Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Canaan MTB Festival

Inspired by the Shenandoah Mountain Bike Festival and by the great riding and good people of Davis, WV!

Friday June 26

Ladies Day! - Sue Haywood will lead a women’s tour and do on trail skills building. We will leave from Blackwater Bikes at 10 am and ride on the Canaan Valley Institute’s beautiful property in Davis. These trails have a mix of open grassy meadows, singletrack in the woods and the famous “moon rocks”. This is geared towards the intermediate rider who wants to try more technical terrain in a fun, supportive atmosphere. Trailside Lunch is provided.

To sign up or for more info suzehaywood@yahoo.com

Saturday June 27

Group Trail Rides starting at 9 am out of Blackwater Bikes .

Organized Rides*
Hardcore- This ride is long and hard, but oh so fun. Ride a mix of the toughest trails on Canaan Mt. led by a local hardcore.
Intermetzo- Not as long or as tough, but really good trail riding.
Ultimate Fitness Ride- Camp 70 up to Beardon’s Knob, Canaan Loop Road, 244 up Blackwater Canyon. No singletrack, but lots of miles.
State Championship Loop -Be a champ, ride the moonrocks, but at a pleasure pace.
Nice and Easy- Camp 70 flat loop along the Blackwater River.
Olsen Tower- Climb up to the tower for an awesome view
Night Ride on State Championship Course- You are a vampire and only come out at night.
Ride Downhill at Timberline Four Season Resort on your own for gravity fed fun.

*(may change due to trail conditions)

Donation to Tucker Country Trails Club requested of $15 for rides.

Sat Nite

Enjoy the local food scene of Davis, Thomas, Canaan Valley and all of Tucker County.

Come have a brew at Mountain State Brewery Company

Listen to music at Brew Pub and Purple Fiddle.

Sunday June 28

9am- noon Trail Maintenance led by the Tucker Country Trails Club on a local riding trail. Come give back to the trails!

10-12 Family and Kids ride on Camp 70 and Dobbin House. Take the kids out and have a good time.

2pm-4pm Bike Hash : Try something different... Let the Canaan Valley Hash Hound Harriers remind you how fun drinkers are with a mountain biking problem.

Come sun or mud!

For lodging see www.visitcanaan.com and www.canaanvalley.org

Fee and Free Camping available in Mon National Forest, CVI, Blackwater Falls State Park, Canaan Valley State Park.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

cool pic on iplayoutside

Theresa Svoboda took this cool pic of me on the Big Bear Course.

Monday, June 15, 2009

24 Hours of BIg Bear

Yea, its crazy about 24 Hours racing. Its kind of extreme, kind of twisted, but fun and a rewarding experience at the same time. Granny Gear has been putting of 24 hour races since 1992 with Canaan being the first one. I've been doing 24 hour races off and on since 1993 the year that I graduated college! And many of the people who were at those early races, were at this one too. And that seems like the special part of the race, connecting with people who love to ride bikes. And that they are maybe a little wierd like me...there's a bond.

Anyway, Me, Tim, Ruby and Collie loaded up the Sprinter Van and headed to West Virginie. Of course we had to drive through Davis and get a pizza pie from Sirianni's. I've said it before and I'll say it again...this is the best pizza in the world. And it started our weekend out just right seeing Mike Goss all fired up as usual.

We made it to Big Bear and set up in the Schooly land VIP section. Big Bear is the best venue because all the camping spots are shaded and covered in ferns. You could bring your dogs, kegs, fireworks, stacker bikes and your twisted desire for night racing. Cassie did the Le mans start and surfed the wave of runners in cycling cleats. These are the coolest starts and it got my blood pumping just watching. Nickyboy and Josh Tostado got the whole shots and fastest times of the race at 1:10!

The course was awesome. It was fairly flat, fast with lots of little greasy spots. It was good to ride in WV. It really teaches you where you are on the bike and where center is.

Tim and Collin washed our bikes after every lap and got them race ready after each lap. They stayed up all night and were really fun to have around. Jeff and Levi were fun and sweet, too. Manny made a chart with the times so we would know when to be down at the staging area. It has been a consistent theme with many racers in a 24 hour event that math skills fail miserably during these times. Its normal. The point is to be there when your teammate comes in and then go fast as you can.

We crushed in our class with 17 laps. I guess our team name was right...WVMBA Women's Dream Team! Thanks JR for sponsoring us and of course Betsy because it was her idea for the team. These ladies are some of the coolest mountain bike chicks ever. We deserved more than a medal, but you don't do these things for money, prizes, swag, gift certificates, or anything else practical. You do it because, again, you are a little bit twisted(I'll use that instead of stupid)

It was great to see friends and push myself in another race.

Coming up next...Canaan MTB Festival June 26,27,28 in Davis. Visit www.blackwaterbikes.com for more info.

Racing Again!

