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Thursday, December 2, 1999 -- Davis/Canaan Valley, WV
24 Hours of Canaan moves to Snowshoe
From Laird Knight of Granny Gear Productions

See also: [1999 24 Hours] [1998 24 Hours]

1999 24 Hours of Canaan
The lights are going out on the
24 Hours of Canaan
Dear Racers,

Several years ago The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service sought to establish Canaan Valley as its 500th Wildlife refuge. They recruited support from various recreation-based business people in the area, including myself. I accepted the fact that the USF&WS wouldn't allow racing on refuge lands. I became a strong supporter of the wildlife refuge, based on two things: 1) the Refuge Management Plan allowed for on-going recreational mountain bike access; and 2) the assurances that the USF&WS wouldn't be purchasing property in the more developed southern end of Canaan Valley (including Timberline) because "it had little value from a wildlife management stand-point." In fact, I was instrumental in convincing the county commissioners to vote in favour of the wildlife refuge, which provided the political alignment that Senator Byrd wanted before he would sign- off on it.

Since the Canaan Valley Wildlife Refuge was established, the various recreation-friendly policies went out the window (unless your form of recreation involves shooting and killing animals, which is allowed). Then the USF&WS began to actively buy land in the southern end of Canaan Valley, despite its previous assurances that they had no real interest in doing this. When Timberline sold a large parcel of land to USF&WS in the spring of 1999, it became apparent that someday soon Timberline might sell more of their land, including the property where most of our course was located. In August, that's exactly what happened.

I have had many conversations with the refuge manager, Kevin DesRoberts (e-mail:, trying to find a way to keep the race at Timberline, all to no avail. Kevin, it seems, feels bound to enforce the strictest interpretation of USF&WS policies and will not allow us to use the property that we have been running the race on for the last six years. As it was, the race course was compressed into a relatively small area of land. As it is now, there is simply no way we can design a course on what little land Timberline still owns.

I'm sad that we have been forced to look for a new venue for The 24 Hours of Canaan. This is my home, where I started as a mountain bike race promoter in 1983. I have worked hard over the years to promote this area as a mountain bike destination with the 24 Hours of Canaan as its hallmark. (For anyone whose only exposure to this area was the 12-mile race course, you should know there is still an incredible amount of riding up here, much more than you might imagine, USF&WS purchases notwithstanding.)

Granny Gear Productions would like to take this opportunity to thank all the folks at Timberline for hosting us over the years. It was, after all, Timberline that saved the day when we were forced to move from our original course in Davis (due to other unrelated land access issues). And, it was the venue at Timberline that helped The 24 Hours of Canaan become the world renowned mountain bike classic that it has become. We' would also like to thank all of the local folks and businesses that have supported us over the years, we couldn't have done it without them.

That said, Granny Gear Productions is proud to announce the Inaugural 24 Hours of Snowshoe! Yes, we sealed the deal on Tuesday. While it's sad to say good-bye to Canaan, there is a lot to be excited about in our new Snowshoe venue. Snowshoe has three times the lodging than the entire Canaan Valley area, lots of restaurants, more parking, a great venue and killer terrain.

Here are the details:

The race is scheduled for June 10th & 11th, 2000.

The race venue is at the Silver Creek Lodge. The actual course has not been set but it ought to be a good one, there's lots of great terrain at Snowshoe. We'll put that information on as soon as it is available.

Contact Snowshoe/Silver Creek Reservations (304) 572-5252. You'll want to book your housing either at Silver Creek Lodge or as close to the Silver Creek Lodge as possible. While there will be camping, with as much lodging as Snowshoe has, no one will have to camp if they don't want to. The location of the campsite hasn't been determined yet but the camping fees and facilities will be comparable to Canaan.

Want to make absolutely certain you get into the race? The American Lung Association of West Virginia Early Bird Registration Program will open in December. You can race for free and raise money for a worthy cause at the same time. Last year the Early Bird Program was the single largest fund raiser for The American Lung Association of West Virginia, raising more than $91,000 in contributions. Contact Mike West at the American Lung Association of West Virginia (304) 342-6600 (outside of West Virginia), or (800) 586-4872 (in West Virginia).

Entry forms will be available on our website after January 10th, 2000. Team captains from 1999 will be getting printed forms in the mail, a week to 10 days prior to the January 10th posting of the pdf forms on our website. If you were a team captain in '99 and have a new mailing address, then you need to e-mail us with your new address.

Hey! It's the Grand Opening of The Granny Goods General Store. We're still tweaking the graphic window dressing but it's up and running and fully functional. We'll be sending out a formal announcement to our entire e-mail list in the next day or two. In the meantime, you've got first dibs. Oh, and we're using a secure server so you will be able to send your credit card number over the internet without worry. There all sorts of cool commemorative items that would make great christmas presents for your friends and loved ones. Check it out at or click on the Granny Goods icon on the home page. Happy shopping!

Best regards to you and yours for a very happy holiday season,
Keep the rubber side down,
Your friend and fellow mountain biker,