Share |

Sunday, August 27, 2000 -- Beech Fork State Park - Huntington, WV
Beech Fork Mountain Bike Race
Story and photos by Pat Shreves

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Results by Class]
[Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4]
[1998 Coverage][1999 Coverage]

Beech Fork MTB
Ryan O'Connor right at home
Morning showers gave way to a warm afternoon of mountain bike racing as over 50 riders took to the trails of Beech Fork State Park near Huntington, West Virginia on Sunday.

The race started promptly at 12:00 noon with the Expert Class which consisted of five riders. They were followed at approximately two minute intervals by the Sport Class and the Beginners. The Experts made three laps (21 miles total) around the course with the Sport making two laps(15 miles total) and the Beginners one (9 miles total).

At the start, the riders sprinted down a short section of paved road and then into the woods on the Lost Trail and then on to Mary Davis Branch and beside the lake. Part of the course ran through Mary Davis Run which contained a lot more water than usual due to the rain earlier in the day.

Beech Fork MTB
A little slippery...
As the riders came to the last section of the course, they faced a slick, root strewn, steep down hill. Experience seemed to be the key to a quick decent (or reckless abandon in some cases). Some riders walked/slid down the slope while others flew or even took advantage of the spot to pass!

The man to beat on this day was Ryan O'Connor(1:40:18), but it wasn't to be on this day as O'Connor avoided any late-in-the-race flats, and managed to hold off last year's winner Mike Bowen(1:42:45) by almost two minutes. Bowen would finish second, and Drew Morse(1:51:43) would finish 3rd for the 21 mile race.

In the 15 mile race, Rick Elkins(1:15:06) took the checkered flag, and Eric Serdoz(45:00) finished first for the 9 miler.

Beech Fork MTB
Waiting to get rolling
Equipment problems turned the ride into a walk for a few. There were the usual flat tires and one rider lost a pedal. After the race, the riders were treated to a delicious spaghetti dinner catered by Rocco's Restaurant in Ceredo.

The top placers were honored and allowed to have their pick of donated merchandise. Good sportsmanship was practiced by all and encouragement was given to the beginners for a great effort. I'm sure the racers appreciated the family members and friends who came out to cheer them on.

Race Director Mike Boyes put on a great race with lots of help from volunteers who took care of registration and time keeping. Special mention should go to the staff of Beech Fork State Park who was very helpful and glad to be part of the event. Thanks also goes out to Huntington Bicycle Center for prizes and to Jeanette Williams for T-shirt design. Mike also thanked those who helped with trail maintenance and encouraged everyone to participate in trail clean up day scheduled for September.