Imagine yourself careening down a forested mountainside at 30 mph, descending more than 1,000 vertical feet while negotiating hair-pin turns, 12-foot A-frames and treacherous rock-beds. Welcome to the Pomerelle Pounder, a downhill mountain bike race sponsored by Utah Downhill Series and Wild Rockies which has taken place at Pomerelle Mountain every August for the past 12 years.
For most of us, the thought of participating in such a sport induces chills that run bone-deep. For Junior-Pro mountain bike racer Logan Wilson, however, life couldn’t offer anything better. At only 19-years-old, Wilson has competed in over 20 downhill races usually placing within the top of his class while earning sponsorship from 6 companies and becoming a top-level competitor.
“I love racing downhill,” Wilson said. “The accomplishment of you versus the track and trying to go as fast as you possibly can, it’s just uncontrollably fun.”
Wilson claims that his downhill addiction began on the rocky slopes of Pomerelle. “Pomerelle Pounder was the first race I ever did. I placed 7th out of 14 kids, and thought, ‘it’s game on, this is what I want to do!’”
Even after a wave of success following that mediocre race, he still considers the Pomerelle Pounder to be one of the gnarliest downhill tracks offering everything.
“It has jumps, fast sections, gnarly rock-garden sections… it just beats the heck out of you,” Wilson notes.
He has scars to vouch for the track’s intensity, too. “I just got fifteen stitches taken out of my elbow and I’ve broken pinkies against trees. But besides some broken ribs, I’ve never had any serious injuries… and who needs ribs,” he said, smiling.
In fact, Wilson has chosen to forego the opportunity to compete in the USA Cycling Nationals competition this year in order to take part in the Pomerelle Pounder August 4th and 5th. Along with the track’s challenging features, Pomerelle’s proximity to Wilson’s home town, Twin Falls, is a major factor in his decision to stay local.
“It’s fun because it’s such a great family event. My family always comes up and watches me on this race because it’s not too far away. It’s a great spectator’s sport,” he noted.
Onlookers can actually walk the entire length of the Pounder, and because Pomerelle is a ski-resort during winter, it provides a chair-lift as an added bonus.
“The chairlift is a major plus. You don’t have to shuttle with a vehicle, instead you can ride up and hike down the track and watch the race from the side,” Wilson commented.
Furthermore, the lift provides riders with an opportunity to take-in a panoramic view of the surrounding wilderness. Attending an event hosted by a top-notch resort allows you to indulge in other luxuries, as well.
“They cook food and they make the best tacos!” Wilson claimed, laughing. “And the lodge is always open, so you can go sit in there.”
Other amenities include horse-shoe pits and volleyball nets. “It’s great to have people’s support, so at least come up and watch,” Wilson said of his fellow Idahoans, “the more people that come out and watch, the more the sport will progress.”
But, don’t feel like your involvement has to be limited to spectator. Wilson encourages anybody with an adventurous spirit to take-on the Pounder. “Even if you’re just a weekend-warrior, the Pomerelle Pounder is a great course to learn on,” he said. “The course is open all season long so just go up and pre-ride it. It really helped me progress and prepare for the nationals.”
So whether you’re a thrill-seeker like Logan Wilson who thrives on battling some of nature’s most extreme obstacles or are simply looking for a fun-filled event to attend this summer, the Pomerelle Pounder belongs on your calendar. Wilson sums it up best: “Downhill mountain bike racing is simply pure fun and that’s what it’s all about. It’s my thing.”