Monday, October 27, 2014

Wheelmen Feature: Charging Forward on Dirt



     With the generous assistance of Matt Sluski and Niels Smidth, the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Wheelmen are prepared to host a thrilling mountain bike race weekend, on Nov. 1-2.
     Cross-country, short track cross-country, dual slalom and downhill events will be taking place at the “Dirt Club,” in Santa Ynez, which happens to be a brief 45 minute drive from the Cal Poly campus.
     Sluski is the official race director, for the weekend of mountain bike races.  
     Smidth is a fifth year at Cal Poly, who has been involved with the Wheelmen for four years. Smidth, a former president of the Wheelmen organization, is lending a hand in the planning, development and advertising of the upcoming race weekend.
     “I got involved two years ago helping make the race happen and I have gotten more involved each year,” said Smidth.
     The shopping list of activities to host the race weekend includes approval from Cal Poly, guaranteeing insurance, seeking sponsorship and promoting the event. Not all of the tasks are glamorous but Smidth, among others, is taking initiative.
     The Wheelmen community is needed to make this a successful weekend. “On the race weekend, we will need lots of helpful volunteers,” said Smidth.
     Although serious and willing volunteers are needed, the weekend will not be all work and no play.
     The cross-country course has “lots of fun singletrack descents,” while the dual slalom course offers “big berms and jumps,” said Smidth. Downhill racing will fit an enduro style format. The timing of two courses will be combined for an overall placement.
     The “Dirt Club” promises to be entertaining on Halloween weekend. An unofficial costume contest is in the works for the short track cross-country race.
     “Since there will be plenty of Halloween candy around at this time, I plan on getting hand ups to the racers on some steep sections of the cross country course,” said Smidth.
     The Wheelmen will certainly provide spirited activity. Nov. 1-2 marks the annual Wheelmen mountain bike race weekend.