The Hoo Ha marked my first race back from my stupid broken leg. It was a good goal race especially since I was on Team SVBC/IMBA as part of a fundraising effort for trails and bike advocacy. The fundraising was a huge sucess! SVBC raised over $17,000 plus won a GT bike. Thanks so much if you donated, I really appreciate it. Also a big thanks to all the folks that helped work on the new trail(name to be determined). Everyone loved it and it rode really well in the wet.

When I saw Churtle and Bunny show up for the XXC, I got a little nervous knowing that they are some of the best endurance riders in the country. But being nervous and excited for a competition is a fun feeling. But I forgot how there are a lot of little things to do to get ready like making sure you have food, water, a tube and the right tools. The morning flew by and before I knew it I was getting that burning sensation in my legs from a fast start. I felt better once I was warmed up and was able to pass Churtle on the climb. She caught me back at the bottom of the downhill. We rode for about 30 seconds together, then I flatted. Oh yea, flats happen.

I had a good change and caught up with her about 40 mintues later. I was riding the climbs well, but not the descents. Even though I don't think about my leg when I ride, I must still be scared. I was sketched out on easy stuff. I walked a creek that every other person in the race rode. I know this because JR was taking pictures for iplayoutside at that spot. I know that my balance is poor and I could use some more flexibility. Resolving those issues will help get me closer to riding the things that I want to be able to ride. But the good thing was that I knew exactly where I was the whole time. I got pretty tired and thirsty, too. But I won in a time of 4:14 and Churtle was six minutes back.

The club put on the super D as well. That was a killer super D course. There were some tough parts up on Kaylor's Ridge with the rocks and little uphills, but there was a boat load of fast descending . Tim, Carp and I had tough crashes in the pre-ride. My knee is still black, blue and yellow from it. But we all pulled it together for the race. Tim was the fastest local with Sam K and Harlan in 1 st and 2 nd. If that super D could get on the National Schedule...there's a great idea...a national super d series.

JB crushed in the XC! It would have been cool to see the JHKs and Plaxtons on that course battle against JB. Julie Dinkins won the women's and Kiwi Jenny was fourth. And lots of locals had great races, too.

Also, some very exciting news to report is that I am now riding TURNER Bikes. I got a Flux! It is an aluminum 4 inch bike in raw. It is stiff in the ways that I like and the suspension works good and consistently. Its a light bike that will be great for endurance racing. I'll make a couple of changes, like put a Reba on, a bar with more sweep and dream about a pair of I-9 wheels. It is so fun to be riding a different bike after 10 years.

Next time...report from the 24 hours of BIg Bear

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Riding Singletrack with the Ladies

I went over to Slatyfork, WV to be an instructor/guide for the Elk River Touring Center Women's Singletrack Clinic. I've been going over there for years for these events that happen twice a year. Slatyfork is not far from the base of Snowshoe and is nestled up against a vast wildness of Gauley Mountain in the National Forest. Its the perfect area for honing skills on rugged singletrack.

The women that come to these clinics are so cool. I am always so pleased and amazed at the quality of lady that makes the trip out. They are fun, friendly and really want to be out on their bikes. They really made a lot of progress in the slippery conditions as well. We all had our little spills on either the wet roots or tiny edges, but in the end that is just part of mountain biking. Meredith is a great co-instructor and has the cutest little girl, Kate.

And of course the food was amazing! Rick is a great chef. So if you ever find yourself in tiny Slatyfork have an indulgent meal at Elk River. I loved the nettle soup, crunchy trout rolls, the stuffed trout and the sticky date pudding. Yum!

I'm gearing up this weekend for the Hoo-Ha! I'm excited for lots of reasons. First this is my first race back since my broken leg 11 months ago. I don't think about my leg at all when I'm on the bike now, even though there are still some repercussions from it on and of the bike like stiffness and weakness. Except for running and maybe wrestling, I'm pretty much good to go. But never the less, Kaylor's ridge is tough for even the best riders, so it will be difficult. I'll be doing the double xc(XXC) so I get to do Kaylors in both directions. And I'm doing the Super D which is a big adreneline rush.

Secondly, this is a huge event for the local biking community. The Shenandoah Valley Bicycle Coalition(SVBC) has worked really hard on building a new trail for the race. So all spring, every thursday and lots of saturdays groups of volunteers have gone out and created this amazing trail that is great for riding uphill or downhill. As a pro racer I never did much trail maintenance. Now, I'm loving being part of the other side of the coin.

And remember if you would like to donate, even the smallest amount, to me and the Team SVBC/IMBA you can go to
Any amount will really help the trails.

Also, my buddy Jenny Smith the Killer Kiwi is coming to town. We haven't seen each other since she laughed her head off in Santa Ynez last year. She is going to crush the XC. Plus she is bringing her infamous dog Max. If you want to get an idea of how crazy Max is check out Jenny and Brian's most recent Blog post.

Also, if you into tough road racing there is a road race in Tucker Country on saturday. Big climbs, Big descents.

Sweet summer weekend ahead!