Hannah Brewer, Rich Allen and I headed down to Philippi, West Virginia to check out this WVMBA race and found that it was plenty challenging with lots of hills, rock gardens as well as some fast single/double track sections.
Unfortunately, this years WVMBA "Race to lil Moe's Place" never made it to lil Moe's Place (a local bar where awards are traditionally dispersed) since all the power for the entire area was knocked out by trees downed in Friday night's storm (!). However, high kudo's are due to the race organizers (headed by Thad Kelley) for working overtime to clear the trails of fallen trees and carry on with this race in spite of the adverse conditions (Note: almost a week later and many of these areas are still without power !!).
The conditions were hot (mid 90's) and muggy with plenty of sunshine. The day was filled with challenges as Richy and Hannah got lost on the course (as well as from each other) on their warm-up ride and ended up riding the entire 6 mile beginners loop (barely getting back in time for the race start). Richy's luck was the worst with a hard fall on the warm-up lap, a flat tire during the start sprint, another hard fall on the course, another flat, a bent rim, a back injury and two heel blisters from the hike back to the start area... bummer !
My day went a bit better with a good first lap. On the 2nd lap I had just passed a competitor to move into 2nd place (in my Masters Sport class) when I tumbled in a rock garden. I quickly recovered from this and was back on the chase when I took a more notable fall resulting in a cracked helmet, torn jersey and the need for a number of bike adjustments before continuing. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to catch back on and ended up in 4th place (45 seconds behind my 2nd place fellow !). Oh well.
While Richy and I were busy with our most excellent “3 Stooges” impersonations, Hannah was laying down a great ride to take 1st place in the Womens Sport class!
After the race, we joined the other racers for a refreshing swim in the Cheat River.
Hannah - 1st place, Sport Women
Kirk - 4th place, Sport Masters
Rich - DNF, Sport Grand Masters