“Tiger Rag” XC Race at Clemson, SC

Wow!  I guess there was some level ground after all!

On June 23, 2013, race 9 of the Southern Classic Series intersected the US Cup East / South Eastern Regional Championship  Series (SERC) #7 at Clemson South Carolina.  Now throw in a Georgia State Cup make up race and you have lots of the best riders throughout the southeast showing up ready to compete.  Essentially, anyone who is still in the points race for any of those three series was likely to be in attendance. Now about the course:  Last year I raced it as a Cat 3 (or beginner) rider, so I did one lap.  Since that time, USA Cycling, in their infinite wisdom has decided that I needed to be upgraded — not once, but twice — to Cat 1.  After all, I have been riding a bicycle for a whopping two years and am only halfway through my second...

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“Hobby Park” XC Race at Winston-Salem, NC

Matt Podium Hobby Park 480

The Southern Classic Series cross country mountain bike race in Winston-Salem, North Carolina is held in a venue named Hobby Park.  The park likely got its name because if you have a hobby, this is your park.  It has a runway for radio controlled airplanes, two tracks for radio controlled cars, a long paved hill for soap box derby racing, nice trails for running and or hiking, and last, but not least, it has a great mountain bike trail. The race course is 6.7 miles in length beginning and ending at the model airplane runway and is thickly wooded with a mix of pine and deciduous trees, as well as all manner of vegetation.  The trail surface itself is for the most part hard-packed, dark, loamy soil that is riddled with tree roots — probably one of...

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“The Flood” XC Race at Ducktown, TN

The new "makeshift" start line was at the end of this bridge.

The fourth race in the US Cup East also known as the South East Regional Classic (SERC) Series was held this weekend at Ocoee Whitewater Center near Ducktown, Tennessee.  Having never heard of Ducktown, I didn’t know what to expect.  All I knew was it was a tiny town right across the Tennessee state line. As it turned out, this was possibly the most scenic venue I have ever raced.  The Ocoee Whitewater Center was built specifically for the 1996 Summer Olympics and was the site for the whitewater slalom competition.  The natural Ocoee riverbed was narrowed and many of the large rocks were cemented into place to make the course.  It is clear that no expense was spared. Picture Jurassic Park in the Appalachian mountains, minus the dinosaurs.  Pristine....

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“Race to the River” XC Race

Harry Mathis (2nd) and me (1st) on the podium for the SC Championship.

The fifth race in the Southern Classic Series was held this weekend at Harbison State Park in Columbia, South Carolina. It was the final of three races that comprise the South Carolina State Championship: Sumter (race 1), Spartanburg (race 4), and Columbia.  Because I was leading by 18 points, I decided to race Columbia and skip the US Cup East (SERC) race in Winder, GA.  After all, if I managed to finish no more than three place behind Harry Mathis, I was a lock for the SC Championship. I drove up Saturday afternoon, after a 30-mile club ride where I was determined to keep my heart rate low and for the most part I was successful.  My plan was to pre-ride the course while keeping my heart rate low so I would have legs for the next day’s race.   That’s...

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“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 make up...

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2013 – 2014 Race Calendar

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The following is my racing schedule for the 2103 and 2104 cross country mountain bike and cyclocross seasons:   Date Location Series / Event 1/5/2013 Raleigh, NC NCCX Series #15 1/5/2013 Raleigh, NC NCCX Series #15 1/6/2013 Fayetteville, NC NCCX Series #15 1/6/2013 Fayetteville, NC NCCX Series #15 1/20/2013 Greensboro, NC NCCX Series #15 1/20/2013 Greensboro, NC NCCX Series #15 1/27/2013 Sanford JMM Charlie Storm’s January Mountain Bike Marathon 2/2/2013 Greensboro, NC Winter Short Track Series #1 2/2/2013 Greensboro, NC Winter Short Track Series #1 2/9/2013 Greensboro, NC Winter Short Track Series #2 2/9/2013 Greensboro, NC Winter Short Track Series #2 2/16/2013 Okala, FL 6-Hours of Santos 3/31/2013 OFF WEEK 3/3/2013 Sumpter,...

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