Saturday, March 31, 2001 - Sunday, April 1, 2001 -- Oak Hill, WV
Ace Spring Bike Fest - WVMBA Point Series #2 (iPO Event Id#: 2619)
Story and photos by Dave McKain
Anguish at Arbuckle - Downhill
One of the more challenging sections of the course was a short, rocky
section followed by a quick, muddy S-turn. Those wathcing the racers
pass through the section speculated on which lines the riders would
take through the section and what would happen when they hit a
particularly nasty rock about half way through. After the first few
riders passed, the spectators forgot about the rock and started
wondering if any of the racers would lose it in the muddy S-turn and
say "Hi!" to a tree trunk.
In a sport where 1/10ths and even 1/100ths of a
second make a big difference, Colin Lindberg was not in a comfortable
position with Benji Klimas only 5/100ths of a second
behind. Starting the second run, the riders knew they had to do as
good as their first run just to maintain their position and even
better to improve their standing. "I just knew I had to try and make
it to the bottom without hitting my brakes" Benji Klimas said. While
he still had to touch the brakes a couple times, Klimas improved his
time by 3.4 seconds in his second run. In fifth after the first run,
Butch Greene trimmed 3.7 seconds off his first run time while
Lindberg only cut 1/2 second and, as a result, fell to 5th place
behind Klimas (3rd) and Greene (4th). Than White, who would have to
better his first run time by almost 2 seconds (or hope that first
round leader Pete Weir would slow down) almost made it, cutting off
1.7 seconds. Even so, Weir cruised to the bottom almost a second
faster on his final run to claim victory with a combined time of
In the most improved category, Chris Gilbert shaved over 35 seconds off his first run time, Travis Hartsog went 31.6 seconds faster, and Carl Bush bettered his first run by 24.9 seconds to move from 16th to 13th place. The Ace staff, led by the venerable Tug Chamberlin, put on a fine event and, with the assistance of several of the days riders, promised a more technical course for their next event.
Minden Mud Fest - XC
The buzz around the start/finish line is starting to grow as parents
and friends start to worry. "Has anyone seen...." is a predominant
quesion. Reports come in over the radio that "yea, they passed here
and looked okay" or "we've got them here and they're getting warmed
up". Spectators wonder as the leaders approach. "Where did Ryan and
Nick go? They were in the lead group." Jeremiah Bishop is up front,
covered with mud as he pushes his bike up the hill, pursued by TJ
Platt. Next come Benji Klimas and Justin Povrikova, racing neck and
neck as they have from the start. Cassie Smith comes by. It may be cold and
miserable but she's smiling. Does she know that she is the sole
survivor in the womens pro/expert class?
Postscript: Monday morning, the sun was blazing to start a beautiful day in Oak Hill with the temperature heading up towards 60 degrees and nary a cloud in the sky. Maybe WVMBA should make a donation to Mother Natures favorite charity or something to get the weather schedule modified? They had to snake the shower drains at Ace to clear all of the mud out. No one will forget this one for a long time.
The following was submitted by Diesel Powers (you'll have to guess). Read and enjoy - we'll have have a full recap and results ASAP.
They do call this race the Minden Mud Fest, don't they?
Minden Mud Fest lives up to its name. And not just mud, throw in a
cold rain and SNOW mix and you are at the WVMBA points series #2 at
Ace adventure Center in Minden W.Va.
I started this race with a pre-ride on Thursday with the announcement to all my local riding buddies that I was going to Rule! I thoroughly believed this. Since I classified this as a climber's course, I felt I stood a good chance at a win in highly competitive Vet Expert class.
The descent to the alluvial plain started with unloading the SUV in the parking lot at Ace. This was where things started to go south. I discovered that my front wheel was two hours away, high and dry in my workshop - an omen? I asked around and got a loaner from Dave McKain - I was back in the race. During a good warm up of about 35 minutes, I was never really too cold. In addressing what I would wear during the race, I figured that since you produce more heat than you can actually deal with - I didn't need too put on too many layers.
The start for the Vet X's was thirty seconds after all the Three Lap
(ED - the Vet X's voted to race only 2 laps for the day)
All went well with the start, which was basically one long climb. I was there bumping wheels with Steve Thaxton, and Bob Vernon was watching me do it all the way. The course was definitely wet with the temperature hovering somewhere over the freezing point. After the climbs there is always the reward, with the gravity assist on the descent. This is where the spray (mud, water, who knows what) combined with the wind-chill factor started taking away from my peak heart rate. After the mudfest around the mound came the freezing descent into the gorge where the wind, snow and sleet put my mind to thinking of anything I could do to warm my body. This was available back at the SUV, I could swing in at the end of the first lap and get some arm warmers and a Gore-Tex vest in which to finish the race.
This was exactly my plan, and it was a good one. Except when I got there my body would not function the way it was supposed to, shivering cold to the core. I didn't realize until I tried to put on some more layers that my fingers were numb and not working properly, I was pulling out of the race. Into the truck to get warm, I got into dry clothes, I got some cola and ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
At the club house I filled up on coffee with a hot chocolate chaser.
Here I was not alone, some very familiar faces were there trying to
recover from one lap. When some one asked me if I had quit, it was the
first time quitting had been vocalized. Quitting a race when forth
place points are on the line motivated me to round up some dry
clothing, mix it with the wet/cold clothes I had come off the course with,
and head out for a second and final lap of punishment. It was now just
a matter of completing the race with a positive mind-set. Being one
of the last ones on the course allowed me to be aware of my
surroundings and appreciate the ability to put myself in this
On the course the scoop was that Steve Thaxton had broken his frame while leading the race and had dropped out. Then with the sighting of David Witt (3rd Vet-X), my pace quickened, there was nowhere near enough race course to catch him. The ever upbeat Bob Vernon kept the pace to finish second behind Danny Camden who came out of hiding to take his first Vet-X victory in a points series race.
With conditions at the extreme, everyone that returns to a warm bed, should consider themselves a survivor. Also, I would like to thank all the staff, volunteers and friends that assisted everyone throughout the course. This one is in the book.