Trek and Trail 8: Dual Slalom Mountain Biking


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Trek and Trail 8: Dual Slalom Mountain Biking

Get lost in the endurance sport of Dual Slalom Mountain Biking by explaining how it works, what gear you need, and where you can go to get lost racing it.

What the heck is Dual Slalom Mountain Biking?

Riders ready? Watch the Gate. Beep… beep… beeeeeeep… bang!

The start gate drops and two mountain bike riders quickly accelerate out of the starting chute of what will begin a full speed, 60-second assault of the Dual Slalom course. Unlike any other style of mountain bike racing, the dual slalom is the most intense, enjoyable, and spectator friendly mountain biking event there is. The details are simple.

Dual slalom consists of two racers battling it out next to each other on two almost identical single track courses. In less than a minute, these riders must race against each other while navigating berm turns, tabletop jumps, drop in sections, and their own speed. Fastest to the bottom of the hill wins the run, and the time difference is recorded.

Then they head back up to the top of the hill, swap lanes, and race again. The slowest rider from the first run has to overcome the deficit in the second run or be eliminated. The combined time from two runs determines the winner.

The mechanics of deciding the winner is also a simple process. Qualifying runs will determine the racing order in a bracket system. But not all qualifying methods are the same. During the qualifying ride, riders can be:

  • Randomly paired up with a simple playing card draw (Red paired with black, high paired with low) -- BMX style
  • Matched with even bib numbers in one column going down, with the odd bib numbers in the other going up
  • First come, first served using a coin toss to decide who gets what track
  • Allowed solo rides down the course to determine placement based on time

Regardless how you decide the pairing, the goal is to get both riders to race against each other and get a finish time at the bottom of the course.

During the first round of competition, the top fastest qualifiers race against the bottom slowest during the first round. Racers then compete in a knock-out format until ultimately two riders are left and a winner is decided.

Granted, the faster riders have to ride more rounds, but with both riders riding both sides of the course, any advantage one track gives is countered by the disadvantage the other creates. This provides a fair and balanced way of determining the winner.

Episode Highlights:
  • What the heck is dual slalom mountain biking?
  • How does dual slalom work?
  • What gear do you need to race dual slalom?
  • What Mountain Bike works best?
  • How do you train for a dual slalom race?
  • How do you win a dual slalom race?
  • Where do you race dual slalom?
  • Why should you race dual slalom?

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20 episodes