Dual slalom course building advice

The Beaver Meadows race is coming up, and one of the CSU cycling team members seeks help designing a course.

Hi, I race on the CSU cycling team, and this year for our race at Beaver
Meadows we’re planning on constructing some type of DS course, in addition
to the usual gnarly DH course.

I was wondering if you have any advice on
what to do/not to do when building this thing, and what types of obstacles
would make a solid course (ie. bermed turns or flat, etc). The hill we have
picked out is not that wide, but it is steep. We haven’t even started
building yet (the race is on September 10/11), and right now one of the main
questions is whether or not to construct two separate courses, or a single,
wider, course that two riders go down. The latter may be easier to make,
but won’t be as cool. Any thoughts?

Thanks, -Chris

The Sea Otter dual slalom course is always fun. This is the 2004 version.

Hey Chris.

You want the course to be fast and flowy, but you also want tricky sections that separate great riders from good ones.

Use as much of the hill as possible, and mix it up:

– Flat turns. Make them pretty straight so you can maintain some speed. These are very easy to make.

– A few berms (they’re a lot of work to make). You don’t need huge Sea Otter berms. Some short 90-degree walls are fine.

– Rhythm. Make a series of BMX-style rollers. People can roll, double, tripe, quadruple …

– A rollable double. If you have a natural ledge or drop you can use that.

– Drops. Natural is cool, or you can build a ramp onto a hay bail. Put a tricky turn right after it.

In my opinion two parallel courses is ideal. Another option is two parallel courses that funnel into one finishing section, a la the old UCI duals. Maybe the parallel courses have flat turns to save work and spread people out, and the rest is more built up (preferably with multiple lines).

The run should take about 30 seconds.

Good luck. I hope to race your course!

— Lee