We headed out for the pre-ride at Flat Creek Ranch on Saturday. The ranch is only open for special events so it is a rare treat to get to do a few laps out there. The trail was short (UCI pro ~4 miles, CAT 1,2,3 ~6 miles) but pretty fun. There are a few too-new berms that need some water and compaction but overall the trail was in excellent shape. You could tell where somebody had taken a prise bar to a few of the more technical sections and smoothed them out (on the back CAT section) but it seemed to me that they did a really good job of keeping the trail challenging while maintaining ride-ability. Imagine the BCGreenbelt but without anything that really made you clench up, definitely no ledges as high as those on the Hill of Life. It can be a no-tap trail, but required some concentration to keep my back tire in the dirt on a few of the climbs out of the creeks. They were getting a bit slick by the end of the afternoon. You can see one of the creeks in this vid (~1:05); it is very rideable, this guy just wasn't expecting it. It's just after the UCI cutoff (both UCI and CAT will do this section).
If haven't got a chance to ride this trail you've still 2 opportunities without having to race it. March 1 and 2 non-racers can ride the course from 2-4pm for $5. After 4 they're gonna boot you and the racers can pre-ride w/o the distraction of all us non-racing goobers fukering up their lines. Saturday after the Pro and Cat 3 race, Cat 1 and 2 racers can do a pre-ride starting at 4:15. Sunday Cat 1 and 2 race at 8:45.
As an FYI, I had a several experiences of really fit riders who left me effortlessly on flat sections, but I'd run up behind them on any sort of rocky climb. If you're racing next week it might behoove you to get out in front of those kids early or risk being caught in the maw at the first series of ledgy climbs (in the first mile or so).