Ashland’s Aaron Spjut takes a tumble on the BTI Trail above Ashland’s Lithia Park. - Andy Atkinson

The Longest Downhill

Saturday's 12-mile Super D downhill mountain bike race, hosted by Mongoose Tribe and Break-Away Events, is the longest Super D race in Oregon and the second longest in the country.

It is also tough.

Beginning on Mount Ashland, the 12-mile course drops more than 5,000 feet on single-track trails, ending at the bottom of the BTI Trail above Lithia Park. But first, before gaining eye-watering speeds, racers faced a 600-foot climb on Bull Gap Trail, which caught many of the 140 riders off guard.

"They warned me not to hammer it, but I did and it broke me," said Mathew Slaven, a pro rider from Portland who finished in 38:58.

Making all the right moves over dirt, rocks and logs were pro riders Mark Weir, with his third consecutive victory (35:22) and Abigail Hippely, who finished first among women in 43:00.

Several riders had to overcome mechanical problems and wrecks to reach the finish. Ashland's Aaron Spjut hit the dirt while trying to maneuver a log-rooted switchback near the bottom of the course.

"I couldn't hold the turn, my arms were so tired and it was real dusty," said Spjut, who finished second in the Sport Men's 19-29 division.

Complete event results can be found at

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