The Headbangers Series was created for the rider that thinks “new school” MTB courses are too soft, too flowy, and/ or too short. Headbanger races are for lovers of chunky tech, body english, wide bars, and knobby(er) tires. These are races that give a rider with solid technical skills a chance to shine, or for folks still learning how to handle the tricky stuff a chance to hone their skills in a fun, competitive environment.
Opening up the season on May 17th is the rocky, always-wet course at Wallum Lake in Douglas MA. The MRA Multisport folks have been putting this event on for the last few years, tweaking the laps for maximum soggy rockpile fun. Last year they added a Marathon event (which we will talk about later), and their balance of punishing piles of New England granite, treacherous swamps, and whole-body climbs with places you can actually eat, drink and recover is as dialed as it’s going to get for such a fun, challenging course.
Next up is one of the oldest races on the calendar – Coyote Hill in West Fairlee, VT has been rattling linkage bolts loose since before linkage was a thing. Taking place this year on May 24th, the ‘Hill features lots of climbing and an almost endless buffet of camber-defying roots that make this the perfect antidote for flow trail overload. The cool prizes, the beautiful scenery, and the true grassroots vibe of the Coyote HIll Camp folks makes this one of the best destination races in the region.
Back again on June 21st is the now-venerable Domnarski Farm, a two lap tractor pull around the blasted out jeep roads and, uh, quite unique singletrack of its eponymous promoter. Matt offers cash money for anyone who can break the current course record (good luck with that) and free entries for all the womens fields. PSA: reg early! They really don’t want to process day-of paperwork, and encourage you to plan ahead. We would like to personally thank Matt for bringing this one back after such a difficult year.
Returning for 2020 is the Queen stage of the Hells Half Acre stage race weekend. This knobby little slice of Big RIver, RI is a real kick in the pants if you’ve ridden the mellower sections of the trails down there. Jim and the crew put together a loooooong loop of tricky rock moves, lunge-y up and overs, and old-fashioned rockpiles to make for a long, difficult, and hugely rewarding course.
You know it, you love it, you have it on your bucket list of NEMTB events – it’s the Landmine Classic at Wompatuck! 25 miles of some of the best, rootiest trails SE Mass has to offer. No loops, no repeated sections, just a punchy rip around a beloved and well curated trail system. Bike Barn and the Friends of Wompatuck have had years to perfect the way these trails flow together, and completing the big circuit on September 13th will be an experience you won’t forget!
Once again, closing out the Headbangers Series is the always-awesome production and zany creativity of Rock Hard Racing and the Freetown 50. Featuring all the rocks in Assonet, MA, Freetown is a gleefully ridiculous romp around mostly flat, boulder-littered trails with names like “Demotivator”, “Bent Rim”, and “Questionable Decision”. Save the date for September 20th – Mike and his crew always send us off in style!