How many gears does your bike have? No matter, you could use a couple more on Glen Helen’s-ultra long start straight. It is used on every lap. The riders re-enter the start straight from the jump on the left. The REM Octobercross has a long history as it was originally called “The Commotion By The Ocean” when REM was at Carlsbad Raceway. The Commotion race attracted all of the major Pro riders of the era. When REM moved to Glen Helen the race remained, but the ocean was now about 40 miles away?thus the name change.
The Talladega first turn is banked 45-degrees and makes a 180-degree right hand turn. It can accommodate as many riders as can get to it at the same time. And, this is the narrow version, by World Vet time Talladega will be almost twice as wide and considerably higher. The REM Octobercross falls exactly one week before the World Vet, which makes it a perfect warm-up race. The track couldn’t be built until after last Sunday’s 24-Hour of Glen Helen endurance race?which used the whole park. Jody Weisel showed up Sunday when the checkered flag fell on the 24-Hour and built the track in three days. He was lucky to have a KTM Tour day to test the first layout on Monday, the KTM team on Tuesday to check the second design and the weekly Thursday practice as final prep. The finishing touches were put on the track Friday afternoon.
This is”The Finger.” The riders go up the right-hand side and come down the left. The highest peak on the track is highlighted by the white water tank at the top of this photo. You get to it immediately after the start by climbing the hill hidden behind the 24-Hour tower.
Once you get to the water tank at the top of Mt. Saint Helen you are faced with this long steep downhill back to the bottom. This hill is 20 stories high. It even has two additional drops at the bottom that bend the track to the right instead of the normal left.
This photo show “The Finger” on the left and the downhill on the right. There are a lot of other surprises in store for Octobercross (and World Vet) riders around the rest of the track.