We are less than two weeks from the start of the 2022 East Bay Dirt Classic! The course is set and covers very little of the prior two years’ courses. I rode it on a hardtail with 100 mm fork and Diamond rode it on an Open with gravel tires and we both agreed having 1) some suspension makes parts of the course more comfortable and 2) having a sizeable granny gear will make certain segments more manageable. The summary description of this year’s course is “steep and bumpy”. There is some technical singletrack this year, including Cinderella in Joaquin Miller (not a timed segment) and a technical descent down West Ridge in Redwood Park (not a timed segment). Both of these sections are heavily rutted and at times rocky. Please be very careful on these sections and dismount and walk if unsure.
This year’s course is 24 miles with 4,000′ of climbing. Click here to preview it in Strava. As in years past, there are five timed segments (listed below), four of which are climbing, one of which is more rolling singletrack. Please observe proper trail etiquette at all times – slow speed and yield to hikers, come to a complete stop for equestrians and call out when passing.
2022 East Bay Dirt Classic Segments
- Lone Wolf’s Walk – Mostly gradual uphill on fire road through Chabot on the Grass Valley trail. It starts just as you turn left onto Grass Valley and ends prior to the cattle gate. It’s a good warm up. Badger would probably call it an amuse-bouche.
- Pants’ Party – All blame for this one (and most other things) should be directed to Donger. For those who remember fondly Snake’s Slither from last year, you should appreciate this segment as well. Very steep at the start, it mellows out a bit after the first quarter. It starts at the turn off Redwood Road onto Montiero Trail, turns left onto Dunn and then continues onto Graham all the way to Redwood Bowl.
- Badger’s Bump – This segment follows the Sinawik Loop Trail in Joaquin Miller. It starts with a short, steep, loose climb and then settles into a fairly short singletrack section. Be aware of your speed, as there is a drop off to the right. Near the end there is a steep descent which can be loose, so please be careful of your speed. At the bottom of the descent it merges with Sinawik trail, so caution and attention are advised as other hikers and cyclists may be on the Sinawik trail. The segment ends just before the sharp left up to the sharp glass at the observation point. Take a drink and take in the view. You’re over halfway done.
- Angry Ray’s Revenge – Angry Ray has been seeking revenge for some time and the cows have finally come home to roost. This section starts a bit steep and technical with some roots and tight switchbacks as it climbs upper Palos Colorado. Watch out for cyclists descending. At the final switchback it’s important to stay right (as opposed to continuing on to the end of Upper Palos) and exit at the confluence of Palos, Sequoia Bayview and Big Trees. But don’t stop yet. Continue straight onto Big Trees (remaining on the longer Big Trees course – staying left midway through) until the top at the parking area. The segment finishes just before the parking area.
- Diamond’s Downfall – Diamond doesn’t like steep climbs. Said so himself on Saturday. Could have fooled me. Anyway, this steep short climb starts at the trailhead of Macdonald and ends once the trail levels out. You don’t need to hammer all the way to the land bridge. Spin it out and rest the legs across the flats and the land bridge to Parkridge Drive.
The registration site will be live this week and opening day is Saturday October 1st. All net proceeds from the registration and our fundraising around the EBDC go to our friends at the Alameda County Community Food Bank. Thanks to all of you who have participated and given so generously over the years. We hope to see you again this year!