“Stump Jump” XC Race

2013 Cat 1 Podium

The fourth race in the Southern Classic Series was held this weekend at Spartanburg, South Carolina. It was the second of three races that comprise the South Carolina State Championship: Sumter (race 1), Spartanburg (race 4), and Columbia (race 5 next week).  A good finish at Stump Jump would mean I have a good shot at the SC State Title, having already placed 4th at Sumter prior to being mandatory upgraded to Cat 1. Last year as a new Cat 3 rider I had won the race and I really liked the course.  There was nothing overly technical and there was plenty of climbing, which favors my small size and relative power.  As a fairly new rider I tend to lack the technical ability of some of the more experienced riders, but fortunately, I’ve always been able to...

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“Santos Vortex Trail” XC Race

santos

The US Cup East, South East Regional Cup (or SERC) Series is the largest USA Cycling sanctioned cross country mountain bike series this side of the Mississippi river. It brings in riders from all over the Eastern US and is equaled only by the US Cup West Series on the other side of the country. In other words, the US Cup is the mother of all mountain bike series. This year the SERC Series kicked off at Ocala, Florida, a few miles south of its traditional venue of Gainesville. Like many Florida trails, Santos is in an old abandoned rock quarry. Unlike my visit a month earlier for the 12 Hours of Santos endurance race, when the overnight temperatures were below freezing, this time the highs were in the upper 80s and the overnight lows were in the mid-50s. My...

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“Bouldergeist” XC Race

bouldergeist 2

There seems to be an unwritten rule that every mountain bike race must have its own unique name. Generally that name conjures up wild and violent images — seemingly, the more extreme, the better. Perhaps it is race promoters appealing to a video game culture or maybe it’s just tradition. Mostly the race names are a stretch, with one notable exception: Bouldergeist. In a single word, race promoter Howard Rhyne epitomizes his race. Succinct, fully descriptive, and emotive. Bouldergeist is the perfect name for yesterday’s well run race at San-Lee State Park. (Great job, Howard and company.) Think about it… Bouldergeist suggests large rocks (boulders) and poltergeist (the apparent manifestation of an invisible and destructive entity). Most...

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“Shootout at Angler’s Ridge” XC Race

anglers ridge

The Shootout at Angler’s Ridge was the second race of my mountain bike season, and was located an hour north of Greensboro, just across the state line in Danville, Virginia. Like last year, this race was the Virginia State Championship race so it attracted lots of the best riders from all around the area. Last year’s Angler’s Ridge race was my second ever cross country mountain bike race, and I managed to win the VA state championship as a Cat 3 (beginner) rider. Not bad. This year I hoped to repeat as a Cat 2 (sport) rider, so even though it’s not part of either the Southern Classic Series or the US Cup East (SERC) Series, I still included it on my race calendar. I arrived at the course Saturday afternoon with friend and super-fast rider, Bart Wellisley,...

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