Last year (first year of GJ Rides & Vibes) the course was exactly the same as the last few iterations of the GJ Off-road, except that Saturday’s amateur classes finished just past the Lunch Loops trailhead – we didn’t have to go all the way back downtown.
I agree, the only thing that made me choose the 30 over the 40 for GJOR and Rides & Vibes is that you skip Windmill road – so it’s almost exclusively technical trail riding. Next year I’ll “man up” for the 40 since I’m turning 40 – seems fitting. There is an incredible new singletrack that parallels Windmill Rd now, but it’s primarily ridden the other direction, it seems like climbing it would just make the race course even harder.
Non-racing best way to get to the top of the windmill trail is probably take the road up to billings TH parking lot, a ~mileish before the the ribbon TH. Then descend 4x4 trail, then climb 4x4 trail, then descend 4x4 trail, then climb 4x4… you get the point. You gotta WORK to get out to that trail but once there windmill is a super fun descent. It’s just so remote.
I did the 40 last year and climbing windmill rd about broke me, can’t imagine having to go up the trail… may have cried.
I really want to do this series now too. Looks awesome!