March 31, 2014

South Eastern Regional Championship #2 In Conyers Georgia

Last weekend I went down to the 2nd race of the SERC series at the International Horse Park in Conyers Georgia. This is the same place where the Olympic mountain bike race was held in 1996. The trails are very sandy with a lot of tight turns and short steep climbs. I was happy to be running the Continental X Kings for all the cornering as the tall nobs dug into the sand and made traction very predictable.

The race started off with a long straight before you hit the trail which turned into a drag race for the single track. I entered the woods in 6th place and we started to form a lead group. I started to loose contact with the leaders but still had a very good race for 4th place which nearly came down to a sprint finish. On the last lap I exited the woods with about 10 bike lengths on 5th place and I managed to hold him off around the finishing straight. 


March 24, 2014

4 Hours of Tuscarora

After all the hype about the toughness of this race, I can now say first hand that it lived up to all expectations. Early season races always mean mud, cold, wet, and gnarly. Tuscarora was all this plus. Three solid climbs and two super fast fire road decents all mixed up with gnarly rock gardens and multiple hike a bike sections. As for me, I rode a strong race holding the third spot for the first five laps. The course took its toll and eliminated the leader and defending champ with a double flat, launching me into second headed into the last lap. I was confident I could hold this spot but was nursing a couple cracked ribs from a fall on the second lap. The Scott Spark and trusty Continental Xkings guided me safely through the race and final lap to hold my podium spot and second place finish. Awesome race and hats off to the promoters for going above and beyond with trail prep, food and killer awards.


March 10, 2014

Southern Virginia Shootout 2014

This past Sunday I went down to Danville Virginia for the Southern Virginia Shootout. This has been the opening race of the season for me and many mid Atlantic and southeastern xc racers for a number of years now and it is always a great time with a high level of competition. This year a recent snow melt left the race course sopping wet testing racers skills and their bikes. This was also my first ride aboard my new Scott Spark 900 and this race would certainly be a test of the bike's ability.

At the start I found myself in 10th place going into the woods. I quickly picked off 5 riders in the first lap and then found myself alone for most of the race. This gave me time to really get a feel for the new bike. This year the bike came equipped with a fox 32 Float 29er fork and Float rear shock hooked up to Scott's twinloc system which provides full lockout, mid travel, and full travel settings. I already loved the twinloc and the new Fox suspension only made it better. Even in the extremely muddy conditioned the bike tracked extremely well and I felt extremely confident in downhill root sections. On climbs I easily locked out the front and rear suspension and was able to accelerate the bike like it was a hard tail.   

I had so much fun riding the new bike and trying to push it to it's limits on the muddy coarse that I almost wished we could have raced another lap. I crossed the finish line in 5th place which was a good result for such and early season race given the level of competition. As always the Southern Virginia Shootout proved to be a great season opener even in the wet.  

Scott Spark 900: 

Fox 32 Float 29 fork:
Fox Float shock: