by Kurt Gensheimer

Remember the days when mountain bike racing was inexpensive, locally supported, well organized, family friendly and above all, fun? If you don’t, then check out the Quick ‘n Dirty MTB Triple Crown race series in North County San Diego. Designed to be fun for all ages and experience levels, the Quick ‘n Dirty race series focuses on getting people out and racing and back home with a handful of swag in only a few hours time.

The three race Quick ‘n Dirty series took place on three consecutive weekends in February at the San Dieguito River Park on the south shore of Lake Hodges in Rancho Bernardo. The 3.5 mile long course offered a little bit for everyone, fire roads, punchy climbs, techy rock sections and super-fun, switchback singletrack downhills that delivered a smile from ear to ear. And for spectators who knew the right spots, nearly half the race course could be seen at all times, along with breathtaking 360-degree views of Lake Hodges, Palomar Mountain and the San Pasqual Valley.

Entry fees were $30 for all classes, except for the “Fast” (Beginner) male and female classes who could race for only $20. There’s no pre-reg and no late fees, just show up and race. Registration opened at 8AM with a mass staggered start at 10:30AM sharp. Registration flowed smoothly and efficiently, and with racers each getting a timing chip, results were accurate and posted within 15 minutes of the last finishers.

All racing was done by Noon, and awards were done by 12:30. Nearly 140 people showed up for the first race, 160 for the second, and 190 for the third.  By 1PM after all three races, everything was done and packed up. You would never have known only an hour prior there was a mountain bike race happening. And if you rode the trails afterward, you’d never have known 190 people had just raced on them.

David Hekel, a Senior Ranger at the San Dieguito River Park (SDRP), is an avid mountain biker who is devoted to helping cultivate responsible mountain biking in his park. A portion of proceeds from the Quick ‘n Dirty series goes to help fund the trails program, buying supplies and support needed to maintain the hundreds of miles of multi-use trails in the park. To raise even more money for the park, local racer and frame designer John Bailey of Bailey Bikes offered up one of his $1,500 retail Bailey 29er carbon hardtail frames, and the lucky winner was David Stewart. Jarel Watson hucked an old seven-pound steel Nishiki frame twice as far as everyone else in the frame huck contest, winning himself a $350 bike rack courtesy of Thule.

A long list of local sponsors got behind the event including SPY Optics, Shimano, Hammer Nutrition, Squadra, Bike Bling, Stone Brewing, Carbon Frame Repair, Haro, Troy Lee Designs, Sock Guy, Amigo Printing, Maxima, Richard Duquette of 911Law.com, Shoebacca and Ellsworth.

Overall series winners got to keep a custom Quick ‘n Dirty champions jersey courtesy of Squadra as well as a bag full of swag from sponsors including $50 gift certificates to Bike Bling. Quick ‘n Dirty was such a success that a six-week summer series with racing on Wednesday nights is in the works.

For more information on the Quick ‘n Dirty MTB Triple Crown series, check out the Q n’ D Facebook page and get all the details at Q ‘n D webpage.

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