DH developments at the Knob

So have you seen what they’ve done at Vulture’s Knob lately?  If not, then let me fill you in downhill fans, because we now have a third gravity site here in Ohio thanks to the great guys at 331 Racing. 

If you’ve been to VK, then you’re probably thinking, ehhh, downhill, yeah right.  Not enough vertical.  And you’d almost be right.  But we got creative, moved a section of the XC course, and managed to make a 1:30 track!  Yes, most of the track is pretty flat and requires some pedal power, but it gets steeper when it drops into Fern Gully.

Last spring we hand built the lower half.  It was pretty lame until we had a build crew out this fall to finish the berms.  331 also rented a big Bobcat for 2 days and Rick sculpted an incredible line for the top half.  Rick comes from a motocross background and is an ace with heavy machinery.

That left us with a roughed out line starting at the unfinished slopestyle / dual slalom area and finishing down by the smelly oil tanks – a fair stretch.  The weather turned shortly after we got the new section in, so we’ve not had the chance to properly bed in the machine built portions and shape all the jumps.  We’ll finish things off once the ground thaws out.  We’ll have to see what drainage is like, as the trail might not be rideable in the wet seasons.

The line starts with a blind jump into a rock garden, followed by some small jumps.  The terrain forced a small uphill into the trail shortly after before you get into the middle section which has some BIG jumps.  They are nearly motocross size, but are all rollable.  We’ll chisel them to perfection once we see how the line is riding.  The important thing is that the dirt in place.  It then drops into the woods for some berms before finishing.

It’s going to be fun enough to warrant the push back up, which is steepish.  But it will build your leg muscles and make you faster at the races!  At this point there is not really a viable shuttle road.

Hey, it's me! Pic by Sean McDermott,

The future?  More downhill trails!  We already have an expert line roughed in with flat corners down the steepest side of Fern Gully.  It can be ridden by jumping off the XC trail at Oh Sh_t!  And there will be room for a third trail as well, which will place Vulture’s Knob solidly on the map of gravity destinations in Ohio.

What about the slopestyle / dual slalom you ask?  Well 331 guys – Mike C, Jason R, and Kevin D – do have big plans for us aggressive riding types.  The master plan also includes a super-D, dirt jumps, and some big hits in the shale pit area.  It’s all a matter of time, man power, and funding.  The 331 guys stay very busy, so they need folks who aren’t afraid of some hard work to step up and get some things done.  They can be contacted through their website: 331 Racing