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Sunday, April 1, 2001 -- Oilville, VA
Spring AMBS #2 Camp Hilbert Dog Wood Blossom (iPO Event Id#: 3191)
Story and photos by Dana Harshberger

[Details] [Coverage]
[Results by Class]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5] [Set 6] [Set 7] [Set 8] [Set 9]

Mud!
Yes, there is a bike under there
Have you ever wanted to ride your bike through chocolate pudding, with leaves and twigs tossed in the mix as well? For those that enjoy the challenge of racing with the slipperiness of mud added to the equation, you missed your chance at this week's installment of the Atlantic Mountain Bike Series (AMBS). Held at bucolic Camp Hilbert, just outside of Richmond, the course, which is twisty and fast in dry conditions (has there ever been a dry race at Hilbert, you might ask?), got pretty mucky as the day wore on. The rain continued its decent, adding to the "classic Camp Hilbert" conditions.

Funny man and race promoter, Dan Comber, commented at the pre-race meeting for the noon race, that it was a lucky thing that the Clydes were in the 10am start, as they had squished all of the water out of the trails! This was not bad thinking, and might've even worked... if the rain would've held off.

Going Down?
There was still plenty of great riding
While standing at the starting line, this reporter overheard Charles Bowman's strategy for the race: Watch Charlie take off, and hang on! Yes folks, Charlie Storm was on the line for the Men's Pro Category, fresh from his first place finish out in California, at the Sea Otter Classic. Apparently not tired-out from traveling, Mr. Storm was off the front, with a trail of riders on his tire. Lap after lap, while other racers were getting muddier and muddier, Charlie appeared to float over the same mud that sucked in other riders. He cruised in over the finish at 1:54:38, and was met by his dog, Tucker Misty Mountain Hop Storm. Tucker greeted Charlie with a high five! Soon to follow was Bryan Ralston (1:58:24) and Chad Davis (2:04:40)

As rider after rider completed their race, the common comment heard was that the bikes must have weighed twice what they normally would've with the thick coating of mud and leaves that nearly everyone's bike wore. You couldn't shake it off or wiggle it out.

You go girl!
Fun (well, maybe) for all ages
There were some that actually liked the rain (but maybe not the muck). Joe Fritch (Men's Expert, 2:04:55) being one that welcomes the rain because it clears the air of all the allergy producing pollen. You see, Joe, with his allergies, races better in the rain, because he can breathe!

Luckily the rain abated for the Super Junior race, held earlier in the day. Three riders strong, this race had an amazing show of sportsmanship. About mid point into the race, one young racer either had a mechanical, or just was plain out tired, and decided to get off his bike and throw it down. In a wonderful display of mountain biker helpfulness, fellow rider Corrie Rice, got off her bike and somehow convinced the other rider to finish the race. The pair rode to the line amidst many cheering spectators! Isn't it great to know that the sport has such fabulous up and coming riders.

So folks, be sure to turn out next Sunday, where the action will be at Walnut Creek Park, near Charlottesville. Check out the iPlayOutside AMBS schedule for more details, or the AMBS site at www.bikeracing.com.