While we were more or less prepared for the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the 2020 edition of the East Bay Dirt Classic, we did not anticipate the apocalyptic nature of the current California wildfires this season, especially this early in the season. Our hearts and thoughts go out to all those directly impacted by the fires and those brave individuals on the front lines fighting these fires. Rather than sway us from our mission, however, this has only hardened our resolve to present an event which can help to give back to all of those people facing food insecurity during these uncertain times.
As I kitted up for another pre-ride of the course this morning, I looked at the AQI (sad that this acronym is now in the general parlance of those of us living in California) and sat shocked as daybreak never truly arrived. I gave up any thought of riding and contemplated pushing back the start date of the two week rolling window for the 2020 EBDC, in the hope that we will all see some reprieve from these devastating wildfires in the next couple of weeks.
To that end, we have pushed the start date for the 2020 EBDC back to Saturday September 26th. All rides by registered cyclists completed between Saturday September 26th and end of day on Sunday October 11th will appear on the C510 2020 East Bay Dirt Classic Leaderboard. The leaderboard will show the individual times for each of 5 segments along the course along with the combined time of all segments which, in enduro fashion, will determine a rider’s standing on the overall leaderboard.
For the 2020 East Bay Dirt Classic course, please look here:
The course is mostly dirt and a mountain bike or gravel bike with 35 mm or wider tires would suit the course well. The segments are labeled “2020 East Bay Dirt Classic Segment” 1 through 5. A brief description of the segments follows:
Segment 1: Brandon Trail in Chabot Park from the stone bridge to Marciel gate. This segment is 3 miles in length and rolling, gradual uphill, non-technical terrain with an average 2% grade. This is a wide trail with good line of sight.
Segment 2: Soaring Hawk trail heading North from the entrance gate off Redwood Road to the “end of the trail” sign just before the fairly steep and technical descent back to Redwood Road. This is a rolling, net downhill segment with some fast and sandy, loose downhill portions. Please be sure to keep in control here – on the downhill corners in particular. Once you’ve reached the sign identifying the end of the trail, the segment is complete. Please proceed with caution down to Redwood Road. The end of Soaring Hawk is steep and somewhat technical and ends abruptly on a blind corner on Redwood Road. Stop, and look both ways before crossing Redwood Road back to Chabot Park and starting your ascent of MacDonald Trail from the parking lot.
Segment 3: Canyon Trail to East Ridge. This is a beast, no two ways about it. Nothing technical here, just punishingly steep at the start and then a mostly gradual 3 mile climb up to Skyline Gate in Redwood Regional Park. The segment ends at the high point of East Ridge Trail before descending toward Skyline Gate. Please DO NOT go full send on the final descent and through the throngs of hikers and off-leash dogs here. It is very busy and the segment will have already ended. Take the time here to recover and ride safely to Skyline Gate, turning right onto Skyline Road toward Sibley.
Segment 4: Redwood Trail in Tilden Park. Rolling, mostly smooth with a couple of rocky sections, net 0% grade, not quite a mile in length. The segment starts where Redwood Trail splits from Grizzly Peak Trail (stay left on Redwood Trail). About 3/4 of the way through, Redwood Trail merges onto Golf Course Trail. This is more of a merge to the right than a true turn. This segment is mostly a wide trail, but some corners are blind. Please be mindful of hikers and other bikers. The segment finishes before the gate leading to the parking lot on South Park Drive. Once in the parking lot, recover and head left (downhill) on South Park Drive.
Segment 5 – The Queen Segment: Starts at the intersection of Big Springs Trail and Seaview Trail, ending at the top of Volmer Peak. Once you make the right turn onto Seaview from Big Springs, it’s on. This segment is 2.1 miles at an average 5% grade with a couple of baby-head-sized rocky sections. Near the top of Seaview, as the trail gives way to pavement, make a hard, near 180 degree right turn onto the pavement to climb Volmer Peak. The last 200 yards are steep but paved. The segment ends to the left of the fenced-in radio tower and station, so don’t stop until you’ve past this. Then soft pedal to the end, catch your breath, peer out over the beautiful East Bay hills and congratulate yourself for completing the 2020 East Bay Dirt Classic and helping join in the fight against hunger in Alameda County.
If you would like to register for the 2020 East Bay Dirt Classic, please first visit our GoFundMe page. Your donation of $50 or more is your entry fee and goes directly to the Alameda County Community Food Bank. Then, connect your Strava account to our EBDC leaderboard. Important – in order for us to confirm all participants have registered, please use the same name on the GoFundMe site as you use on Strava. All registered riders will receive a limited edition 2020 East Bay Dirt Classic buff pictured here:
Once you’ve completed these two steps, head out on the course and give it your best shot. As soon as you post a ride on Strava with all of the required segments, it will appear on the leaderboard! Prizes from our sponsors will be awarded to the top 3 male and female combined segment times from a single completed course during the open window.
If you would like to join our team in fundraising for this event, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please stay healthy and safe.
– Your friends at C510