Friday, June 6, 2014

May News and Updates

It's been another long month, filled with everything that we love to do: putting on bike events, building trail, and even a little bit of riding bikes too!

If you haven't seen it yet, here's our last Newsletter:[UNIQID]

Our standout events for the month include the Run What Ya' Brung Trials Competition presented by ProGold Lubricants and the Blackwater Classic.  Both events went smoothly, and we had a heck of a good time with them. The observed trials event was the first time we've seen trials on the east coast for at least 6 years. It was a good start, and we hope to grow every year, with the addition of more dates along the way.  Sheena said it best a couple days after the event," It was like golf but for bikes; with the crowd following the racers around to the different obstacles." The 13 competitors were more than enough to entertain the crowd of over 40 spectators, laughing and jeering the entire night. It was really nice to be running the same time as the Art Spring Festival, with events all weekend long, including a sneak peek of the Cottril Opera House in downtown Thomas for a showing of Spherical Films by our friends and supporters, Verglass Media.

After several hours of practice (and a few cold brews from Mountain State Brewing Co) there was a crowd of 50-60 folks waiting around outside our neighbors house in Canaan Heights, preparing for OBSERVED TRIALS. Many of the people standing around remembered the days when trials events were common in Canaan. But more excitedly, there were many kids playing, watching, and getting involved at a cycling event! The course started with a man made segment, a double peaked skinny about 8 inches wide.  It was instantaneous the demands and attitude that this course would require. Scores ranged from 0 to 17 dabs right off the bat. Early leaders emerged, claiming the hot seat so to speak, and some race favorites took a rocky start. Stage two greeted competitors with what I saw as the hardest segment of the course, Contemplation Garden. It posed a 16" rock step-up right off the bat, leading to a balnced slab feature and a winding stepping stone/plank path through several tight trees. After that the course saw two endurace segments: one slow and 
one fast. Segment five had an optional course split, choosing either 4 small jumps on the left or a large tree jump on the right, before a sharp steep corner. The main course wrapped up with a segment featuring brake control, balance and tight corning before scores were tallied for the semi-finals and finals. There were only two ties to break with the semi's and finals, but most riders participated for fun. A tie for the lead in the mens open was broken on the semi-finals segment, 80' of elevated log ride, between Brian and Thad. A tie for 2nd in the Elite/Expert lasted until the Finals with the tie breaker being how many hops it took to make a 360 degree turn on the porch before the final move.

Sunday morning, racers gathered for the Blackwater Classic, presented by Tucker County Trails. This was race #5 in the WVMBA cross country series. One Hundred and Twenty-Two racers gathered on Camp 70 road for the start of a very dry version of this normal slop-fest, with the addition of about 15 kids in the kids race. A big congratulations to Todd Latocha and Cassie Smith for their wins in the Pro-Open fields and to the rest of the days winners as well. I'll leave the reporting of this race to the pictures:
*Lots of Juniors
*Locals Cup
*Good Line Choices
*Quality Competition
*Beautiful Scenery
*Happy Riders

I've been racking up the trailwork for this month too; mostly with Heart of the Highlands Trail in Canaan but I also got to make a special trip down to Lewisburg, "coolest small town in WV 2011". DirtWays invited me down to the Greenbrier State Forest to help them with some excavator work on a flow trail that they have been working on.  They are currently rebuilding their network from scratch, building a lot of new sustainable trails to complement their existing fall line trails.  It was a beautiful drive down route 92 to get there, and it was a lovely appalachian rain forest once I was there. What do I mean, appalachian rain forest? Just check out my instagram feed, and you'll figure it out. If you ever need to know what a holler is, just visit Greenbrier State Forest and you will appreciate deep hollers with 30%+ side slopes. Just when I thought that my month was wrapped up, I got the news that in June, we can finally start this really cool build project in Davis that I've been dreaming about all year. It was just a distant thought back on a Rainy morning in April when we flagged out a preliminary trail corridor to connect town and Splash Dam South Trail.  I hope for this trail to be my showcase, and I'm super grateful to HoH for giving me the opportunity. One more T to cross and we hope to start in a couple weeks. 

I also got the chance to finally race my bike a little bit. First at Greenbrier AMBC (which I haven't missed in 11 years) and then at Northbend State Park, WVMBA #6. Two smooth rides and it sure is nice to be racing again.    

Lastly, I've got a new product to review and I'd like to give you a sneak peak at Elevated Legs.  I tried a similar product back in 2010, and I'e watched a few other companies produce said product since then. My initial impression back then was that they hurt and were expensive. Fast forward about 4 years and Elevated Legs has got it dialed in, with a quality unit that has a lot of adaptability for a reasonable price. Sue and I have been using them every night since they arrived, and we are really loving them. I worked my way up to the hardest level after a week and a half....although I do like just using a mild massage mode most nights. After a couple more weeks, I'll put together a nice in depth review. In the meanwhile, if you would like to try them out or learn more, send me a message

Until next time, keep the rubber down and happy trails!