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Sunday, July 18, 2004 -- Kanawha State Forest - Charleston, WV
Black Bear Mountain Bike Race - WVMBA Pts. #8 (iPO Event Id#: 6022)
Story and photos by Ariana Kinkaid

[Details] [Coverage]
[Overall Results]
Pictures: [Set 1] [Set 2] [Set 3] [Set 4] [Set 5]

Past Black Bear Coverage: [1998] [1999] [2000] [2001] [2002] [2003]

Black Bear
Getting wild with the bear
Loaded with steep and technical single track trails, the Black Bear Mountain Bike Race posses trails that mountain bikers dream of riding on. In other words, this is a hardcore, grass-roots mountain bike race.

The weather was beautiful for a Sunday ride in the forest . . . temps were in the 70's, and the humidity was low at the start.  Though the weather had been dry, there was no shortage of mud at each creek crossing.  A simple ride isn't what was in store for the folks who showed up--the canopy of green hid the twists and turns the riders were soon to encounter.

Black Bear
Bracing for the next hill
The first part of the race, as run by beginners and experts alike, is deceptive, "although the track is wide in many places, it's still got some edge to it.  I planted myself along this trail, after hiking partway up CCC Snipe Trail, and making a path out of a small run leading to the bike trail.  Several folks wiped out in the area where the novices and the experts parted ways. (I hope none of them was the guy who who had just gleefully yelled, "I love this new course!" on the ridge above.)