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The future is the past.

The past is the future.

Back in the yesteryear good old days of the late '90s and early naughties, when Green Day sang soundtracks to our lives and green Michellin tires were coveted above all, there was a sport called...


Cross Country.

The bars were flat, the suspension was minimal, the courses were long, rooty, rocky. It had heroes named Tinker and Tomac and it traveled freely across North America, a grand knobby circus stuffed into the back of worn-out Subarus.


Imagine groading, but even better. 

As acid wash returns to the youths on the Hill and Britney Spears finds her way into the news cycle once again, the imminence and in fact necessity of a return to these glory days has become clear. 

Cross country must rise again. 

And so, we bring you... 

The Secret XC Series

Here's the deal. There's some pretty good cross country in Boulder county, right under our noses. I'm talking old school cross country, the sort that honors the original intentions of NORBA. Cross country that sends you straight up a terrible fire road and then straight back down some mildly terrifying singletrack on a bike designed primarily to endo gracefully. 

We'll run a few of these throughout the fall, each on a different loop (loops are very XC). Because there's a goddamn pandemic on, these aren't mass-start events. You gather your COVID bubble, hit the start line whenever you want, ride as fast as you can, then upload to Strava to see how you did. 

Secret XC, Round 1: OHV World Cup

What?! OHV is for full-face helmets and goggles, right? WRONG. OHV is sweet for XC. Well, some of it. 

Location: Lefthand OHV

Dates: Saturday, October 3 and Sunday, October 4

Loop: Up the main doubletrack to Five Points, right across the ridge, down Deadass, repeat. It's roughly a 15-20 minute lap. 

Number of laps: Four

Prizes: Free Chicken For Life at Yellowbelly Chicken*

The lap can be found here. I highly recommend an inspection lap. 

Steps to success

  1. Ride out to the Lefthand OHV trail system. 

  2. Ride four laps as fast as you can. 

  3. Upload your ride to Strava and join the Secret Groad club (this is how we'll do results, you have to join). 

  4. UPDATED: You have until the end of Monday, Oct 5 to complete your four laps. Extended due to smoke this weekend.

  5. Get your Free Chicken For Life*

The Rules

  1. Don't be a dickweasel out there.

  2. Yield to EndurBros when necessary. They will descend faster than you on their big squishy bikes.

  3. You are fully responsible for yourself, your actions, and your riding. Secret Groad is not liable for you crashing. This is mountain biking, it happens. By partaking you agree with this rule. 

  4. Ride only with those you feel comfortable riding with. There's a pandemic. 

  5. XC is sweet. Have fun. 


  • Can I ride a groad bike?

    • I mean yeah sure go for it. ​​​

  • Can I ride my XC bike from 2001?

    • Hell yes.In fact, if you do this and send photographic evidence, I'll take ten seconds off your time for every year the bike was built before 2005. For example: a bike built in 2000 drops 50 seconds. 

  • I'm not a great mountain biker, will I crash?

    • Possibly. Try not to. The course is entirely rideable on a light, twitchy XC bike. ​​​

  • What tires do you recommend?

    • The descent along the ridge is quite rocky. Don't run super thin silly tires. Or do, and bring a lot of Dynaplugs. ​

  • Can I bring my squad?

    • If you're comfortable with that and your squad isn't 100 people, go for it. ​

  • Can I drive to OHV?

    • Driving is lame, but if you have to that's fine. 

*This isn't actually true. Yet. Thanks in advance to Yellowbelly for providing Free Chicken For Life (or some shorter period of time). 

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