Welcome to Quick Fill.
It’s time to go racing once again as we’re rolling into round four with the Tiger Run GNCC, back at the Big Buck Farm in Union, South Carolina. Now, I feel like I always say this when we’re talking about Tiger Run but don’t expect the exact same thing you rode for the opening round at Big Buck. This one is actually a good bit different, and it’s really a lot of fun. As usual, we’ll give you the low down on what to expect out on the trail coming up soon in this edition of Quick Fill.
But first, let’s talk about the Rocky Mountain Ticket to Ride. If you’re not familiar, each year at the GNCC banquet two winners on each night (2 ATV and 2 bike) are selected for a trip to Utah to ride in the Moab area with our friends from Rocky Mountain ATV/MC, and additionally we send along a member of the GNCC staff. Rocky Mountain takes care of the entire trip, and everyone raves about how much fun it is. Last weekend saw the dirt bike portion of the Ticket to Ride take place and it was a great time.
The winners also bring along a guest to ride as well, and this year’s group was a really solid one. WXC racer Taylor Johnston won one of the spots and brought along JDay Womens Pro and occasional WXC competitor Savannah Kipp, and the other winner was Vet A class racer James Bower who brought fellow Vet A competitor Tom Truxell. On our end, I got the pick to go for the first time (everyone assumed I had been before, but I hadn’t!) and I was absolutely blown away at how great of riders everyone was, as well as how much fun it really was. The rocks out in the Utah desert are polar opposite of what we have here.
Naturally, as an east coast off-road rider you expect rocks to be slick but the rocks out there provide perfect traction, even when they’re wet! Day one we rode the White Wash Sand Dunes area, which is chocked full of awesome sand, rocks and tons of free roaming riding. You can just about go ride anywhere you want. Our entire group managed to ride right on top of each other’s rear wheels through the entire day and for day two Just Deschamps and the crew from Rocky Mountain decided our group would be fit for something a little more technical on day two.
Day two we rode the Temple Mountain area which is much more technical single track type trail that even features the famous “Five Miles of Hell” loop, which we opted to skip since we were all on borrowed bikes. Regardless, there were still a lot of really tough and technical sections to contend with, but like I said, there’s nothing but pure traction on those rocks. At one point, Justin even mentioned that this was the first time they had taken the Ticket to Ride group to the Temple Mountain trails, which was pretty cool to hear.
Overall, it was an absolutely awesome experience that I could go on and on about, including raving about just how cool and high tech the Rocky Mountain ATV/MC facility is… If you ever see it, it gives you a real appreciation for what it takes to fulfill even the smallest order. Huge thanks to Justin and Chance from Rocky Mountain for making the two days of riding absolutely epic, and also a big thanks to Rachel Bretzing for organizing flights, hotels and other arrangements, plus driving everyone to and from the airport.
Now, let’s talk Tiger Run. Like I said, we’ve managed to mix things up a good bit from Big Buck. Not only have we reversed the direction but you’ll be riding some trails that haven’t been used in several years, crossing trails we rode last time and just generally staying off the course from round one as much as possible. When you take off from the start, you’ll start about a half mile in and head through a couple of more open sections to the one-mile mark. Things will tighten up a bit and do a good bit of zigzagging for a while, then you’ll pick up an open trail with a number of different lines for passing that will bring you to the two-mile mark.
After the two, you’ll find a mix of open and tight trails to about 2.5 where you’ll get onto a cool off-camber trail for just a bit that will then drop off into a bottom section that zigzags back and forth a bit, then a multi-line uphill section that tightens up again to the three-mile mark. Just past the three, things will open up again for a second, then tighten right back up again as you head towards the FMF Powerpoint. This will be the same spot as round one but you’ll be usuing a totally different hillclimb. Instead of the off-camber uphill from round one, you’ll come down beside that and head over to what we’re calling “The Backwards S Hill” as its shaped like a backwards “S”, it’s not overly steep but you’ll have to make a few small turns between some tighter trees while going up the hill.
This brings you into some flowy trail to the four-mile mark, and then into a bit of some faster trail over to the five. After that five, things tighten up a bit all the way to six-mile mark where you’ll start doing a lot of zigzags through the pine trees. Things open up just a little bit again after the 6.5 and this is where the quad races will split off. The bikes will run some more single track type trails with some technical spots from the seven to the eight, and a special really technical 1PM bike only section is also in there about the 8.5. The quads will tie back in on the other side of that and everyone will run through some open and flowing trail past the nine-mile mark.
Things then tighten back up again as you run the multiple-choice tighter trail along the fence line all the way to the ten-mile mark. From the ten to the 11 is a lot of turning, but it flows really well and there’s a short field section in there as well. You’ll drop back in the woods and come back out into the field again. The quads will continue in and out of a couple short woods sections and fields to the finish while the bikes will drop into another single-track section about 11.25 that will add just a little bit more. It’s not very long but it’s a very fun and flowy single track section that will tie back in with the quad course about a quarter mile from the finish.
The last bit is some flowing grass track up into the finish, passing the 12-mile mark along the way. Then it’s a half mile of nice, flowing woods to tie back into the start. The full loop is 12.1 miles of the Big Buck Farm’s finest trails to offer and this one really promises to be a lot of fun! That’s going to do it for this weekend’s edition of Quick Fill as its time to get back to work. Enjoy your weekend and we’ll see you in South Carolina!