2014 January Mountain Bike Marathon

JMBM 2 200

According to the event flyer, “This is a training event on trails and roads. Riders will be scored and assigned a placing. All Classes will start at the same time and be scored in the categories below. Use this event for early season training. This ride is longer than a normal XC race and it could be very cold.” “The middle portion of the course will be on lightly traveled, paved and dirt roads that are open to vehicle traffic. No traffic control will be provided. Participants must obey all state traffic regulations. Riders will need to dress accordingly for the weather and pace and feed themselves accordingly for the longer distance…” It’s not a race, right? Right!  At noon we had a short riders meeting explaining the course markings and...

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2013 Brunswick Brawl 6-Hour Race, Leland, NC

Starting near the back of the pack I managed to move to the front group by the time we entered the woods.

Last year I raced the first annual 2012 Brunswick Brawl 6-Hour Race in Leland, NC (basically a suburb of Wilmington).  It was an awesome event — the staff was top-notch and the course was great.  I’ve raced a couple of hundred bike races so I have a rather seasoned perspective.  Many races while fun, are all about the promoter making a living putting on races. The Brunswick Brawl is different.  It stands out, like Shiner’s Revenge as being a different kind of race.  In both cases the promoters have gone out of their way to simply put on a great event.  Staffs are incredibly helpful and upbeat.  Races are well organized.  Great prizes and great food. I was so impressed last year that while this weekend would have been my only weekend off...

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“Six Hours of Shiner’s Revenge 2013” at Woolwine, VA

Are we having fun yet?  Hell yeah! Check out the wheel drift!

Near the end of cross country mountain bike season last year I decided to try my hand at some endurance events.  I raced ORAMM (Off Road Assault on Mount Mitchell) and did well, so  I thought I would try the Six Hours of Shiner’s Revenge, a brand new race, being hosted by my friends and fellow racers, Eric and Betthney O’Connell.  You can read my full report on last year’s race at: http://weightweenieblog.com/?p=611 Having won the open 50+ race there last year, I automatically put it on my calendar for this year.  However, as the race approached I happened to notice that Eric had lowered the age bracket to 45+ to increase the size of the field.  Last time I gave up seven years but this year I would be giving up 13.  That’s a lot of age, but my...

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“SERC #10” Season Finale at Fontana Dam, NC

Jim Frith - 1st, Tom Willis - 2nd, Mark Gilliam - 3rd, and Troy Zimmerman - 4th.

Fontana Village Resort in Fontana, NC hosted the final race of the US Cup East / South East Regional Cup (SERC) series.  Besides being race #10 of the SERC series, it was also the American Mountain Bike Challenge (AMBC) race #10 and the Southern Classic series race #12. As if the convergence of three series was not enough, it was a “mandatory” race for the SERC series.  In other words, if you wanted to compete for ranking in the series, you had to race at Fontana.  Needless to say, that brought out a big crowd.  For many of the classes, mine included, the leaders were within a point or two of each other, so everyone brought their “A-game”. A little interesting background on the venue — Fontana Dam is a hydroelectric dam on the Little Tennessee...

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USA Cycling Cross Country Nationals at Macungie, PA

Nats 10

This week I had the privilege of competing at Nationals, and I have to say, it was a truly great experience.  One of the coolest things I’ve ever done.  I learned a lot but I also had a lot of fun.  It was awesome, and it is hard to convey the entire nationals experience, but I’m going to do my best to help you get a feel for exactly what I experienced. The venue, one of America’s smallest ski resorts was for a week the site of one of mountain biking’s biggest events.  Bear Creek Resort in Macungie, Pennsylvania, about an hour north of Philadelphia, hosted the 2013 USA Cycling Mountain Bike National Championships. “Bear Creek is one of those mountains that is often and generously referred to as a “local’s” hill. But what it lacks in size,...

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“SERC #9” XC Race at Ft. Payne, AL

SERC 9 - 3 480

The South East Regional Cup (SERC) Series #9, the American Mountain Bike Challenge (AMBC) #9, and the Alabama Mountain Bike Series #6, all came together this weekend at DeSoto State Park in Ft. Payne, Alabama.  Since 1982 Ft. Payne has been famous as being the home of the “June Jam” festival hosted by the country-rock band Alabama. The park downtown has bronze statues of the band members that are larger-than-life size. The Ft. Payne race course is typically 10 miles in length but was shortened to a 6.5 mile lap this year due to the excessive rain and flooding.  The Grand Masters 1 (Cat 1 50+) raced three laps so we did 19.5 miles total, making it one of the shorter races in terms of mileage.  The reason they cut the mileage short, however, is that the...

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“SERC #8” XC Race at Woolwine, VA

Riders meeting is about to start..

The Southern Classic Series, the Virginia Off Road Series, and the South East Regional Cup (SERC) schedules all intersected this weekend at I.C. Dehart Park in Woolwine, Virginia.  For those unfamiliar with Woolwine, it is located about 15 miles across the North Carolina border due north of Winston-Salem.  Google Maps says it is a three hour and thirty-nine minute drive, but given the back roads and bad directions, it was more like four hours. The race course was 8.5 miles in length and was a figure eight course with the first section being 3.5 miles of some of the steepest, “gut-busting-est” climbs you’ll ever ride looping back and overlapping the same trail with a  very cool “fly-over” bridge that leads you into the second and larger 5.0 mile loop...

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