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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“Uwharrie XC Festival” Race at Troy, NC

Randy Shields (left) leading the way. I'm still in 3rd place prior to my mechanical.

The first Sunday in June was the Southern Classic Series race # 7 held in the Uwharrie National Forest near Troy, North Carolina.  The Uwharrie National Forest is a federally designated national forest located in the Uwharrie Mountains with a total area of over 50,000 acres.  The thick canopy of pine and oak make for a lot of shade but also hold in the humidity and stop any breezes, making for a steamy race. The Uwharrie trails are some of my favorite trails anywhere and have a great mix of technical elements, climbing, and long stretches of rutted jeep trails where you are either grinding up slow, steady climbs or bombing down long gradual descents.  The trail surfaces range from hard packed dirt, to loose gravel, to a couple of sections that are just...

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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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