.

2 Responses to “Fitzy’s Targhee Super D Pre-Race Scouting Report”

  1. Dana says:

    Hey guys I killed that Google map that you have linked. I re-recorded the trail to include the re-route of Mill Creek. The new map of the course can be seen here:

    The stats and elevation profile can be seen by clicking the end marker, although keep in mind I’m no racer so those times could still be way off for someone who is.

  2. Sarah says:

    Thanks Dana – I am going to replace the bad link with yours! You rock.

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