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West coast racing vs. East/Midwest style racing

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Alright, I love off road riding and racing. I also love to watch youtube videos of offroad riding and racing as well. My experience is only limited to west coast desert racing (hare and hounds are my favorite medicine) and I have always wondered what is the main differences in west coast vs east coast riding (besides the obvious in terrain)? What, in the opinion of riders who have done both, are the different skill sets to be good at either disciplines and without sturring the pot too much.....which is more difficult? If only I had the money and time to experience it myself.........:smirk:

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Ive spent the last 5 years of my life riding on the east coast (GNCC, national enduro, VCHSS) and moved out to CO last october. From what i have found is that i really really miss tight trees (or trees in general lol) and i miss moisture! I just got back from a 2 week riding trip throughout CO, UT, AZ, and CA and they all seem to be about the same. The racing is alot faster out here than it is on the east coast for sure, and i think you will find alot of west coast guys that struggle racing on the east coast, and vise versa. It has taken me a few months to adapt to the style of racing here. The one major advantage west coast guys have is heat. with the low percentage of humidity it makes that 3 hour race alot easier!

To answer your question, (speaking as a AA rider) i wouldnt say one is easier than the other..The tighter woods seem to take more energy and more technical skills, but the faster trails take alot of focus and alot of balls! Getting comfortable pinning it 5th gear through the dust is pretty hard!

If you asked me which i preferred, i would defiantly say that i like the east coast alot more. There might be alot more places to ride on the west coast, but theres twice the racing opportunities on the east!

Cheers!

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It's funny...I watch AA riders in woods racing and the first thing I notice is that there isn't a whole lot of places to pass. Then my jaw is on the floor as to how fast they are able to maneuver through trees. Then I watch videos of the top desert racers and I just shake my head on how those guys can manage to go so fast through rocks, whoops, sand and dust for so long at the speed they go. And then the bomb start.....one of the most intimidating experiences I've ever had; but also one of the funnest!

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Not sure if you can just say east coast west coast up here in Norcal we enjoy bolth tight knarlly single track and then we bust out into long rocky riverbeds then hit a few fire roads that twist and turn then back into the tight woods then off into the high desert flats back into the tight knarlly stuff so if I were to guess the NORCAL boys would probably take the cake in this debate LOL

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Ask Kurt Caselli what he thought of GNCC racing.

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The deserts of So Cal are not the entirety of the "West Coast". There's a pretty huge diversity of terrain ranging from So Cal to Washington. Hard to imagine much more moisture and trees than they have in WA. Where I live in CA, most of the riding we do is in the forests - lots of trees. In fact, I haven't ridden in the desert since I was a little kid. Would love to get back to it sometime, though!

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The more appropriate comparison would be desert vs. everything else. As pointed out, there's a big difference between SoCal and NoCal. Same goes for western OR/WA vs the dry east half of those states. In general, I believe fast is fast, doesn't matter where you're from. Certainly an "east coast" guy would struggle in a H&H for the first year and a dez guy would struggle in east coast trees for a the first year, but the skill set is there for either to learn and acclimate to the new challenge.

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Here is some real west coast racing.

Love living in the northwest, because we get to ride and race both. Both open desert and trees are definitely fun.

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The people I hear whining the most are of the desert types(or mx'ers) who come and try to ride in the trees, they can't turn. And it wears them out, not to mention the bikes aren't set up for the tight.

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What sort of riding would you guys say, or is available out around Bakersfield, Frazier park CA area? Is that SoCal?

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Generally, anything south of the Bay Area (San Francisco metropolitan area) is considered So Cal. So yes, Bakersfield is So Cal.

Bakersfield itself is flat as a pancake. Some really good stuff in the mountains to the east, though.

Frazier Park is near the top of the mountains that separate Los Angeles from the San Juaquin Valley, where Bakersfield is. Elevation around 4000 feet on the highway, peaks a few thousand higher than that in the area. Some sections with trees (I wouldn't call them forested). The terrain is very rugged and steep, new mountains formed by the North American plate running into the Pacific plate. Lots of the trails are one-way. Look around the SoCal section of TT forum for more info.

Probably some good videos on YouTube, too. I like this one. It seems to give a pretty good feel for the terrain and vegetation in the area.

There are also much more wide-open areas,

(never mind the techno).

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