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Saturday, September 4, 2004 - Sunday, September 5, 2004 -- New River Gorge, WV
ACE New River Bike Fest - WVMBA Pts. #14 (iPO Event Id#: 6029)
Story and photos by Julie Black

[Details] [Coverage] [Overall Results] [Pic Set 1] [Pic Set 2] [Pic Set 3] [Pic Set 4]
Event Coverage: [2000] [2001] [2002] [2003]

ACE Bike Fest
Gunnar enjoys the scenery
Tucked away in it's own nook, over the tracks into Minden and then Oak Hill, West Virginia (that's New River George country folks), is an outdoor resort that's big enough to be it's own state park. It's no secret that ACE Adventure Center is the place for some serious outdoor fun, providing rafting trips on the New and Gauley Rivers, camping, cabins, expert guides for rock climbing, cave exploration, biking and more. The 1,400-acre is a private wooded setting, with it's own lakes, lodges, beach, trail-system, river access, and scenic overlooks. Pretty much, it's a biker's haven, and let's just say that they roll out the welcome mat when it comes to event hosting. These friendly outdoor enthusiasts know how to show a racer a good time.

ACE Bike Fest
Brian Fawley first out of the gates again
This year, the ACE New River Bike Fest was held on Labor Day Weekend. West Virginia Mountain Bike Association's (WVMBA), #14, the Minden Mud Fest XC Race was anything but muddy. Trails were dry and in primo condition thanks to a lot of trail maintenance and modification of the horse trails. Riders were treated to some fast single-track, and a well-marked, well-groomed course.

The trail of the day to be talked about was "Rigormortis." The name says it all really, and with no mud to get in the way the downhill sections were a scream, literally.

Close Battles for Pro/Expert Overall WVMVA Titles
With the Championships lingering in the distance, racers were anxious to get a move on. Brian Fawley was in front right from the get-go. He cranked in a 3-lap, 1st place Pro/Expert win in 2:03:11. Fawley and T.J. Platt have been vying for the overall WVMBA top spot and their just points apart. One will hold the top title after the WVMBA Championship Race, the Appalachian Classic. Pro/Expert Woman Cassie Smith rode to 1st in 2:34:57, improved her overall title chances against Mandi Riddle. Both are also very close in the overall points standings.

ACE Bike Fest
The dry rocky trails of ACE
Let's Get it On!
The Clydesdales kept it close with John Carothers (1:24:51), edging out Michael Miller by 5 seconds for 1st. Morgantown, WV resident Gunnar Shogren (2:09:06) took 1st in his class helping his chances for overall points leader in the Expert Vet class which is presently held by Gerry Pflug. A 1st place win for Amy Dunkin slides her into 1st overall over Lori Ware in the Sport Women Class heading into the Championships.

The Sport Classes Show Themselves
Many racers in the Sport Classes crowded the start wanting a piece of the overall WVMBA pie. Chris Flick (Sport 19-25) grabbed his in 1:09:13, challenging Tim Andrew's overall points lead. Doug Wayne (1:13:40), cemented his overall Sport Vet lead while Charles Patterson (1:14:13) challenges Bruce Williams for the overall Sport Masters spot.

After the race was over bikers were treated to some good times at ACE's own Lost Paddle Lounge. The next day, the Rush, Run, Rampage Downhill Race was held. The weekend was full of excitement, great weather, free camping and more. Thanks to ACE for their hospitality, the volunteers who steered us right on and off the trails, and all who contributed.