This Week IN THE HELMET: Al Morrison gives you his thoughts on the seasons first race at the all new Portland Trail Riders.
Check out the Helmet cam from this weekend on our YouTube Channel HERE
Is Spring weather finally here? It sure felt like it this weekend at Portland Trail Riders MC opening race weekend! Abundant sunshine, blue skies and a brand-new track layout built by Jeremy Booher were all very welcome this weekend! Like many others, I couldn't pass up the chance to rip some mid-Michigan loam and check out the redesigned track.
There's a good chance you've ridden one of the many tracks Jeremy has given his special touch to. If you missed the Track-Side Talk article a few weeks ago about Jeremy, check it out here . From what I've been told, the redesigning of Portland's track was one of the biggest jobs Jeremy has done, and once you're out on the track you can see why! The track seems twice as wide, corners that once went right now go left, and the jumps are made to be fun and safe for all riders (not easy to do).
One of the biggest and best changes were made to the first turn area, originally a right-hand corner with a pretty tight inside that joined into the rest of the track. The new first corner after the start straight makes a nice wide left hand turn with plenty of room to hug the inside or sweep around the outside. There's more gate options when lining up than in the past, which is great for everyone racing. It's difficult to make a start straight and first corner fair for all who line up and the new changes were a great improvement.
Another track change I really liked were the 6 large rollers you could rhythm through. These offered a challenge to riders of all abilities and created a section of the track where riders can separate themselves. I stuck with the double-double-double rhythm but there are a few other options I think are possible to try in the future. There aren't many tracks today that run multiple jumps in a row and I think adding rhythm sections like that could greatly improve a lot of tracks and make for better racing.
It's great to see clubs and promoters investing in themselves by updating their tracks and giving riders and racers new layouts that are fun and safe. Thanks to Portland Trail Riders MC for putting on a great race weekend!